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Cognitive Psychology Specialization

Cognitive psychology deals with broad, exciting questions that have puzzled people for centuries – things like why we have conscience, why we believe some things to be true and others false, and how we can improve the way we think, act, and decide.  The primary topic areas in cognitive psychology are paying attention, perceiving, recognizing objects, acquiring knowledge, memory, language as a tool for thinking and communicating, solving problems, drawing conclusions, and evaluating claims.  In short, cognitive psychology is about how the human mind works.  The mind is a product of the brain, so there are many interconnections between cognitive psychology and biological psychology.  In fact, professionals in neuroscience, computer science, linguistics, philosophy, and psychology are all investigating aspects of cognitive science from the perspective of their disciplines.  Students completing this specialization learn information relevant to occupations in rehabilitation, work with the elderly, and educational settings.  The cognitive specialization is an especially good choice for students preparing for a career in teaching at the elementary or secondary school level.

Please get in touch with the Cognitive Psychology coordinator, Dr. Tamra Bireta, for more information.

Cognitive Specialization Handout

Faculty affiliated with the Cognitive Psychology Specialization:

  • Dr. Tamra Bireta (Chair)
  • Dr. Andrew Leynes
  • Dr. Aimee Stahl
  • Dr. Lisa Grimm

Cognitive Psychology Courses Requirements

Methods Sequence (Taken in sequence)

  • PSY 101 – General Psychology
  • PSY 121 – Methods and Tools of Psychology
  • PSY 203 – Design and Statistical Analysis
  • PSY 299 – Research Seminar

Foundation Courses (Choose 3):

  • PSY 213 – Learning and Memory
  • PSY 214 – Cognitive Psychology
  • Other Foundation Course (Choose 1)
    • Your advisor may be able to help you in making selections

Specialized Courses (Choose 3):

Must Choose 1 of the following:

  • PSY 303 – Advanced Behavioral Statistics
  • PSY 311 – Sensation and Perception
  • PSY 320 – Origins of Social Cognition
  • PSY 346 – Cognitive Neuroscience
  • PSY 371 – Cognitive Seminar (or a 400-level cognitive seminar)
  • PSY390 (Bireta, Grimm, or Leynes)
  • Two other Specialized Courses (Your advisor may be able to help you in making selections)

Psychology Option

  • One course (Recommended at 300-Level or 400-Level)

Senior Experience (Choose 1)

  • Your advisor may be able to help you in making selections

[Please check PAWS for the semester offerings]

Additional Information

  • Students are encouraged to consider satisfying their TCNJ Liberal Learning requirements by completing the Cognitive Science Interdisciplinary Concentration.

Cognitive Psychology Careers

  • Art Therapy
  • Position in ETS or other testing centers
  • Industrial Consultant
  • Human Factors Specialist
  • Research Assistant