The Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences is rooted in a tradition of intensive academics and research, where rigorous coursework is coupled with hands-on, collaborative research. Lectures are taught by world-class faculty, and students have access to their professors in the lab. Together, they seek answers to questions about how humans think, learn, behave, and feel.
The Department has created a tiered undergraduate curriculum that ensures graduates have the skills and preparation needed to excel as leaders in their chosen fields. The undergraduate program begins with foundational courses in a broad range of subjects, including computer science and programming, neural computation, and probability and statistics. The second and third tiers allow for increased focus and deeper exploration through course offerings in areas such as cellular neurobiology, psycholinguistics, and genetic engineering.
The tabs below outline department-specific information. Also download our updated subject offerings document /sites/default/files/files/BCS_subjectsoffered_AY19-20_updated_2019_01.pdf.
Students must take a total of 17 subjects, broken down as follows:
Science Requirement (6 subjects)
At present, no subjects from the Departmental Program fulfill this requirement.
Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS) (8 subjects)
Students can count up to two HASS subjects in the program to count towards both their undergraduate program requirements, and towards the GIRs. 9.00, 9.46, and 9.85 are all HASS subjects to choose from. 9.00 is a required departmental core class.
REST Requirement (2 subjects)
As part of the REST Requirement, students may select 9.01 from the Departmental Program.
Laboratory Requirement (1 subject)
The Laboratory Requirement can be satisfied by 9.12, 9.17, 9.59, or 9.60 in the Departmental Program.
Note: No subject can be counted as part of the 17-subject GIRs and as part of the 180 units required beyond the GIRs. Every subject in the Departmental Program will count toward one or the other, but not both.
The 14 required subjects for the Course 9 major may overlap with GIRs. For example:
- 9.01 is a REST subject (but only one departmental requirement can count as a REST).
- Subjects 9.00, 9.46, and 9.85 are all HASS subjects (but students can only count up to two HASS subjects in the program to count towards both their undergraduate program requirements, and towards the GIRs)
- 9.12, 9.17, 9.59J and 9.60 are Institute labs.
Here you will find the Department's current list of restricted electives:
|2.003J||Dynamics and Control|
|2.184||Biomechanics and Neural Control of Movement|
|5.07J||Biological Chemistry 1 (or 7.05 – NOT both)|
|5.12||Organic Chemistry 1|
|5.13||Organic Chemistry II|
|6.003||Signals and Systems|
|6.042||Mathematics for Computer Science|
|6.045J||Automata, Computability, & Complexity|
|6.046||Design and Analysis of Algorithms|
|6.141||Robotics: Science and Systems I|
|7.05||General Biochemistry (or 5.07 – NOT both)|
|9.72||Visiton in Art and Neuroscience|
|18.404J||Theory of Computation|
|20.309||Instrumentation and Measurement for Biological Systems|
|24.211||Theory of Knowledge|
|24.900||Introduction to Linguistics|
|24.901||Language and It’s Structure I: Phonology|
|24.902||Language and It’s Structure II: Syntax|
|24.903||Language and It’s Structure III: Semantics and Pragmatics|
MIT's Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) cultivates and supports research partnerships between MIT undergraduates and faculty. Participating in a UROP through the department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences gives students an incredible opportunity to be a part of the exciting research taking place here in Bldg. 46.
Please take some time to explore BCS faculty profiles on our website and learn about what their labs are investigating!
Browse current UROP opportunities posted on MIT’s UROP website
If you have questions about the process of becoming a UROP, don’t hesitate to contact our UROP Coordinator, Jillian Auerbach in BCS’s Academic Office. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org,
Phone: (617) 253-0482