Undergraduate Honors Program

The honors program in the Department of Cognitive Science at Case Western Reserve University allows highly motivated undergraduate cognitive science majors to receive additional mentoring, professional development,  and research supervision. To graduate with honors in the major, students must have a 3.5 major GPA at the time of graduation, and have completed either COGS 308 (Advanced Research Workshop I, usually offered in the fall) OR COGS 309 (Advanced Research Workshop II, usually offered in the spring) with a final grade of A. In both courses, students will develop a research topic (theoretical or empirical), and work on it with the input of other workshop members to produce final projects. Only 5-8 undergraduate students are permitted to enroll in these courses each semester. To register for the course, use SIS to request permission (COGS 308 and 309 are enrollment via instructor permission only).

Undergraduate Honors Program FAQ

No. Departmental honors appear in the graduation program and on your transcript. Only Latin honors (cum laude, etc.) appear on the diploma.

The capstone is a general education requirement. All undergraduates must fulfill this requirement in order to graduate. COGS majors can do a capstone in any department. 308/309 does NOT replace the capstone. Honors students must take 308 or 309 and complete a capstone experience in some department. The work students do for 308/309 must be new work, but students can work on a topic related to their capstone work. For example, a student might write a theoretical paper summarizing an area of research and proposing an empirical study to fulfill the requirements of 308/309, then carry out that study for her capstone research.

Yes. Students who are doing these two things in the same semester can work with the 308/309 instructor and their capstone supervisor to figure out how to best use the student’s time. You can work on related or entirely different topics for the two requirements.

These courses count as COGS electives (major/minor requirement) or social science breadth requirements.

Yes. You will receive honors if you meet the requirements, so if there’s some reason (excessive modesty?) you don’t want that notation, let the instructor know.

The optimal time is junior or senior year, after you have acquired a solid background in cognitive science. We also strongly encourage students to take 308 or 309 before the capstone, so that the course can be used to produce a higher quality capstone. However, there are no prerequisites for 308 or 309, which means that you can take the course at any time.