Cognitive Science, B.S.


Department of Linguistics

Brian Agbayani, Chair
Peters Business Building, Room 383

Degrees and Programs Offered

BA in Linguistics - Teaching English as a Second Language Option, B.A.
BA in Linguistics - Computational Linguistics Option, B.A.
BA in Linguistics - General Linguistics Option, B.A.
BA in Linguistics - Interdisciplinary Language Studies Option, B.A.
BS in Cognitive Science, B.S.
CERT in TESOL, Certificate of Adv. Study
MA in Linguistics, M.A.
MA in Linguistics - Teaching English as a Second Language Option, M.A.
MN in Linguistics, Minor
MN in Computational Linguistics, Minor
MN in Chinese, Minor
MN in Hmong, Minor
MN in Teaching English As A Second Language, Minor
MN in Cognitive Science, Minor
MN in Japanese, Minor

Courses Offered

The Department

Linguistics is the study of the human capacity for language. Language is the defining characteristic of the human species; without language, there would be no civilization, no culture, no scientific or technological development, none of the achievements and capabilities distinctive to the human species. Therefore, the study of the nature of language is fundamental to the understanding of what it means to be human.

Students and faculty in linguistics investigate the nature of human language, its structure, diversity, universality, acquisition by children and adults, historical change, and its use in society. They study how language is processed in the human mind/brain, and how it relates to other human cognitive faculties. And they study and develop applications of linguistics to teaching, technology, and many other fields.

Degrees and Programs

Our degrees and programs develop intellectual skills that are essential to professional careers or advanced degrees and can be applied directly to various professional fields. An undergraduate or advanced degree in linguistics can prepare you for a career in a variety of different fields, including but not limited to: teaching, publishing, national security, international affairs, policy, forensics, medicine and technology. Our programs also serve as excellent preparation for pursuing advanced degrees in linguistics and other fields such as English, Anthropology, Psychology, Sociology, Computer Science, and Foreign Languages.

The B.A. Option in General Linguistics provides a broad background in the scientific study of language, including but not limited to phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, language acquisition, sociolinguistics, and related areas.

The B.A. Option in TESL provides professional training and preparation in theories and methods for teaching second/foreign languages and is especially compatible with degrees in education and liberal studies.

The B.A. Option in Interdisciplinary Language Studies is for those students interested in combining the study of a particular language or languages with the core areas of linguistics.

he B.A. Option in Computational Linguistics is for those students interested in text processing, forensic linguistics, software design, machine translation, and other professions dealing with the interface between computers and humans.

The B.S. Degree in Cognitive Science is an interdisciplinary program that combines aspects of Computer Science, Psychology, Linguistics, and Philosophy.

The M.A. degree in Linguistics is designed to increase the student’s knowledge and understanding of linguistics and its applications. The M.A. degree has two options, one in General Linguistics and one in TESL. The general linguistics program is designed to train students who expect to do further graduate work, to teach linguistics at the college level, or to do linguistic field work on less-studied languages. The option in TESL prepares students for further graduate work in applied linguistics and serves those who wish to teach English to speakers of other languages at any educational level, either abroad or in this country. The TESL option specifically meets the needs of English language teachers in this region.

Minors in Chinese, Hmong, and Japanese are also available for students with plans to pursue careers in various areas, such as education, health care, international affairs, marketing, economics, national security, art and literature, etc., where a knowledge of language and culture would be useful.

The Undergraduate Certificate of Special Study in Teaching English as a Second Language is intended for local and international Bachelors students who wish to specialize in English as a Second Language methods. The Graduate Certificate in TESL is designed to train students in the theory and practice of TESL, with application to a wide variety of teaching circumstances.


The Department of Linguistics has a computer lab for computer-assisted language learning (CALL) and for language study. The Department also has a sound booth for phonetic analysis. The Linguistics Department provides practical classroom teaching experience for qualified ESL students through internship programs at area schools and through employment with the American English Institute.


Bachelor of Science Degree Requirements

Cognitive Science Major

The general objectives for the B.S. in Cognitive Science are to develop and provide a thorough foundation in the study of cognitive science, drawing in perspectives from computer science, linguistics, philosophy, and psychology; to provide a foundation in cognitive science with which students will be able to pursue graduate education in cognitive science, computer science, linguistics, philosophy, psychology, or related fields; and to provide a foundation for the pursuit of jobs in business and industry where a multidisciplinary background is highly desirable.

The primary instructional objectives of the B.S. in Cognitive Science are to give an education in recent approaches to cognition and cognitive science and to give an overview of current methodologies used within cognitive science, including those methodologies used in the core disciplines of computer science, linguistics, philosophy, and psychology.

Cognitive Science

1. Major requirements (43-47 units)
The core consists of the two cognitive science foundational courses, plus a set of courses from each of the primary cognitive science disciplines represented at Fresno State: computer science, communicative disorders, linguistics, philosophy, and psychology.

Core requirements (34-35 units)
CGSCI 100; CSCI 40, 41; LING 100; PHIL 45; PSYCH 42, 128, 144; CSCI 60 or MATH 114

Electives (9-12 units)
Select three courses from the following list: PSYCH 121, 124; PHIL 145, 146; LING 139, 142, 143, 151, 165; CSCI 119, 164, 166CGSCI 101*

Additional requirements
(Double counted in G.E.) PHIL 151; PSYCH 10, 126

2. General Education requirements (49 units)

3. Other requirements (6 units)
Upper-division writing and Multicultural and International (MI)

4. Sufficient elective units to meet required total units (varies)

5. Total units (120)**

* Course may be taken twice.

** G.E. and MI courses can be double-counted with major requirements. The writing requirement may be met by taking the upper-division writing exam. See advisor for details. 



For faculty phone numbers and e-mail, see the campus directory.

For more on the faculty, see the faculty pages.
The faculty pages are updated by the department or program.


B.S. in Cognitive Science

A Roadmap identifies the specific set of courses students must complete in their major in sequential order. Information on corequisites or prerequisites is listed along with other pertinent information to assist students in completing courses towards the major.

Click here for roadmap.

Please note: Roadmaps are not a guarantee of course availability.

If you are looking for archived roadmaps, please click here.


Student studying on bench in front of Music Building

A Special Multidisciplinary Program

Cognitive Science is an emerging field that brings together various approaches to the study of human cognition, drawing from psychology, linguistics, neuroscience, philosophy and computer science. Historically, study in Cognitive Science has been conducted within these traditional disciplines and such study still represents important areas of research, as in cognitive psychology within psychology or artificial intelligence within computer science. However, increasingly many researchers and practitioners are feeling a need for a background that integrates basic knowledge in the foundational disciplines and prepares them to work across academic fields.

The broad-based multidisciplinary degree program in Cognitive Science develops and provides a thorough foundation in the study of cognitive science, drawing in perspectives from computer science, linguistics, philosophy, and psychology; and to provide a foundation in cognitive science

What You Can Do

Pursue jobs in business and industry where a multidisciplinary background is highly desirable

Pursue graduate education in:

  • cognitive science
  • Computer Science
  • Linguistics
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology

Interesting Classes You Might Take

  • Topics in Cognition, Perception, and Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Introduction to Logic
  • General Phonetics
  • Critical Thinking and Computer Science

What You Can Learn

  • Problem-solving strategies, algorithm design, and data abstraction
  • Principles of operation of the human memory system
  • Sensory and perceptual processes in vision, touch and hearing
  • Integration of quantitative and expert knowledge with the computer for improving the decision-making process

About the College

The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

College Contact Information

College of Arts & Humanities
Office of the Dean
2380 E. Keats MS/MB99
Fresno CA 93740-8024

(559) 278-3056
FAX: (559) 278-6758

Where We Are Located

We are located in the west wing of the Music Building in Room 186.

Department Contact Information

Department of Linguistics

Mail Stop: M/S PB92

Phone: 559.278.2441 
Fax: 559.278.7299

The Department of Linguistics is located in Peters Business Building, room 383.