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Cognitive Science

The interdisciplinary cognitive science minor draws on concepts and methodology from psychology, philosophy, computer science, language sciences, and neuroscience and emphasizes how to think and engage in reasoning and constructive problem-solving.

High tech virtual reality equipment is available for psychology studies and experiments.

Why Study Cognitive Science at Randolph?

Cognitive Science is the interdisciplinary study of the nature of human knowledge and how it is acquired and used.

Cognitive science draws on concepts and methodology from psychology, philosophy, computer science, language sciences, and neuroscience and emphasizes how to think and engage in reasoning and constructive problem-solving – skills that can be applied across disciplines.

Students will learn how information is represented and processed, and may also learn advanced computational skills such as computer programming and working with data structures.

Degrees offered

Interdisciplinary Minor in Cognitive Science

Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology 

Minor in Psychology 

Curriculum and Courses

Participating Programs

Curriculum and Requirements

Students must complete 24 credit hours to qualify for the Cognitive Science minor.  

Required: (16 credit hours)

  • PSYC 2211 Cognitive Psychology 
  • PSYC 2260 Language Acquisition and Development 
  • PSYC 3338 Cognitive Neuroscience 
  • PHIL 3351 Philosophy of Mind 

One of the following: (4 credit hours)

  • CSCI 2225 Matlab and Labview
  • DSCI/MATH 2232 Introduction to Data Science
  • DSCI 2233 Machine Learning

One of the following: (4 credit hours)

  • PHIL 2230 Logic
  • PSYC 3325 Psychology of Music
  • PSYC 3334 Thinking and Reasoning in Psychological Science

See individual department listings for course descriptions

Top Ranked Professors

Randolph College’s faculty are consistently recognized as among the best in the nation. The Princeton Review ranked the College in the top 20 for most accessible professors in the 2022 edition of its flagship college guide, The Best 385 Colleges. Randolph has been ranked in the top 20 for most accessible professors for three consecutive years.

Faculty Coordinator

Elizabeth Blair Gross

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Read More... Elizabeth Blair Gross

Opportunities for Experience

Summer Research Program

Spend the summer working closely with a professor on a focused aspect of a Cognitive Science topic of your choosing.

Randolph’s intensive eight-week Summer Research Program enables students to work with professors on a research of their own design; live in a residence hall on campus, participate in on-campus summer events, attend special seminars with guest speakers; and share the progress and results of their research.

Learn more about the Summer Research Program.

Symposium of Artists and Scholars

Modeled after a traditional academic conference, the SAS brings together students of all disciplines to share the results and highlights of the best work being produced at the College –  oral presentations, readings of creative works, performances, exhibitions of student artwork, and poster presentations.

Learn more about the Symposium of Artists and Scholars.

Internships

Learn by doing – in the field and on the job.  The Career Development Center will help place you in positions with leading companies and organizations in your field of study.

Learn more about internship opportunities.

Resources and Equipment

Only at Randolph

Randolph students can take advantage of unique programs which give them a more enriching education than can be found anywhere else.

Money for Your Research

The Randolph Innovative Student Experience (RISE) program provides every student a $2,000 grant to fund research, creative work, experiential learning or other scholarly pursuits.

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The Randolph Plan

Randolph students work with faculty mentors to explore a broad range of disciplines as they chart their academic path.

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TAKE 2

Two courses per half-mester means you get to focus in and dig deep into your coursework while still having time for the rest of the college experience. Two classes. Seven weeks. Repeat.

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The Liberal Arts Advantage

Randolph graduates learn to think critically, solve problems and work well with others. They are prepared to succeed in all aspects of life.

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News

Beck writes blog about benefits of active music-making

Psychology professor Sara Beck published a blog for the Center for Scholars & Storytellers, a youth-centered organization that bridges the […]

Read More

Randolph’s Blair Gross published in ‘Frontiers in Psychology’

Blair Gross, a Randolph psychology professor, published the article, “Cognitive Processes Unfold in a Social Context: A Review and Extension […]

Read More

Beck writes about music cognition for "Child Art Magazine"

In the article, How Do Scientists Study Music?, Beck and co-author Miriam Lense wrote about the intersection of music, psychology, neuroscience, education, and health

Read More

A tale of two projects: Summer Research studying actions and perceptions in the world

Psychology professor Elizabeth Gross had a plan in place for Randolph’s Summer Research Program. Then COVID-19 happened—and she decided to switch gears with not just one but two different projects.

Read More

Beck writes blog about benefits of active music-making

Psychology professor Sara Beck published a blog for the Center for Scholars & Storytellers, a youth-centered organization that bridges the […]

Read More

Randolph’s Blair Gross published in ‘Frontiers in Psychology’

Blair Gross, a Randolph psychology professor, published the article, “Cognitive Processes Unfold in a Social Context: A Review and Extension […]

Read More

Beck writes about music cognition for "Child Art Magazine"

In the article, How Do Scientists Study Music?, Beck and co-author Miriam Lense wrote about the intersection of music, psychology, neuroscience, education, and health

Read More

A tale of two projects: Summer Research studying actions and perceptions in the world

Psychology professor Elizabeth Gross had a plan in place for Randolph’s Summer Research Program. Then COVID-19 happened—and she decided to switch gears with not just one but two different projects.

Read More
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Elizabeth Blair Gross

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Credentials:B.A., University of Virginia
M.A., University of Virginia
Ph.D., University of Virginia
Associated Departments:Psychology, Cognitive Science
Office:Psychology 1
Phone:4349478548
Email:egross@randolphcollege.edu

News Headlines

What excites me the most about the Psychology program at Randolph College is how closely I get to work with undergraduate students. I am passionate about teaching psychology, and I love the small, intimate, and supportive classrooms that enable me to not only teach but mentor my students as well. I currently teach Introduction to Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Research Methods, and Myths and Controversies in Psychology. Most of all, I try to incorporate research into all of my classes, either by emphasizing rigorous evaluation of scientific studies and their conclusions or having students design and conduct their own research studies. I find students really are the creative engine in the field!

As much as I love teaching, I also love being a scientist. In research, I am primarily interested in how our social environments shape basic cognitive processes, and how individuals incur costs and benefits in social relationships. I find it fascinating that our visual systems reconstruct the world around us, but it is not always accurate. For example, the steepest paved road in Lynchburg, VA is, by law, 9 degrees, yet it looks drastically steeper! In fact, there is good evidence that what we see is shaped by both our ability to act in the world and, more surprisingly, who surrounds us. Distances look farther and hills look steeper when we are physically exhausted, and thinking about a supportive friend literally makes us see the world as easier to navigate. My research has found that even an abstract social resource, imagining supportive others, provides physiological benefits and alters visual perception. I am excited to continue this work with students in an effort to directly quantify how individuals perceive and relate to their social network in an effort to establish what aspects of the social environment are responsible for these direct changes in physiology and cognitive processes.

When I’m not working, you will often find me training for long distance runs, catching up on my reading list, or watching football.

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