Requirements for a Major in Neuroscience Leading to the B.S. Degree


The foundation of the major is based on introductory coursework in Biology, Chemistry, Neuroscience and Psychology. In consultation with their academic advisors and guided by their individual interests, majors then select from a broad range of courses in these departments, as well as in Philosophy, to design a program of studies that adds both breadth and depth to their understanding of the discipline. In the senior year, all majors participate in a Neuroscience Senior Seminar.

A total of fifty-three to fifty-six (53-56) credits are required as follows:

Core requirements (all):

Chem 120-120L Chemistry & Lab
Biol 130-131L Biology I & Lab
Biol 140-141L Biology II & Lab
Psyc 150 Foundational Issues In Psychology
Psyc 211 Statistical Methods
Neur 270 Neuroscience (prerequisite: Biol 130 and 140 or Psyc 150)
Neur 350 Neuroscience Research Methods (prerequisite: Neur 270)
Neur 485/486 Senior Seminar


Depth requirements (Either [Biol 375 or Biol 376] and either [Neur 318 or Psyc 345]):

Biol 375 Neuroendocrinology (prerequisite: Biol 130 and 140)
Biol 376  Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience (prerequisite: Biol 130 and 140)
Neur 318 Neuroscience of Brain Disorders (prerequisite: Neuro 270)
Psyc 345 Cognitive Neuroscience (prerequisite: Neuro 270 or Psyc 200 and 211)
If a student chooses to take more than two Depth courses, each additional one may be used to fulfill a Breadth requirement.


Breadth requirements (choose 3):

Biol 204 Mechanisms of Development
Biol 207 Animal Behavior
Biol 303 Genetics w/o Lab
Biol 304 Genetics w/ Lab
Biol 307 Cell Biology
Biol 325 Molecular Biology
Biol 340 Animal Physiology
Chem 414 Biochemistry
Chem 416 Mechanisms of Drug Action
Psyc 216 Perception
Psyc 220 Psychology of Health
Psyc 224 Psychological Disorders
Psyc 306 Language and Communication
Psyc 327 Cognitive Processes
Neur 451/452 Independent Research
Phil 328 Philosophy of Mind and Consciousness


Courses recommended but not required

Chem 211-212 Introduction to Organic Chemistry I and II (with laboratory)
Comp 141 Computer Science I: Programming Fundamentals
Math 115 Applied Calculus
Phys 111-112 Fundamentals of Physics I and II (with laboratory)
Pols 216 Introduction to the Philosophy of Law
See Also:


When declaring a major in neuroscience, students must submit an essay in which they articulate their educational goals. The essay should be four paragraphs, with one paragraph dedicated to each of the questions below (question 3 has two parts).


1.       In your opinion, what are the defining characteristics of the discipline of Neuroscience?

2.       How do the requirements for the Neuroscience major complement your program of liberal arts study and support your career or life goals?

3.       As a Neuroscience major, how will you (a) build on your strengths and (b) address your weaknesses?


The entire essay should be between 250 and 1000 words and must accompany the Declaration of Major form when a student has the initial meeting with her/his major advisor. A student may choose to revise the essay after meeting with the advisor. Students will electronically submit the final, advisor approved, version of the essay as a Word document to their advisor for storage on the neuroscience fileserver. The file name for the essay should be as follows: student’s last name, student’s first name, and graduation year. Each student will revisit the major essay in the senior seminar course.