Catalogue 2017 - 2018

Neuroscience Major

General Information

Neuroscience is a field of study that integrates psychology, biology, physics, and chemistry for the common goal of understanding the structure, development and function of the brain and nervous system. Through research, neuroscientists are able to describe the normal function of electrical tissue. For example, improving our understanding of the brain allows us to understand and find ways to prevent or treat many devastating neurological and psychiatric disorders. Students majoring in neuroscience will have access to a range of tools including behavioral testing, electrophysiology, histology, and molecular biology, as they participate first-hand in basic exploratory research. Students are involved in all stages of research including project design, data collection and results reporting. This major is housed in a research-rich environment that supports a curriculum steeped in scientific investigation, where students and faculty work as partners in research and education.

Career Opportunities

Students who receive an undergraduate degree in Neuroscience typically continue their studies at the masters or doctoral level or pursue advanced degrees in a variety of medical professions (e.g. MD, DDO, DDS, VDM, or OD). Career options include positions within neuroscience, psychiatry, medicine, academia, pharmaceuticals, forensic science, health and allied health professionals, science writing and communications, and state and federal governmental science agencies (e.g. CIA, FBI, NIH, CDC, or FDA).

Neuroscience Faculty


Student Competencies

As an undergraduate neuroscience major, students will study the nervous system, behavior and cognitive processes from a variety of perspectives. The Neuroscience major has been patterned to follow the recommendations of the advisory committee of the Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience. Students, at the point of graduation, should be able to demonstrate the following core competencies:

  • an understanding of natural science and three major devisions within neuroscience (behavioral, cellular and molecular, and systems physiology) 
  • an understanding of experimental methodology, design and data analysis
  • an understanding of historical trends and theoretical perspectives that inform the field
  • an advanced understanding of a particular area or areas of study within neuroscience
  • critical thinking and independent thought
  • the ability to communicate effectively
  • the ability to discern and articulate a rationale for ethical conduct in research

General University and College Requirements

See General University Requirements and College of Arts and Sciences Requirements.

Course of Study for B.S.

There are four categories of required courses for the Neuroscience Major.

Degree Requirements

Core courses (26 credits)

PSY 101Introduction to Psychology

3 cr.

NSCI 212Introduction to Behavioral Neuroscience

3 cr.

PSY 207Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences

3 cr.

NSCI 232Research Methods in Neuroscience

3 cr.

NSCI 267Neurobiology

4 cr.

NSCI 385Neurodevelopment

3 cr.

NSCI 405Seminar in Neuroscience

4 cr.

PH 208Ethics

3 cr.

or

PH 231Biomedical Ethics

3 cr.

Total Credit Hours:26

Neuroscience electives (9 crs.)

Students must select three courses from within the Neuroscience program (NSCI 200 - 400 level) or from an approved list of electives from the departments of Psychology, Biology, Physics, or Chemistry.
Total Credit Hours:9

Neuroscience Tracks (17 credits)

A central mission of the Neuroscience major is to provide opportunities for students to work closely with sponsoring faculty to learn experimental techniques and engage in neuroscience research.

Track I - Research Intensive

Students will have the opportunity to rotate through labs to observe and become familiar with various research practices and theories. Students are then required to select a faculty sponsor to engage in research in a more concentrated capacity. After placement, students will engage in a year-long senior thesis project.

NSCI 250Neuroscience Lab Rotation I

1 cr.

NSCI 251Neuroscience Lab Rotation II

2 cr.

NSCI 350Neuroscience Lab Placement I

3 cr.

NSCI 351Neuroscience Lab Placement II

3 cr.

NSCI 450Senior Neuroscience Thesis I

4 cr.

NSCI 451Senior Neuroscience Thesis II

4 cr.

Total Credit Hours:17

Or Track II - Course Intensive

Students have the option to continue with the Neuroscience Major by completing additional upper level courses in Neuroscience or approved courses in other disciplines.

NSCI 250Neuroscience Lab Rotation I

1 cr.

NSCI 251Neuroscience Lab Rotation II

2 cr.

3XX/4XXFourteen 3xx/4xx credits in Neuroscience or approved courses

14 cr.

Total Credit Hours:17

Basic science and math courses (30 credits)

BIO 107General Biology I

3 cr.

BIO 117General Biology Laboratory I

1 cr.

BIO 108General Biology II

3 cr.

BIO 118General Biology Laboratory II

1 cr.

CHEM 105General Chemistry I

4 cr.

CHEM 106General Chemistry II

4 cr.

CHEM 209Organic Chemistry I

3 cr.

CHEM 219Organic Chemistry Laboratory I

1 cr.

CHEM 210Organic Chemistry II

3 cr.

CHEM 220Organic Chemistry Laboratory II

1 cr.

MATH 109Pre-Calculus Mathematics

3 cr.

or

MATH 123Calculus I for Management, Life, and Social Sciences

3 cr.

MATH 120Intro Statistics for the Arts & Sciences

3 cr.

or

MATH 124Calculus II For Management, Life, and Social Sciences

3 cr.

Total Credit Hours:30

Total Credit Hours: 82