Academic program

Neuroscience examines the bidirectional interrelations between the nervous system and behavior and includes perspectives from biology, psychology, chemistry, and philosophy. Neuroscience majors become familiar with neurobiology, physiological psychology, and cognitive neuroscience through classroom and laboratory experiences that include a thesis. More information on the neuroscience program is available on the website (

Major Requirements. The fifteen courses required to major in neuroscience include four core neuroscience courses (NS/PY 200, 330, 363 and BI/NS 308), which should be completed by the end of the junior year. In addition, three upper-level courses from the two elective lists below are required. All three courses may come from list A, consisting of neuroscience-related courses. Alternatively, one course from list B, consisting of background courses, may be substituted for a course from list A. Also required are BIO 190 and 242; PSYC 218 or BIO 244; CHEM 107A, CH/ES 107B, or FYS 398; CHEM 108A or CH/ES 108B; CHEM 217 and 218. Some of these courses have additional prerequisites.

Required Senior Thesis. A thesis of at least one semester, typically supervised by the neuroscience faculty, is required of all neuroscience majors (NRSC 457 and/or 458). Given the difficulty of generating sufficient data in one semester, a two-semester thesis is the norm and is highly recommended, especially for those who intend to go on to graduate school. Preliminary thesis proposals are due during the second semester of the junior year. Seniors are also required to present their thesis in the form of a poster or oral presentation at the end of the winter semester.

Double Majoring in Neuroscience and Biological Chemistry, Biology, Chemistry, or Psychology. If a student undertakes a double major in neuroscience and biological chemistry, biology, chemistry, or psychology, he or she may not use the same elective course to fulfill both majors. Additionally, courses required to fulfill the major requirements of one of the majors may not be used to serve as electives for the second major.

Students planning to minor in chemistry may not use CHEM 321 toward both the chemistry minor and the neuroscience major.

Pass/Fail Grading Option. Pass/fail grading may not be elected for courses applied toward the major.

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