Stephanie Fretham (program director)

Neuroscience is the interdisciplinary study of how the nervous system functions, from the cellular level to more complex features such as movement, perception, behavior, emotion, desires and memory.  The foundational components of the major are provided through a series of courses in the disciplines of biology and psychology that center on neuronal function and its role in biology and behavior. Students then gain a deeper understanding of neuroscience through completion of additional coursework taken from biological and cognitive and behavioral neuroscience perspectives.

The neuroscience major is intended to provide students with the knowledge and skills to successfully matriculate onto the next chapter of their lives, whether it is graduate school, a career in medicine or other allied health field, or another career avenue that requires strong quantitative and assessment skills. Depending on a student's goals and interests, they may be advised to take additional preparatory coursework in chemistry, physics, mathematics (calculus and/or statistics), or computer science. Thus, it is essential that students consult an advisor when planning their curricular pathway. Students are also encouraged to seek undergraduate research opportunities and internship experiences to strengthen their career preparation.

Required for the Major:

The neuroscience major requires completion of the following core course requirements: BIO 151 and 152 (Principles of Biology); BIO 255 (Human Physiology); BIO 260 (Experimental Neuroscience); BIO 362 (Neuroscience); PSYC 130 (General Psychology); PSYC 249 (Brain and Behavior); one course in statistics (BIO 256 or PSYC 350); NEUR 485 (Neuroscience Seminar).

In addition, students must complete a total of 16 hours of supporting coursework, with at least 4 hours from each of the following categories:

Category 1

BIO 201 (Genetics)

BIO 363 (Molecular Biology)*

BIO 364 (Cell Biology)*

BIO 367 (Endocrinology)

CHEM 301 (Biochemistry)*

CS 150 (Introduction to Computer Science)         

Category 2

PHIL 330 (Minds, Brains, and Persons)*

PSYC 244 (Animal Cognition)

PSYC 352 (Cognitive Processes)*

PSYC 354 (Learning and Behavior)*

PSYC 465 (Abnormal Psychology)

Please note that the * designates courses that have additional pre-requisite requirements that may or may not be met by the core courses, so students should plan their schedules accordingly. For students majoring in both neuroscience and psychology, only three psychology courses may be used to satisfy the requirements for both majors. For students majoring in both neuroscience and biology, only three biology courses may be used to satisfy the requirements for both majors.

The writing requirement for neuroscience will be fulfilled by BIO 260. The speaking requirement is fulfilled through BIO 362.

No minor is offered for neuroscience. Additionally, students majoring in neuroscience may not earn a minor in either biology or psychology.

View program learning goals for an explanation of learning outcomes in Neuroscience. 

Neuroscience Courses

NEUR 485 Neuroscience Seminar

  • 2 hours
  • Prerequisites: BIO 254, NEUR 254, PSYC 249, NEUR 249, BIO 362 or NEUR 362 and junior/senior standing

This seminar for students completing the neuroscience major will use primarily literature to explore topics spanning the breadth of neuroscience. Graded credit/no credit.

NEUR 490 Senior Project

  • 1 hour