Neuroscience Major Requirements

(Also see Requirements for a Bachelor's Degree.)

Neuroscience is the study of the nervous system and how it functions. Neuroscientists study the nervous system from all levels, ranging from molecules interacting with cell membranes to brain systems subserving cognitive functions such as language. Dramatic progress has been made at all levels, and the field continues to grow. On the Homewood campus, researchers studying the nervous system are in the departments of Biology, Biomedical Engineering, Biophysics, Cognitive Science, and Psychological and Brain Sciences and in the Krieger Mind/Brain Institute. Their presence provides the opportunity for an innovative, interdepartmental program which offers a broad overview of the neuroscience field, as well as more advanced training in one of four focus areas.

General Information
  • Students are encouraged to complete an optional introductory course in their freshman year, such as AS.200.141 Foundations of Brain, Behavior and Cognition or AS.050.105 Introduction to Cognitive Neuropsychology.
  • Students interested in attending medical school will need to take a second semester of organic chemistry and its corresponding laboratory to meet medical school admission requirements; however, these courses are not major requirements.
  • Students are required to select their advanced neuroscience elective courses from one of four approved focus areas: cellular and molecular neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, computational neuroscience, or systems neuroscience. Approved courses fulfilling this requirement are found on the neuroscience website or in the schedule of classes.
  • To apply towards the major, all courses must be taken for a letter grade and a grade of C- or better is required.
Neuroscience Sequence
AS.050.203Neuroscience: Cognitive (spring)3
AS.080.250Neuroscience Laboratory (fall/spring)3
AS.080.305Neuroscience: Cellular and Systems I (fall)3
AS.080.306Neuroscience: Cellular and Systems II (spring)3
Mathematics, Statistics, and Science Courses
EN.553.211Probability and Statistics for the Life Sciences4
or EN.553.310 Probability & Statistics for the Physical Sciences & Engineering
or EN.553.311 Probability and Statistics for the Biological Sciences and Engineering
or EN.553.111
Statistical Analysis I
and Statistical Analysis II
AS.110.106Calculus I (Biology and Social Sciences)4
or AS.110.108 Calculus I (Physical Sciences & Engineering)
AS.110.107Calculus II (For Biological and Social Science)4
or AS.110.109 Calculus II (For Physical Sciences and Engineering)
or AS.171.113 Subatomic World
Introductory Chemistry I
and Introductory Chemistry Laboratory I
Introductory Chemistry II
and Introductory Chemistry Laboratory II
or AS.030.103 Applied Chemical Equilibrium and Reactivity w/lab
AS.030.205Introductory Organic Chemistry I4
AS.171.101General Physics: Physical Science Major I4
or AS.171.103 General Physics I for Biological Science Majors
or AS.171.107 General Physics for Physical Sciences Majors (AL)
AS.173.111General Physics Laboratory I1
AS.171.102General Physics: Physical Science Major II4
or AS.171.104 General Physics/Biology Majors II
or AS.171.108 General Physics for Physical Science Majors (AL)
AS.173.112General Physics Laboratory II1
Biology Sequence 1
Select one biology course with lab of the following:6-8
General Biology I
and General Biology Laboratory I (see footnote about AP Biology credits) 1
General Biology II
and General Biology Lab II (see footnote about AP Biology credits) 1
and Developmental Genetics Lab
and Biochemistry Project lab
Protein Engineering and Biochemistry Lab
Protein Biochemistry and Engineering Laboratory
Cell Biology
and Cell Biology Lab
Comparative Animal Physiology
and Comparative Physiology Lab
Advanced Neuroscience Elective Courses and Focus Area
Nine credits of 300-level or higher approved courses from one of four focus areas: systems neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, computational neuroscience, or cellular and molecular neuroscience9
Three credits of 300-level or higher approved course outside of focus area selected above3
If pursuing the Computational Neuroscience focus area, EN.553.291 is required in addition to the other 12 credits required of the focus area (or the combo of AS.110.201/212 and AS.110.302 may be used)
If pursuing the Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience focus area, AS.020.306 and AS.020.316 must be selected as one of the two required biology courses with lab
Research 2
Six credits of neuroscience research6
AS.080.500Scientific Communication: Neuroscience0.5
Total Credits70.5-72.5

Sample Program

The following course sequence is only a suggestion and is based on the assumption that there are no AP/IB/TR credits applied. Please consult with your faculty advisor when selecting and registering for classes, as there are multiple ways to complete the major.

First Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
Biology Option 113Biology Option 213
Biology Lab Option 11Biology Lab Option 21
 12 12
Second Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
AS.080.54131 - 3AS.080.54131 - 3
 8.5-10.5 8.5-10.5
Third Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
AS.080.54131 - 3AS.080.5003.50
Upper Level Neuroscience Course #13AS.080.54131 - 3
 Upper Level Neuroscience Course #23
 9.5-11.5 12.5-14.5
Fourth Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
AS.080.25043Upper Level Neuroscience Course #43
Upper Level Neuroscience Course #33 
 6 3
Total Credits 72-80

Honors in the Major

To receive honors in Neuroscience, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Earn a GPA of 3.5 or better in major requirements
  • Earn 9 credits of required research
  • Presentation of research findings at the Day of Research in Engineering, Arts, Medicine and Sciences (DREAMS) or the Undergraduate Research Symposium (URS)
  • Receive a recommendation from research mentor