Undergraduate Program

students walking by usb

Neuroscience is an Interdepartmental Program managed by the Undergraduate Program in Neuroscience (UPiN), which represents a collaboration between the Department of Psychology and the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB).

What is Neuroscience?

Neuroscience is the study of the nervous system. It is a cross-disciplinary field that engages scientists, engineers and physicians in investigating how the nervous system develops and functions on a cellular level as well as the mechanisms that underlie behavior, cognition, mental disorders and neurological disease. An understanding of how the nervous system functions spans both molecular and cellular activity that is best taught by cell and molecular neurobiologists, and behavior that is best taught by psychologists. For this reason undergraduate instruction in neuroscience is done primarily by faculty from the LSA Departments of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology (MCDB) and Psychology.

The overall goals of this major are to:

  1. provide a course of study in the discipline of Neuroscience that integrates cell/molecular and behavioral components of the field.
  2. offer abundant opportunities for undergraduate research on cutting edge issues.
  3. provide a course of study that prepares students for graduate training in the field of Neuroscience, for a career in biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries or any of the health professions (human medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy) or for any other career where strong analytical skills are required, such as law or business.

Outline of the Neuroscience Major

After completing background courses in Biology, Chemistry and quantitative analysis (Math or Statistics) students take 10 upper level courses in biopsychology, molecular and cellular neurobiology, and other areas that encourage breadth. Two upper level lab courses are also required. One of these can be an independent research project under the guidance of a faculty sponsor.


Neuroscience students may not double major in Biology; General Biology; Cell and Molecular Biology; Biopsychology, Cognition and Neuroscience; Brain, Behavior, and Cognitive Sciences; Biochemistry; Biomolecular Science; Plant Biology; or Microbiology; nor elect a minor in Biology, Plant Biology, or Biochemistry.

Students double majoring in Psychology and Neuroscience may share a maximum of 3 courses toward their two programs.

Neuroscience Requirements and Program Information 2014 and later (PDF)

Neuroscience Requirements and Program Information Prior to 2014 (PDF)

Fall 2015 Neuroscience Classes (PDF)

Winter 2016 Neuroscience Classes (PDF)

Spring/Summer 2016 Neuroscience Classes (PDF)