Neuroscience Major

General

Program Description

Neuroscience integrates psychology, biology, engineering, and chemistry. Scientists from these various disciplines all work for a common goal: to understand the structure, development, and function of the nervous system. Neuroscientists use an ever-increasing range of tools to examine the molecular, structural, physiologic, cognitive, and behavioral aspects of the brain and nervous system.

Through their research, neuroscientists are able to describe the normal function of the human brain, which then allows them to understand and find ways to prevent or cure many devastating neurological and psychiatric disorders. This major is housed in a research-rich environment that supports a curriculum steeped in scientific investigation, where students and faculty can work as partners in research and education.

Quick Facts

  • Neuroscience students study in state-of-the-art classroom and labs located in the new $40 million Center for the Sciences and Pharmacy, which opened in 2010.
  • Students who receive an undergraduate degree in Neuroscience typically find employment in clinical or academic research facilities, or continue their studies at the master's or doctoral levels, or pursue medical degrees.
  • Neuroscience students will have opportunities to attend and present research at the annual international meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, an organization with more than 30,000 members.

Curriculum

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

  • an awareness of critical natural science and psychological principles
  • an awareness of experimental methodology, design, and data analysis
  • an awareness of historical trends and theoretical perspectives that inform the field
  • an advanced awareness 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
  • awareness of how neuroscience is informed by perspectives from a wide range of disciplines beyond the sciences
  • an appreciation of the value of diversity and the ability to work with colleagues from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives

Fields

Neuroscience, psychiatry, medicine, academia, pharmaceuticals, forensic science, health and allied health professions, media science, and state and federal government science agencies.

Outlook

The life sciences industry is one of the fastest growing economic sectors of the Massachusetts' economy and is a cornerstone of the Commonwealth’s future prosperity. Workers in the life, physical, and social sciences form the core of the research operations in the industry, which is concentrated in a few areas. Massachusetts is one of just seven states—along with California, New York, Illinois, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey—that account for more than half of all employment in the industry. Employment of biological scientists, which numbered at 18,200 in 2008, is expected to increase 38 percent, or nearly 7,000, by 2018.

Opportunities

Students who receive an undergraduate degree in Neuroscience typically continue their studies at the master's or doctoral level, while others may choose to pursue advanced degrees in a variety of medical professions (M.D., D.D.O, D.D.S., V.D.M., O.D.).

Last updated Mar 2020

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This Western New England University website conveys a rich and powerful portrait of a special institution that provides outstanding educational opportunities for all students. Read less