For First-Year Advisors & Prospective Neuroscience Majors

The neuroscience major is highly interdisciplinary, with students taking courses in biology, chemistry, psychology, mathematics, physics, and more.

1. The first two courses required for the major are the lab course Neuroscience: Systems and Behavior (NEUR-213) and the non-lab course Neurobiology (NEUR-214):
  • NEUR-213 (cross-listed as PSYC-213) Neuroscience: Systems and Behavior must be taken in the spring of Sophomore year. Course prerequisite of PSYC-100 or BIOL-191.

  • NEUR-214 (cross-listed as BIOL-214) Neurobiology can be taken in either the fall of sophomore or the fall of junior year. This course has a prerequisite of BIOL-191 that must be completed prior to enrolling in NEUR-214*

*Note the introductory Biology lab course BIOL-191 can be taken in either the spring semester of your first year or in the fall semester of sophomore year (the latter would require NEUR-214 to be taken in the fall of junior year).

The Neuroscience major also requires the two Introductory Chemistry courses. Since BIOL-191 also requires these two courses, normally students take CHEM-151/155 (note that 155 requires MATH-121) in the first year and CHEM-161/165 either also in the first year (second semester) or second year (first semester) and often will enroll concurrently with BIOL-191.

2. Beyond the first two Introductory Neuroscience courses, students complete upper-level courses in three specific areas: Behavioral, Cellular/Molecular, and Human Neuroscience. Further details on these requirements for the major can be found here: Required Courses page and upcoming course offerings are found on our Courses webpage

The Pathways Through the Major webpage discusses different options for navigating the two Intro courses and future semesters and includes situations such as a study abroad semester, pre-med coursework, or completing a senior Honors thesis.

NOTE: First-year students should note these points regarding completing the two Chemistry course, BIOL-191 and the 2-course Intro Neuro sequence:
  • First-year students who place into Math 111 should plan to take Math 111 and CHEM-151 (if you place into MATH-121 then your would take CHEM-155) and BIOL-191 and/or CHEM-161 or 165 during their first year. If BIOL-191 is completed in your first year, then you can take NEUR-214 in the fall of your sophomore year and NEUR-213 in your sophomore spring.

  • First-year students who place into Math 105 should plan to take Math 105 in the first semester and Math 106 & Chemistry 151 in the second semester. The following year, CHEM-161 and BIOL-191 can be taken during the fall of the sophomore year prior to NEUR-213 in your sophomore spring. In this scenario, NEUR-214 would then be taken in the fall of your junior year.

  • **The First-year Info for Biology Majors page has many excellent details on taking Chemistry and BIOL-191.**


When the time comes, prospective majors enroll in Neuroscience through the steps outlined on our About the Major webpage.