**A PDF Checklist of the major's requirements is located at bottom of this page.

Students (including transfer students intending to major in Neuroscience) are encouraged to use the Course Scheduler to review course information for the courses listed below (including content, requisites, etc..)

Neuroscience majors must preregister for all courses they will use to satisfy requirements for the major, rather than assume they will be guaranteed entry into a course during the add/drop period if they did not preregister for it (e.g., you must preregister for NEUR-301, 303, and/or NEUR-351). Courses in which a student has not received a letter grade better than "D" are not counted towards the Neuroscience major. Courses taken pass/fail will not count towards the Neuroscience major.

***The Pathways through the Major webpage has some useful information for planning your progress through the Neuro coursework.


Quick Links
  1. General Requirements
  2. Intro to Neuroscience
  3. Upper-level Behavioral
  4. Upper-level Neurobiology
  5. Upper-level Human
  6. Upper-level elective

 (1) General science requirements: 

Chemistry: All of the following:

  • CHEM-151/155
  • CHEM-161/165
  • CHEM-221 (many majors also take CHEM-231)


  • BIOL-191
    • note: BIOL-181 is optional for Neuroscience, but should be considered by students in their first semester that are pre-med or that are considering majoring in Biology or Neuroscience but haven't decided between them yet. Also, BIOL-181 is required for several of the advanced electives listed below*

Statistics: One of the following:

  • STAT-111 -or-
  • STAT-135/136 -or-
  • STAT-230 -or-
  • PSYC-122

Physics/Mathematics: At least two of the following courses:

    • PHYS-116, 117, 123, 124
    • MATH 111, 121, 211
  • If you have Advanced Placement in any of the above subjects, you must take more advanced courses.
  • Note: MATH-111 or Advanced Placement (at least 4 on AB or 3 on BC) is a prerequisite for CHEM-161/65 and PHYS-117.
  • The Statistics requirement is separate from the Physics/Math requirement and you cannot use a course from one requirement to double-count in the other.

Advanced Placement information for the General Science courses:

  • Chemistry: with a Chemistry AP score of 4 or 5, follow the recommendation made during orientation (many students with AP credit still take CHEM-151). 

  • Math: you may place out MATH-111 with a score of 4 or 5 on the AB exam or a 3 on the BC exam. In this case, you still need to satisfy the Physics/Mathematics requirement with a higher-level course.

  • Biology: you may place out of BIOL-191 with a score of 5 on the Biology AP exam. In this case you must substitute with BIOL-271 or BIOL-291 for BIOL-191 requirement.
  • Statistics: Someone with a 5 on the AP Stats exam should take STAT-230.  Students with a 4 (or less) and with some calculus background should take STAT-135.  

(2) Introduction to Neuroscience courses

Neuroscience Majors must take the following two courses:

  • NEUR-213 (PSYC-213): Neuroscience: Systems and Behavior (with lab) (requires PSYC-100 or BIOL-191)
  • NEUR-214 (BIOL-214): Neurobiology (non lab) (requires BIOL-191)
    • Note: The NEUR-213 and 214 courses should be taken in the sophomore year, but NEUR-214 can be taken in junior year if necessary for scheduling BIOL-191 in sophomore year.
    • IMPORTANT: PSYC-212 does not count for the Neuroscience major, so do not take it during your first year at Amherst if you think you'd like to be a Neuro major.

(3) Upper-level Behavioral Neuroscience

One of the following:

  • NEUR-245 : Systems Neuroscience
  • NEUR-317 : Neurobiology of Appetite
  • NEUR-325 : Psychopharmacology
  • NEUR-356 : Neurophysiology of Motivation 

(4) Upper-level Neurobiology

 One of the following lab courses:

  • NEUR-301 : Molecular Neurobiology (with laboratory)
  • NEUR-303 : Molecular Neurobiology CURE (with laboratory)
  • NEUR-313 : Social Neuroendocrinology (with laboratory)
  • NEUR-351 : Neurophysiology (with laboratory)

(5) Upper-level Human Neuroscience

One of the following courses:

  • NEUR-361 : Consciousness and the Brain
  • NEUR-367 : Human Neuroscience

(6) Upper-level Elective

One upper-level elective from the following courses:

  • An additional behavioral neuroscience course from item (3) above
  • An additional upper-level neurobiology lab course from item (4) above
  • An additional human neuroscience course from item (5) above
  • NEUR-211 : Cognitive Neuroscience
  • NEUR-350 : Neurophysiology without lab
  • NEUR-411: Synapses seminar
  • NEUR-450 : Seminar in Physiology
  • BIOL-221 : Developmental Biology (w/ lab)
  • BIOL-241 : Genetic Analysis (w/ lab)
  • BIOL-260/261: Animal Physiology (w/lab)
  • BIOL-271 : Microbiology (w/ lab)
  • BIOL-281 : *Animal Behavior (w/ lab)
  • BIOL-291 : Cell Structure and Function (w/ lab)
  • BIOL-311 : Small Proteins in Antibiotic Resistance (w/ lab)
  • BIOL-331 : Biochemistry (w/ lab)
  • BIOL-371 : Molecular Genetics (w/ lab)
  • BIOL-381 : *Genome Biology (w/ lab)
  • BIOL-391 : Quantitative Imaging (w/ lab)
  • PSYC-233 : Cognitive Psychology
  • PSYC-234 : Memory
  • PSYC-236 : Psychology of Aging
  • PSYC-357 : History of Psychiatry
  • via petition to the Chair, it may be possible to satisfy this requirement with a Five College course or study away course.
  • Note: courses listed with an asterisk (*) require BIOL-181