**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 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.

COVID-19 Special Statement

Given the challenges posed by the current situation, the Neuroscience program will be reducing the requirements for the major for the classes of 2021 and 2022. Members of these classes will be required to fulfill 2 out of the 3 upper level requirements (Behavioral, Human, Cellular/Molecular which are sections 3, 4 and 5 below) rather than all three.

***The Sample Schedules 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 Molecular
  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 year that are considering majoring in Biology or Neuroscience but haven't decided between them yet.

Statistics: One of the following:

    • STAT-111 (formerly MATH-130) -or-
    • STAT-135 (formerly MATH-135) -or-
    • STAT-230 (formerly MATH-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 these subjects, take more advanced courses.
      • 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 this Physics/Math requirement and you cannot use a course from one requirement to double-count for 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 BIOL-251 or BIOL-291 for BIOL-191 requirement.
  • Statistics: Someone with a 4 or 5 on the AP Stats exam should take STAT-230 (formerly MATH-230).  Students with a 3 (or less) and with some calculus background should take STAT-135 (formerly MATH-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 course must be taken in the spring semester of your sophomore year. The NEUR-214 course may be taken in the fall of either sophomore or junior year but must be completed before the end of junior 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-325 : Psychopharmacology
  • NEUR-356 : Neurophysiology of Motivation 

(4) Upper-level Cellular/Molecular Neuroscience

 One of the following lab courses:

  • NEUR-301 : Molecular Neurobiology 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 molecular/cellular neuroscience 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-450 : Seminar in Physiology
  • BIOL-221 : Developmental Biology (w/ lab)
  • BIOL-241 : Genetic Analysis (w/ lab)
  • BIOL-251 : Molecular Genetics (w/ lab)
  • BIOL-260 : Animal Physiology
  • BIOL-271 : Microbiology (w/ lab)
  • BIOL-281 : Animal Behavior (w/ lab)
  • BIOL-291 : Cell Structure and Function (w/ lab)
  • BIOL-331 : Biochemistry with lab (w/ lab)
  • BIOL-381 : Genome Biology (w/ lab)
  • PSYC-233 : Cognitive Psychology
  • PSYC-234 : Memory
  • PSYC-236 : Psychology of Aging
  • PSYC-357 : History of Psychiatry
PDF icon Neuro Major Checklist for 2021247.91 KB