Majoring in Neuroscience at Amherst
The Neuroscience major consists of science courses in Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology, plus senior comprehensives, which includes attending neuroscience seminars and student comprehensive presentations. Neuroscience majors may also choose to do a senior honors research project in the laboratory of a Neuroscience faculty member or affiliated Biology faculty member (and in some cases a faculty member from UMass).
Requirements for the major
Important points about the major
- To major in Neuroscience, it's necessary to get started with general science courses in the first year (see these sample course schedules of recent Neuroscience majors).
- All prospective Neuroscience majors must take Introduction to Neuroscience (NEUR-226) in the Spring of their sophomore year, and must declare the major at the end of that semester (no later than the Add/Drop in the Fall of your junior year). It is not possible to major in Neuroscience if the introductory course (NEUR-226) is taken later than Spring of sophomore year.
- Double majoring in Neuroscience and another discipline is possible, but difficulties and problems sometimes arise (see the Double majors page).
- Neuroscience majors must preregister for all courses they will use to satisfy requirements for the major, rather than to assume that 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 BIOL-301 or 351).
- Any course in which a student has not received a letter grade better than "D" may not be counted towards the Neuroscience major.
In addition to being a rewarding major, Neuroscience is one of the more academically demanding majors at Amherst College. Neuroscience has a large number of required courses, and among the largest number of required laboratory courses. We point this out not to discourage anyone from majoring, but so that students have a realistic view when considering enrolling and are aware that scheduling can be difficult.