The course selections for the first three semesters in example (1) below are appropriate not only for prospective Neuroscience majors, but also for students who may wish to major in Biology, Chemistry, or Biochemistry & Biophysics, and also for students planning to complete premedical requirements while majoring in a non-science subject. Thus you can keep your options open for all of these possibilities by starting with math 111 and chemistry 151 or 155 in the first semester of your first year, and following schedule (1) during the next two semesters.

Note, if you need to start with Math 105 and therefore take chemistry 151 in the spring semester (concurrently, with Math 106),  you can still complete the Neuroscience major, including a senior thesis project if you choose—for example see Schedule #4 below.

Also, physics is included in these schedules, although it is not required for the neuroscience major, because many neuroscience majors take physics in order to have a strong science background and/or for the premedical requirement.

**In addition to the schedules below, please note the following:

  • Biology, chemistry, and math departments agree that it is NOT in a student’s best interest to take more than two STEM courses in the fall of the first year; instead, chose 1-2 to fit your own preparation and future plans.
  • Note that taking two laboratory courses simultaneously puts a significant constraint on your weekly schedule.
  • BIOL 191 requires completion of, or co-enrollment in, CHEM 161/165
  • CHEM 161/165 requires completion of CHEM 151/155 or the equivalent, and completion of MATH 111 or MATH 105/106 or equivalent (if you are placed into MATH 121, you have already satisfied the math requirements)
  • CHEM 155 is only offered in the fall semester
  • BIOL 191 is offered both fall and spring semesters (BIOL-181 is offered every fall semester)
  • 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.

Sample Schedules

(1) This is a standard sequence for a student who majors in neuroscience, but who wanted to keep the option open to major in Biology up through the first semester sophomore year, so they took BIOL-181 in fall or spring of first year, although it not required for the neuroscience major. The program below includes senior honors work. The two require Intro neuro courses are in BOLD.

Year Fall Spring
1

FYSE

Math 111

Chemistry 151 or 155
1 non-science course

Chemistry 161/165 
Biology 191 
2 non-science courses
2 NEUR-214 
Chemistry 221 (Orgo I)
2 non-science courses

NEUR-213
Statistics (Math, Biology, or Psychology)
2 non-science course (or Orgo II)

3

Molecular Neuroscience course
3 non-science courses (or Physics 116)

Behavioral Neuroscience course
3 non-science courses (or Physics 117)

4 Neuroscience 498 (Honors research)
Human Neuroscience course
2 non-science courses         

Neuroscience D498 (2-credit Honors research)
Neuroscience Elective
1 non-science course

 

(2) This student did not do a senior honors project, and so was able to spread out the requirements more than the student described above.

Year Fall Spring
1

FYSE

Math 111

Chemistry 151/155 or Biology 181

1 non-science course
Chemistry 161/165 
Biology 191 
2 non-science courses
2 NEUR-214
Physics 116
2 non-science courses

NEUR-213

Physics 117
2 non-science courses

3 Behavioral Neuroscience course
Chemistry 221 (Orgo I)
2 non-science courses
Human Neuroscience course
Statistics (Math, Bio., or Psychology)
2 non-science courses
4 Molecular Neuroscience course                      
Neuroscience Elective
2 non-science courses                   

Neuroscience Elective
Lab biology course
2 non-science courses


(3) This student knew by spring of their first year that they would not be majoring in Biology, so they did not need to take Biology 181. The program below also includes senior honors research.

Year Fall Spring
1

FYSE

Chemistry 151/155
Math 111
1 non-science course

Chemistry 161/165
Biology 191
2 non-science courses
2 NEUR-214
3 non-science courses

NEUR-213
Statistics (Math, Bio., or Psychology)

2 non-science courses

3 Molecular Neuroscience course
Chemistry 221 (Orgo I)
2 non-science courses

Human Neuroscience course

Neuroscience Elective
2 non-science courses

4 Neuroscience 498 (Honors research)
Behavioral Neuroscience course
2 non-science courses

Neuroscience D498 (2-credit Honors research)
2 non-science courses

 

(4) This student started with Math 105 in the Fall and took chemistry 151and math 106 in the spring semester of their first year. This is also a sample for premed students. Note that this schedule will result in Organic Chemistry being delayed until your Junior year, which may make it more difficult to participate in a semester abroad program. Uusually a semester abroad at UCL-Neuro is still possible but means you will take Orgo 231 in your senior year. ** Note since BIOL-181 was chosen over chemistry in the fall of first year, BIOL-191 could not be taken until Fall of sophomore year after completion of CHEM-151.

Year Fall Spring
1

FYSE

Math 105
Biology 181
1 non-science course

Math 106
Chemistry 151
2 non-science courses
2

Biology 191
Chemistry 161

Statistics (Math, Bio., or Psychology)
1 non-science course

NEUR-213
Physics 116
2 non-science courses
3

NEUR-214
Chemistry 221 (Orgo I)

Physics 117
1 non-science course

Molecular Neuroscience course

Behavioral neuroscience course
Chemistry 231 (Orgo II)
1 non-science course

4 Neuroscience 498 (Honors research)
Human neuroscience course
2 non-science courses
Neuroscience D498 (Honors research)
Neuroscience Elective
1 non-science course

 

(5) This student was pre-med and studied abroad in the Spring of their junior year, without taking any science courses that semester, and was able to complete a senior neuroscience thesis. The senior year was very neuroscience heavy, which is why it would be worth petitioning to take a neuroscience elective course while abroad.

Year Fall Spring
1

FYSE

Math 111

Chemistry 151/155

1 non-science course
Chemistry 161/165 
Physics 116
2 non-science courses
2

Biology 191
Chemistry 221 (Orgo I)

Statistics (Math, Bio., or Psychology)
1 non-science course

NEUR-213
Neuroscience Elective

Chemistry 231(Orgo II)
1 non-science course

3

NEUR-214
Physics 117

Human Neuroscience course
1 non-science course

Study abroad
4

Neuroscience 498 (Honors research)
Molecular Neuroscience course
2 non-science courses

Neuroscience D498 (Honors research)
Behavioral Neuroscience Course
1 non-science course