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 (or 121 if you want to take CHEM-155 and 165) and Chemistry 151 (or CHEM-155 if you take MATH-121 or higher) 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 graduate or pre-health requirements (note that Biochemistry may be considered for these reasons as well).

**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, which requires MATH-111/121* completion or MATH 105/106 or equivalent for CHEM-151 (*if you are placed into MATH 121, you have already satisfied the math requirements for CHEM-151)
  • 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: they took BIOL-181 in fall of first year (although it not required for the neuroscience major it is required from some of the advanced electives that count for the Neuro major). The program below includes senior honors work. The two required Intro Neuro courses are in BOLD.

YearFallSpring
1

FYSE

Biology 181

Chemistry 151/155
1 non-science course

Chemistry 161/165 
Biology 191 
2 non-science courses
2NEUR-213 
Chemistry 221 (Orgo I)
Math 111/121 
a non-science course
NEUR-214
Statistics (Math, Stat, or Psychology)
2 non-science course (or Orgo II)
3Adv Neurobiology course
3 non-science courses (or Physics 116)
Behavioral Neuroscience course
3 non-science courses (or Physics 117)
4Neuroscience 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.

YearFallSpring
1

FYSE

Math 111/121
Chemistry 151/155 
1 non-science course

Chemistry 161/165
Biology 191
2 non-science course
2Biology 181
NEUR-213
2 non-science courses

NEUR-214
2 non-science courses
3Behavioral Neuroscience course
Chemistry 221 (Orgo I)
2 non-science courses
Human Neuroscience course 
Statistics (Math, Stat., or Psychology)
2 non-science courses
4Adv Neurobiology course
Neuroscience Elective 
2 non-science course
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 take Biology 181 (however, note that Pre-Med students are recommended to take BIOL-181 as their 2nd lab course). The program below also includes senior honors research.

YearFallSpring
1

FYSE

Math 111/121

Chemistry 151/155 
1 non-science course

Chemistry 161/165
Biology 191
2 non-science courses
2NEUR-213
3 non-science courses

NEUR-214
Statistics (Math, Stat., or Psychology)

2 non-science courses

3Adv Neurobiology course
Chemistry 221 (Orgo I)
2 non-science courses

Human Neuroscience course

Neuroscience Elective
2 non-science courses

4Neuroscience 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 151 and 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. A semester away may still be possible but means you will take Orgo 231 in your senior year. ** Note BIOL-181 was chosen over chemistry in the fall of first year, BIOL-191 is therefore taken in Fall of sophomore year after completion of CHEM-151.

YearFallSpring
1

FYSE

Math 105
Biology 181
1 non-science course

Math 106 
Chemistry 151
2 non-science courses
2

Biology 191 
NEUR-213

Chemistry 161
1 non-science course

NEUR-214
Physics 116 
2 non-science courses
3

Chemistry 221 (Orgo I)

Statistics (Math, Stat or Psychology)

Physics 117
1 non-science course

Adv Neurobiology course

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

4Neuroscience 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.

YearFallSpring
1

FYSE

Math 111/121

Chemistry 151/155

1 non-science course

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

Biology 191 
NEUR-213

Chemistry 221 (Orgo I) 
1 non-science course

NEUR-214
Neuroscience Elective

Chemistry 231(Orgo II)
1 non-science course

3

Statistics (Math, Stat., or Psychology)
Physics 117

Human Neuroscience course
1 non-science course

Study abroad
4Neuroscience 498 (Honors research) 
Adv Neurobiology course 
2 non-science courses
Neuroscience D498 (Honors research)
Behavioral Neuroscience Course
1 non-science course