Study Away Options for Neuroscience Majors

A large number of Neuroscience requirements make it important for neuroscience majors to plan carefully if they wish to study away during their time at Amherst.  It is possible for neuroscience majors to study away, and many of our majors do so. Some majors receive up to one elective credit while on a study abroad or domestic study program; others take no neuroscience courses while away.

The purpose of study away is to provide experiences and educational opportunities that are different from what is available at Amherst, not to replace Amherst neuroscience major courses with similar ones elsewhere, nor to use study abroad or domestic study as a reason to avoid participating for two semesters in the senior year and comprehensives.

Students can study in non-English speaking countries, take language and cultural courses that do not count towards the Neuroscience major.  Or, if you go to an English-speaking country such as the U.K., Australia, or South Africa, it is sometimes possible to take courses that count as Neuroscience electives by petition to the Neuro Program Chair.

Constraints on Neuroscience Majors Who Study Away

  • Potential neuroscience majors may signup for an approved study away program prior to their enrollment in the neuroscience major during the spring of their sophomore year. Please note that it is critical to discuss your study away plans with both your current advisor and a neuroscience professor.
  • In general, juniors should be fine for study away in fall of their junior year. For study away in the spring, it’s definitely possible but only if the student has taken the required NEUR-214 course in the spring of their sophomore year. For some students, taking 214 in the spring of their sophomore year might be difficult depending on when they started their science courses and the order that they chose to take them. For these students, planning for a fall study away would be preferred and they should definitely have conversations with either the Neuro Chair or their major advisor well in advance of when they wish to pursue study away.
  • One semester away is feasible, but it is not usually possible for Neuroscience majors to study away for two of their 8 semesters.
  • The senior capstone requirement, which is as important as course requirements for the major, means that students may not be away from Amherst for either of their final two semesters before graduating with a Neuroscience major.
  • The advanced, upper-level behavioral, neurobiology, and human course requirements for the neuroscience major may NOT be satisfied by courses taken away.
  • The Upper-Level Neuroscience Elective (Item 6 on the Major Requirements webpage) may be satisfied, see below.

Counting Study Away Courses as Electives for the Major

  • Counting a study away course as an upper-level elective requires petition of the course to the Neuroscience Chair. It is important to meet with a Neuroscience faculty member (usually your advisor) before applying to Study Away Programs, to confirm that the courses will indeed fulfill Amherst Neuroscience elective requirement. Please see Off-Campus Credit webpage for more details.