Neuroscience Major

Goals for the Neuroscience Major

We anticipate that fulfillment of these goals will provide the intellectual and technical skills necessary for the successful pursuit of graduate school, medical school, and careers in neuroscience-related fields.

Requirements for the Neuroscience Major

The major consists of the following courses:

Five Core Courses: 1) NEUR 100; 2) NEUR 200; 3) NEUR 300; 4) BISC 110, BISC 110P, BISC 112, BISC 112Y, or BISC 116; 5) PSYC 105 or STAT 218.

Three 200-Level Courses* from at least two of the three areas of concentration: 

*Note that many of these courses have specific prerequisites.

Three 300-Level Courses from at least two of the three areas of concentration, at least one of which must be a laboratory course:  

NEUR 240, NEUR 250, NEUR 250H, NEUR 340, NEUR 350, NEUR 350H, NEUR 360, and NEUR 370 do not count toward the minimum major. A minimum of eight courses toward the major requirements (including one 300-level laboratory course) must be taken at Wellesley. Normally no more than three units in neuroscience taken at other institutions may be counted toward the major.  Additional information is also available at wellesley.edu/neuroscience/major.

Transfer Credit in Neuroscience

To obtain Wellesley credit for any neuroscience course taken at another institution, preliminary approval must be obtained from the chair of the department prior to enrolling in the course. Instructions and additional information are available at wellesley.edu/neuroscience/major/transfer-credits. In general, courses taken at two-year colleges will not be accepted. These restrictions apply to courses taken after enrollment at Wellesley. Transfer students wishing to obtain credit for courses taken prior to enrollment at Wellesley should consult the chair of the department. 

Honors in Neuroscience

The only route to honors in the major is writing a thesis based on laboratory research (NEUR 360/NEUR 370) and passing an oral examination. To be admitted to the thesis program, a student must have a grade point average of at least 3.5 in all work in the major field above the 100 level. The department may petition on her behalf if the student's grade point average in the major is between 3.0 and 3.5. Projects may be supervised by members of the various departments associated with the major. Students considering the senior thesis option are advised to consult with the chair of the department during the fall of their junior year. See Academic Distinctions.

Graduate Study in Neuroscience

Students wishing to attend graduate school in neuroscience are strongly encouraged to talk to their major advisors about additional courses that are recommended, as these vary depending upon the focus of specific graduate programs. For programs focused on 1) cell and molecular neuroscience, biochemistry (BIOC 223) is likely among the recommended courses, 2) cognitive neuroscience, research methods in cognitive psychology (PSYC 314R) may be recommended and 3) computational neuroscience, computational and computer science courses (including CS 112, MATH 115, MATH 116) and physics (through PHYS 106 or PHYS 108) may be recommended. Your major advisor can help you define courses that are tailored to your specific graduate school interests.