About the Neuroscience Major

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Modern Neuroscience is increasingly interdisciplinary, crossing traditional boundaries to address new opportunities and challenges in understanding brain function and dysfunction. Northwestern’s undergraduate major in Neuroscience is designed to prepare students by providing both deep training in Neuroscience and opportunities for additional study in a related Allied Field.

Earning a degree in Neuroscience will prepare students exceptionally well for graduate study in Neuroscience or related fields, medical school, careers in the pharmaceutical, biotech or other industries, or for other science-related careers such as science journalism or patent law.

Neuroscience students can expect to gain:

A Strong Intellectual Foundation

  • A deep understanding of the structure and function of nervous systems, the mechanisms by which the brain generates behavior, as well as the history, major ideas, and research approaches used in Neuroscience through coursework spanning molecular mechanisms that control brain development and function through analysis of complex human behavior
  • Additional knowledge and experience in a discipline closely allied with Neuroscience through coursework in a chosen Allied Field
  • A rigorous foundation of basic knowledge in Math, Chemistry, Physics, and Physiology through Related Coursework

Skills in Research, Critical Thinking and Communication

  • An understanding of the methods used to study the nervous system including specific experimental techniques relevant to Neuroscience, the design, analysis, and interpretation of experiments using specific techniques, and the strengths and limitations of those techniques
  • The ability to critically evaluate the published scientific literature
  • The opportunity to conduct independent research
  • The ability to make effective arguments and communicate clearly orally and in writing
  • An understanding of statistical and computational methods for data analysis through Related Coursework

Perspective on Ethical Issues in Neuroscience

  • An appreciation of ethical issues raised by the growing body of neuroscientific information and the implications for society
  • An understanding of the ethical use of animals in research
  • The ability to become well-informed consumers of scientific information