About the Neuroscience Major
Neuroscience is defined as the scientific study of the nervous system. The central hub of the nervous system is the brain, which uses the spinal cord to relay messages to and from different parts of the body. In addition to studying the functions of these nerves and systems on a molecular and cellular level, neuroscience majors study the connections made between the nervous system and the behaviors they produce. Because the studies go beyond the inside of the body, the neuroscience major is more than just a science major. It's actually an interdisciplinary major that draws upon specific elements of biology, chemistry, psychology, philosophy, and even statistics.
Students who graduate with a neuroscience degree can use their education to go into a number of fields, including health care, research, applied sciences, psychology, philosophy, and even law or education.
Because neuroscience is an interdisciplinary major, you can expect to take classes in a variety of different disciplines that work together to give you a well-rounded education. A typical undergraduate neuroscience curriculum consists of traditional and laboratory courses in neuroscience, biology, chemistry, psychology, statistics, philosophy, anatomy, and more. Some schools allow you to choose courses within the major that align more with your interests; for example, students who are more interested in the molecular and cellular function of the nervous system can choose to take more electives in biology.
Whatever program you decide to take, neuroscience majors can expect to use real scientific equipment to perform a great deal of practical, hands-on research and laboratory work throughout their education. This work will give neuroscience majors valuable experience in obtaining, analyzing, and interpreting data. In addition, many neuroscience degree programs require you to complete an independent research project, usually under the supervision of a faculty member.
Depending on the career they're interested in, most neuroscience majors go on to pursue a master's degree or a PhD; however, there are entry-level positions available for those with a bachelor's degree. Some students find an undergraduate degree in neuroscience to be a good first step on the path to medical school. Some schools offer both a Bachelor of Science degree and a Bachelor of Arts degree in neuroscience. If this is the case at your perspective school, be sure to review the degree requirements for both degrees and choose the one that best suits your interests and career goals.