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The program at UVM is distinctive because it combines perspectives from many different departments including biology, psychological science, communication sciences and disorders, and neurological sciences.

Our neuroscience program features a strong life science foundation and grounding in research methods and experience. The curriculum also gives you the freedom to select advanced courses to prepare you for a wide variety of post-graduation career options, including graduate study, medical school and other health-care career options, laboratory technician positions, and science writing. As a neuroscience major you will join an active, energetic neuroscience research community. Required courses are divided into five major categories described below. See the full catalog requirements for the major. 

Group 1: Fundamental Ancillary Courses

Students take courses in biology, psychology, math, and chemistry similar to those of other life science majors. Courses may include: Exploring Biology (BCOR 11, BCOR 12), General Chemistry 1 and 2 (CHEM 31, CHEM 32), Fundamentals of Calculus 1 and 2 (MATH 19, MATH 20), I (PSYCH 001). They are prerequisites for the required foundational and experimental design and statistical courses.

Group 2: Foundational Courses

Group 2 courses, including NSCI 111-Exploring Neuroscience and NSCI 112-Exploring Neuroscience Laboratory (together these courses were formerly known as NSCI 110), provide an introduction to the field of neuroscience and important background knowledge that is prerequisite to more advanced courses. NSCI 111/112 provides an in-depth survey of neuroscience topics, including an overview of cellular and molecular functioning of neurons, a survey of the anatomical and functional organization of the central and peripheral nervous systems, and an exposure to diseases of the nervous system. The lab is planned as four sets of experiments. Each set is organized as interlinked, problem solving exercises or experiments which introduce the student to a range of neuroscience topics and methods.

Group 3: Experimental Design Courses

Group 3 includes courses in experimental design and statistics which show students methods of inquiry that are key to basic and applied areas of neuroscience.

Group 4: Advanced Level Courses

The fourth group of advanced courses is the core of the neuroscience major. Students take three of four 200-level courses currently offered by four different departments (Biology, Psychology, Communication Sciences, and Anatomy and Neurobiology) and an advanced neuroscience course (NSCI 270: Diseases of the Nervous System). NSCI 270 is intended to be a senior level, seminar-style capstone course in which students bring together information learned in other courses for an in-depth study of disease states of the human nervous system.

Group 5: Specialized Advanced Study/Research

The fifth group of courses gives students options for additional advanced study in behavioral/cognitive, in cell/molecular areas of neuroscience, and opportunities to conduct research. Students are able to select courses that will prepare them for a chosen career path. For example, those interested in more clinically oriented careers can take courses in biobehavioral psychology and communication sciences where the emphasis is on the biological basis of behavior, how we think, language, and brain injury. Students interested in a more cellular and molecular neuroscience career can take advanced courses in neurobiology and human neuroanatomy.

Beyond the classroom

Each year, students in the neuroscience program help local high school students prepare for the annual Vermont Brain Bee, an academic competition similar to a spelling bee that encourages Vermont high school students to engage in the field of neuroscience. UVM students hold a day-long "boot camp" including competitions, informal lectures and lab experiments. It's one of the many ways UVM students share their knowledge and passion with the local community. Learn about other student opportunities.

4 Year Plan for Career Success

Careers

  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Counselor
  • Dentist
  • Epidemiology
  • Laboratory Technician
  • Medicine
  • Neuropsychologist
  • Physical Therapist
  • Pharmacist
  • Public Health Professional
  • Research Scientist
  • Teacher/Professor

Graduate Schools

  • Emory University
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Vermont