The major in neuroscience affords students the opportunity to develop rigorous foundational training in the neural underpinnings of mind and behavior within the context of the liberal arts. Course requirements of the major have been designed to balance biological, psychological, and philosophical approaches to the brain in order to broadly equip students with the fundamental knowledge and tools of the emerging interdiscipline of neuroscience. The critical skills required to complete this major will also foster creativity and proficiency in approaching problem solving, experimental design, and empirical analysis in neuroscience. In the broadest sense, graduates in neuroscience will confidently embrace the unknown, develop multiple strategies for generating new knowledge, and effectively articulate both what they do and don’t understand. Given the broad curriculum, faculty scholarly expertise, and the many opportunities for faculty-student research collaborations, neuroscience majors are especially prepared for careers in academia, industry, or the clinic.
At the completion of the major, students will demonstrate an ability to:
- Proficiently describe the structure and function of the nervous system using molecular, cellular, systems, behavioral, and computational perspectives;
- Recognize and articulate key theoretical approaches to studying the mind and brain;
- Independently and proficiently engage in multiple forms of structured conversation, including small group discussion, oral presentation, writing for a scientific audience, and writing for the general public;
- Read, analyze, and synthesize literature carefully and critically;
- Carefully and critically evaluate ideas and observations and locate them within the context of current scholarship in neuroscience;
- Rigorously interpret and evaluate scientific evidence, including graphs, tables, and novel claims;
- Document accurate and precise observations in empirical research;
- Independently design, conduct, and evaluate ethical research;
- Demonstrate proficiency at interpreting and generating qualitative and quantitative data;
- Develop strategies for generating new knowledge and articulate and use effective learning strategies to master new knowledge; and
- Use effective interpersonal and professional skills (e.g., working across lines of difference, acting as a peer mentor, negotiating and managing conflict, building and supporting effective teams).