Department Chair: Dr. Jeremy Teissére, Stanley Road Associate Professor of Neuroscience
Associate Professors: Gotthard, Sprayberry
Assistant Professors: Wilson, de Wit
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 do not 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.
A student may work for honors by conducting research with a faculty mentor from the Neuroscience Program for two semesters during the senior year. Acceptance into the honors program is selective and based on the following criteria:
- A minimum GPA of 3.50 in courses counting toward the neuroscience major.
- Approval of an Honors Proposal submitted to a Neuroscience Program faculty member by the Fall of the Senior year. The student should work with the faculty member to develop the proposal which will be reviewed by an Honors Committee.
- Availability of research positions within the laboratory of the faculty mentor.
Acceptance into the honors program does not mean that honors necessarily will be awarded. The Department of Neuroscience will grant honors at commencement to majors who have fulfilled the following conditions:
- The candidate has met the expectations of two course units of research during the Senior year or the summer prior to the Senior year. Under rare circumstances, a highly active student may count research performed during the Junior year toward this requirement. Research counting toward honors work must occur under the NSC 970 Independent Study/Research designation. In all cases, research expectations will be clearly established by the faculty mentor.
- The candidate has actively attended Neuroscience seminars and/or an affiliate departmental seminar series (including Biology, Psychology, and Philosophy Department seminar programs).
- The candidate has submitted a senior thesis for review by the Honors Committee. The thesis should be a paper in standard scientific format. It should address a significant issue within neuroscience, provide substantial background on the subject, give a complete description of the experiments performed, and discuss the significance of the results. The Committee will judge the candidate’s thesis based both on the scientific merit of the work and the quality of writing.
- The candidate has presented the results of the honors research in the Neuroscience seminar, usually during the Spring semester of the senior year.
The Honors Committee will evaluate both the written thesis and the seminar of the candidate and make a determination as to whether Honors or no honors (with a passing grade) will be awarded.