Neuroscience Advising Courses
This interdisciplinary field focuses on both the normal and abnormal structure and function of the nervous system. The Neuroscience major at Dickinson College will provide students with fundamental training in the scientific disciplines of Biology, Chemistry, and Psychology. In addition, the integrative aspect of the two introductory Neuroscience courses, placed within Psychology and Biology, demonstrates to the student the interconnectedness of these two sciences. Upper division courses allow the student to bring research skills to bear in the laboratory, to integrate skill and knowledge gained in the introductory courses. The elective requirements allow the student to explore the many facets of Neuroscience, and the student can choose to focus on molecular or molar approaches to Neuroscience; can choose to emphasize Biology, Chemistry, or Psychology in the Neuroscience major; or can explore the ways other fields, such as Anthropology, Philosophy, or Sociology, intersect with Neuroscience. Finally, a research experience allows the student to “engage the world” by bringing to bear her/his knowledge and skills on a research question of her/his own choosing.
Courses appropriate for prospective majors
The appropriate sections of this handbook and the Academic Bulletin should be consulted for information regarding individual courses, advanced placement, courses that fulfill distribution requirements, and so on. It is strongly recommended that any student considering this major should seek advice from one of the contributing faculty as early as possible. Students with adequate preparation should begin by taking both the introductory biology and psychology sequences during the first year, in addition to starting the chemistry sequence.
Suggested curricular flow through the major
A student who starts the major in the first year will have more options for advanced study during the senior year. As can be seen below, it is possible for a student, starting in the sciences, to take the majority of neuroscience courses during the sophomore and junior year. It is also possible for a student to start the major in the sophomore year and still complete the major.
Specific details for course planning for this major are available on the department webpage.
First-Year students who plan to major in Neuroscience are strongly encouraged to concurrently take BIOL 124 and CHEM 131 the fall semester and PYSC 125 and CHEM 132 the spring semester. (Please note: CHEM 141 can substitutes for the CHEM 131/132 sequence.) Once a student successfully has completed either BIOL 124 or PSYC 125, then the student can declare the Neuroscience major. Moreover, once a student has successfully completed BIOL 124 AND PSYC 125, then the student is eligible for upper-level science courses (e.g., BIOL 327, 330, PSYC 310, 325, etc.) that contribute to the major either as required (e.g., BIOL 330 and PSYC 325) or elective (e.g., BIOL 327, PSYC 310, etc.) courses. Thus, a student is strongly encouraged to complete the introductory BIOL 124/PSYC 125 sequence as early as possible. Thirteen courses are required to complete the major. Below is an example of when various courses can be taken to complete the major.
Non-Science Elective or
Non-Science Elective or
300-Level PSYC Elective
300-Level PSYC Elective
For course descriptions and requirements for the major, refer to the Academic Bulletin: Neuroscience.
Students are required to complete a research experience in Neuroscience. Research experiences can be completed on- or off-campus and can be done either for credit or no credit. Typically, students complete the Research Experience during the third or fourth year. Students are strongly encouraged to consult with their Neuroscience advisors and to develop a plan to complete the research requirement.
Opportunities for off-campus study
In addition to off-campus internships, it is possible for majors to spend a semester or year abroad. The most likely sites for this would be the Dickinson Science Program at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, or the Dickinson Science Program in Brisbane, Australia at the University of Queensland. Again, very careful planning well in advance of the junior year is required.
The Neuroscience major will provide our students with rigorous training in Neuroscience, advanced opportunities for research, and integrated mentoring and advising of students as preparation for graduate or professional study in Neuroscience, Biology, Chemistry, Psychology, medicine and other related fields. Students graduating with a major in Neuroscience will be competitive for entry-level positions in corporate or academic laboratories.
Inquiries are welcomed from students or faculty who wish additional information about the neuroscience program. Please contact Professor Anthony Rauhut (email@example.com) or any of the contributing faculty.