May 11, 2021
Intercollegiate Coordinator: T. Borowski
Pitzer Faculty Advisers: A. Jones, T. Justus, B. Keeley, L. Light, D. Moore.
Keck Science Faculty Advisers: M. Coleman, J. Milton, R. Spence
Requirements for the Major
The major in Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary program of 16 courses (maximum) designed to provide students with an appreciation of diverse approaches to understanding the function of nervous systems, as well as the ability to conduct investigations within a particular subfield of interest. Students majoring in Neuroscience complete:
- A common core program,
- A sequence of four electives determined in consultation with an adviser in Neuroscience, and
- A one- or two-semester thesis on a topic related to the four course sequence.
The major provides good preparation for graduate work in biology, neuroscience, and a variety of other programs including medical school or other graduate health professions programs. Admission to particular advanced degree programs may require additional course work.
Learning Outcomes for the Program in Neuroscience
The Neuroscience major of the Keck Science Department aims to provide students with skills and knowledge to prepare them to effectively engage and evaluate issues and innovations in neuroscience. In particular, the program prepares students for graduate programs in Neuroscience and contributes towards the preparation for professional programs such as biotechnology and medicine.
We see the following specific student learning goals as critical to achieving the above:
- Understand the structure and function of the nervous system at various levels of organization.
- Understand a number of research techniques in neuroscience and will gain training in evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of various methods.
- Design experiments, analyze data and think critically.
- Critically evaluate published scientific literature.
Common Neuroscience Core (10 courses)
- First Tier
- Second Tier-Choose 3 courses from the following:
- Neuroscience Sequence (4 courses)
- A coherent grouping of four elective courses to be determined in consultation with an adviser in Neuroscience and approved by the Coordinator of the Intercollegiate Neuroscience Program. Areas in which a student may elect to specialize include, but are not limited to,
- Behavioral Neuroscience,
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience,
- Cognitive Neuroscience,
- Computational Neuroscience,
- Motor Control,
- Philosophy of Neuroscience,
- Developmental Neuroscience
- Senior Thesis (one or two courses)
- A one- or two-semester Senior Thesis on a topic related to the student’s selected Neuroscience Sequence. Students who choose the one-semester thesis option are required to take an additional course towards their neuroscience sequence.