Neuroscience

Interdisciplinary Bachelor of Science degree option. 

The study of the biological basis of behavior is one of the most rapidly growing areas of life sciences, reflecting the importance of the fundamental and applied interest in how neurons work on an individual basis, and how collections of neurons mediate behavior and cognition.

In 2009, the College of Arts and Sciences at UNO established the first undergraduate neuroscience degree program in the Nebraska system to educate students bound for graduate programs in neuroscience as well as various careers in the health or health-related fields. The Bachelor of Science major in Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary major, with primary involvement of faculty from the Psychology and Biology Departments.

Students working toward completion of this degree will be able to either concentrate in one of two tracks (Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience or Integrative Behavioral Science) or take courses that provide a blended combination of these complementary areas of neuroscience. In addition to providing majors with both content and hand's-on experience in various areas of neuroscience, the neuroscience major is also an excellent choice for students with interests in health careers (for example, students with post-graduate aspirations for attending medical, PA, dental, veterinary, or nursing school).

An undergraduate major in neuroscience will place students in the position of moving into one of multiple career trajectories upon completion of the degree. First, graduates of the program will be in an excellent position to immediately and successfully be recruited by one of the more than 200 graduate programs in neuroscience and related areas, and pursue advanced degrees. Second, graduates from either of the proposed neuroscience tracks would have most or all of the required courses for admission to medical schools, veterinary programs, and a host of other health-related professional programs. Third, graduates of the neuroscience major will possess intellectual and methodological skill-sets that will make them highly attractive for laboratory technicians and assistants in local, regional, and national university and medical school laboratories. Fourth, the growing emphasis on pharmaceutical agents that affect psychological function is driving employment in corporate pharmaceutical firms, for which graduates of the neuroscience major would be competitive. Finally, students will emerge from the major with the ability to think across disciplines, to formulate questions and seek answers, to interpret data and draw conclusions, and to effectively communicate the outcome of these processes to a target audience. This suite of skills will make neuroscience majors eligible for a variety of career opportunities that are outside of the discipline of neuroscience.

Neuroscience Fundamentals Courses

Students are encouraged to take these classes as soon as possible in their undergraduate career: 

NEUR 1500, PSYC1010, BIOL1450, BIOL1750, PSYC3130, PSYC3140, BIOL2140 

Natural Science Courses with Labs

Students must take one of the following sequences of natural sciences courses with labs (or their equivalents at higher levels) for a minimum of 10 hours in Chemistry or Physics 

CHEM 1140/1144 and CHEM 2210/2214

PHYS 1110/1154 and PHYS 1120/1164 

Mathematics Requirements

Although mathematics beyond Intermediate Algebra (or demonstrated competency via the Math Placement Exam) and statistics (PSYC 3130) are not required for the major, Calculus (especially Calculus for Biomedicine) is strongly recommended, and may be a prerequisite for advanced courses in neuroscience. 

Supporting Neuroscience Elective Courses 

Students must complete at least 12 credit hours that have not already fulfilled an above requirement, from either Block I or II below. At least 3 credits must come from Block I and 3 credits from Block 2.  The remaining minimum of 6 credits can be taken from either Block 1 or 2.

Block I Neuroscience Electives: Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience 

NEUR 4870, BIOL 3020, BIOL 4140, BIOL 4730, BIOL 4740, BIOL 4850, BIOL 4030 (with neuroscience topic)

Block II Neuroscience Electives: Integrative Behavioral Neuroscience 

NEUR 4330, PSYC 4070 or PSYC 4090, PSYC 4210, PSYC  4270, PSYC 4230, PSYC 4250, PSYC 4320, PSYC 4440, PSYC 4920 (with neuroscience topic)

Advanced Neuroscience Lecture and Lab Course 

Students must take one lecture course (that has not already been used to satisfy the Supporting Neuroscience Elective Courses requirement) and one laboratory course.

Advanced Lecture 

BIOL/PSYC 4270, PSYC 4230, PSYC 4320, NEUR 4000

Advance Laboratory 

NEUR 4200, PSYC 4234, BIOL/PSYC 4280

Note for Double Majors in Neuroscience and Psychology or Neuroscience and Biology 

Beyond the Neuroscience Fundamentals course, students can not use a 3000/4000 course to count toward both majors.