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Neuroscience is the multidisciplinary study of nervous systems.

Student looking at microscope

The sheer scope of neuroscience necessitates numerous scientific approaches to achieve an understanding of sensation, perception, cognition, and behavior. Consequently, students in the major are provided with access to a wealth of scientific variety including biology, psychology, physics, chemistry, computer science, engineering, mathematics, statistics, and medicine.

Neuroscience faculty at the University of Chicago have expertise in all of these areas and are distributed across the Biological Sciences, Social Sciences, and Physical Sciences Divisions.

The course of study in the undergraduate major in neuroscience (NSCI) provides students with the background and skills appropriate to pursue a diverse set of careers. These include established neuroscience career paths in academia, medicine, and the pharmaceutical industry as well as new emerging careers in economics, machine learning, and analytics, to name but a few.

Learning OUTCOMES CAREER pathways and advancement


Neuroscience is concerned with the function of nervous systems. The BA, BS, and BS Honors degrees in neuroscience provide a broad foundation in understanding neural function from the perspective of molecules, cells, circuits, systems, organisms, and species.

The Neuroscience department splits the major between the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees, with an Honors program available to BS students. The BA degree offers thorough study in the field of neuroscience and provides flexibility in elective choices. The BS degree offers a more intensive program of study that includes individual research. 

Students who wish to incorporate neuroscientific literacy into their degree but have primary interest in other fields can choose to obtain a Minor in Neuroscience.

Students who are majoring in biological sciences and are interested in mathematical approaches, or students who are majoring in the physical sciences and are interested in neuroscience can choose to obtain a Minor in Computational Neuroscience.

Program Requirements

Bachelor of arts

General Education – Allows students to choose from required BIOS, MATH, and CHEM courses

Core Classes – Courses approved by the major and required courses

Electives – List of approved Neuroscience electives

Find more detailed information in the BA section in the College Catalog

Bachelor of science

The principal distinctions between the BA and BS programs are enrollment in faculty supervised research and additional required neuroscience courses.

Receiving the BS degree requires:

1. A total of 10 electives

2. Approval by the major of a proposed research project

3. Enrollment, as an elective, into 1-3 quarters of experimental or scholarly research with a Neuroscience faculty member

4. A passing written thesis and poster presentation

Find more detailed information on the Bachelor of Science page

Honors program

The principal distinctions between the BS and BS with honors programs are a GPA requirement and more extensive and immersive faculty-supervised research.

Receiving the BS with honors degree requires:

1. Admittance to the honors program

2. A GPA of 3.5 in the major, 3.25 cumulative

3. Enrollment, as an elective, into 3 quarters of experimental or scholarly research with a Neuroscience faculty member. The program additionally requires full-time research during the summer between the third and fourth year

4. A passing written thesis and a public talk organized by the NSCI administration

Find more detailed information on the Bachelor of Science with Honors page


Visit the College Course Catalog for MORE information on all programs.

NSCI Paid Teaching Assistant Opportunities

Neuroscience undergraduates that exhibit exceptional comprehension in their courses are
encouraged to apply for an NSCI Paid Teaching Assistant Opportunity.
NSCI undergraduate TAships require successful completion of the course.

Upcoming Neuroscience courses to TA include:

NSCI 20100 - Neuroscience Laboratory, Winter Quarter 
NSCI 20101 - Foundations of Neuroscience, Autumn Quarter
NSCI 20111 - Cellular Neurophysiology, Winter Quarter
NSCI 20130 - Systems Neuroscience, Spring Quarter

BIOS 10140 - Inquiry-based exploration of biology
BIOS 14112 - Workings of the human brain: From brain to behavior


Student Involvement

neuro club logoThe Neuroscience Education, Undergraduate Research & Outreach (NEURO) Club is a Registered Student Organization centered around those interested in the field of Neuroscience and educating the on-campus and surrounding community about Neuroscience.

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win logoWomen in Neuroscience (WiN) is a club that works to promote female and non-binary people’s achievements in academic and professional settings and establish a community of neuroscience, psychology, and cognitive science majors in the College.

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