Man looking at the human brain on a computer screen
Degrees Offered: PhD

Neuroscience is a subdiscipline of the biological sciences that combines cutting­edge technological advancements from a number of areas in order to understand the complex functioning of the brain. The neuroscience major provides a strong background in the fundamentals of the mechanisms underlying brain function and how it supports behavior, cognition and emotion. Students are encouraged to obtain greater academic breadth through interdepartmental course selection. 

A degree in neuroscience provides a pathway to many interesting and challenging careers, including those in the biological sciences, speech­-language pathology, medicine and surgery, veterinary medicine, physical therapy, scientific research and development and neuroscience nursing.

Undergraduate Opportunities

The undergraduate major in neuroscience emphasizes knowledge and awareness of: the various systems within the brain that control specific components of behavior, learning/memory, sensation and thought; the basic principles of molecular and cellular biology and biochemistry; mathematics sufficient to facilitate the understanding and derivation of fundamental relationships and to analyze, manipulate and model experimental data; the structural organization and function of the nervous system including an understanding of intracellular and intercellular signaling.

In addition, students completing the major in neuroscience are expected to acquire the ability and skills to: read, evaluate and interpret information on a general scientific level; use computational modeling simulations and appropriate analysis to describe the results of scientific investigations verbally and in writing.

Neuroscience Certificate

The Neuroscience Certificate encourages undergraduate students at the University of Colorado Boulder to take courses in basic science while providing a means to specialize in neuroscience. Since this area of the biological sciences is interdisciplinary, interdepartmental course selection is possible and encouraged. Although the certificate is not equivalent to a major, it does demonstrate that students have completed an academic program beyond the major.

Research Opportunities

The department is committed to a scientific approach to neuroscience. Facilities that support the program include excellent laboratories, on­-campus research centers and institutes, including the Institute of Behavioral Genetics (IBG), the Institute for Behavioral Science (IBS) and the Institute of Cognitive Science (ICS). The quality and breadth of the undergraduate program is enriched by independent research opportunities and seminars available through these institutes.