Frequently asked questions about the Neuroscience Certificate

Do I apply for the certificate or is it automatically awarded to all students who qualify?

You have to apply for the certificate. Most students apply in their junior or senior year, but you can apply at any time. Please use the online application form to apply.

Do I have to major in Integrative Physiology (IPHY), Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology (MCDB), or Psychology (PSYC) at the University of Colorado to qualify for the certificate?

Most students who receive the certificate are from one of these three departments, but other majors are eligible as long as they fulfill the Grade Point Average and course requirements. You should contact the director of the certificate program concerning your possible eligibility. Only current undergraduates at the University of Colorado Boulder are eligible for this certificate. Students from other campuses are ineligible.

If I am have a double major, do I have to take an additional advanced course in neuroscience outside both majors?

If you are a double major between IPHY, MCDB, and PSYC, chances are that you will have fulfilled the distribution requirement with the proper selection of advanced neuroscience courses. In such a case, you do not have to take an additional course in a third department.

Are you strict at enforcing the minimum grade point average of 3.2 for the certificate? What about course requirements?

Yes, the director strictly enforces the grade requirement. There is limited flexibility regarding the course requirements. For example, a course taken at another university might substitute for a certificate requirement. Be sure to consult with the director about a possible subsitution, preferably before enrolling in another course. Do not assume that you can substitute a course without approval of the director. Finally, you have to take all of the required courses for a letter grade, not pass/fail.

What are the requirements for laboratory experience?

You are required to take a laboratory in General Chemistry (1 year), Organic Chemistry (1 year), Physics (1 year), and Introduction to Molecular Biology (1 semester).

Can I substitute Human Genetics or Behavioral Genetics for the General Genetics requirement?

No. A general genetics course gives you a broad overview of the field.

Is the certificate worth the extra courses that I will have to take?

For students interested in attending medical school, the certificate demonstrates that you have a broader academic training than many of your peers, and that breadth could influence an admissions committee. For students interested in attending graduate school, especially in neuroscience, the certificate shows that you have a rigorous background in the discipline, even if you did not major in neuroscience.

What happens if I can not register for a required course in another department (e.g. PSYC 2012)?

Contact the director who will request an override to register for the course. This has worked well in the past.

Can I take some courses on line to complete the requirements?

Yes, in some cases. Check with the director first. On-line lab courses, however, do not count toward the certificate.

When do I receive the certificate?

The certificate is awarded following graduation. After graduation, the director reviews your academic record and grade point average. If you meet the requirements, a notation of successful completion of the undergraduate neuroscience certificate program is added to your official CU transcript. The official designation of the awarding of the neuroscience certificate is currently being made right after your bachelor’s degree appears on your transcript.

Does award of the certificate appear on my university transcript?

Yes, but remember that you have to send the request for award of the certificate to the director immediately after your bachelor’s degree is conferred. Once your bachelor’s degree appears on your transcript and you request designation of the awarding of the neuroscience certificate, it will usually take 5-7 business days for the certificate to appear on your transcript.

If I have already graduated from CU and fulfilled the requirements for the certificate, can it be awarded retroactively?

If you miss the deadline for requesting the certificate, it is no longer possible to retroactively award the certificate.