Undergraduate Major in Neuroscience
Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary study of the nervous system. Research is conducted at many different levels to study brain and neuron function and in many different systems including humans, animals, other intact organisms, and in cultured tissues and neuronal cells.
Two concentrations within the Neuroscience Major are offered by Colorado State University:
- Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience (BCN)
- Cell and Molecular Neuroscience (CMN)
Both concentrations have a very similar two year core curriculum, which, in addition to the important broad educational courses in arts, humanities, global and cultural awareness, and writing, also provides an excellent scientific foundation in chemistry, mathematics, physics, biology (cell biology and genetics), and psychology. Several upper level courses including physiology, biochemistry, statistics, functional neuroanatomy and cellular neurobiology are complemented by concentration specific classes. Details of requirements for each concentration are found under Programs of Study.
Applying for the Neuroscience Major
To learn more about applying for this major for fall semester 2014 contact Ken Blehm by phone at (970) 491-1406 or by email at Ken.Blehm@colostate.edu.
Undergraduate Thesis Requirement
The Neuroscience Undergraduate Major requires a written thesis, based either upon original research or upon a critical evaluation of the literature in a particular area of neuroscience. Our world class Neuroscience research programs span the interdisciplinary spectrum. Research opportunities for undergraduates transcend college and departmental boundaries. Since 2010, more than 40 undergraduates have co-authored more than 35 papers with CSU neuroscience faculty.
Career Options for Neuroscience Majors
The excellent breadth of training required for our Bachelor's degree in Neuroscience coupled with our capstone requirement of an undergraduate thesis, prepares our students for a large number of career options among which are:
- Advanced education (professional degrees) in health professions including human and veterinary medicine and clinical psychology.
- Graduate programs in behavioral or cell and molecular bioscience fields.
- Opportunities in academic or government institutes (e.g. Center for Disease Control) for studying both laboratory based neuroscience or field based studies in animal behavior and disease transmission.
- Biotechnology companies, especially those working on development of biomarkers or therapeutics for identification and treatment of neurodegenerative disorders.
- Technical writing and/or sales for biomedical companies.
- Many more career ideas can be found on the Society for Neuroscience career options page: http://www.sfn.org/careers-and-training/neurojobs-career-center.
Colorado State University offers world class Neuroscience research programs across the interdisciplinary spectrum. Research opportunities for undergraduates transcend college and departmental boundaries. Undergrad researchers contribute to published work. Since 2010, more than 40 undergraduates have co-authored more than 35 papers with CSU neuroscience faculty.
Getting Started In Neuroscience Research
Outstanding students may find laboratory openings as early as freshman year. There are several options to be considered for placement into a neuroscience research laboratory when applying to CSU:
- Complete and sumbit the Undergraduate Research Opportunity form online so we can follow up with when we have new program openings and opportunities.
- Make an appointment to apply as a Honors Undergraduate Research Scholar (HURS), a program administered through the Office for Undergraduate Research and Artistry. Application for the HURS program is completed on-line and requires a high school transcript and two letters of recommendation.
- Through college or department key advisors, who will often help steer students to potential research openings in specific labs.
- And last, and often the most successful option, is the direct approach. Make an appointment with a faculty member whose research interests you and convince them that they need what you can offer.
Award Winning Research by Our Undergraduate Students
The Office for Undergraduate Research and Artistry celebrates the achievements of CSU undergraduates through the Celebrate Undergraduate Research and Creativity (CURC) program, held every spring. Undergraduates working in neuroscience have won many of the highest awards given.
Keifer Walsh (pictured above), a Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology major in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences was awarded highest honors two years in a row for his research on Alzheimer disease (Article), which was performed in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the College of Natural Sciences. This type of interdepartmental and intercollege cooperation exemplifies the research environment at CSU.