Neuroscience at SLU


Welcome to Neuroscience (NS) at Saint Louis University.  NS is a relatively new Arts & Sciences contract major. 

We currently have over 40 students enrolled in the major and it is growing rapidly.  As a result, the program is under consideration to become a formal major with significant modifications.  Many of those changes are reflected on this website as of Fall 2012.


How to become a Neuroscience Contract MajorUpdated8_14_2012-1.doc


The NS contract major allows the student to specialize in brain science subjects, while integrating the SLU course requirements. 

A neuroscience degree will serve as outstanding preparation for pre-medical students and students interested in attending graduate school in neuroscience.  In addition, a neuroscience degree can lead to careers in industry, in fields related psychology, biology, chemistry, physics, biomedical engineering, law, and philosophy, among other interests. 

However, there are specific requirements, listed below.

Rationale for Contracting Neuroscience


There are approximately 5 million people afflicted with Alzheimerπs disease today; in the future, this number can be expected to grow as the baby boomer generation increases in age.  

         Currently, neurological diseases such as Alzheimerπs are amongst the least understood. A major in neuroscience—the interdisciplinary field of study that employs the tools and perspectives of biology, psychology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and medicine to achieve a better understanding of brain function, behavior, and the mind—would place students in a better position to address these neurological issues through further medical studies or research.

         Neuroscience is an appropriate major for all students who want to pursue graduate studies or professional work in any scientific or professional field. The interdisciplinary nature of the neuroscience major allows interested students to collaborate courses primarily from the psychology and biology departments.

         Because Saint Louis University does not currently offer Neuroscience as a major, pursing the proposed coursework—if not unified under the neuroscience major—would merely leave students with minors in each psychology and biology, denying them a declarable major.

            The option of contracting a major in this fascinating and quickly developing scientific field enables students to contend with the most accomplished and well-educated students in prestigious universities on national and global levels.  In addition to diversifying and supplementing the university's academic repertoire, this major also enhances the prestige o  f the university itself through its students. 

            Coursework from the neuroscience major includes selections from biology, chemistry, psychology, mathematics, and physics, as well as several of the humanities courses (e.g. Philosophy, Theology, History, English etc.) required as part of the CORE curricula for the College of Arts and Sciences. Understanding human thought processes on a scientific, philosophical, and theological level allows individuals to empathize more profoundly with other humans.

            Upon completing their major in neuroscience, students find themselves not only well versed in scientific methodology but also prepared to dedicate their understanding of the human mind to the service of others.


How to become a Neuroscience Contract Major at Saint Louis University

  1. 1.  Peruse the Example Neuroscience Proposal (below), including the course requirements and example course layout for the major.

  1. 2.  Meet with (at least) one of the primary Neuroscience advisors: Drs. Anch, Buchanan, Ogilvie, or Stark.

  1. 3.  Put together your course layout (based on the example course layout contained within the Example Neuroscience Proposal, below) including the courses that you plan to take to complete the requirements.

  1. 4. Obtain signatures from three Neuroscience advisors (at least one from Biology and one from Psychology), which indicates their approval of your course layout (this is not an automatic process and may require several rounds of revision/discussion).

  1. 5. Take your tentatively approved course layout, signed by all three advisors and the Chair, to Dr. Stephen Dina, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, College of Arts & Sciences.  Dean Dina will approve your contract if everything is in order.

Example Neuroscience Proposal (Revised 8/7/2012)


Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience






 Advising Committee:

 (Choose any 3 of the following 4 Faculty)


Dr. Buchanan             ____________________



Dr. Anch                    ____________________

Dr. Ogilvie                ____________________

Dr. Stark                     ____________________


    Chair Signature          ____________________    


A Warm Welcome