Neuroscience at SLU
A WARM WELCOME
Welcome to Neuroscience (NS) at Saint Louis University. NS was created by several undergraduates in consultation with NS faculty in Psychology and Biology as a Contract BS Degree in Arts & Sciences. We currently have over 50 students contracted for 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 and updates are underway, so check back for changes.
Until approved by the Board of Directors and contingent upon funding, NS at SLU will remain a Contract Degree Program reliant entirely on resources provided by the Biology and Psychology Departments. Due to limited departmental resources, effective August 15, 2013, the interdisciplinary Neuroscience Contract Major will be limited to 10 students in each graduating class. Students currently accepted into the program will be unaffected by this change. Students wishing to become Neuroscience Contract Majors should submit an application no later than the first Monday in January of their sophomore year. The next round of applications will be accepted for the graduating class of 2017 on Jan 5, 2015 (date subject to change, so please check back). Graduating classes 2014 through 2016 are already above the 10 student limit. The Application Form and instructions for submission will be updated by Fall 2014. Applications will be reviewed by the Neuroscience Faculty with consideration given to the application essay, GPA, curricular diversity (students should have completed courses that are consistent with the Neuroscience major), and date of application.
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 here.
Rationale for Contracting Neuroscience
There are approximately 5 million people afflicted with Alzheimer's 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 Alzheimers 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.
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. Peruse the course requirements and Example Course Layout for the major (at the bottom of this page).
2. Meet with (at least) one of the Neuroscience mentors: Drs. Anch, Buchanan, Ogilvie, or Stark.
3. Put together your course layout including the courses that you plan to take to complete the requirements. You may use the Example Course Layout, below, as a guideline, but should insert courses of interest to you. Note that the sample layout includes Preprofessional Health requirements in addition to NS requirements. If you are interested in Graduate School or other options, the schedule should be adjusted accordingly.
4. Obtain signatures from three of the four Neuroscience advisors, as well as either Dr. Jeffrey Gfeller (Chair of the Department of Psychology) or Dr. Robert Wood (Chair of the Department of Biology) which indicates their approval of your course layout (this is not an automatic process and may require several rounds of revision/discussion)
5. Take your tentatively approved course layout, signed by all three advisors, and one 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.