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Neuroscience, B.S.

Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary field of study that employs the tools and perspectives of biology, psychology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, philosophy and medicine to achieve a better understanding of brain structure, function and behavior.

A degree in neuroscience places students in an excellent position to address the basic science of brain function. It offers many possibilities for applications within medicine, science and industry. Saint Louis University's neuroscience major offers courses that further the understanding of psychiatric, neurological and developmental disorders with the goal of developing of innovative treatment options through basic and applied research.

Neuroscience is an appropriate major for students planning to continue their postgraduate education in neuroscience or related professional fields.

Additional program highlights include:

  • SLU provides a genuinely interdisciplinary degree in neuroscience.
  • Neuroscience is a growing field, with new initiatives to develop innovative technologies to foster a better understanding of brain function.
  • SLU's neuroscience program offers a rigorous and interdisciplinary curriculum emphasizing pre-professional training.

Leadership

Tony W. Buchanan, Ph.D.
     Co-Director
Judith M. Ogilvie, Ph.D.
     Co-Director

Curriculum Overview

Courses in SLU's neuroscience major include lectures, seminars and laboratory experiences. The curriculum includes four core neuroscience courses: Introduction to Neuroscience: Molecular, Cellular and Systemic; Introduction to Neuroscience: Behavioral and Cognitive; a neuroscience lab course; and a neuroscience seminar in the senior year.

Additionally, students are required to take related courses from the biology department and from the psychology department and courses in chemistry, physics, mathematics and philosophy. Students must also complete SLU's undergraduate University Core requirements.

Neuroscience students are required to complete a capstone learning experience, consisting of several options, including research, practica or advanced coursework, all of which are designed to provide the opportunity to integrate coursework with an active learning experience and to give students exposure to the breadth of the field of neuroscience and the potential for understanding its applications in the real world.

Fieldwork and Research Opportunities

SLU's neuroscience program features opportunities for research through existing collaborations with the biology and psychology departments and the Henry and Amelia Nasrallah Center for Neuroscience.

Careers

Graduates with a B.S. in neuroscience have a strong outlook for future employment. They will be able to find work in industries such as medicine, veterinary medicine, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, education, computer science and artificial intelligence.

An undergraduate degree in neuroscience from Saint Louis University provides a solid base for students interested in attending graduate school, medical school or working in psychology, biology, chemistry, physics, biomedical engineering, law, medicine or philosophy.

Admission Requirements

Begin Your Application

Saint Louis University also accepts the Common Application.

Freshman

All applications are thoroughly reviewed with the highest degree of individual care and consideration to all credentials that are submitted. Solid academic performance in college preparatory coursework is a primary concern in reviewing a freshman applicant’s file.

To be considered for admission to any Saint Louis University undergraduate program, applicants must be graduating from an accredited high school, have an acceptable HiSET exam score or take the General Education Development (GED) test. 

Transfer

Applicants must be a graduate of an accredited high school or have an acceptable score on the GED.

Students who have attempted fewer than 24 semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must follow the above freshmen admission requirements. Students who have completed 24 or more semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must submit transcripts from all previously attended college(s).

In reviewing a transfer applicant’s file, the Office of Admission holistically examines the student’s academic performance in college-level coursework as an indicator of the student’s ability to meet the academic rigors of Saint Louis University. Where applicable, transfer students will be evaluated on any courses outlined in the continuation standards of their preferred major.

International Applicants

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students along with the following:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Proof of financial support must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the time at Saint Louis University
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include the courses taken and/or lectures attended, practical laboratory work, the maximum and minimum grades attainable, the grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations, and any honors or degrees received. WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

There are two principal ways to help finance a Saint Louis University education:

  • Scholarships: Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, service, leadership and financial need.
  • Financial Aid: Financial aid is provided in the form of grants and loans, some of which require repayment.

For priority consideration for merit-based scholarships, apply for admission by Dec. 1 and complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1.

For information on other scholarships and financial aid, visit www.slu.edu/financial-aid.

  1. Graduates will be able to identify core concepts of neuroscience.
  2. Graduates will be able to synthesize information to formulate hypotheses, design experiments and engage in scientific research.
  3. Graduates will be able to communicate neuroscientific information in a clear, reasoned manner, both verbally and in writing.
  4. Graduates will have the foundation to successfully pursue post baccalaureate education and/or professional career.

Neuroscience students must complete a minimum total of 70 credits for the major.

University Undergraduate Core32-35
Major Requirements
Required Courses in Neuroscience
NEUR 3400Introduction to Neuroscience 1: Cellular, Molecular and Systemic3
NEUR 3500Introduction to Neuroscience 2: Cognitive and Behavioral3
NEUR 3550Neuroscience Laboratory1
NEUR 4900Neuroscience Seminar1
Required Courses in Biology
BIOL 1240
BIOL 1245
General Biology: Information Flow and Evolution
and Principles of Biology I Laboratory
4
BIOL 1260
BIOL 1265
General Biology: Transformations of Energy and Matter
and Principles of Biology II Laboratory
4
BIOL 3020Biochemistry and Molecular Biology3
BIOL 3040Cell Structure & Function3
Required Courses in Psychology
PSY 1010General Psychology3
PSY 3100Brain, Mind, & Society3
Neuroscience Electives Courses19
19 credits of Neuroscience elective courses are required. Six credits must be selected from courses with the "Neuroscience - Biology" attribute, one credit must be selected from courses with the "Neuroscience - Biology Lab" attribute, and six credits from the "Neuroscience - Psych" attribute. The final six credits may come from your choice of "Neuroscience - Biology", "Neuroscience - Psych", or the "Neuroscience - Anthro" attributes.
Required Courses in Chemistry
CHEM 1110
CHEM 1115
General Chemistry 1
and General Chemistry 1 Laboratory
4
CHEM 1120
CHEM 1125
General Chemistry 2
and General Chemistry 2 Laboratory
4
Required Courses in Mathematics
MATH 1510Calculus I4
Required Course in Humanities
Select from one of the following:3
PHIL 4280
Biology and Mind
HCE 4280
Controversies in Neuroethics
ENGL 4530
Medicine, Mind, and Victorian Fiction
Required Course in Physics
PHYS 1310
PHYS 1320
College Physics I
and College Physics I Laboratory
4
Required Statistics Course
Select one of the following:3-4
PSY 2050
Foundations of Research Methods and Statistics
MATH 1300
Elementary Statistics with Computers
Capstone/Inquiry/Honors Project
Students must select one course with the "Neuroscience Capstone" attribute, such as:1-4
BIOL 4970
Library Project
BIOL 4980
Advanced Independent Study
NEUR 4865
Capstone Neurophysiology Laboratory
NEUR 4869
Critical Thinking about Neuroscience
PSY 4965
Capstone Practicum Project
PSY 4967
Capstone Research Project
General Electives11-18
Total Credits120

Biology Elective Courses 

Students must take a one-credit biology lab to be selected from courses with the "Neuroscience - Biology Lab" attribute.

BIOL 3010
Evolutionary Biology
BIOL 3030
Principles of Genetics
BIOL 3060
Cell Structure & Function Laboratory 1
BIOL 3100
Experiments in Genetics Lab 1
BIOL 3420
Comparative Anatomy of the Vertebrates 1
BIOL 3470
General Physiology Laboratory 1
BIOL 4010
Sex, Evolution, and Behavior
BIOL 4030
Introduction to Genomics
BIOL 4050
Molecular Technique Lab 1
BIOL 4070
Advanced Biological Chemistry
BIOL 4250
Neurobiology of Disease
BIOL 4360
BIOL 4370
Animal Behavior
and Animal Behavior Lab 1
BIOL 4410
Comparative Animal Physiology
BIOL 4440
Vertebrate Histology: Structure and Function of Tissues 1
BIOL 4510
Behavioral Endocrinology
BIOL 4520
Biochemical Pharmacology
BIOL 4540
Human Systemic Physiology
BIOL 4600
Developmental Biology
BIOL 4630
Foundations of Immunobiology
BIOL 4700
Molecular Biology
BIOL 4720
Cancer Biology
1

Biology Lab Course

Psychology Elective Courses

PSY 3120
Cognitive Psychology
PSY 3160
Learning & Memory
PSY 3210
Developmental Psych: Child
PSY 3230
Developmental Psychology: Adolescence
PSY 3300
Social Psychology
PSY 3310
Personality Theory
PSY 3460
Abnormal Psychology
PSY 4140
Psychopharmacology
PSY 4150
Science of Sleep
PSY 4350
Health Psychology

 Anthropology Elective Courses

ANTH 2210
Biological Anthropology
ANTH 2400
Linguistic Anthropology
ANTH 4240
Primate Social Behavior

Pre-Professional Health

Students taking a pre-professional health curriculum will be required to complete additional course requirements for medical or other professional schools as outlined by the pre-professional health studies program.

Non-Course Requirements

All majors are required to participate in first-year mentoring.

Continuation Standards

Students must have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA in the following required major courses by the conclusion of two semesters at Saint Louis University:

PSY 1010
General Psychology
BIOL 1240
BIOL 1245
General Biology: Information Flow and Evolution
and Principles of Biology I Laboratory
BIOL 1260
BIOL 1265
General Biology: Transformations of Energy and Matter
and Principles of Biology II Laboratory
CHEM 1110
CHEM 1115
General Chemistry 1
and General Chemistry 1 Laboratory
CHEM 1120
CHEM 1125
General Chemistry 2
and General Chemistry 2 Laboratory

Students who fall below a 3.00 GPA will be placed on program probation. In order to continue as a neuroscience major after four semesters at Saint Louis University, students must obtain at least a 3.00 GPA in the following required major courses:  

PSY 1010
General Psychology
PSY 2050
Foundations of Research Methods and Statistics
or STAT 1300
Elementary Statistics with Computers
BIOL 1240
BIOL 1245
General Biology: Information Flow and Evolution
and Principles of Biology I Laboratory
BIOL 1260
BIOL 1265
General Biology: Transformations of Energy and Matter
and Principles of Biology II Laboratory
BIOL 3020
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
BIOL 3040
Cell Structure & Function
CHEM 1110
CHEM 1115
General Chemistry 1
and General Chemistry 1 Laboratory
CHEM 1120
CHEM 1125
General Chemistry 2
and General Chemistry 2 Laboratory
NEUR 3400
Introduction to Neuroscience 1: Cellular, Molecular and Systemic

Transfer students will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Graduation Requirements

  • Complete a minimum of 120 credits (excluding pre-college level courses numbered below 1000).
  • Complete the University Undergraduate Core curriculum requirements.
  • Complete major requirements: minimum 30 credits required.
  • Complete remaining credits with a second major, minor, certificate and/or electives to reach the minimum of 120 credits required for graduation.
  • Achieve at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average, a 2.00 grade point average in the major(s) and a 2.00 grade point average in the minor/certificate, or related elective credits.
  • Complete department-/program-specific academic and performance requirements.
  • Complete at least 50% of the coursework for the major and 75% for the minor/certificate through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
  • Complete 30 of the final 36 credits through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
  • Complete an online degree application by the required University deadline.

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester.  Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Traditional Track

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
PSY 1010 General Psychology (Critical course:  satisfies CORE 3600) 3
Critical course:  BIOL 1240
BIOL 1245
General Biology: Information Flow and Evolution
and Principles of Biology I Laboratory (Critical course:  satisfies CORE 3800)
4
Critical course:  CHEM 1110
CHEM 1115
General Chemistry 1
and General Chemistry 1 Laboratory (Critical course:  satisfies CORE 3800)
4
CORE 1000 Ignite First Year Seminar 2-3
CORE 1500 Cura Personalis 1: Self in Community 1
General Electives 3
 Credits17-18
Spring
Participation in First-Year Mentoring Events  
Critical course:  BIOL 1260
BIOL 1265
General Biology: Transformations of Energy and Matter
and Principles of Biology II Laboratory
4
Critical course:  CHEM 1120
CHEM 1125
General Chemistry 2
and General Chemistry 2 Laboratory
4
MATH 1510 Calculus I (satisfies CORE 3200) 4
CORE 1900 Eloquentia Perfecta 1: Written and Visual Communication 3
General Electives 1
 Credits16
Year Two
Fall
BIOL 3020 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 3
PSY 2050
or STAT 1300
Foundations of Research Methods and Statistics (Critical course:  satisfies CORE 3200)
or Elementary Statistics with Computers
3-4
PSY 3100 Brain, Mind, & Society (satisfies CORE 3600) 3
CORE 1200 Eloquentia Perfecta 2: Oral and Visual Communication 3
CORE 1700 Ultimate Questions: Philosophy 3
General Electives 3-6
 Credits18-22
Spring
BIOL 3040 Cell Structure & Function 3
NEUR 3400 Introduction to Neuroscience 1: Cellular, Molecular and Systemic 3
CORE 1600 Ultimate Questions: Theology 3
General Electives 6
 Credits15
Year Three
Fall
NEUR 3500 Introduction to Neuroscience 2: Cognitive and Behavioral 3
NEUR 3550 Neuroscience Laboratory 1
PHYS 1310
PHYS 1320
College Physics I
and College Physics I Laboratory
4
Neuroscience Elective 3
CORE 2800Eloquentia Perfecta: Creative Expression 2-3
CORE 3500Cura Personalis 3: Self in the World 1
 Credits14-15
Spring
Neuroscience Elective 1-4
Neuroscience Elective 3
CORE 3400 Ways of Thinking: Aesthetics, History, and Culture 3
General Electives 6-8
 Credits13-18
Year Four
Fall
PHIL 4280
or HCE 4280
or ENGL 4530
Biology and Mind
or Controversies in Neuroethics
or Medicine, Mind, and Victorian Fiction
3
Neuroscience Elective 1-4
Neuroscience Elective 3
General Electives 6
NEUR 4900 Neuroscience Seminar 1
 Credits14-17
Spring
Capstone/Inquiry/Honors Project 1-3
Neuroscience Elective 1-4
Neuroscience Elective 3
CORE 4000 Collaborative Inquiry 2-3
General Electives 6
 Credits13-19
 Total Credits120-140

Pre-Professional Health Track 

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
PSY 1010 General Psychology (Critical course:  satisfies CORE 3600) 3
Critical course:  BIOL 1240
BIOL 1245
General Biology: Information Flow and Evolution
and Principles of Biology I Laboratory (Critical course:  satisfies CORE 3800)
4
Critical course:  CHEM 1110
CHEM 1115
General Chemistry 1
and General Chemistry 1 Laboratory (Critical course:  satisfies CORE 3800)
4
CORE 1000 Ignite First Year Seminar 2-3
CORE 1500 Cura Personalis 1: Self in Community 1
General Electives 3
 Credits17-18
Spring
Participation in First-Year Mentoring Events  
Critical course:  BIOL 1260
BIOL 1265
General Biology: Transformations of Energy and Matter
and Principles of Biology II Laboratory
4
Critical course:  CHEM 1120
CHEM 1125
General Chemistry 2
and General Chemistry 2 Laboratory
4
MATH 1510 Calculus I (satisfies CORE 3200) 4
CORE 1900 Eloquentia Perfecta 1: Written and Visual Communication 3
General Electives 3
 Credits18
Year Two
Fall
BIOL 3020 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 3
CHEM 2410
CHEM 2415
Organic Chemistry 1
and Organic Chemistry 1 Laboratory
4
PSY 3100 Brain, Mind, & Society (satisfies CORE 3600) 3
PSY 2050
or STAT 1300
Foundations of Research Methods and Statistics (satisfies CORE 3200)
or Elementary Statistics with Computers
3-4
CORE 1200 Eloquentia Perfecta 2: Oral and Visual Communication 3
 Credits16-17
Spring
BIOL 3040 Cell Structure & Function 3
CHEM 2420
CHEM 2425
Organic Chemistry 2
and Organic Chemistry 2 Laboratory
4
NEUR 3400 Introduction to Neuroscience 1: Cellular, Molecular and Systemic 3
CORE 1600 Ultimate Questions: Theology 3
CORE 1700 Ultimate Questions: Philosophy 3
 Credits16
Year Three
Fall
NEUR 3500 Introduction to Neuroscience 2: Cognitive and Behavioral 3
NEUR 3550 Neuroscience Laboratory 1
PHYS 1310
PHYS 1320
College Physics I
and College Physics I Laboratory
4
Neuroscience Elective 3
CORE 2800 Eloquentia Perfecta 3: Creative Expression 2-3
CORE 3500 Cura Personalis 3: Self in the World 1
 Credits14-15
Spring
PHYS 1330
PHYS 1340
College Physics II
and College Physics II Laboratory
4
Neuroscience Elective 1-4
Neuroscience Elective 3
CORE 3400 Ways of Thinking: Aesthetics, History, and Culture 3
General Electives 6
 Credits17-20
Year Four
Fall
PHIL 4280
or HCE 4280
or ENGL 4530
Biology and Mind
or Controversies in Neuroethics
or Medicine, Mind, and Victorian Fiction
3
Neuroscience Elective 1-4
Neuroscience Elective 3
General Electives 3-9
NEUR 4900 Neuroscience Seminar 1
 Credits11-20
Spring
Capstone/Inquiry/Honors Project 1-3
Neuroscience Elective 1-4
Neuroscience Elective 3
CORE 4000 Collaborative Inquiry 2-3
General Electives 4-10
 Credits11-23
 Total Credits120-147