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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 and offers a myriad of 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 a goal toward the development 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 aimed at the development of innovative technologies to foster a better understanding of brain function.
  • SLU's neuroscience program offers a rigorous and interdisciplinary curriculum with an emphasis on 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 as well as courses in chemistry, physics, mathematics and philosophy. Students must also complete SLU's College of Arts and Sciences 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 and 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 fields related to 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 the student financial services office online at https://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.

College core requirements54-63
For additional information about core courses
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
Select 19 credits of electives including a minimum of 7 credits from Biology including 1 lab credit, and 6 credits from Psychology. Courses that meet these requirements are listed under Biology and Psychology Elective Courses.
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 Philosophy
PHIL 4280Biology and Mind3
Required Course in Physics
PHYS 1310
PHYS 1320
College Physics I
and College Physics I Laboratory
4
Required Statistics Course3-4
Select one of the following:
PSY 2050
Foundations of Research Methods and Statistics
MATH 1300
Elementary Statistics with Computers
Capstone/Inquiry/Honors Project1-4
Select one of the following:
BIOL 4890
Senior Inquiry: Comprehensive Examination
BIOL 4970
Library Project
BIOL 4980
Advanced Independent Study
PSY 4960
Advanced Research Methodology and Statistics
PSY 4965
Capstone Practicum Project
PSY 4967
Capstone Research Project
PSY 4969
Critical Thinking About Psychology
Total Credits124-137

Biology Elective Courses 

Students must take one lab course.

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 3480
Exercise Physiology
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
1

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 4140
Psychopharmacology
PSY 4150
Science of Sleep
PSY 4350
Health Psychology
PSY 4390
Abnormal Psychology

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.

Bachelor of Science Core Curriculum Requirements

Please note: beginning in Fall 2022, all incoming SLU undergraduates—regardless of major, program, college or school—will complete the University Core curriculum. You can find more information about SLU’s common Core here: https://www.slu.edu/core/index.php
Core Components and Credits
Foundations of Discourse3
Diversity in the U.S.3
Global Citizenship3
Foreign Language0-6
Fine Arts3
Literature6
Mathematics4
Science8
Philosophy6
Social Science6
Theology6
World History6
Total Credits54-60

Graduation Requirements

  • Complete a minimum of 120 credits (excluding pre-college level courses numbered below 1000).
  • Complete either the College of Arts and Sciences Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science 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 3
Critical course:  BIOL 1240
BIOL 1245
General Biology: Information Flow and Evolution
and Principles of Biology I Laboratory
4
Critical course:  CHEM 1110
CHEM 1115
General Chemistry 1
and General Chemistry 1 Laboratory
4
UNIV 1010 Enhancing First-Year Success 1
A&S Core 3
 Credits15
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 4
A&S Core 3
 Credits15
Year Two
Fall
BIOL 3020 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 3
PSY 2050 Foundations of Research Methods and Statistics 4
PSY 3100 Brain, Mind & Society 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits16
Spring
BIOL 3040 Cell Structure & Function 3
NEUR 3400 Introduction to Neuroscience 1: Cellular, Molecular and Systemic 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 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
Biology or Psychology Elective 3
A&S Core 3
Elective (if needed) 3
 Credits17
Spring
Biology or Psychology Elective 3
Biology or Psychology Elective 2-5
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
Elective (if needed) 3
 Credits17-20
Year Four
Fall
PHIL 4280 Biology and Mind 3
Biology or Psychology Elective 2-5
Biology or Psychology Elective 2-5
A&S Core 3
Elective (if needed) 3
 Credits13-19
Spring
NEUR 4900 Neuroscience Seminar 1
Biology or Psychology Elective 2-5
Capstone/Inquiry/Honors Project 1-3
A&S Core 3
Elective (if needed) 3
Elective (if needed) 3
 Credits13-18
 Total Credits121-135

Pre-Professional Health Track 

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
PSY 1010 General Psychology 3
Critical course:  BIOL 1240
BIOL 1245
General Biology: Information Flow and Evolution
and Principles of Biology I Laboratory
4
Critical course:  CHEM 1110
CHEM 1115
General Chemistry 1
and General Chemistry 1 Laboratory
4
UNIV 1010 Enhancing First-Year Success 1
ENGL 1900 Advanced Strategies of Rhetoric and Research 3
 Credits15
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 4
A&S Core 3
 Credits15
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 3
STAT 1300
Elementary Statistics with Computers  
A&S Core 3
 Credits13
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
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 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
Biology or Psychology Elective 2-5
A&S Core 3
Elective (if needed) 3
 Credits16-19
Spring
PHYS 1330
PHYS 1340
College Physics II
and College Physics II Laboratory
4
Biology or Psychology Elective 3
Biology or Psychology Elective 2-5
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
Elective (if needed) 3
 Credits18-21
Year Four
Fall
PHIL 4280 Biology and Mind 3
Biology or Psychology Elective 2-5
Biology or Psychology Elective 2-5
A&S Core 3
Elective (if needed) 3
 Credits13-19
Spring
NEUR 4900 Neuroscience Seminar 1
Biology or Psychology Elective 2-5
Capstone/Inquiry/Honors Project 1-3
A&S Core 3
Elective (if needed) 3
Elective (if needed) 3
 Credits13-18
 Total Credits119-136

Program Notes 

Biology Elective Courses 

Students must take one lab course.

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 3480
Exercise Physiology
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
1

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 4140
Psychopharmacology
PSY 4150
Science of Sleep
PSY 4350
Health Psychology
PSY 4390
Abnormal Psychology