Neuroscience

PROGRAM OVERVIEW Students studying neuroscience at Drake University will be exposed to an interdisciplinary environment through coursework in physical and life sciences, close interaction with faculty, and the opportunity to participate in research projects. The interdisciplinary nature of neuroscience can be appealing to students in allied fields such as psychology and biology, thus making earning a double major or minor an attractive option. Moreover, it is important to note that courses that comprise the major are available to students majoring in other disciplines if the course prerequisites are met.

ACADEMIC PREPARATION Although no specific high school classes are required, a challenging high school curriculum with a strong emphasis on science and mathematics is highly recommended.

REQUIREMENTS FOR MAJOR  A B.S. in neuroscience requires a total of 64 credit hours of interdisciplinary coursework. General science requirements comprise 34 credit hours, while core requirements comprise 30 credit hours.

REQUIREMENTS FOR MINOR A minimum of 24 credit hours of coursework must be completed for a minor in neuroscience. A minimum GPA of 2.0 in psychology courses must be achieved, and courses taken on a credit/no credit basis may not be used for the minor.

DRAKE CURRICULUM The Drake Curriculum, required of all undergraduates, is designed to help students meet personal and professional goals as they acquire fundamental knowledge and abilities in ten Areas of Inquiry, including communication, critical thinking, artistic experience, historical consciousness, information and technology literacy, international and multicultural experiences, scientific and quantitative literacy, values and ethics, and engaged citizenship. Students work closely with their academic advisers to craft a program of study in general education that prepares students for civic and professional leadership.

The Drake Curriculum also requires a First Year Seminar, which fosters development of critical thinking and written and oral communication skills through a topical focus; and a Senior Capstone in which students demonstrate the capacity to bring information, skills, and ideas to bear on one project.

CAREER OPTIONS: There are many career paths available to students interested in neuroscience or related fields and a few are listed below:

  1. The B.S. degree is an excellent entry degree for those students considering graduate school in behavioral neuroscience, clinical neuroscience, or clinical neuropsychology. 
  2. In combination with the appropriate pre-medical curriculum (not given herein), the neuroscience program provides excellent preparation for many health-related careers, such as medicine and physical therapy.
  3. A neuroscience major or minor in combination with business courses is excellent training for pharmaceutical or biomedical marketing.
  4. There is a considerable need for scientifically educated writers in journalism and education.

INTERNSHIPS AND OPPORTUNITIES Internships are an excellent opportunity for students to apply the principles learned through coursework. While internship experiences vary depending on student career interests and site availability, they all provide a structured learning experience in which skills are applied and developed. Students may earn academic credits through internships (NSCI 192).

HONORS The department recognizes outstanding undergraduate students by presenting annual achievement awards for excellence in academic performance and for significant research contributions.

STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS AND ACTIVITIES Qualified students may join Drake's chapter of Nu Rho Psi, the national honor society in neuroscience.

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