Carnegie Mellon University

Neuroscience Major

The Dietrich College of Humanities & Social Sciences and the Mellon College of Science have joined forces to establish an exciting interdisciplinary program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience.  See here for a complete list of major requirements.

MCS students

Students in the Mellon College of Sciences should first contact Drs. Carrie Doonan or Amanda Willard to begin to explore their options.

Dietrich students

Students in Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences should first contact Dr. Erik Thiessen to begin to explore their options.

Students who pursue this major will

  • Gain a broad understanding of Neuroscience at many different levels of analysis, including: cellular biology of the brain, brain systems, cognitive brain function, and computational brain modeling
  • Gain an understanding of the sciences underlying Neuroscience, including: Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Cognition and Psychology, and other emerging areas
  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of brain function in health and disease
  • Be familiar with neuroanatomy & neurophysiology and their implications for nervous system function
  • Be prepared for advanced study in neurobiology, cognitive neuroscience, and/or neural computation
  • Be able to collaborate with Neuroscientists across a wide range of systems and levels of analysis
  • Prepare for careers in Neuroscience related companies, Neuroscience research, and/or medicine
  • Be prepared for specialization within subfields of Neuroscience given their concentration selection

Neuroscience research

Neuroscience majors are encouraged to become extensively involved in research in one of the affiliated labs at CMU or other labs in the area.

Up to 9 units of applicable undergraduate research course work (e.g. 03-445 or 85-507/85-508) can count as a neuroscience elective (not towards a concentration).  A maximum of 27 additional units can be counted as a free elective.

Students may discuss with the major advisors to arrange a supervised research project and to prepare a formal thesis that is written and defended in the senior year, according to the guidelines of their college. This does not preclude a student from completing any of the options within the major nor is it the only way in which students can participate in undergraduate research, although it is excellent preparation for graduate studies. Depending on their college, this research program may require a minimum QPA and may contribute to Dietrich Psychology College Honors or MCS Biological Sciences Departmental Honors.

Double-counting restrictions and additional majors & minors

Students may not major in two concentrations.

Students using Neuroscience as an additional major or who have an additional major or minor to Neuroscience may only double-count at most 3 courses between this an their other major or minor (this restriction does not apply to prerequisites, General Education Requirements, or the General Science Requirements – section A).

Other majors and minors may have more stringent double-counting restrictions, please consult with your neuroscience advisors and with the advising staff for the relevant host department for the other majors/minors.