Neuroscience Major, B.S.

Department of Psychology and Neuroscience

Visit Program Website

Davie Hall, CB# 3270

(919) 843-0174

Kelly Giovanello, Director of Neuroscience Curricula

kgio@email.unc.edu

Donald T. Lysle, Chair

dlysle@email.unc.edu

Regina M. Carelli, Associate Chair

rcarelli@email.unc.edu

Karen Gil, Associate Chair

kgil@email.unc.edu

Jeannie Loeb, Director of Undergraduate Studies

loeb@unc.edu

Desiree Griffin, Director of Undergraduate Advising

dgriffin@unc.edu

Kaitlin Blakemore, Student Services Manager

blakek@email.unc.edu

Christopher Coffey, Undergraduate Instructional Program Coordinator

ctcoffey@email.unc.edu

Neuroscience embodies the liberal arts experience as it draws on techniques and findings from several academic disciplines including biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, physics, and psychology. This program provides students with the fundamental knowledge and exposure needed to pursue careers and post-graduate studies in fields related to psychology, human development and aging, health and disease, rehabilitation, biomedical research, human-machine interactions, and other emerging disciplines.

The neuroscience major is open to all undergraduate students.

Department Programs

Majors

Minors

Graduate Programs

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the neuroscience program, students should be able to:

  • Knowledge Base: Demonstrate familiarity with the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and trends in neuroscience including its links to other science disciplines
  • Research Methods: Apply basic research methods in psychology, including research design, data analysis, and interpretation
  • Critical Thinking Skills: Demonstrate critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry, and when possible, the scientific approach to solve problems related to behavior and mental processes
  • Application: Apply psychological principles to personal, social, and organizational issues
  • Values: Demonstrate use of empirical evidence, tolerate ambiguity, act ethically, and reflect other values that are the underpinning of neuroscience as a science

Requirements 

In addition to the program requirements, students must

  • attain a final cumulative GPA of at least 2.0
  • complete a minimum of 45 academic credit hours earned from UNC–Chapel Hill courses
  • take at least half of their major course requirements (courses and credit hours) at UNC–Chapel Hill
  • earn a minimum of 18 hours of C or better in the major core requirements (some majors require 21 hours).

For more information, please consult the degree requirements section of the catalog.

Core Requirements
PSYC 175Introduction to Neuroscience (previously offered as PSYC 315)3
PSYC 210Statistical Principles of Psychological Research H3-4
or STOR 155 Introduction to Data Models and Inference
PSYC 270Laboratory Research in Psychology4
PSYC 222Learning H3
PSYC 225Sensation and Perception H3
Knowledge Electives (select at least six credit hours from list below)6
Mathematics, Methods, Statistics Electives (select at least six credit hours from list below)6
Additional Requirements
BIOL 101
101L
Principles of Biology
and Introductory Biology Laboratory H
4
BIOL 202Molecular Biology and Genetics H4
CHEM 101
101L
General Descriptive Chemistry I
and Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory I
4
CHEM 102
102L
General Descriptive Chemistry II
and Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory II H
4
CHEM 241Modern Analytical Methods for Separation and Characterization H2
CHEM 241LLaboratory in Separations and Analytical Characterization of Organic and Biological Compounds1
CHEM 261Introduction to Organic Chemistry I H3
CHEM 262Introduction to Organic Chemistry II H3
CHEM 262LLaboratory in Organic Chemistry1
COMP 116Introduction to Scientific Programming3
MATH 231Calculus of Functions of One Variable I H4
MATH 232Calculus of Functions of One Variable II H4
Select one course:4
General Physics I
General Physics I: For Students of the Life Sciences
Mechanics H
Introductory Calculus-based Mechanics and Relativity
Select one course:4
General Physics II
General Physics II: For Students of the Life Sciences
Electromagnetism and Optics H
Introductory Calculus-based Electromagnetism and Quanta
PSYC 101General Psychology3
Total Hours76-77
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

Knowledge Electives (6 Credit Hours)

BIOL 205Cellular and Developmental Biology H4
BIOL 425Human Genetics3
BIOL 450Introduction to Neurobiology 13
BIOL 455Behavioral Neuroscience 13
BIOL 458Sensory Neurobiology and Behavior 13
BIOL 542Light Microscopy for the Biological Sciences 13
BIOL 552Behavioral Endocrinology 13
BIOL 553Mathematical and Computational Models in Biology 13
CHEM 430Introduction to Biological Chemistry H3
COMP 401Foundation of Programming H4
COMP 410Data Structures3
COMP 411Computer Organization4
COMP 555Bioalgorithms 13
COMP 560Artificial Intelligence 13
COMP 562Introduction to Machine Learning 13
COMP 576Mathematics for Image Computing 13
COMP 581Introduction to Robotics 1, H3
COMP 631Computer Networks 13
COMP 633Parallel and Distributed Computing 13
COMP 651Computational Geometry 13
COMP 665Images, Graphics, and Vision 13
EXSS 175Human Anatomy3
EXSS 275LHuman Anatomy Laboratory1
EXSS 276Human Physiology3
EXSS 380Neuromuscular Control and Learning3
PHYS 133How Bio Works3
PHYS 405Biological Physics3
PSYC 245Abnormal Psychology H3
PSYC 320Drugs and Human Behavior3
PSYC 401Animal Behavior3
PSYC 404Clinical Psychopharmacology3
PSYC 415History of Neuroscience3
PSYC 420Functional Neuroanatomy3
PSYC 424Neural Connections: Hands on Neuroscience3
PSYC 425Advanced Perceptual Processes3
PSYC 426Molecular Mechanisms of Memory3
PSYC 427Neurobiology of Aging3
PSYC 428Neuroscience, Society, and the Media3
PSYC 429Neuroeconomics and the Science of Consequence3
PSYC 434Cognitive Neuroscience3
PSYC 437Neurobiology of Learning and Memory3
PSYC 469Evolution and Development of Biobehavioral Systems3
PSYC 507Autism 13
PSYC 568Emotion3
PSYC 602Evolutionary Psychology3
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

Mathematics, Methods, and Statistics Electives (6 Credit Hours)

BIOL 226Mathematical Methods for Quantitative Biology3
BIOL 226LMathematical Methods for Quantitative Biology Laboratory1
BIOS 500HIntroduction to Biostatistics 13
BMME 350Electronics for Biomedical Engineers 14
BMME 351Human Physiology and Biological Measurements for Engineers 14
BMME 445Systems Neuroscience 13
BMME 550Medical Imaging I: Ultrasonic, Optical, and Magnetic Resonance Systems 13
COMP 283Discrete Structures 23
MATH 233Calculus of Functions of Several Variables H4
MATH 381Discrete Mathematics 2, H3
MATH 383First Course in Differential Equations 1, H3
MATH 383LFirst Course in Differential Equations Laboratory 11
MATH 523Functions of a Complex Variable with Applications 13
MATH 528Mathematical Methods for the Physical Sciences I 13
MATH 528LLaboratory for Mathematical Methods for the Physical Sciences I 11
MATH 529Mathematical Methods for the Physical Sciences II 13
MATH 529LLaboratory for Mathematical Methods for the Physical Sciences II 11
MATH 535Introduction to Probability3
MATH 547Linear Algebra for Applications 13
MATH 555Introduction to Dynamics 13
MATH 564Mathematical Modeling in the Life Sciences 13
MATH 566Introduction to Numerical Analysis 13
MATH 577Linear Algebra 13
MATH 661Scientific Computation I 13
MATH 662Scientific Computation II 13
MATH 668Methods of Applied Mathematics I 13
MATH 669Methods of Applied Mathematics II 13
PSYC 402Advanced Biopsychology3
PSYC 403Advanced Biopsychology Laboratory H3
PSYC 533The General Linear Model in Psychology H3
STOR 215Foundations of Decision Sciences 23
STOR 415Introduction to Optimization 13
STOR 435Introduction to Probability 13
STOR 445Stochastic Modeling 13
STOR 455Methods of Data Analysis 13
STOR 555Mathematical Statistics 13
STOR 556Advanced Methods of Data Analysis 13
STOR 565Machine Learning 13
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

Sample Plan of Study

Sample plans can be used as a guide to identify the courses required to complete the major and other requirements needed for degree completion within the expected eight semesters. The actual degree plan may differ depending on the course of study selected (second major, minor, etc.). Students should meet with their academic advisor to create a degree plan that is specific and unique to their interests. The sample plans represented in this catalog are intended for first-year students entering UNC–Chapel Hill in the fall term. Some courses may not be offered every term.

Sample I

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterHours
CHEM 101
101L
General Descriptive Chemistry I
and Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory I
4
MATH 231 Calculus of Functions of One Variable I H 4
ENGL 105 English Composition and Rhetoric 3
Foreign language level 2 3
Lifetime Fitness 1
Hours 15
Spring Semester
CHEM 102
102L
General Descriptive Chemistry II
and Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory II H
4
MATH 232 Calculus of Functions of One Variable II H 4
PSYC 175 Introduction to Neuroscience 3
Foreign language level 3 3
Hours 14
Sophomore Year
Fall Semester
BIOL 101
101L
Principles of Biology
and Introductory Biology Laboratory H
4
PSYC 101 General Psychology 3
CHEM 241
241L
Modern Analytical Methods for Separation and Characterization
and Laboratory in Separations and Analytical Characterization of Organic and Biological Compounds H
3
COMP 116 Introduction to Scientific Programming 3
Approaches (e.g., VP) 1 3
Hours 16
Spring Semester
BIOL 202 Molecular Biology and Genetics H 4
CHEM 261 Introduction to Organic Chemistry I H 3
PSYC 222 Learning H 3
Approaches (e.g., SS/HS) 1 3
Elective 2 3
Hours 16
Junior Year
Fall Semester
CHEM 262
262L
Introduction to Organic Chemistry II
and Laboratory in Organic Chemistry H
4
PHYS 114 General Physics I: For Students of the Life Sciences 4
PSYC 210 Statistical Principles of Psychological Research H 4
Approaches (e.g., PH) 1 3
Hours 15
Spring Semester
CHEM 430 Introduction to Biological Chemistry (Knowledge elective #1) 3, H 3
PHYS 115 General Physics II: For Students of the Life Sciences 4
PSYC 270 Laboratory Research in Psychology 4
Approaches (e.g., LA) 1 3
Hours 14
Senior Year
Fall Semester
Knowledge elective #2 3
MMS elective #1 3
PSYC 225 Sensation and Perception H 3
Approaches (e.g., HS) 1 3
Elective 2 3
Hours 15
Spring Semester
MMS elective #2 3
Approaches (e.g., SS) 1 3
Electives 2 9
Hours 15
Total Hours 120
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

Sample II (for students with MATH 231 and CHEM 101/L credit)

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterHours
BIOL 101
101L
Principles of Biology
and Introductory Biology Laboratory H
4
PSYC 175 Introduction to Neuroscience 3
ENGL 105 English Composition and Rhetoric 3
Foreign language level 2 3
Lifetime fitness 1
Hours 14
Spring Semester
CHEM 102
102L
General Descriptive Chemistry II
and Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory II H
4
MATH 232 Calculus of Functions of One Variable II H 4
PSYC 101 General Psychology 3
Foreign language level 3 3
Hours 14
Sophomore Year
Fall Semester
CHEM 241
241L
Modern Analytical Methods for Separation and Characterization
and Laboratory in Separations and Analytical Characterization of Organic and Biological Compounds H
3
PSYC 210 Statistical Principles of Psychological Research H 4
COMP 116 Introduction to Scientific Programming 3
Approaches (e.g., VP) 1 3
Elective 2 3
Hours 16
Spring Semester
CHEM 261 Introduction to Organic Chemistry I H 3
BIOL 202 Molecular Biology and Genetics H 4
PSYC 270 Laboratory Research in Psychology 4
Approaches (e.g., SS/HS) 1 3
Hours 14
Junior Year
Fall Semester
CHEM 262
262L
Introduction to Organic Chemistry II
and Laboratory in Organic Chemistry H
4
PSYC 222 Learning H 3
PHYS 114 General Physics I: For Students of the Life Sciences 4
Approaches (e.g., PH) 1 3
Elective 2
Hours 16
Spring Semester
CHEM 430 Introduction to Biological Chemistry (Knowledge elective #1) 3, H 3
PSYC 225 Sensation and Perception H 3
PHYS 115 General Physics II: For Students of the Life Sciences 4
Approaches (e.g., LA) 1 3
Elective 2 3
Hours 16
Senior Year
Fall Semester
Knowledge elective #2 3
MMS elective #1 3
Approaches (e.g., HS) 1 3
Electives 2 6
Hours 15
Spring Semester
MMS elective #2 3
Approaches (e.g., SS) 1 3
Electives 2 9
Hours 15
Total Hours 120
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

See the program page here for special opportunities.