Skip to main content

Undergraduate Programs


Neuroscience advisors can assist students in a variety of areas:

Declaring the Major

A student who is ready to declare a neuroscience (NSC) major should make an appointment with the undergraduate coordinator, Melinda Adelman. You must bring a printed copy of your academic history from Blackboard to the meeting. Together with the undergraduate coordinator, you will complete a NSC proposal and a semester-by-semester planning worksheet, and be assigned to a NSC faculty advisor.

The next step is to meet with your NSC faculty advisor. The best way to contact them is usually via email. Bring your NSC proposal, planning worksheet, and academic history to this meeting. Together, you will discuss the courses you have chosen to take, your career goals, and options for independent research should you be so inclined. After the advisor signs your proposal form, use it as a template to complete the major declaration form online, then return the signed proposal and planning worksheet to the undergraduate coordinator in Meliora 363.

The director of the undergraduate program will review your online declaration submission and match it against your proposal. This process cannot be completed if you have not returned your paperwork to the undergraduate coordinator. You will receive an email notifying you of either your declaration acceptance, or a request for modification and resubmission. Students should take special note of declaration deadlines as appointment slots fill quickly and the full major declaration process can take a week or more to complete.

The neuroscience major fulfills the natural science requirement of the Rochester Curriculum. Please note that when you fill out your online major declaration form, you will also be required to declare your social science and humanities clusters. If you are declaring neuroscience as a second major, you will need to note any courses that overlap with your existing majors and/or minors. See the course overlap policies below.

You must maintain a 2.0 grade point average in the major and you are expected to meet with your advisor at least once a year.

Changing your Major 

Want to make a change in your program of study? You should consult your faculty advisor and the undergraduate coordinator to be sure that the changes are appropriate and that they are noted in your advising record. All of the faculty, not just your assigned advisor, are available to consult with students on academic and career matters.

Top ↑

Course Overlap Policies

For double majors, no more than three courses may be used to fulfill requirements for both concentrations. Due to this policy, double majoring in neuroscience and brain and cognitive science is strongly discouraged. The allied field courses for the neuroscience major (chemistry, calculus, physics, and statistics) are exempt from the overlap rule.

For students declaring a major in neuroscience and a minor in another subject, no more than two courses may be used to satisfy both major and minor requirements. One overlap is permitted between a major and a cluster.

Top ↑

Advice About the Discipline

The faculty welcome contact with students curious about neuroscience. If you would like to know more about the program and what we do, and know a faculty member who might be able to help, you should approach that person directly.

For general advice about the department’s programs and courses, you should contact the BCS/NSC undergraduate coordinator, who will advise on a range of issues, including the content of courses, the structure of programs, and the organization of a concentration or a minor.

Students interested in neuroscience may also wish to join the BCS/NSC Undergraduate Council.

Top ↑

Transfer Credit Policy

Transfer credits from domestic colleges and study abroad programs are permitted for the neuroscience major with approval from the appropriate department(s). Incoming transfer students should seek course approval as soon as they arrive on campus. All other students must obtain approval for transfer credits before the course is taken.

You will need a transfer course approval form and the syllabus for each course you plan to take. Course approval forms can be obtained from the College Center for Advising Services in Lattimore 312.

Students who transfer to the University of Rochester from another institution may use transfer credits for a maximum of nine of the course (?) requirements for the neuroscience degree.

Course Specific Approvals

For courses with neuroscience content, the director of the undergraduate program can sign off on the courses directly.

For courses you wish to use in your major that are not neuroscience content (e.g., biology diversification electives, statistics, allied field courses), you must first get the approval of the department where the course would be offered if you were taking it at the University of Rochester.

The NSC 203 lab and the senior seminar (NSC 301/302) may not be transferred.

No more than one transfer course may be used as part of your neuroscience electives. Students must maintain the appropriate distribution between Group A, B, and C NSC electives. The department will assign the transfer course to a group at the time of approval.

Additional transfer credits may be applied to other parts of your major at the discretion of the department. Allied field courses and biology courses are frequently approved.

Once you have a signature from the appropriate department on your course approval form, the NSC director can then sign off that the course can be applied to your major requirements. Course approval forms and syllabi that are ready for the director’s signature can be dropped off with the undergraduate coordinator in Meliora 363.

Top ↑

AP Credits

AP credits are acceptable for calculus, physics, and chemistry. AP biology credits do not satisfy any course requirements for the neuroscience major. Students with AP biology credits are eligible for the BIO 112-113 sequence, but must still take a full year of introductory biology. AP statistics does not automatically satisfy the statistics requirement for the NSC major; students with AP stats credit should contact Dr. Kathy Nordeen ( about taking a proficiency test.

Students who have previously completed another introductory statistics course such as STT 211, PSY 211, STT 213, ECO 230, or DSC 262 should consult with the department. Students with AP credit for CHM 131 who advance to the CHM 171-172 organic chemistry sequence may take CHM 132 or may substitute an additional upper-level chemistry or biology elective to complete the introductory chemistry sequence. More advanced courses, such as MTH 164, STT 216, and PHY 141, are generally acceptable as substitutions for the courses listed here.

Top ↑