Neuroscience Advising

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.

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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.

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 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.

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Transfer Credit Policy

A maximum of nine of the twenty course requirements for the major may be satisfied with transfer credits, if equivalency from appropriate departments is granted. For the most part, transfer credit will be applied to the biology and allied field requirements of the major. Only one of the four NSC elective courses may be satisfied with transfer credit (either domestic or study abroad). NSCI 203 and the senior seminar (NSCI 301/302) may not be transferred. Students who are granted transfer credit for NSCI 201 may still be required to take the accompanying lab (NSCI 201P). Transfer credit approval is awarded by the department where the course would be offered if it was taken at UR. Students should bring their syllabus and a course approval form to the appropriate department representative designated on the Authorized Approval List.

Incoming transfer students should seek course approval as soon as they arrive on campus. All other students must obtain approval for transfer credits before taking the course.

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 AP Credit, IB Credit, and A-Level Policies

AP or IB credits for calculus, physics, computer science, and chemistry may be applied to the allied field requirements of the major. Students who plan to take additional courses in those disciplines should consult with the appropriate department for course placement. Students with CHEM 131 credits who choose the honors organic chemistry sequence may use CHEM 171/173 as a substitute for CHEM 203/207 and CHEM 172/210 as a substitute for CHEM 132 to complete the required chemistry courses. AP credits for statistics do not satisfy the statistics requirement of the major, but students with AP statistics credit may use a higher level stats course as a substitute for STAT 212. AP or IB credits for biology are considered general elective credit only and do not fulfill any part of the neuroscience major.

Credit is not automatically awarded for A-levels. Students with A-levels should see an advisor for the specific department(s) and ask for credits to be awarded via a transfer course approval form or memo to the College Center for Advising Services. If credit awarded for A-levels is equivalent to an existing part of the neuroscience major, that credit will be accepted to fulfill the major requirement.

All AP, IB, and A-level credits are considered transfer credits and count toward the limit noted above.

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