Neuroscience Major


Started OSU AU22 Semester and After

If you started OSU before from AU22 to Present you will follow the GE-New Curriculum--referred to as the GENs.  
Also, you will be following the AU22 to Present Major requirements that are listed below.

Bachelor of Science New GE Requirements

Molecular/Cellular Specialization --COMING SOON
Systems/Behavioral Specialization --COMING SOON
Cognitive/Computational Specialization--COMING SOON


Started OSU Before AU22 Semester

If you started OSU before from AU18 to SU22 you will follow the original GEs--now referred to as the Legacy GEs.  
Also, you will be follow the original major requirements that are listed below--now referred to as the Legacy Major. 

Bachelor of Science General Education Requirements



Pre-Major Requirements for All Students

  • See a neuroscience advisor to officially declare Pre-Neuroscience* (incoming students will meet with an advisor during their first term at OSU)
  • Complete 24 semester credit hours, 12 of which must be OSU graded semester credits
  • Achieve an overall GPA greater than or equal to 3.0
  • Earn a "B" or better in Psych 3313 (Introduction to Behavioral Neuroscience) and Neuro 3000 (Introduction to Neuroscience)
  • Take Neurosc 1100 (H) and Earn a "B" or better
  • Complete the pre-major within 3 semesters or by a timeline set by your advisor

*Note that students who are declared as Pre-Neuroscience are still eligible to use all neuroscience advising services and attend all neuroscience events.

In order to declare the major or pre-major, current OSU students must meet with a neuroscience advisor. To do so, please first attend an in-person information session. At the end of the session, you will be able to schedule an appointment with an advisor to officially declare.

Major Organization

The requirements for the major are distributed across five categories: Pre-Requisites, Core Requirements, Data Analysis Requirement, and Specialization Requirements, and Breadth Requirements. Overall, students take approximately 12 classes (totaling 36 credit hours not including pre-requisites) to complete the neuroscience major. Students are also required to complete the General Education (GE) requirements for a B.S. degree from the College of Arts and Sciences.

Visit our Honors page for information on additional requirements for Honors students.

I. Pre-Requisites

Students who are pursuing a major in neuroscience should complete the following pre-requisite courses as soon as possible:

  • Psych 1100: Introduction to Psychology
  • Bio 1113: Energy Transfer and Development

II.  Core Requirements

Students majoring in Neuroscience take a set of 4 foundational courses that will serve as prerequisites for many of the advanced offerings.*

  • Psych 3313: Introduction to Behavioral Neuroscience
    • Earn a "B" or better in Psych 3313
  • Neuro 3000: Introduction to Molecular/Cellular Neuroscience
    • Earn a "B" or better in Neurosc 3000
  • Psych 3513: Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neuro 3050: Structure & Function of the Nervous System

*Students may take specialization and breadth requirement courses before completing all of the core requirements, provided the pre-requisites for the course in question are completed.

III.  Data Analysis Requirement

Additionally, students are required to take 1 of the following data analysis courses.

  • Psych 2220: Intro to Data Analysis in Psychology (Honors version is available)
  • Stats  2480: Statistics for Life Sciences
  • Stats  2450: Introduction to Statistical Analysis
  • MolGen 5650: Analysis & Interpretation of Biological Data I

IV.  Specialization Requirements

Once some of the above core courses have been completed, students then declare a specialization in one of three sub-disciplines of neuroscience (Molecular/Cellular, Systems/Behavioral, or Cognitive/Computational). Students must take 5 courses within their specialization.  These specializations are explored further below.

V. Breadth Requirements

Majors are required to take 2 additional courses in at least one of the other specializations in order to obtain broad familiarity with neuroscience.  Some of the courses overlap between specializations; you cannot count courses that are on your specialization and another specialization as a breadth classes. You may also count up to 3 hours of research credit for one of the breadth requirements with pre-approval from a neuroscience advisor.


Molecular/Cellular Specialization

Molecular/Cellular Neuroscience is a subfield of neuroscience that examines the mechanisms related to the basic biological processes of neurons and support cells of the nervous system.  Cellular & molecular neuroscientists tend to study how neurons communicate, how parts of neurons like axons and dendrites function, and explore the anatomy/physiology of neurons.

For a web-based version of the degree requirements, please go to our courses page.

Systems/Behavioral Specialization

Systems/Behavioral Neuroscience is a subfield of neuroscience that studies how neurons work together in networks to understand the mechanisms that underlie behavior. Behavioral & Systems neuroscientists tend to study how the nervous system is related to psychological and psychiatric disorders, how groups of neurons form distributed neural systems that are related to specified functions (e.g., learning, attention, and sleep cycles), as well as examines what happens when these systems become dysregulated.

For a web-based version of the degree requirements, please go to our courses page.  

Cognitive/Computational Specialization

Cognitive/Computational neuroscience is a subfield of neuroscience that studies the neural mechanisms that underlie mental processes. Cognitive & Computational neuroscientists tend to study how specific areas of the brain are related to thoughts and language, create mathematical models to understand cognitive processes, and may conduct research in areas of artificial intelligence.

For a web-based version of the degree requirements, please go to our courses page.

Additional Information

  1. Thirty-six (36) semester credits in approved Neuroscience coursework.
  2. A maximum of 18 hours of transfer credit can be used toward major requirements. Majors will follow the College of Arts and Sciences Bachelor of Science curriculum for GE and other degree requirements. For more information on the GEs, please visit the Arts and Sciences advising webpage or click here to explore GE options by category
  3. While Honors students are directly admitted to the neuroscience major, they must still meet the requirements of the pre-major (a 'B' or better in Psych 3313 & Neuro 3000 and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher) in order to remain in the program
  4. Students are encouraged to focus on completion of core requirements before beginning their specialization coursework.  
  5. For courses to apply toward the major, you must earn at least a “C“.  
  6. To earn your degree you will need an overall GPA of at least a 2.0 
  7. Research experience is also strongly encouraged, particularly for students considering graduate and professional training. You may enroll in a variety of 4998 opportunities. For more information, visit our research webpage.
  8. Up to 3 hours of experiential coursework can be applied to the breadth requirements of the major.  This experiential coursework can be from any combination of the following classes: Undergraduate Research (4998) and Individual Studies (3193). Pre-approval from your neuroscience major advisor is required.
  9. Students planning to graduate "With Honors in Arts and Sciences" should visit our honors webpage for information on Honors Contract requirements for neuroscience majors.
  10. Courses cannot count for both a minor and a major.