Neuroscience is the study of the biology and function of the central nervous system, with a special focus on the brain. The field has emerged during the past two decades as part of the explosive growth of research and interest in the neural sciences. An autonomous major in neuroscience was developed at the University of Pittsburgh in 1983, and it is among the largest undergraduate programs in neuroscience in the country, with nearly 300 students as majors.
The Bachelor of Science degree in neuroscience prepares students for the following:
- Advanced study in health-related fields, such as medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, public health, physical therapy, physician assistant, and exercise physiology;
- Graduate training in neuroscience and related fields in the biological sciences, and for a future career in a university, research institute, pharmaceutical company, or hospital;
- Research assistant positions in pharmaceutical, hospital, and university settings; and
- Public and private high school teaching following the completion of the teacher certification program in the School of Education.
The neuroscience major is designed to provide a broad and challenging sequence of courses in biological sciences, chemistry, mathematics, and physics, in addition to introductory and advanced courses in neuroscience. Students also may receive credit for original research projects they conduct in collaboration with faculty members. The relatively small size of the upper-level courses, the excellence of teaching, and the opportunity for research have been found to be especially attractive features of the major. A minor in neuroscience is also available. For more information on the major, the minor, and the Department of Neuroscience, see www.neuroscience.pitt.edu.