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Neuroscience is a broad and interdisciplinary subject, drawing from psychology and biology, as well as computer science, chemistry, engineering, medicine and other fields. Thus, the neuroscience curriculum provides breadth as well as depth in the core areas of neuroscience.

Neuroscience is a rapidly changing field, and those changes come about through intensive research. Students will gain experience with neuroscience research methods through laboratory work and are encouraged to engage in independent research in conjunction with a faculty mentor.

Potential majors are encouraged to begin planning their course of study by the end of their first year. 

Required courses are also intended to provide a strong background in the measurement of behavior. Then, students are expected to choose a set of electives that will lead them towards a broad understanding of the neuroscience field, as well as techniques used by neuroscientists to study the brain.  With this background, students are then encouraged to engage in a research project with a specific emphasis in neuroscience. For example electives in Computer Science and Mathematics could be selected that emphasize computational methods, leading towards a senior research project in computational neuroscience. Alternatively, a student might choose electives emphasizing cell or molecular biology, leading towards a research project in cellular neurobiology. The list of electives is adaptive. Students develop an elective list with an advisor that is subject to approval by the Neuroscience Steering Committee.

We encourage students to work closely with sponsoring faculty to learn experimental methods in neuroscience. Students fulfill their culminating experience by either conducting research in neuroscience under the direction of a faculty advisor or taking an upper level seminar with an emphasis in neuroscience. Faculty in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences provide a core resource for research opportunities for students; however, neuroscience research opportunities for undergraduate majors also involve faculty in the School of Medicine, the Thayer Engineering School, and other departments within the College of Arts and Sciences subject to approval by the Neuroscience Steering Committee.



  1. PSYC 6 Introduction to Neuroscience OR
    BIOL 34 Introduction to Neurobiology
    Note: Students cannot get major credit for taking both PSYC 6 and BIOL 34
  2. PSYC 10 Statistics OR
    BIOL 29 Statistics

And any 4 of the following courses:

  • MATH 3 Introduction to Calculus
  • MATH 4 Calculus with Applications
  • MATH 8 Calculus of Functions
  • CHEM 5, 6 General Chemistry
  • PHYS 3, 4 General Physics
  • COSC 1 Introduction to Computer Science
  • COSC 10 Problem Solving with Computer Science
  • COSC 31 Algorithms
  • ENGS 20 Introduction to Computer Science with applications in Engineering



Core Courses:

  1. PSYC 21 Perception OR
    PSYC 28 Cognition OR
    PSYC 27 Cognitive Neuroscience (note, students cannot get major credit for both PSYC 27 and 28)

  2. PSYC 45 Behavioral Neuroscience

  3. PSYC 46 Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience OR
    BIOL 12 Cell Structure and Function AND BIOL 13 Gene Expression and Inheritance

  4. PSYC 65 Systems Neuroscience

Elective Courses (two courses must be at the 40's level or higher).

The minor in neuroscience is administered by the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences and is overseen by the Neuroscience Steering Committee. It is intended to provide formal recognition for students who have concentrated some of their academic work in the interdisciplinary area of neuroscience. The courses come from the Departments of Biological Sciences and Psychological and Brain Sciences. The minor can accommodate majors in either department as well as majors in all other departments. The minor requires six courses: one prerequisite, two required courses, and three electives. One elective must be at the 50s level or higher. Many of the courses may require permission of the instructor in addition to prerequisite courses.



  • PSYC 6 Introduction to Neuroscience OR
  • BIOL 34 Neurobiology OR
  • PSYC 1 Introductory Psychology



Core Courses:

  1. PSYC 46 Cellular & Molecular Neuroscience OR
    BIOL 12 Cell Structure & Function
  2. PSYC 65 Systems Neuroscience 

Elective Courses (one course must be at the 50s level or higher):

  1. BIOL 27 Animal behavior
  2. BIOL 37 Endocrinology
  3. BIOL 69 Cell signaling
  4. BIOL 74 Advanced neurobiology
  5. BIOL 79 Genetics and physiology of behavior
  6. PSYC 21 Perception
  7. PSYC 27 Cognitive Neuroscience
  8. PSYC 45 Behavioral Neuroscience
  9. PSYC 28 Cognition
  10. PSYC 40 Introduction to computational neuroscience
  11. PSYC 43 Emotion
  12. PSYC 46 Cellular and molecular neuroscience
  13. PSYC 50 Issues in Neuroscience
  14. PSYC 51 Issues in Information Processing
  15. PSYC 52 Issues in Learning & Development
  16. PSYC 53 Issues in Social Psychology
  17. PSYC 60 Principles of human brain mapping with fMRI
  18. PSYC 64 Laboratory in sensory psychology
  19. PSYC 80s level Seminar
  20. PHYSIOLOGY 150 Seminar in molecular and cellular neuroscience

1.       SAT Reasoning or ACT (with Writing);

2.       2 SAT Subject Test Scores;

3.       The common application essay;

4.       Within the Common Application, Dartmouth’s writing supplement requires that applicants write a brief response to one of the following supplemental essay prompts. Candidates choose one topic and respond;

5.       A counselor recommendation and two teacher recommendations. In addition, a peer recommendation is strongly encouraged;

6.       Resume;

7.       Brief abstract of an independent research project;

8.       IELTS or TOEFL (no minimum scores).

Dartmouth Scholarships are need-based and are given without expectation of repayment. Amounts range from $1,000 to over $50,000, depending on our determination of your eligibility. Some Dartmouth students will be selected as recipients of one or more of our over 750 endowed scholarship funds. These awards are not additional money, but indicate that the aid already awarded will come from a specific endowed fund. No separate application is required. Students who receive scholarships from external sources can use these funds to reduce the loan and/or job portions of their financial aid packages. Veteran's benefits are included as a resource in the determination of eligibility for Dartmouth scholarship awards. Dartmouth College currently participates at 100% in the Yellow Ribbon Program which supplements GI Bill benefits. For U.S. citizens or permanent residents, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the only form required to apply for Federal Financial Aid. The federal government provides Pell Grants to students who qualify on the basis of financial need as determined by their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) are awarded by the College to the most needy students. They vary in amount but do not exceed $4,000 a year. When you apply for financial aid, your parents' country of residence will determine which documents you need to submit. Parents living outside U.S. and Canada should provide income/benefits statement from employer.

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