Admission to the NSCS major

The NSCS Program has a pre-major with an admission process to gain entry to the full major. Students may declare Pre-Neuroscience and Cognitive Science upon application to the University or any time thereafter. Students must then complete a set of requirements to be eligible to apply to the full NSCS major. Admission to the NSCS major is competitive.


Students are typically in the pre-major for their Freshman and Sophomore years and apply to the major at the end of their Sophomore year. During their time as pre-majors, students work on completing their NSCS foundation courses and many of their general education and university foundation requirements. 

Students will typically enroll in NSCS 200- Fundamentals of Neuroscience & Cognitive Science in the spring semester of their Sophomore year and apply to the full major at the beginning of this semester. NSCS students should NOT take any of the upper-division NSCS core courses until after they have completed NSCS 200.

Admission to the full NSCS major

The admission process occurs once each year in the spring semester. Applications are typically accepted from the beginning of the spring semester through the end of January. 

Students are eligible to apply to the NSCS major when they:

  • have completed, or are enrolled in, the necessary NSCS foundation courses (this varies by Catalog Year and track and is detailed on the respective curriculum sheets
  • have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 in their chemistry, biology, calculus, and statistics (all students), plus philosophy and linguistics (cognitive science track only).
  • are currently enrolled in (or have already completed) NSCS 200.

Students who are officially declared in pre-NSCS and/or are enrolled in NSCS 200 at the beginning of the application period will receive notification of the application dates via email and/or through the NSCS 200 course D2L page. Occasionally students who are not declared in pre-NSCS and who completed NSCS 200 in a previous term wish to apply to the major. These students should contact the NSCS Program Coordinator well ahead of the application period and request to be added to the pre-NSCS email listserv so that they will be notified of the application dates.

Once the application period closes, the NSCS Admissions Committee will review the applications and will notify the applicants of the Committee's decision prior to the start of priority registration for Fall (usually mid-March). If applicants are selected for admission to the full major while still enrolled in NSCS 200, their admission will be conditional upon them completing NSCS 200 with a grade of B or better. If applicants are enrolled in either of their biology courses or general chemistry courses during the semester of application to the major, those grades will also need to be sufficient to achieve the required minimum 2.5 science GPA.

Students who are selected for admission to the full major will be officially admitted after the spring semester ends and they have received the required grade of B or better in NSCS 200 and the minimum 2.5 chem/bio average.

Once admitted to the full major, students will complete a set of  NSCS core courses and a set of electives. The NSCS electives have been organized into different emphases which focus on particular fields of study within neuroscience and cognitive science. NSCS students are also required to attend a minimum of two special lectures during their time in the full major- one on ethics and one on science policy- in order to graduate.

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