Neuroscience and Cognitive Science Curriculum

Choosing a track in the NSCS major

Beginning with the 2013-14 curriculum, NSCS students will choose one of  two tracks in the NSCS curriculum: either the Neuroscience track or the Cognitive Science track. All students who complete the graduation requirements for NSCS will receive the same degree- a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science- regardless of which track they elect to follow.

The 2013-14, 2014-15, and 2015-16 curriculum have a substantial common core of foundation courses and NSCS core courses.  All students have: a science core in biology, chemistry and physics; a psychology/philosophy core focusing on the mind of the individual; and a mathematics core in calculus, statistics and basic programming. All students take the Gateway course NSCS 200: Fundamentals of Neuroscience and Cognitive Science, and all students admitted to the program take a common core of courses in their 3rd year that together provide them with a solid foundation in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science.   

As NSCS majors, students go beyond the core courses by choosing to follow a largely Neuroscience path or a largely Cognitive Science path.  These additional upper division courses in each path are designed to enhance their knowledge and skills in the chosen content area. These students will have earlier made a soft decision to follow one track or the other by taking additional foundation courses that are specific to the track in which they are interested. While outside of the common core of foundation courses, the number of these additional courses is not so great as to substantially preclude movement between the tracks if the student so desires.  Finally, the program includes emphasis areas that constitute groups of courses aligned by theme.  These are elective courses within the major that allow students to customize the program to their own interests. They also give students the opportunity to substantially increase their depth of knowledge in a particular sub-area of neuroscience and cognitive science.  Students are encouraged to include independent or directed research a part of their study with their chosen emphasis.

New! Undergradute Certificate in Developmental Disabilities 

The Certificate Program is intended for future professionals in a wide range of settings where they will have clients or patients, or where they will conduct basic science research touching on issues in the lives of individuals with developmental and other disabilities.  The certificate provides upper-division undergraduate students with an opportunity to complete a 12-credit program addressing the research, policies and practices impacting the lives of people with developmental disabilities and their families. Course work addresses disability within the context of historical, sociopolitical, educational and health-related issues. Students will complete a scholarly research project, and will work with community organizations and participate in community events on disability. Certificate students are Sonoran UCEDD trainees with opportunities for training, conference support, and connection with other  trainees from across the country.

Students in the Development and Aging Emphasis in the NSCS program may elect to complete the 12-unit certificate as part of their 15-unit emphasis requirement. The 2-unit independent-study component of the certificate would be counted as research credit for the emphasis, and particular courses in the certificate menu that are especially neuroscience or cognitive science-oriented will be strongly encouraged.

For more information, see


Overview 13-17184.1 KB
Overview 17-18178.69 KB
Check Sheet 13-17699.61 KB
Check Sheet 17-18762.42 KB
Curr 13-17765.86 KB
Curr 17-18768.3 KB
Emphasis list - April 2017654.53 KB

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