Neuroscience Program Requirements
B.S. in Neuroscience Requirements (College of Natural Science)
B.S. in Neuroscience Requirements (Lyman Briggs College)
For Students Interested in Careers in Healthcare
Students who are thinking of pursuing a career in healthcare may have additional requirements outside of the neuroscience degree requirements. Please consult with the pre-health advising and resources page, meet with a pre-health advisor, and/or meet with your academic advisor to further discuss.
Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience Degree Requirements
Certain Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and International A Level test scores, in addition to dual enrollment and college credits earned elsewhere, may satisify certain B.S. in Neuroscience degree requirements.
- 1 semester of college-level writing
- 2 semesters of Integrative Studies in the Arts & Humanities
- 2 semesters of Integrative Studies in the Social Sciences
- NOTE: ISB & ISP requirements are fulfilled by the required Biology
and Chemistry courses as part of the Alternative Track to
complete the Integrated Science University Requirements.
- Honors College: Honors College students must take Honors Writing (WRA 195H), 2 Arts & Humanities (AH) substitutions, and 2 Social Science (SS) Substitutions. IAH and ISS courses must be Honors sections to count towards substitutions.
- University Diversity Distribution: For IAH and ISS courses, students must take at least one course focused on a National (N) topic and one course focused on an International (I) or Multicultural (D) topic.
Basic/General Science and Social Science Courses
- 1 semester of survey of calculus or calculus I
- 1 semester of statistics (cannot be STT 200)
- 2 semesters of biology with 1 semester of lab
- Molecular and cellular biology
- Molecular and cellular biology lab
- Organismal and population biology
- One semester of general chemistry with 1 semester of lab
- 2 semesters of organic chemistry
- 2 semesters of physics
- 1 semester of introductory psychology
Upper-Level Science Courses
- 2 semesters of introduction to neuroscience I and II
- 1 semester of neuroscience laboratory
- 1 or 2 semesters of physiology covering all the major organ systems
- 1 semester of biochemistry
- 1 semester of pharmacology
- 1 semester of either fundamental genetics or eukaryotic cell biology
Students must complete 15 credits in one of three concentration areas
Cellular and Developmental Concentration
This concentration focuses on the structure and function of the nervous system, looking at the basic biological processes of neurons and support cells of the nervous system. Because cellular neuroscience draws lots of its research techniques from molecular biology, there are opportunities to take molecular biology-focused courses. Topics covered can include the physiology of neurons, synaptic transmission, and cellular and molecular mechanisms of disease and addiction.
Behavioral and Systems Concentration
This concentration focuses on how neurons work together in networks (systems) to understand
the biological mechanisms underlying behavior, or actions. The interplay between the
nervous system/brain, behavior, and environment are also considered. Topics covered
can include sensory processes, genetic and molecular mechanisms of behavior, motivation,
and even the neurobiology of disease and addiction.
Cognitive and Computational Concentration
This concentration focuses on the neural mechanisms underlying mental process (i.e., cognition). Topics covered can include learning, memory, decision-making, and language acquisition. The goal is to learn more about the neural connections within the human brain that allows the brain to function and achieve performance, especially as it relates to forming and controlling thoughts.
Note: There can be a more computational/mathematical approach to this concentration if you wish to take more computational courses. The computational aspect of the concentration—of which there can be little to none if you prefer—is focused on using mathematical models/computer simulations to describe how electrical and chemical signals are used in the brain to represent and process information.
Other Undergraduate Degree Requirements
- Complete a minimum of 120 credits
- Earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better
- Earn a minimum major GPA of 2.0 or better
- Complete a minimum of 30 credits at MSU with a minimum of 27 credits on the East Lansing campus after reaching junior standing (56+ credits)
- No more than 10 of the last 30 credits may be transferred from another 4-year or 2-year institution, PRIOR APPROVAL IS REQUIRED
- No more than 60 credits from a community college will be allowed
- With the exception of courses taken during the Spring 2023 Semester, courses used to satisfy specific degree requirements cannot be taken as Credit/No Credit (CR/NC)
Students can take certain courses at other institutions and transfer them back to MSU for credit. Before taking courses at another institution, however, students must make sure the courses will transfer back to MSU as the appropriate credits. For more detailed information, please go to http://transfer.msu.edu/ to view active transfer equivalencies MSU has with other institutions and consult with your academic advisor.