2015-2016 Catalog 
    Nov 20, 2018  
2015-2016 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Neuroscience Major

Major Requirements

The major in neuroscience requires a minimum of 15 courses, distributed as follows:

1. Core Requirement (9 or 10 courses)

Tier I (6 or 7 courses)

Tier II (3 courses)

Three courses selected from:

2. Sequence in Neuroscience (4 courses)

A sequence consists of a coherent grouping of 4 elective courses to be determined in consultation with an advisor in Neuroscience and approved by the Coordinator of the Intercollegiate Neuroscience Program. Areas in which a student may elect to specialize include, but are not limited to:

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Computational Neuroscience
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Motor Control
  • Philosophy of Neuroscience

3. Senior Thesis (1 or 2 courses)

Majors in neuroscience complete a 1- or 2-semester senior thesis in biology on a topic related to their sequence. For further information, see Senior Thesis in Science.


The introductory courses in biology, chemistry, and physics may also be completed through both semesters of the Accelerated Integrated Science Sequence (AISS ). Students who have completed the AISS sequence take up to 2 additional courses within their sequence selected in consultation with their neuroscience advisor.

Senior Thesis in Science

The senior thesis is a general education requirement and the capstone experience of a student’s undergraduate education. Students must complete a senior thesis in at least one of their majors under supervision of a faculty reader who teaches within that major, unless granted a special exception.

Science majors have the following senior thesis options. Refer to the major requirements above for major-specific senior thesis requirements.

2-Semester Thesis with Summer Research (2 courses, 1 credit)

Students interested in completing a 2-semester thesis by conducting a substantial research project during the summer after their junior year should register for one of the following pairs of courses in the 1st semester of the senior year. There is no credit or lab fee for 189L.

1-Semester Experimental Thesis with Lab (1 course, 1 credit)

Students interested in a 1-semester experimental thesis with lab take one of the following in the 1st or 2nd semester of the senior year:

1-Semester Library Thesis without Lab (1 course, 1 credit)

Students interested in a 1-semester library thesis without lab complete an extensive library research thesis in the 1st or 2nd semester of the senior year, chosen from:


The Senior Thesis Research Project course (188L) or the Summer Research Project course (189L) may  not be counted as elective courses in the major.

Special Options for Majors in Science

Dual Major in Science

Students selecting a dual major including science should discuss their program requirements with the conveners of the appropriate programs. Usually up to 2 electives in science may be waived for dual majors including science. Unless otherwise specified above or exempted by the appropriate convener of the Keck Science Department, science students with dual majors are required to complete a 1- or 2-semester thesis in science.

Honors in Science

To be eligible for departmental honors in a science major, students must:

  • Achieve a minimum GPA of 10.5 in courses in the major;
  • Complete a 1- or 2-semester thesis project in which the student has demonstrated excellence by making a significant contribution to the progress of the research, by producing a thesis document judged to be of honors quality by the department, by presenting the work in a cogent fashion, and by engaging in the departmental seminar program.

Students with a dual major including science who wish to be considered for honors in science will only receive honors if they:

  • Have completed all requirements for a full major in science and are granted honors, or
  • Qualify and receive honors in both disciplines of their dual major. See Academic Honors at Graduation  for details.

Study Abroad for Science Majors

The Keck Science Department supports study abroad for science majors, however majors need to be aware that spending a semester off-campus requires careful advanced planning and program selection. Science majors interested in study abroad should discuss their interest with their major advisors as soon as possible.

General Education Requirement Information for Neuroscience

General Education Requirement in Science

Every CMC student must complete one (1) laboratory science course offered by the Keck Science Department or elsewhere within the Claremont Consortium. This requirement must by satisfied by the end of the 2nd year at CMC.

General Education Requirements in the Social Sciences and the Humanities

For students with science majors, general education requirements in the social sciences and humanities must be met by courses outside of a student’s major field(s). Students who use any psychology course(s) toward requirements in the neuroscience major must take courses in all 4 of the fields of the social science (economics, government, history, and psychology), and in 2 of the 4 fields of the humanities (literature, philosophy, religious studies, and literature in a foreign language). Neuroscience majors who do not use any psychology course(s) toward neuroscience major requirements must take courses in 3 of the 4 fields of the social sciences and 2 of the 4 fields of the humanities.

Science majors with a dual or double major in either the humanities or the social sciences will be required to take an additional general education course in those categories.

Student Learning Outcomes of the Program in Neuroscience

  1. Discuss and analyze original scientific research articles on molecular biology topics.
  2. Interpret data, including identification of control versus experimental samples.
  3. Design controlled experiments to test specific hypotheses on a molecular biology topic.