2023-2024 Catalog 
    Dec 06, 2023  
2023-2024 Catalog

Neuroscience Major

Major Requirements

The major in neuroscience requires a minimum of 14 courses, distributed as follows:

1. Core Requirement (9 or 10 courses)

Common Core (6 or 7 courses)

Common Core Electives (3 courses)

Three courses selected from:

2. Course Elective Specialization Courses (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
  • Clinical Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Computational Neuroscience
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Motor Control
  • Neuropharmacology
  • Philosophy of Neuroscience

3. Senior Thesis (1 or 2 courses)

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


  • Students studying abroad are allowed to apply a maximum of two courses toward their course elective specialization.

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.

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 3.5 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.

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 Requirements for Science Majors

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 in most science majors, including this major, must take courses in 3 of the 4 fields of the social sciences and in 2 of the 4 fields of the humanities for a total of 5 courses. 

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

The neuroscience major aims to provide students with skills and knowledge to prepare them to effectively engage and evaluate issues and innovations in neuroscience. In particular, the program prepares students for graduate programs in neuroscience and contributes towards the preparation for professional programs such as biotechnology and medicine.

A neuroscience major should be able to:

  1. Understand the structure and function of the nervous system at various levels of organization;
  2. Understand a number of research techniques in neuroscience and gain training in evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of various methods;
  3. Design experiments, analyze data, and think critically; and
  4. Critically evaluate published scientific literature.