Neuroscience Undergraduate BSc Program

Overview

Neuroscience is a rapidly emerging and interdisciplinary science that is uncovering the mysteries of how the brain and nervous system function. Neuroscience research is always evolving and changing our understanding of animal and human behaviour, cognition, the basis of many common diseases and the general mystery that the brain presents. The Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience program capitalizes on our diverse research expertise on campus to explore the nervous system from molecular, cellular, physiological, and behavioural perspectives. Building on a foundation of biological science courses, you will progress through a series of core neuroscience courses that synthesize and apply these perspectives to contemporary problems in neurological disease, toxicology and psychology.

Our program offers the opportunity to build a well-rounded foundation in all areas of neuroscience while allowing flexibility in 3rd and 4th year to customize your program with a variety of advanced courses in different fields. We focus on preparing students for their future studies and careers, whatever they may be. One of our primary goals is to keep the program relatively small to allow for continued support for each student as an individual and to have students interact with our faculty and staff regularly to build a network that will help them succeed both in University and post-graduation. We offer opportunities for workplace training for whatever you might be interested in. Our extensive and diverse research team offers opportunities in the 4th year of study to complete an intensive research project that will help prepare you for any number of careers, while our internship course offers the flexibility for those that are interested in more specialized careers. 


Undergraduate BSc Major Program Outline

The neuroscience undergraduate degree is a 4 year Honours program that combines courses and instructors from OVC (Ontario Veterinary College), HHNS (Human Health and Nutritional Sciences), MCB (Molecular and Cellular Biology) and Psychology to provide a diverse and interesting program for students. We have also developed a number of new courses that are only available to students in the neuroscience program.

Your first year is made up of all of the core courses that are required for all of our science programs; this is for two reasons, 1- to allow the development of well-rounded scientific knowledge and 2- to make is easy to switch to a different program within your first year of study. After year 1 of your program you will start to be introduced to more specialized courses. In your 3rd semester you will take Introduction to Neuroscience. This course will bring together your basic knowledge learned in first year and focus on applying it specifically to neuroscience. In year 2 you will also start to take classes that explore things like Behavioural Neuroscience, various physiology courses including Biomedical Physiology, Comparative Animal Physiology or Human Physiology and you will have the opportunity to register in some electives this year. There are a wide range of electives available to you, if you wish to obtain a Minor degree you can do so using these electives or you can take classes for fun/interest such as Wine Oenology and so many more.

In your 3rd year more specialized courses will become available to you including  Functional Neuroanatomy, Molecular Basis of Neurological Disorders, Cognitive Neuroscience and a hands-on lab based course that brings everything together Techniques in Neuroscience. This course is limited to students in the neuroscience major to enable us to focus on hands on small group learning to give you a rich introduction to real world neuroscience techniques and tools. You will find that in 3rd year you have much more freedom to take courses in the area that particularly interests you while still maintaining that ever so important interdisciplinary knowledge. You may wish to expand your skill set, network and employability by taking a unique internship course available to you.

In your 4th year you will have even more freedom to customize your program, in this year you will take courses including Current Issues in Neuroscience and Neuropharmacology. You will also have the opportunity to complete a 4th year research project, there are a number of possibilities here and if you need help looking for these opportunities you can contact the faculty advisors and/or program coordinator. 

There are 3 faculty advisors for the neuroscience program, John Vessey in MCB, Elena Choleris in Psychology and Leah Bent in HHNS. The neuroscience program coordinator is Josh Manduca. Contact information of faculty advisors is available on the Contact Us page.

For a full overview of the program, courses and requirements please refer to the Undergraduate Calendar.