Neuroscience is the study of the brain and nervous system. It encompasses questions about the structure and function of the nervous system, neural development and plasticity, and how behaviors and cognition arise from the brain. Neuroscience is an inherently multidisciplinary area of study, integrating approaches from a diverse set of fields at many levels of analysis.

Minor Requirements


Students must complete six neuroscience-related courses to complete the minor. At least three of the classes cannot be counted towards the student’s major and must be classes offered by departments outside the student’s major department. Electives from outside departments allowed for a student’s major or courses used for a second minor cannot be double-counted for the Neuroscience minor. Students are strongly encouraged to talk with a Neuroscience adviser early in their academic career and to consult the catalog for course prerequisites when planning their Neuroscience minor.

Two introductory courses from different departments

Bio130 is required.  One additional introductory course can be selected from Psychology or Cognitive Science.

BIO 130Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology

4 units

COGS 101Introduction to Cognitive Science

4 units

COGS 104Introduction to Neuroscience

4 units

PSYC 101Introduction to Psychology

4 units

Methods or Statistics Requirement

One methods or statistics course selected from the following:

BIO 268Biostatistics

4 units

PSYC 200Methods in Psychological Science

4 units

COGS 201Empirical Methods in Cognitive Science

4 units

Neuroscience Elective I:

One advanced course in Biology selected from the following:

BIO 320Developmental Biology

4 units

BIO 333Neurobiology

4 units

BIO 340Sensory Biology and Neurophysiology

4 units

Neuroscience Elective II:

An advanced course in Cognitive Science or Psychology selected from the following:

Note that the only PSYC 490 that applies to the Neuroscience minor is the seminar taught by neuroscience faculty Dr. Dess or Dr. Chapman.


PSYC 322Physiological Psychology

4 units

PSYC 490Contemporary Topics Seminar

4 units

COGS 320Cognitive Neuroscience

4 units

Students looking to use PSYC 322 to satisfy a minor requirement must also successfully complete PSYC 322L.

Students looking to use COGS 320 to satisfy a minor requirement must also successfully complete COGS 320L.

Neuroscience Elective III:

A final elective class can be selected from the 300 level classes listed above in Core Courses or one of the following 200- or 300-level classes in Biology, Cognitive Science or Psychology.

BIO 221Molecular Biology

4 units

BIO 224Genetic Analysis

4 units

BIO 226Cell Biology

4 units

BIO 240Vertebrate Physiology

4 units

COGS 242Computational Approaches to Cognition

4 units

COGS 292Brain Plasticity

4 units

COGS 303/PSYC 303Topics in Neuroscience

4 units

PSYC 334Health Psychology

4 units

PSYC 336Evolutionary Psychology

4 units


Advisory Committee

Regular Faculty

Renee Baran

Associate Professor, Biology; Advisory Committee, Biochemistry

B.A., Macalester College; Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

Nancy Dess

Professor, Psychology; Advisory Committee, Kinesiology

B.A., University of California, Los Angeles; Ph.D., University of Minnesota

Carmel Levitan

Associate Professor, Cognitive Science

B.A., Stanford University; Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

Joseph Schulz

Associate Professor, Biology; Advisory Committee, Biochemistry

B.S., Indiana University; Ph.D., University of California, San Diego

Aleksandra Sherman

Assistant Professor, Cognitive Science

B.A., Rutgers University; Ph.D., Northwestern University

Kerry Thompson

Associate Professor, Biology

B.A., M.A., Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles