University of Pittsburgh

Department of Neuroscience

Degree Requirements

To Declare

Students must earn a C or better in BIOSC 0150, BIOSC 0160, CHEM 0110, and CHEM 0120 to declare the Neuroscience major.


Major Requirements

In addition to the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences general education requirements, neuroscience majors must complete a minimum of 59 credits, detailed as follows:

Required Courses  

As of the 2101 term (Fall 2009) a "B-" or better ("C" will not do) must be earned in NROSCI 1000/1003 in order to enroll in subsequent Neuroscience core courses or advanced electives.

To complete the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences "Second W-Course in the major" general education requirement, students should enroll in:


Neuroscience majors must also choose two advanced electives from the following:
Students who matriculated in the term 2081 (Fall 2007) or later must complete a capstone experience.  The options for this requirement are one of the following:

Corequisite Courses

It is recommended that students complete introductory biology, chemistry, and physics courses during freshman and sophomore years. University Honors College (UHC) sections of many of these courses are also avaliable. Interested students should check with the department offering the course for more information.

Pre-med students should also take PHYS 0212 — Introduction to Laboratory Physics or PHYS 219 — Basic Lab Physics for Science and Engineering, along with a statistics course to meet medical school requirements.


Grade Requirements

Students majoring in neuroscience must take all courses listed above (both required and corequisite courses) for a letter grade.

NROSCI 1000 — Introduction to Neuroscience or NROSCI 1003 — UHC Introduction to Neuroscience must be passed with a "B-" or better* ("C" will not do). A passing grade below a "C" earned in any of the other required courses will be accepted only if it is balanced out with higher grades, so that the major GPA remains a 2.00 or better.

The cumulative corequisite GPA must also be 2.00 or better. In the corequisites, a passing grade below "C" in any course may be accepted only if it is appropriately balanced with higher grades. This requirement applies collectively to corequisite courses taught in the Department of Neuroscience (e.g., NROSCI 1070 UHC Human Physiology) and those taught in other departments.

*Students who took NROSCI 1000/1003 prior to the 2101 term (Fall 2009) must have earned a grade of "C" ("C-" will not do) in NROSCI 1000 Introduction to Neuroscience or 1003 UHC Introduction to Neuroscience as a prerequisite to taking any other departmental core or advanced elective courses.


Undergraduate Research

The Department of Neuroscience encourages interested undergraduate majors to gain research experience within an active neuroscience laboratory. The department is a world-class research department committed to high quality research and sharing the excitement of scientific exploration with trainees. Majors are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to do meaningful neuroscience research while still undergraduates. It is not unusual for majors to report their research at scientific meetings and to be published. While research experience itself has strong benefits, it is also useful for interacting more closely with professors and enhancing preparation for graduate or medical school. Most undergraduates who enroll in research for credit are interested in completing an independent project that results in an undergraduate thesis.

Departmental Honors

To receive departmental honors, students are required to maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.50, as well as a GPA of 3.50 in the neuroscience major. These students must also complete a substantial amount of experimental neuroscience research on an approved research project, give a public presentation of the work, and write a senior thesis based on their project to qualify for departmental honors.

The full faculty of the department approves departmental honors after consideration of all eligible students.

Please contact the advising office for more information.