Program in Neuroscience

Academic Unit

Program Information

The Program in Neuroscience is offered by the Princeton Neuroscience Institute. The neuroscience certificate program is designed for undergraduates with strong interests in pursuing an interdisciplinary study of the brain. The program encourages the serious study of molecular, cellular, developmental, and systems neuroscience as it interfaces with cognitive and behavioral research. Current neuroscience research examples at Princeton include: plasticity and timing-dependent learning rules at synapses, coincidence detection and computation in dendrites, adaptation and pattern detection in neural circuits, cellular and circuit mechanisms of short-term memory, sensory-motor transformations in the cerebral cortex, neural stem cells in the adult brain, viral infections of the nervous system, brain-imaging studies of cognitive functions such as attention and memory in human subjects, and mathematical and computational analysis of neural network function.

The program offers a combination of courses and interdisciplinary research that meet the requirements of the molecular biology and psychology departments. Students majoring in other disciplines are also encouraged to enroll in the program. A course of study tailored to the requirements of their home department can be designed with the help of the program directors. In the past, students from a wide range of majors -- including engineering, economics, chemistry, art history, English, and music -- have successfully completed the neuroscience certificate program. Students in the neuroscience certificate program will be prepared to meet the entry requirements of graduate schools in neuroscience, as well as molecular biology or psychology.

Program Requirements

Students are admitted to the program by filling out an enrollment form that can be found on the Program in Neuroscience website.

Students in the program must complete as prerequisites either NEU 175 Introduction to Neuroscience or NEU 201/PSY 258 Fundamentals of Neuroscience, along with NEU 202/PSY 259 Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience.

Students are advised that NEU 175 and NEU 201 are considered equivalent courses. Although either will satisfy a prerequisite for the neuroscience certificate, only NEU 201 will count as a prerequisite for the concentration in neuroscience. Students who take NEU 175 and later decide to concentrate in neuroscience will still be required to take NEU 201, but will not receive course credit for doing so. Therefore, students who are deciding between the concentration and the certificate in neuroscience are strongly encouraged to take NEU 201.

In addition to the two prerequisites, all students are expected to take at lesat four neuroscience electives that span 3 out of 4 subject areas. These areas include 1) molecular/cellular/disease, 2) neural computation, 3) systems and circuits, and 4) social and cognitive neuroscience. Students should consult the neuroscience certificate website for the complete list of neurosciences electives.

In recognition that neuroscience is an interdisciplinary program whose excitement lies in new and changing areas at the interface of biology, psychology, and other related disciplines, alternative programs of study may be arranged at the discretion of the program directors and the Neuroscience Curriculum Committee.

Certificate of Proficiency

Students who fulfill all the requirements of the program will receive a certificate in neuroscience upon graduation.