Neuroscience Major Requirements

A student must have 36 total credit units to graduate with a degree in Neuroscience. The major requires 18 credit units. Each major will be required to take all 10 credit units of the core requirements. Students can then take any eight (8) credit units from the approved course offerings. Most courses are offered only once each academic year.  It is therefore imperative that majors plan at least one year ahead to be sure to complete the Neuroscience requirements.  Students must earn a minimum grade of C- in courses taken to fulfill the major requirements. Neuroscience majors must have a minimum of 5 courses that they count only towards the Neuroscience major and not also towards another a major or minor.  Students are encouraged to pursue independent research for credit (BIBB 399) during their junior or senior year.

Students may use BIBB LPS courses to fulfill Neuroscience requirements but may not be able to apply LPS credits from other departments towards the Neuroscience major.  Students considering taking LPS classes through other departments should meet with a Neuroscience advisor before registering for more information.

To graduate with a major in Neuroscience, students must complete the College Foundational and Sector Requirements, and Neuroscience major requirements, and a total of 36 credits.  Non-College coursework is limited to one or two courses.  Students considering non-College courses (e.g. courses in Nursing, Healthcare Management, Legal Studies, Marketing, Fine Arts, etc.) should consult with an Advising Dean about their total credit requirements.

Modification of Requirements

Course substitutions are not encouraged and must be brought to the attention of the Director or Associate Director. If such a petition is granted, it is the student's responsibility to ensure the exception is entered on their Penn-In-Touch worksheet. Any modification in the requirements (e.g. course substitutions) must be requested by the student no later than the first semester of their junior year.

Transfer Students

Transfer students declaring the Neuroscience major must complete the requirements for the major through a combination of transfer credits and Penn Neuroscience-approved coursework.  Transfer students should consult the College for information regarding course credit requirements (

Credit Away

Pre-approval is required for any courses taken at another university or during study abroad programs. To count courses towards the major, students must submit the course information through XCAT for pre-approval. No credit will be considered after completion of a course taken elsewhere.

Declaring the Major

Students are encouraged to declare the major when they are in their sophomore year, before selecting their courses for the Fall semester of their Junior year.  All students wishing to declare the Neuroscience major must have successfully completed, or be currently enrolled in, BIBB 109: Introduction to Brain and Behavior.  Students should meet with their College Advisor to have their Penn InTouch worksheet updated and made official.  Students must then complete the Major Declaration Worksheet and meet with a Neuroscience advisor during advising hours to declare the major.

Sample Schedule

A sample schedule for Neuroscience majors can be found here.

Introductory Chemistry (2 c.u.)

Course 1 - CHEM 100 or 101
Course 2 - CHEM 102

Introductory Biology (3 c.u.)

BIOL 101 (1.5 c.u.)
BIOL 102 (1.5 c.u.)
-- OR --
BIOL 121 (1.0 c.u.)
BIOL 123 (0.5 c.u. - Lab)
BIOL 124 (0.5 c.u. - Lab)
One 200-level BIOL course from following: BIOL 204, 205, 215, 221, 230 or 240 (1.0 c.u.)

Introduction to Brain & Behavior (1 c.u.)

BIBB 109 (or as BIOL 109 or PSYC 109)

Neural Systems and Behavior (1 c.u.)

BIBB 217, 227, 231, 233 or 249

Cellular Neuroscience (1 c.u.)

BIBB 240, 260, 269 or 270

Neurobiology (1 c.u.)

BIBB 251 (or as BIOL 251)

Statistics (1 c.u.)

One of the following: BIOL 446, STAT 111, PSYC 020, STAT 101


Elective courses for the BBB major include all BBB courses as well as selected courses in other majors that directly relate to, or are pre-requisites for, advanced study of neuroscience.  Because the BBB major does not include specific concentrations, students may choose any 8 of the following courses.  However, students are encouraged to choose 200- and 300-level courses that will prepare them for more advanced work that they wish to pursue.

Freshman Seminars

BIBB 030 - Neurobiology of Brain Disorders
BIBB 050 - Forensic Neuroscience
BIBB 060 - Music and the Brain

Cellular & Molecular Neuroscience

BIBB 350 - Developmental Neurobiology
BIBB 442 - Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
BIOL 204 - Biochemistry
BIOL 205 - Cell Biology
BIOL 221 - Molecular Biology and Genetics
BIOL 436 - Molecular Physiology
BIOL 456 - Neural Circuits for Survival
BIOL 466 - Molecular Genetics of Neurological Disease

Neurochemistry and Neuropharmacology

BIBB 269 - Autonomic Physiology
BIBB 270 - Drugs, Brain and Mind
BIBB 430 - Neurobiology Basis of Autism
BIBB 440 - Addiction Neuroscience
BIBB 469 - Stress Neuroscience
BIBB 470 - Animal Models of Psychiatric Disorders
BIBB 475 - Neurodegenerative Disorders
BIBB 480 - Biological Basis of Psychiatric Disorders
BIBB 481 - Behavioral Pharmacology
BIBB 482 - Clinical Psychopharmacology
NURS 306 - Opioids: From Receptors to Epidemics

Cognitive Neuroscience

BIBB 249 - Cognitive Neuroscience
BIBB 421 - Human Brain Imaging
BIBB 431 - Animal Communication
BIBB 432 - Animal Cognition
BIBB 473 - Neuroeconomics Seminar
* PSYC 207 - Introduction to Cognitive Science
* PSYC 247 - Neuroscience and Society
* PSYC 273 - Neuroeconomics
* PSYC 449 - Seminar in Cognitive Neuroscience- The Social Brain

Systems and Computational Neuroscience

BIBB 217 - Visual Neuroscience
BIBB 310 - Functional Neuroanatomy
BIBB 334 - Computational Neuroscience Lab
BIBB 417 - Visual Processing
BIBB 420 - Smell and Taste
BIBB 479 - Neural Systems & Behavior
BIBB 585 - Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience
BIOL 437 - Introduction to Computational Biology and Biological Modeling
* CIS 110 - Introduction to Computer Programming
* ENGR 105 - Introduction to Scientific Computing
* PSYC 111 - Perception

Behavioral Genetics and Behavioral Medicine

BIBB 375 - Lab in the Structure of Nervous System
* PSYC 162 - Abnormal Psychology
* PSYC 447 - Seminar in Neuroscience 
* PSYC 472 - Behavioral Biology of Women

Behavioral Neuroscience

BIBB 159 - Memory
BIBB 160 - The ABCS of Neuroscience
BIBB 227 - Physiology of Motivated Behaviors
BIBB 231 - Evolution of Behavior
BIBB 233 - Neuroethology
BIBB 240 - Human Chronobiology and Sleep
BIBB 260 - Neuroendocrinology
BIBB 271 - Primate Behavior Ecology
BIBB 460 - Neuroendocrinology Seminar
* CRIM 671 - Violence: A Clinical Neuroscience Approach
* PSYC 272 - Evolutionary Psychology
* PSYC 259 - Human Memory
* PSYC 449 - Educational Neuroscience


BIBB 399 - Independent Research
BIBB 492 - Experimental Methods in Synaptic Physiology
BIBB 499 - Senior Honors Thesis

* Students may not be able to apply LPS credits (-601 sections) from other departments towards the BBB major.  Students considering taking LPS classes through other departments should meet with a BBB advisor before registering for more information.

Students interested in taking graduate level courses for BBB credit should consult with the Director or Associate Director. A link to current neuroscience graduate course listings may be found at

CHEM 241 - Organic Chemistry
CHEM 251 - Biochemistry (Students taking CHEM 251 may not also count BIOL 204 towards the major.)
MATH 104 - Calculus
PHYS# 101 & 102 or 150 & 151 or 170 & 171 - Physics
STAT 102 or 112 – Statistics

* Students may not be able to apply LPS credits (-601 sections) from other departments towards the BBB major.  Students considering taking LPS classes through other departments should meet with a BBB advisor before registering for more information.

# All students must take two semesters to count toward the major. Only two credit units of physics may be counted toward the major. The lab portion of this course (1 c.u.) may be used to satisfy general SAS elective requirements