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 eight (8) additional credit units of electives from the approved course offerings. Important Update for students graduating in 2026 or later, 3 credit  units of these 8 "additional electives" must be NRSC courses.

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 (NRSC 3999/BIBB 399) during their junior or senior year.

Students may not count NEUR LPS courses towards the Neuroscience major.

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 two courses outside the major.  Students considering non-College courses (e.g. courses in Nursing, Healthcare Management, Legal Studies, Marketing, Fine Arts, Bioethics, etc.) should consult with an Advising Dean in the College Office 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 online 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, NRSC 1110/BIBB 109: Introduction to Brain and Behavior.

Students wishing to declare the major should complete the following steps in order:

1. Students must download and complete the Major Declaration Worksheet and save the file as a PDF with the name "Neuroscience [LastName]". 

2. Make an appointment with a Neuroscience advisor during advising hours to discuss their plan to complete the requirements for the major. Students should email the worksheet to the Neuroscience advisor in advance of their appointment.

3. After meeting with an advisor, students must make an official request to declare the major on the College website at

Sample Schedule

A sample schedule for Neuroscience majors can be found here.

Introductory Chemistry (2 c.u.)

Course 1 - CHEM 1011/100 or 1012/101
Course 2 - CHEM 1021/102 or 1022

Introductory Biology (3 c.u.)

BIOL 1101/101 (1.5 c.u.)
BIOL 1102/102 (1.5 c.u.)
-- OR --
BIOL 1121/121 (1.0 c.u.)
BIOL 1123/123 (0.5 c.u. - Lab)
BIOL 1124/124 (0.5 c.u. - Lab)
One 2000-level BIOL course from following: BIOL 2810/204, 2010/205, 2311/210, 2210/221, 2410/230, 2610/240 or 3310 (1.0 c.u.)

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

NRSC 1110/BIBB 109

Neural Systems and Behavior (1 c.u.)

NRSC 2217/BIBB 217, NRSC 2227/BIBB 227, NRSC 2140/ BIBB 231, NRSC 2233/BIBB 233 or NRSC 2249/BIBB 249

Cellular Neuroscience (1 c.u.)

NRSC 2205, NRSC 2240/BIBB 240, NRSC 2260/BIBB 260, NRSC 2269/BIBB 269, NRSC 2270/BIBB 270 or NRSC 2350

Neurobiology (1 c.u.) (Offered Fall Semester Only)

NRSC 2110/BIBB 251

Statistics (1 c.u.)

One of the following: BIOL 2510/446, STAT 1110/111, STAT 1010/101


Elective courses for the Neuroscience major include all NRSC/BIBB courses as well as selected courses in other majors that directly relate to, or are pre-requisites for, advanced study of neuroscience. Students must take 8 courses from the following list as their "8 additional electives" to fulfill the major.  Important update for the graduating class of 2026 and beyond: At least 3 of these "8 additional electives" must be "NRSC courses". In other words, they must be courses that that begin with the course code NRSC.

Freshman Seminars

NRSC 0050/BIBB 050 - Forensic Neuroscience
NRSC 0060/BIBB 060 - Music and the Brain
NRSC 0090/BIBB 090 - Your Brain on Food

Cellular & Molecular Neuroscience

NRSC 2205 - Introduction to the Neuroscience of Learning and Memory
NRSC 2350 - Developmental Neurobiology
NRSC 4413 - Cellular Structure and Neurological Disorders
NRSC 4422 - Neuroimmunology
NRSC 4442/BIBB 442 - Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
NRSC 4485/485 - Nerve and Muscle in Health and Disease
BIOL 2810/204 - Biochemistry
BIOL 2010/205 - Cell Biology
BIOL 2311/210 - Human Physiology
BIOL 2210/221 - Molecular Biology and Genetics
BIOL 4310/436 - Molecular Physiology
BIOL 4116/456 - Neural Circuits for Survival
BIOL 4266/466 - Molecular Genetics of Neurological Disease

Neurochemistry and Neuropharmacology

NRSC 2269/BIBB 269 - Autonomic Physiology
NRSC 2270/BIBB 270 - Drugs, Brain and Mind
NRSC 4430/BIBB 430 - Neurobiology Basis of Autism
NRSC 4440/BIBB 440 - Addiction Neuroscience
NRSC 4469/BIBB 469 - Stress Neuroscience
NRSC 4470/BIBB 470 - Animal Models of Psychiatric Disorders
NURS 3060/306 - Opioids: From Receptors to Epidemics

Cognitive Neuroscience

NRSC 2249/BIBB 249 - Cognitive Neuroscience
NRSC 4233 - Seminar in Cognitive Neuroscience: Brain Development
NRSC 4421/BIBB 421 - Human Brain Imaging
COGS 1001/001 - Introduction to Cognitive Science
PSYC 2288/247 - Neuroscience and Society
PSYC 2555/273 - Neuroeconomics
PSYC 3100/474 - Being Human: The Biology of Human Behavior, Cognition, and Culture
PSYC 3232/449 - Seminar in Cognitive Neuroscience- The Social Brain
PSYC 3770/449 - Seminar in Cognitive Neuroscience- Educational Neuroscience

Systems and Computational Neuroscience

NRSC 2217/BIBB 217 - Visual Neuroscience
NRSC 4417/BIBB 417 - Visual Processing
NRSC 4420/BIBB 420 - Smell and Taste
NRSC 4450/BIBB 450 - Music and the brain: the new and old science of music
NRSC 4475/BIBB 475 - A Neural Systems Approach to Brain Disorders
NRSC 5585/BIBB 585 - Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience
BIOL 4536/437 - Introduction to Computational Biology and Biological Modeling
CIS 1100/110 - Introduction to Computer Programming
ENGR 1050/105 - Introduction to Scientific Computing
PSYC 1340/111 - Perception

Behavioral Genetics and Behavioral Medicine

PSYC 1462/162 - Abnormal Psychology
PSYC 3280/447 - Neurological Insights Into Cognition and Behavior
PSYC 3900/472 - Behavioral Biology of Women

Behavioral Neuroscience

NRSC 1159/PSYC 1530 - Memory
NRSC 1160/BIBB 160 - The ABCS of Neuroscience
NRSC 2227/BIBB 227 - Physiology of Motivated Behaviors
NRSC 2140/BIBB 231 - Evolution of Behavior
NRSC 2233/BIBB 233 - Neuroethology
NRSC 2240/BIBB 240 - Human Chronobiology and Sleep
NRSC 2260/BIBB 260 - Neuroendocrinology
NRSC 4433 - Neural Basis of Auditory Perception and Cognition
NRSC 4460/BIBB 460 - Neuroendocrinology Seminar
CRIM 2070 - Biopsychosocial Criminology
CRIM 6710/671 - Violence: A Clinical Neuroscience Approach
PSYC 2300 - Human Memory
PSYC 2900/272 - Evolutionary Psychology
PSYC 3230 - The Moral Brain Seminar
PSYC 3232 - The Social Brain Seminar


NRSC 3310/BIBB 310 - Functional Neuroanatomy Lab
NRSC 3334/BIBB 334 - Computational Neuroscience Lab
NRSC 3375/BIBB 375 - Animal Behavior Laboratory
NRSC 3492/BIBB 492 - Experimental Methods in Synaptic Physiology
NRSC 3999/BIBB 399 - Independent Research
NRSC 4999/BIBB 499 - Advanced Independent Research


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

CHEM 2410/2411/241 - Organic Chemistry (Only 1cu of organic chemistry lecture credit may be counted towards the major.)
CHEM 2510/251 - Biochemistry (Students taking CHEM 2510/251 may not also count BIOL 2810/204 towards the major.)
MATH 1300 or 1400/104 - Calculus
PHYS# 0101/101 & 0102/102 or 0150/150 & 0151/151 - Physics
STAT 1020/102 or 1120/112 – Statistics

# Only two credit units of physics may be counted towards the major. The lab portion of this course (1 c.u.) may be used to satisfy general SAS elective requirements.