Major Requirements | Berkeley Neuroscience (2024)

Requirements for the Neuroscience Major

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Lower Division Prerequisites

The lower division prerequisites are generally taken in years 1-2.

Required courses (8 courses)

  • Chem 1A + 1AL: General Chemistry and Lab, 3 + 2 units, offered Fa, Sp, Su
  • Bio 1A + 1AL: General Biology and Lab, 3 + 2 units, offered Fa, Sp, Su
  • Physics 8A and 8B: Introductory Physics, 4 + 4 units, offered Fa, Sp, Su
  • Math 10A and 10B: Methods of Mathematics: Calculus, Statistics, and Combinatorics, 4 units each, 10A only offered in Fall, 10B only offered in springorMath 1A and 1B: Calculus, 4 units each, offered Fa, Sp, Su

Recommended course

  • Data C8, Stat 2, Stat 20, CS 10 or related.
    A data science, statistics, or programming class, will provide data and computational literacy that is useful in understanding the scientific process and the computational principles of brain function.

Test Scores:

The following AP, IB, or A-level test scores can fulfill lower division requirements:

Advanced Placement (AP) Exams:

  • AP Chemistry with a score of 5 satisfies Chem 1A/1AL
  • AP Biology with a score of 5 satisfies Bio 1A/1AL
  • AP Calculus, see the NEU Math Options

International Baccalaureate (IB) Exams:

  • HL Chemistry with a score of 7 satisfies Chem 1A/1AL
  • HL Math Analysis & Approaches, see the NEU Math Options

A-Level Courses:

  • Chemistry with an A satisfies Chem 1A/1AL
  • Biology with an A satisfies Bio 1A/1AL

Tier 2 Core Neuroscience Course Sequence (2 courses)

This two-semester core course sequence, Neuro 100A-100B, will span molecular, cellular, circuit-systems, cognitive, and behavioral neuroscience. Students who know their interest early can take 100A-100B in Year 2, following partial completion of the lower division prerequisites. It's generally recommended to have completed Bio 1A/1AL and Physics 8A before taking NEU 100A.

NEU 100A: Molecular & Cellular Neuroscience, 4 units, fall only
NEU 100B: Systems & Cognitive Neuroscience, 4 units, spring only

Scientific Communication Course (1 course)

NEU 110: Scientific Communication, 2 units, Fall and Spring, first offered Spring 2025

This course will use active learning to teach skills for organizing and presenting scientific ideas and evidence, both verbally and in writing. This course is generally taken during year 3.

Lab Course (choose 1 course)

Students will choose one lab course that matches their interests. The lab course is generally taken during year 3 or year 4.

NEU 171L - Neurobiology Lab, 4 units, Fall only
NEU 172L - Cognitive and Computational Lab, 4 units (first offered Fall 25)
NEU 173L - Neuroanatomy Lab, 4 units, Spring only

Tier 3 Elective Courses (choose 3 courses)

Students will choose 3 courses that match their interests. These courses are generally taken during year 3 or year 4.

NEU C121: Human Neuroanatomy, 3 units, planned for Spring 2025 (odd years)
NEU C124: Interface Between Neuroethology & Neural Engineering, 3 units, planned for Spring 2026 (even years)
NEU C125: Neuroethology CAPSTONE, 4 units, planned for Spring 2025 (odd years)
NEU C126: Hormones & Behavior, 3 units, planned for Spring 2025 (odd years)
NEU 128: Cognitive Neuro, planned for Fall 2025 (odd years)
NEU 151: Computational Neuroscience, planned for Fall 2025
NEU 152: Neuro Technology, 3 units, planned for Spring 2025
NEU 162: Learning and Memory, planned for Spring 2025
NEU 163: Brain Behavior & Environment CAPSTONE, planned for Fall 2025 (odd years)
NEU 164: Neurodevelopment, 3 units, Fall only
NEU 165: Neurobiology of Disease, 3 units, Spring only
COG SCI/PSYCH C127: Cognitive Neuroscience, 3 units, Fall only

Outside Perspectives Course (1 course)

We want students to integrate perspectives from other fields into their neuroscience curriculum. Thus, we will require one upper division class with at least 3-units in any other STEM or neuroscience-related field (MCB, IB, psychology, data science, chem, etc.). This course can be taken in any year.

The approved Outside Perspectives courses are on this list.

Optional courses and experiences

Optional Capstone Experience

Students can optionally choose to undertake a capstone experience. The capstone is a semester-long course in a small, interactive class setting.Some Tier 3 Elective courses are designated as capstone courses. In the capstone, students will intensively study one topic in neuroscience under faculty mentorship, and produce a substantial research paper on this topic.

Capstone courses will be focused on a specific topic in neuroscience, but will be designed with multiple reading, discussion, and writing assignments that create an intensive, course-long learning experience including close interaction with faculty instructors. Capstone courses will culminate in a substantial research paper on a topic related to the course subject matter, and tie in other areas of student interest. Capstone courses will be 4-unit courses, and will have substantially more out-of-class work, including reading and writing assignments, than Tier 3 courses. Capstone classes will be limited to 50 students for effective small-group teaching.

Optional Research and Honors Courses

Students are encouraged to do research in faculty laboratories for credit, both at the lower division level and upper division level. We will offer an Honors Research Course for students who want to pursue independent research and write an honors thesis. We will also offer Independent Research courses for students to earn credit for non-honors research.

Sample Plans

4 year plan

Fall

Units

Spring

Units

Year 1

Math 1A

Chem 1A/1AL

4

5

Math 1B

Bio 1A/1AL

4

5

Year 2

Physics 8A

Outside Perspectives

*Declare Neuro*

4

3

Physics 8B

Science Communication

4

2

Year 3

Neuro 100A

Elective 1

4

3

Neuro 100B

Neuro Lab

4

4

Year 4

Elective 2

3

Elective 3/capstone

3

3 year plan

Fall

Units

Spring

Units

Year 1

Math 1A

Chem 1A/1AL

4

5

Math 1B

Bio 1A/1AL

Physics 8A

4

5

4

Year 2

Physics 8B

Neuro 100A

4

4

Neuro 100B

Elective 1

Sci Com

4

3

2

Year 3

Neuro Lab

Outside Perspectives

3

3

Elective 2

Elective 3/Capstone

3

3

Transfer Start

Transfer students should complete lower division prerequisites before arriving at Berkeley so they canstart the Tier 2 core sequence at their arrival in Year 3. They can complete any missing lower division prerequisites in Year 3, while taking the core sequence. (This plan assumes lower division prereqs are finished)

Fall

Units

Spring

Units

Year 1

Neuro 100A

Sci Com

4

2

Neuro 100B

Elective 1

4

3

Year 2

Neuro Lab

Elective 2

4

3

Outside Perspectives

Elective 3/Capstone

3

3

Premed Plan


Fall

Units

Spring

Units

Year 1

Math 1A

Chem 1A/1AL

4

5

Math 1B

Bio 1A/1AL

4

5

Year 2

Physics 8A

Chemistry 3A/3AL

*Declare Neuro*

4

5

Physics 8B

Chemistry 3B/3BL

4

5

Year 3

Neuro 100A

Bio 1B

4

4

Neuro 100B

Outside Perspectives (MCB 102)

4

4

Year 4

Neuro Lab

Science Communication

Elective 1

4

2

3

Elective 2

Elective 3/capstone

3

3

Please contact our advising office with any questions, and meet with an advisor to explore your options.

Major Requirements | Berkeley Neuroscience (2024)

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