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Degree: BS

Campus: Columbus

College: Arts and Sciences

A joint venture between the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Medicine, the neuroscience major leads to a Bachelor of Science degree, and its associated coursework represents the truly interdisciplinary nature of the field.  The university is home to over 150 neuroscientists conducting scholarly research in every sub-discipline and rapidly evolving area of neuroscience.  Additionally, the major capitalizes on the expertise and breadth of this renowned faculty group with members from several different colleges (beyond Arts and Sciences and Medicine, including Dentistry, Engineering, Business and Public Health) and numerous departments within these colleges teaching the major’s courses.

As a neuroscience major, you will benefit from instruction by the very world-class faculty that is generating the ground-breaking results described in your textbooks! There are also opportunities to contribute to this state-of-the-art research as an undergraduate research assistant. You can also apply to participate in the Honors Program and various neuroscience-related internships.

A bachelor of science degree with a major in neuroscience provides a strong foundation for graduate work in neuroscience, biomedical science and psychology, as well as professional programs in medicine, dentistry, physical therapy, veterinary science and law.  In addition, as a rigorous BS degree in the life sciences, it prepares you for employment, upon graduation, in a number of areas, including positions in hospitals or research laboratories, health services and pharmaceutical sales.

The expert advising staff and faculty of the Neuroscience major look forward to helping you proceed through your academic program. Please feel free to contact us at with any questions about the program.

The Neuroscience Undergraduate Advising Office is dedicated to helping students navigate and complete the undergraduate program by matching students' personal strengths and interests to pathways within the neuroscience curriculum and the university as a whole. They also help build Customized Career Plans for students to become competitive applicants for medical school, graduate school, dental school, NP, PA and many other career fields. 

We suggest making an appointment with one of our academic advisors to explore how the neuroscience major can be customized for your career and educational endeavors.  You can make an appointment with a neuroscience advisor at

Students majoring in neuroscience take a set of four foundational courses that serve as prerequisites for many of the advanced offerings. Upon completion of these core courses, students then declare a specialization and complete five courses in one of three areas:

  • Molecular/cellular
  • Systems/behavioral
  • Cognitive/computational

Students are also required to take two additional courses in either or both of the other specializations to gain broad familiarity with neuroscience. The neuroscience major requires successful completion of 36 degree hours.

Upon admission to the University, students can declare the pre-major in neuroscience. Once a student has completed the pre-major requirements, they can become a full neuroscience major and can work to earn their degree. The pre-major consists of five requirements:

  • See a neuroscience advisor to officially declare pre-neuroscience* 
  • Complete 24 semester credit hours, 12 of which must be Ohio State graded semester credits
  • Achieve an overall GPA greater than or equal to 3.0
  • Earn a "B" or better in Introduction to Behavioral Neuroscience and Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience
  • Complete the pre-major within the timeline set by your advisor (usually three semesters)

*Note that students who are declared as pre-neuroscience are still eligible to use all neuroscience advising services and attend all neuroscience events.

In order to declare the major or pre-major, current students must meet with a neuroscience advisor. To do so, please first attend an in-person information session. At the end of the session, you will be able to schedule an appointment with an advisor to officially declare.

Study abroad programs are a great way to engage in cross-cultural interactions, conduct research on topics of interest, and enhance your time at Ohio State. From conducting research in Copenhagen to helping build more connected communities in Ghana, neuroscience students have participated in a variety of study abroad experiences.

Please contact your neuroscience advisor for more information about the different types of study abroad programs that are available to neuroscience students.

Through a tailored combination of mentoring, observation and hands-on experiences, the neuroscience program offers many unique undergraduate internships. For example, our Ophthalmology Shadowing Internship is designed to help neuroscience students understand the realities of life as a doctor. In small student groups – with guidance from a carefully selected mentoring staff – neuroscience students spend time shadowing medical staff in a real clinical environment. Shadowing a physician or interning in a clinical setting allows participants to have a glimpse of how it is to have a career in medicine.  

Please contact your neuroscience advisor for more information about the many different types of internships that are available through the neuroscience program.

Honors students not only benefit from the smaller classroom sizes, professional advising, and access to priority scheduling, they also are able to take a more rigorous and tailored curriculum. Honors neuroscience students have the opportunity to take graduate-level courses, in addition to honors courses. This gives our honors students the ability to work directly with our distinguished faculty from both the College of Medicine and College of Arts and Sciences. It also better prepares students for the next step in their educational and vocational pursuits.

The Ohio State Scholars Program offers academically motivated students the chance to meet and live with other students who share similar interests and career goals. Students involved in any of Ohio State’s Scholars programs are free to declare neuroscience as their major. Students majoring in neuroscience may find a good fit within the Health Sciences Scholars Program, Mount Leadership Society, Biological Sciences Scholars Program or Dunn Sport and Wellness Scholars Program.

The neuroscience major and minor offer the chance to work on cutting-edge research projects with Ohio State faculty. As an undergraduate researcher, you can participate in each phase of standard research activity: developing research plans with a professor, conducting research, analyzing data, and even presenting research results in oral and written form. You can participate in neuroscience research during the academic year, as well as over the summer, and research can be done in any neuroscience-related lab that is willing and able to take on an undergraduate. Research projects can be as short as one term, or can continue for a year or more. Undergraduate researchers gain important hands-on experience that applies directly to careers after graduation and as graduate and professional students.

Students may sign up for varying amounts of course credit for their research participation. Three hours of research credit can be applied to the neuroscience major breadth requirements. It is expected that students looking for research have completed Psychology 3313 and Neuroscience 3000 with a 'B' or higher.

Benefits of Undergraduate Research

  • Explore the latest discoveries in the field of neuroscience in a new and exciting way.
  • Use research as a way to prepare for graduate or medical school, or learn skills for the workforce.
  • Get to know faculty, researchers, graduate students, and other undergraduates who share similar academic and career interests. Developing these connections can help you get strong reference letters.
  • Apply what you have learned in the classroom to real-world problems.

Contact your neuroscience advisor for more information about how to be a competitive applicant.

On our website, you can find a list of careers that actual neuroscience graduates from Ohio State have obtained. These include pharmaceutical technician, science writer, health educator, clinical research assistant, nonprofit work, and many others. Neuroscience also provides a solid basis for advanced degrees and specializations.

Please feel free to contact your neuroscience advisor for more information about how to prepare for these and other career fields.

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  • Over 150 nationally and internationally recognized faculty members
  • Undergraduates have access to exceptional classroom, research and independent study experiences
  • Faculty are recipients of numerous research, teaching and meritorious awards
  • Students are mentored in career exploration; medical, graduate and professional school preparation; and other educational pursuits

Interested in a career in the STEM fields?

Check out the STEM Pathway to discover the many majors Ohio State offers that can lead to a career in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.