Best Neuroscience Undergraduate Programs

Neuroscience programs can train you in the rehabilitation of traumatic brain injuries or in the analysis of the biochemical basis of behavior. Read on for information on three top undergraduate neuroscience programs. Schools offering Anatomy & Physiology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Makes a Top Neuroscience Undergraduate Program?

Students in top neuroscience undergraduate programs perform research on the brain and nervous system, usually in conjunction with research institutes and teaching hospitals. These facilities offer extensive opportunities to conduct research with faculty.

If you're interested in a specific area, such as behavioral science or biochemistry, you'll want to identify schools that offer program concentrations, fellowships or internships in these sub-fields. If you're bound for graduate school, look for opportunities to conduct independent research projects. You might also consider graduate school program rankings.

What Are Three of the Best Neuroscience Schools for Undergraduates?

Columbia University in New York, NY

This Ivy League school was seventh among graduate neuroscience and neurobiology programs, according to U.S. News & World Report in 2010 (www.usnews.com). In 2007, The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked Columbia's faculty seventh for scholarly productivity in neurobiology and neuroscience (www.chronicle.com).

You can take an upper-level course with faculty from the Columbia University Medical Center's College of Physicians and Surgeons. You'll have research opportunities ranging from volunteer work on the Health Sciences Campus to competitive summer fellowships like the Amgen Scholars Program. The SURF and NYSTEM programs are available to students interested in stem cell research. You might work at the Mahoney-Keck Center for Brain and Behavior Research, the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology or one of 35 medical labs. You'll earn a Bachelor of Arts in Neuroscience and Behavior.

Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD

In 2010, JHU was ranked 18th among world universities, according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities (www.arwu.org). It was U.S. News & World Report's fourth-ranked school for graduate neuroscience and neurobiology programs in 2010. JHU faculty were ranked eighth in scholarly productivity for neurobiology and neuroscience, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education in 2007.

The JHU neuroscience undergrad program prepares you for advanced graduate research through fellowships, internships, work-study positions and recognitions such as the Provost's Undergraduate Research Awards. You could also conduct cross-disciplinary neuroscience research in the Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute's laboratories and the JHU School of Medicine.

Specializations within the bachelor's degree program include cellular and molecular, cognitive or systems neuroscience. Top students can apply for a joint B.A./M.S. neuroscience degree program in their senior year. The extended program permits a full fifth year of laboratory research experience. The following degrees can be pursued by undergraduates:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Neuroscience
  • Bachelor of Arts in Neuroscience/Master of Science in Neuroscience

University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA)

UCLA was named a 13th-ranked world university by the Academic Ranking of World Universities in 2010. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, it was ranked fifth in 2007 for faculty productivity in neurobiology and neuroscience.

The undergraduate neuroscience program at UCLA is a collaboration of faculty representing 11 scientific disciplines. The Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience offers research training throughout, beginning with freshman courses teaching laboratory and scientific communication skills. You'll produce a culminating research paper in order to graduate. You may work under research sponsors who are doctoral program faculty or members of UCLA's research institutes.

You can also participate in lectures or symposiums sponsored by the Neuroscience Undergraduate Society. Neuroscience research at UCLA is conducted through the Brain Research Institute and the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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