Neuroscience Advising

Neuroscience advisors can assist students in a variety of areas:

Advice About the Discipline

The faculty welcome contact with students curious about neuroscience. If you would like to know more about the program and what we do, and know a faculty member who might be able to help, you should approach that person directly.

The undergraduate program administrator is also available to help you with a range of issues, including general advising, registration questions, academic policy questions, future course planning, study abroad, and major/minor declaration.

Students interested in neuroscience may also wish to join the BCS/NSC Undergraduate Council.

Declaring the Major

A student who is ready to declare a neuroscience (BNS) major should make an appointment with the undergraduate program administrator, Melinda Adelman. Together with the undergraduate program administrator, you will make a semester-by-semester course plan and be assigned to a Neuroscience faculty advisor. Both you and your new advisor will receive a copy of the course plan via email.

The next step is to meet with your neuroscience faculty advisor. Together, you will discuss the courses you have chosen to take, your career goals, and options for independent research should you be so inclined. Finally, you must complete the major declaration form online. The course plan you made with the undergraduate program administrator will be a useful guide to the courses you should include on the major declaration form.  

The director of the undergraduate program will review your online declaration submission and match it against your plan. Your declaration form will be rejected if you have not yet met with the undergraduate program administrator. Plan ahead as appointment slots can fill quickly. You will receive an email notifying you of either your declaration acceptance, or a request for modification and resubmission.

The neuroscience major fulfills the natural science requirement of the Rochester Curriculum. There will be space on the declaration form to select your clusters in social sciences and humanities. If you plan to complete an additional major or minor, you must submit a separate declaration form for each one.

You must maintain a minimum 2.0 grade point average in the major. Individual courses may have a grade below C as long as the major GPA remains above 2.0. It is recommended that you meet with your advisor at least once a year.

Making Changes to your Major

It is common to make changes to your course plan after your major is declared. You do not need to submit a new major declaration form, but you should work with your faculty advisor and the undergraduate program administrator to be sure that the changes are appropriate and that they are noted in your advising record.

Course Overlap Policies

Some courses for the Neuroscience major may also be applicable to other programs of study. A maximum of three courses may overlap between majors, two courses between a major and a minor, or one course between a major and a cluster. A small number of courses are exempt from these limits. See the College Center for Advising Services page on overlap policies for more details and a current list of exempt courses.

Transfer Credit Policy

Transfer credits from domestic colleges and study abroad programs are permitted for the Neuroscience major with approval from the appropriate department(s). Incoming transfer students should seek course approval as soon as possible after receiving an offer of admission. All other students must obtain approval for transfer credits before the course is taken.

You will need a transfer course approval form and the syllabus for each course you plan to take. Email the form and syllabus to a representative of the department where the course would be offered if it was taken at UR. The College Center for Advising Services maintains a list of transfer credit approvers for each department. Once the approval form is signed, email it to both the registrar’s office and the undergraduate program administrator.

Only one of the four NSCI elective courses may be satisfied with transfer credit (either domestic or study abroad). NSCI 203 and the senior seminar (NSCI 301/302) may not be transferred under any circumstances. Students who are granted transfer credit for NSCI 201 may still be required to take the accompanying lab (NSCI 201P). Additional transfer credits may be applied to the biology and/or allied field requirements of your major at the discretion of the department.

Incoming transfer students must complete at least 50% of their major requirements at UR. No more than 9 courses for the neuroscience major can be satisfied by transfer credit regardless of course equivalencies.

AP Credit, IB Credit, and A-Level Policies

AP or IB credits for calculus, physics, computer science, and chemistry may be applied to the allied field requirements of the major. Students who plan to take additional courses in those disciplines should consult with the appropriate department for course placement. Students with CHEM 131 credits who choose the honors organic chemistry sequence may use CHEM 171/173 as a substitute for CHEM 203/207 and CHEM 172/210 as a substitute for CHEM 132 to complete the required chemistry courses.

AP credits for statistics satisfy the stats requirement of the neuroscience major. However, students with AP statistics credits are strongly encouraged to take an additional statistics course such as STAT 216 prior to taking NSCI 203. STAT 216 or a similar course may satisfy one of the allied field requirements of the major.

AP or IB credits for biology do not satisfy any requirement for the neuroscience major. Students with AP/IB biology credits may opt to take BIOL 112L and BIOL 113L instead of BIOL 110/110L and BIOL 111L to fulfill the introductory biology sequence requirements.

Note that IB credit is awarded for higher-level (HL) courses only.

Credit is not automatically awarded for A-levels. Students with A-levels should see an advisor for the specific department(s) and ask for credits to be awarded via a transfer course approval form or memo to the College Center for Advising Services. A-level credits, if awarded, will be accepted similar to the AP credits outlined above.

All AP, IB, and A-level credits are considered transfer credits and count toward the limits noted above.