How is the brain put together early in life? How do our sensory systems form an internal representation of our environment? How do different regions of our nervous system communicate to process this information and initiate behavior? What goes wrong in addiction, mood disorders, schizophrenia, and other mental illnesses?
Explore the inner workings of the mind in the Mason Undergraduate Neuroscience program. As a neuroscience student, you will gain a foundation in basic science that will prepare you to conduct independent research or take the next step in a health professional career. The core curriculum provides a multifaceted understanding of the brain at the molecular, cellular, network, and behavioral levels. You also have the opportunity to take special topics courses in areas such as Alzheimer’s Disease, neuropharmacology, and neuroethics.
Mason’s Neuroscience department combines the advantages of a large research institution with the personal attention of a small college. Our faculty conduct cutting-edge neuroscience research in a range of fields including developmental neuroscience, addiction, neuroeconomics, and neural engineering. Undergraduate neuroscience students are active contributors to these labs and have the ability to gain hands-on experience early in their careers. Research assistants often share their work at local and international conferences and even as co-author of peer-reviewed journal articles, while enhancing communication skills and learning the rigors of good science. Clinical research opportunities are available through Mason’s collaboration with INOVA health system, the INOVA Biomedical Internship in Neuroscience. Students have also interned at prestigious research institutions within an hour’s drive of the Fairfax campus, including Janelia Research Campus, National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Naval Research Lab (NRL), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center. Although conducting research is not a requirement for the Neuroscience BS, we strongly encourage students to pursue unanswered questions in neuroscience that intrigue them and help place them in a lab where they can gain the tools to answer those questions directly.
Many students continue on to graduate or health professional school, but a bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience paves the way for many career opportunities. These include roles as research assistant, teacher, or technician in diverse areas throughout government, industry, and academia. The interdisciplinary nature of the program covers the core components of a 4-year science degree while providing exposure to a variety of fields that might spark interest for the students’ future work.
All students have opportunities to