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    American University
    Mar 22, 2023  
American University Catalog 2022-2023 
American University Catalog 2022-2023



Chair  Terry L. Davidson
Undergraduate Program Director  Catherine Stoodley
Ph.D. Program in Behavior, Cognition and Neuroscience Director  Mark Laubach

Full-time Faculty

Distinguished Professor  T. Davidson
Professor  M. Laubach, A. Riley, C. Saldanha
Associate Professor  C. Stoodley
Assistant Professor  L. Bayet

Program Overview

Neuroscience is a rapidly growing, interdisciplinary field that integrates research from biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, and other disciplines. Neuroscientists work on a range of problems that are important for understanding both typical and atypical brain function (for instance, genetics of developmental disorders, pharmacological actions of drugs, animal models of human neurological diseases, human cognition and perception). To prepare students to meet these interdisciplinary challenges, the Neuroscience (BS)  capitalizes on the strength of faculty and course offerings within the Neuroscience Department as well as from departments in the College of Arts and Sciences  and across the university. Neuroscience majors study biological and chemical mechanisms as well as behavioral, computational, and cognitive neuroscience. Two 200-level core courses in Neuroscience build a solid foundation in the field, and coursework in basic biology, chemistry, physics, and quantitative reasoning establishes a supportive general science background. Students achieve depth through upper-level specialization and research experience, and develop breadth by selecting courses from a range of possible electives. Completion of a research project in the final year is strongly recommended for students wishing to pursue a graduate research program. The Neuroscience (BS)  is particularly suited to students who are interested in the biological bases of behavior, including those interested in biology, psychology, and Premedical  studies.

Upon completion of the Neuroscience (BS) , students will:

  1. Demonstrate mastery of the foundational concepts in neuroscience and the fundamentals of other disciplines important for the understanding of brain and behavior;
  2. Understand the research methods involved in neuroscience research, from cells to systems;
  3. Be able to critically analyze neuroscientific literature;
  4. ​Be prepared to pursue graduate research and careers in and related to Neuroscience.

The Premedical  programs of the College of Arts and Sciences , including a Postbaccalaureate Premedical (Undergraduate Certificate) , are available to help students who are considering a career in medicine or one of the allied health professions.

Honors in Neuroscience

The Honors in Neuroscience  program offers Neuroscience majors the opportunity for an intensive supervised research experience in Neuroscience coupled with professional development. Research projects will be designed in conjunction with a faculty mentor and completed as part of a two-semester Honors Capstone project. Honors in Neuroscience students will also complete an upper-level seminar course focused on research methods and professional skill development, to prepare students to pursue careers in Neuroscience.


    Major Program (UG)Minor (UG)Master’s Program (GR)Doctoral Program (GR)