Mission of the Undergraduate Psychology-Neuroscience Program
Overview: Neuroscience is a 55-credit, multidisciplinary major instituted jointly by the Psychology and Biology Departments. The major was approved by New York State in 2005 and began accepting students the same year. Neuroscience is an application-only, research-based major designed to take advantage of the Queens College faculty's strength in the field of neuroscience. The mission of this program is to prepare students to be competitive for graduate or professional study within neuroscience and related clinical fields (e.g., neuropsychology, neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatry, physician's assistant). Since its inception, the program has been privileged to admit some of the brightest and most motivated students at Queens College and it has produced more than 230 graduates. The success of the major is evidenced by the fact that over 75% of 2012-2018 graduates were accepted to graduate programs, including to some of the most prestigious schools in the country.
Curriculum for Neuroscience Major: The core curriculum for the Neuroscience major consists of 43 credit hours spread across three academic departments. The courses are: Introductory Psychology (Psychology 101), Statistical Methods (Psychology 107 or Biology 230), Experimental Methods (Psychology 213W or Biology 330), Introductory Chemistry 1 and 2 (Chemistry 113 and 114), Introductory Biology 1 and 2 (Biology 105 and 106), Behavioral Neuroscience (Psychology 243), Cell Biology (Biology 286), Neurobiology (Psychology 316 or Biology 373), and Research Independent Study (3 credits in Psychology, Biology, Chemistry, or Honors in Mathematics and Natural Sciences). Students must take an additional 12 credits from an approved list of neuroscience-related elective courses, most of which are at the advanced level (i.e., 300 level).
Learning Goals for the Neuroscience Major: The Neuroscience major was established with the goal of preparing honors-caliber students to be competitive for admission to graduate programs (i.e., MA, PhD) and other professional schools (e.g., Medical, Dental) in neuroscience and biomedical-related fields. In service of this goal, the Neuroscience major has the following learning goals for students:
- To attain foundational didactic knowledge of the field of neuroscience.
- To attain advanced laboratory skills beyond the usual undergraduate experience.
- To appreciate the realities of the day-to-day conduct of scientific research and thinking.
- To be able to read, comprehend, integrate, and critically evaluate neuroscience-related scientific literature.
- To use their knowledge of the scientific literature to design, conduct, analyze, interpret, and report neuroscience-related experiments.
- To learn to communicate their research findings orally in local, state, or national/international forums.
- To learn to communicate their research findings in writing (i.e., thesis).
- To gain the capstone experience of publishing a peer-reviewed paper in a scientific journal.