Neuroscience Major (CMNS)

Program Director:  Hilary Bierman, Ph.D.

The Neuroscience major is jointly offered by the Departments of Biology in the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences and Psychology in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences.

The Neuroscience major offers rigorous training in the interdisciplinary study of brain and behavior. Students complete a required set of NEUR courses as well as a supporting sequence of coursework in mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, and psychology. Students then choose an upper-level specialization and coursework in (1) cellular, molecular, and physiological neuroscience or (2) behavioral and cognitive neuroscience. The Neuroscience major prepares students for a broad range of career paths including: scientific research, medicine, clinical psychology, allied health professions, or science-related government, nonprofit, or private sector employment.

Admission to the Major

The Neuroscience major is a Limited Enrollment Program. Information on limited enrollment programs can be found at:

Transfer Admission Requirements
Students beyond their first semester and those off campus wishing to transfer are required to meet the following gateway criteria:

A minimum grade point average of 2.7 in all courses taken at the University of Maryland and all other institutions is required for internal and external transfer students.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate a knowledge base in the field of neuroscience and supporting disciplines.
  2. Describe the current techniques and strategies in neuroscience research.
  3. Demonstrate competence in scientific reasoning and critical thinking.
  4. Demonstrate effective effective professional scientific communication skills.
  5. Describe the role of neuroscience in social and cultural contexts as well as the influences of social and cultural context on neuroscience: understand the influences, current and potential, of neuroscience on other fields such as medicine, education, the arts, and the social sciences, recognize the relationships between scientific research and the culture(s) in which it is embedded, and understand and follow ethical practices in academic study, scientific research, and professional life. Students will be able to demonstrate how neuroscience research has been used to oppress and marginalize groups through history and how it might be used to mitigate disparities.
  6. Demonstrate an appreciation of possible career paths available to students proficient in neuroscience.
Course Title Credits
NEUR Required Courses
NEUR200Introduction to Neuroscience3
NEUR305Neural Systems and Circuits3
NEUR306Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience3
NEUR405Neuroscience Laboratory (Neurobiology Lab)3
Required Supporting Courses
MATH135Discrete Mathematics for Life Sciences4
or MATH140 Calculus I
MATH136Calculus for Life Sciences4
or MATH141 Calculus II
Principles of Molecular & Cellular Biology
and Principles of Molecular & Cellular Biology Laboratory
Principles of Ecology and Evolution
and Principles of Ecology and Evolution Lab
Chemistry I - Fundamentals of General Chemistry
and General Chemistry I Laboratory
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory I
Organic Chemistry II
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory II
General Chemistry and Energetics
and General Bioanalytical Chemistry Laboratory
PHYS131Fundamentals of Physics for Life Sciences I4
or PHYS141 Principles of Physics
PHYS132Fundamentals of Physics for Life Sciences II4
or PHYS142 Principles of Physics
PSYC100Introduction to Psychology3
UNIV100The Student in the University (or equivalent)1
Track Courses 1,216-20
Complete at least 5 courses, including at least 3 courses from within one track and at least 1 lab course
Biochemistry of Physiology
Biochemistry I
Principles of Genetics
Principles of Genetics and Genomics
Cell Biology and Physiology
or BSCI330H
Genomics of Sensory Systems
Biology of Vision
Molecular Genetics
Molecular Genetics Laboratory
Developmental Biology
The Origin and Evolution of Nervous Systems
Mammalian Physiology
Mammalian Systems Physiology
Mammalian Physiology Laboratory
Mammalian Systems Physiology Laboratory
Neural Systems
Diseases of the Nervous System
Motor Development
Neural Basis of Human Movement
Special Topics: Research in Neuroscience (Neuroscience Research: Molecular and Cellular)
Advanced Research in Neuroscience (Neuroscience Research Lab; BSCI399(H, L) may be substituted with permission)
BSCI338 or BSCI339 when specifically approved. Check with your advisor.
Principles of Animal Behavior
Animal Communication
Motor Control and Learning
Exercise and Brain Health
Special Topics: Research in Neuroscience (Neuroscience Research: Behavioral and Cognitive)
Advanced Research in Neuroscience (Neuroscience Research Lab; BSCI399(H, L) may be substituted with permission)
Know Thyself: Wisdom Through Cognitive Science
Philosophy of Mind
Fundamentals of Learning and Behavior
Introduction to Memory and Cognition
Animal Behavior
Introduction to Behavioral Pharmacology
Behavioral Neurobiology Laboratory
Science of Sleep and Biological Rhythms
Research Methods in Psychology Laboratory
Data Science for Psychology and Neuroscience Majors
Behavioral Genetics
(Neurobiology of Extraordinary Senses)
Psychology of Language
Cognitive Development
Advanced Special Topics in Psychology (PSYC489G: Hormones & Behavior)
Advanced Special Topics in Psychology (When specially approved. Check with your advisor)
Behavioral Genetics
Data Science for Psychology and Neuroscience Majors
Research Methods in Psychology Laboratory
Biology Department Research (BSCI399D Biology of Chemosensory Systems)
Total Credits75-79

Three pre-approved Neuroscience Research credits can be applied to the major as one course equivalent. One a single Research course equivalent can be applied to the major.


Four pre-approved NEUR479 credits in the same faculty research laboratory can satisfy the lab requirement.


Courses may be occasionally added or removed from this list. Not all courses may be available each semester.

Click here for roadmaps for four-year plans in the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences.

Additional information on developing a four-year academic plan can be found on the following pages: