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Understanding the brain and the nervous system

Neuroscience is the interdisciplinary science focused on understanding the brain and the nervous system. Neuroscientists apply their expertise in behavioral psychology, biochemistry, cognitive psychology, computer science, developmental biology, genetics, molecular biology, pharmacology, and/or physiology to answer questions about the brain, behavior, thought, memory, emotion, or neuropsychiatric disease.

Special Learning Opportunities

The required courses for the major introduce students to the fundamentals of Biology and Psychology, followed by exploration of special topics in advanced courses chosen to best serve student interest.

In “Anatomy and Physiology: Nervous and Endocrine Systems,” students perform a dissection of a human cadaver, including an examination of the human brain and spinal cord. Seeing, holding, and dissecting a real human brain is an amazing experience that few undergraduates can get.

Recent examples of student research projects: “Moody Music Makes the Movie” tested the effect that different types of music played during a neutral video scene had on muscle and skin responses; “Mindfulness Meditation:  A Path to Achieving True Grit” tested whether meditation increased persistence and perseverance.

Students participate in a wide variety of off-campus experiences — from semester-long programs in England, Brazil, New Zealand and Tanzania to research opportunities in Germany and at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass.


Neuroscience majors could pursue studies in medicine, other health professions, veterinary medicine or graduate study in cellular, molecular, behavioral or systems neuroscience.

Graduates from the last ten years have gained admission to graduate programs at such institutions as Georgetown University, Indiana University, Purdue University and Southern College of Optometry.

Our alumni pursue a wide variety of careers including medicine, physical therapy, occupational therapy and scientific research.

Earlhamites in Neuroscience

Meredith Faller
Exploring Beyond Her Major

Meredith believes a liberal arts education at Earlham provides the freedom to choose one's own academic adventures and doesn't pigeonhole one into a Pre-Med track.

Yim Rodriguez
Art and Science

Yim Rodriguez '14 earned a full scholarship to participate in the Munich Brain Course, a week-long intensive study offered by the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität - Munich.

Distinctively Earlham
The Capstone Experience is an original research project on a topic that integrates Psychology and Biology. Students acquire an understanding of the principles of scientific research and critical thinking applicable to all sciences.


Yim Rodriguez ’14 earned a full-tuition scholarship to the prestigious Munich Brain Course at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität.
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