Earlham’s neuroscience program provides the opportunity for students to explore the complexities of the brain and nervous system and how they affect human behavior, thought, emotion and psychiatric disease.
You will have the opportunity to work closely with biology and psychology faculty who are devoted to helping you develop your research interests, establish professional networks and find your career path.
Top job industries for neuroscience majors include healthcare, research, and education.
“From 9th grade on I’ve been drawn to studying the brain. I took my first neural course then, and ever since I’ve wanted to know everything there is to know about it. I figured that there’s not a lot that we know about the brain, and it’s really cool to think that I could discover something that no one else knows.”
Malvika Dua ’20
“What really made me interested into neuroscience was that it makes us understand the relation between our brain and behaviors. In college, I took neural courses that introduced me to different mental illnesses. I discovered that preventive and treatment care of mental health comes at different levels including public health practices that is such an interdisciplinary field.”
Lobsang Palmo ’20
Understanding the brain and the nervous system
While at Earlham, you will be able to pursue original research topics with individual faculty members, and in your senior year you will develop and conduct your own neuroscience research project.
Human cadaver lab
In the anatomy and physiology course you will conduct a dissection of a human cadaver. This opportunity to conduct a detailed, scientific examination of a real human body and brain is rarely provided to undergraduate students at liberal arts colleges.
Internships and research experiences
Funded summer internships are available at the Stark Neuroscience Research Institute of the Indiana University School of Medicine as well as other locations.
Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary field of study and so you will work closely with professors in both the biology and psychology departments.
Frequently asked questions
Neuroscience majors can pursue graduate study in human or veterinary medicine, healthcare, as well as highly specialized neuroscience programs in biology and psychology.
Recent graduates are pursuing advanced degrees at University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins, Cornell, UCLA, Carnegie Mellon, University of Michigan and University of Edinburgh, to name a few. Our alumni pursue a wide variety of careers, including medicine, healthcare, scientific research and physical/occupational therapy.
Many Earlhamites have interned at the Stark Neuroscience Research Institute of the Indiana University School of Medicine, and funding is available for these interns through the Earlham Center for Global and Career Education.
Other neuroscience majors have interned as research assistants at the Shanghai Mental Health Center, Schepens Eye Research Institute, the Regenstrief Institute, the University of Chicago and many other locations.
Yes! We strongly encourage first-year students who are considering a major in neuroscience to speak with their faculty adviser as early as possible about their interest in off-campus study. This allows your adviser to help you create a four-year plan that incorporates an off-campus semester into your coursework.
Learn more about available programs via our Center for Global and Career Education.
Are you fascinated by the human brain?
As an interdisciplinary major, Earlham’s neuroscience program draws on psychology, biology, chemistry and other fields, allowing for a deep and wide understanding of how the brain and nervous system work.
If you’re interested in a career in healthcare, medicine, scientific research or therapy, the neuroscience major might be a good fit for you.
After thorough grounding in the fundamentals of biology and psychology followed by exploration of special topics in advanced courses, the capstone experience for the neuroscience major is the completion of an original research topic that integrates psychology and biology.
For example, student projects have investigated the impact of peppermint on attention and performance.
Another student examined the impact of stress, isolation, and decision making in mice.
A third project examined how exposure to humorous stimuli influenced physiological stress responses.
As a Senior Research (PSYC 486) student, you can work with an animal if you:
- have substantial previous experience with your study species, to the point where you can work independently or with minimal guidance;
- and a faculty member with the species expertise has agreed on working together and on funding for the animals (even if a small cost is paid by you);
- have your research project designed and approved by IACUC prior to the beginning of their Senior Research course term;
- have completed all the training requirements for animal research at Earlham (Moodle Page: Animal User Guide), including medical evaluation, before the beginning of your Senior Research course term; and
- have the approval of one of the Senior Research (PSYC486) professors for the term you will be doing the research.