Undergraduate Study

Neuroscience BS

Capstone Major

The Neuroscience major is a designated capstone major. Undergraduate students have the option of conducting two terms of independent research within a faculty laboratory or completing an advanced laboratory methods course with a series of research modules. Through their capstone work, students demonstrate ability to generate testable scientific hypotheses and develop a research plan to test such hypotheses; work on research projects independently and in small groups; evaluate and discuss primary literature and the validity of hypotheses generated by others; communicate effectively orally and in writing; and demonstrate creative thinking.

Learning Outcomes

The Neuroscience major has the following learning outcomes:

  • Generation of testable scientific hypotheses and development of a research plan to test such hypotheses
  • Work on research projects independently and in small group settings
  • Evaluation and discussion of primary literature
  • Evaluation of the validity of hypotheses
  • Effective written and oral communication
  • Demonstrated creative thinking

Preparation for the Major

Life Sciences Core Curriculum

Required: Chemistry and Biochemistry 14A, 14B, 14BL, 14C, 14CL, and 14D, or 20A, 20B, 20L, 30A, 30AL, 30B, and 30BL; Life Sciences 7A, 7B, 7C, and 23L; Mathematics 3A, 3B, 3C, and Statistics 10 or 13, or Mathematics 31A, 31B, 32A, and Statistics 10 or 13, or Life Sciences 30A, 30B, and 40 or Statistics 13; Physics 1A, 1B, 1C, 4AL, and 4BL, or 5A, 5B, and 5C.

Each core curriculum course must be passed with a grade of C− or better, and all courses must be completed with an overall grade-point average of 2.0 or better. Students receiving grades below C− in two core curriculum courses, either in separate courses or repetitions of the same course, are subject to dismissal from the major.

Transfer Students

Transfer applicants to the Neuroscience major with 90 or more units must complete the following introductory courses prior to admission to UCLA: one year of general biology with laboratory for majors, preferably equivalent to Life Sciences 1 and 2, or 7A, 7B, and 7C, one year of calculus, one year of general chemistry with laboratory for majors, one semester of organic chemistry with laboratory, and one statistics course. A second semester of organic chemistry or one year of calculus-based physics is strongly recommended but not required for admission.

Refer to the UCLA transfer admission guide for up-to-date information regarding transfer selection for admission.

The Major

The Neuroscience major consists of 10 courses (approximately 43 units). Consult respective department or program sections for course descriptions.

Required Core: Neuroscience M101A (with grade of C− or better for Neuroscience majors), M101B, M101C, 102, Chemistry and Biochemistry 153A. Psychology 115 cannot be substituted for Neuroscience M101A; however, Physiological Science 111A can be substituted.

Elective Options: One course from each of the following three options:

Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience: Disability Studies M139, Music Industry M103, Neuroscience M119L, CM123, M130, M161, M170, C172, 178, 179, M187, 191A, Physiological Science M106, CM123, C144, 175, M181, Psychiatry 174, M182, Psychology 110, 112A, 112B, 112C, M117J, 118, 119A through 119F, 119I, 119J, M119L, 119M, M119O, 119R, 119S, 119U, M119X, 120A, 120B, 124A, 124B, 124C, 124K, 127B, M139, 161, or M166.

Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Neuroscience: Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology 162, Neuroscience M130, M145, C177, 180, 181, 182, 186, M187, 191C, Physics C186, Physiological Science M106, 121, C126, C127, M145, 146, 147, 174, 175, M181, Psychology M117J, 162, or M166.

Systems and Integrative Neuroscience: Neuroscience M119N, CM123, M130, M145, M187, 191B, Physics C186, Physiological Science M106, CM123, C126, C127, M135, 138, C144, M145, 146, 147, 173, 177, M181, Psychology 112B, 112C, M117J, 119A, 119B, 119I, 119J, 119M, M119N, 119Q, 119S, M119X, 120B, 124C, 162, or M166.

Capstone Research Options: (1) Neuroscience 101L or (2) Neuroscience 198A and 198B, or 199A and 199B. Students who select the Neuroscience 101L capstone research option must take four upper-division electives, with at least one from each of the three elective options. Students who select the Neuroscience 198A and 198B, or 199A and 199B option must take three upper-division electives, one from each elective option.

No more than eight courses may be from any one department. A maximum of 8 units of Neuroscience 198 or 199 in any combination) may be applied toward the major. Each course must be taken for a letter grade, and students must have an overall grade-point average of 2.0 or better in all upper-division courses taken for the major.

Honors Program

The honors program provides exceptional Neuroscience majors with the opportunity to do research culminating in an honors thesis. Majors who have completed all preparation courses with a grade-point average of 3.0 or better and an overall GPA of 3.2 or better may apply for admission to the honors program. Applications and program requirements are available in the Neuroscience Undergraduate Office. Students must submit the application before beginning their upper-division honors requirements. After completion of all requirements and with the recommendation of the faculty sponsor and a second reader of the thesis, the chair confers honors at graduation.