New in Fall 2020: Undergraduate Neuroscience Major

Case Western Reserve University will offer a new bachelor of science degree in neuroscience beginning fall semester 2020. Developed jointly by the Department of Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Neurosciences in the School of Medicine, the undergraduate program is highly collaborative and multidisciplinary. It will incorporate coursework and faculty participation from across the college (departments of biology; chemistry; cognitive science; mathematics, applied mathematics, and statistics; physics; psychological sciences; and philosophy); and medical school (departments of neurosciences and neurology).

Neuroscience is the study of the structure and function of the nervous system at molecular, cellular and systems levels, as well as the way the nervous system controls cognition, emotions and behavior. Previously, the biology department offered undergraduate neuroscience courses, while the neurosciences department focused on graduate education. With growing interest in the field, the two departments joined forces, marking the first-of-its-kind collaboration between the College of Arts and Sciences and School of Medicine.

The neuroscience major involves “faculty and instructors who are at the top of their fields in neurobiology,” said Joy K. Ward, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of biology. “I am eager to see the results of this collaboration in providing students with a first-rate classroom experience coupled with extensive opportunities to participate in hands-on research that advances our biological knowledge and benefits the human condition.”

The new degree program brings new courses, new collaborations, new research experiences and new students to the university. Students in the program will have the opportunity to conduct neuroscience research under the supervision of faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Medicine, and affiliates of the Cleveland Brain Health Initiative, including University Hospitals, Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth and the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center.

“We are excited to partner with the College of Arts and Sciences on this collaborative new degree,” said Stan Gerson, interim dean of the School of Medicine. “Partnerships like these are a hallmark of CWRU’s approach to education and add real-life meaning to our tagline, ‘think beyond the possible.’

“Neuroscience is an incredibly broad field that encompasses biological pathways, anatomy and structure, pathophysiology of disease and treatments, social considerations and population sciences to assess risks and consequences of neurodegeneration. We look forward to providing students the ability to work side by side with world-class researchers at our labs and faculty from our outstanding affiliate hospitals in Cleveland.”

Learn more about undergraduate courses and degree requirements for the BS in neuroscience as well as the new course offerings from the Department of Neurosciences.