Director: Associate Professor Melissa VanderKaay Tomasulo
The human brain is one of the most complex structures in the entire universe. It is also the only organ that can study itself! Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary field of scientific inquiry that draws from many academic disciplines including biology, chemistry, philosophy, and psychology. Studying Neuroscience at Saint Michael’s allows you to thoughtfully contemplate the moral, ethical, and philosophical implications of neuroscience on society and the world. Through hands-on laboratory experiences and course discussions, you can build on this intellectual foundation by investigating such topics as the development of the brain and nervous system and their related structures, processes, and functions, as well as enhance your knowledge of various cognitive, physical, and behavioral processes that can facilitate or hinder nervous system health.
As a Neuroscience major you will investigate the brain and nervous system by focusing on multidisciplinary aspects of neuroscience through courses in Biology, Psychology, and Philosophy, including a Neuroscience senior capstone course. Majors share a similar program of six required core courses, but can focus their study in different directions (e.g., behavioral or cellular) through electives at the intermediate level and in senior study. These elective courses will provide fundamental knowledge and techniques in Biology and Psychology that apply to the field of neuroscience and its broader scientific context. You will further gain important skills in analytical techniques, reading and evaluating scientific literature, and written and oral communication in the sciences.
Neuroscience Major Learning Outcomes
1. Students should demonstrate a proficiency of the structure and function of the nervous system at various levels of organization.
2. Students should develop critical thinking skills to formulate scientific questions.
3. Students should understand how to construct testable hypotheses and design and execute investigations that contribute to neuroscience.
4. Students should engage in laborator investigations that focus on neuroscience.
4. Students should communicate results of scientific investigations effectively to scientific and non-scientific audiences in both the oral and written form.
5. Students should develop awareness of the philosophical, moral, and ethical issues raised by neuroscience and be able to evaluate arguments critically.