Yale College creates new neuroscience major

Yale College undergraduates for the first time can choose neuroscience as a major. The new major was developed through a joint effort by the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology (MCDB) and the Department of Psychology.

Neuroscience aims to understand how the brain produces behavior, with the goals of advancing human understanding, improving physical and mental health, and optimizing performance.  This entails a highly interdisciplinary effort that spans molecules to minds. 

“MCDB and Psychology worked closely together to create this major because we want our students to have broadly integrative and rigorous training in neuroscience, only possible through our joint curriculum,” said Marvin Chun, the Richard M. Colgate Professor of Psychology, and professor of neuroscience in the Yale School of Medicine, who helped spearhead the effort.

There has been a strong interest among students and faculty for a major in neuroscience, which is also the subject of several federal research initiatives, said Damon Clark, assistant professor of MCDB and of physics, who helped lead the collaboration in MCDB.

“Yale has an excellent neuroscience graduate program, and this new course of study builds on Yale’s strengths to offer an undergraduate degree in neuroscience,” Clark said.

Neuroscience majors will be admitted via application, and an unofficial course description and requirements are available here.

Qualifying students may receive a B.S. or B.A. in neuroscience as early as 2017-2018.

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Bill Hathaway: william.hathaway@yale.edu, 203-432-1322