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Undergraduate Neuroscience (ILM)

[download the Undergraduate Neuroscience ILM Brochure]

Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary field of science constituting the study of the nervous system. The Neuroscience integrated learning major (ILM) complements multiple undergraduate majors in several Schools and Colleges at Syracuse University including the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Engineering and Computer Sciences, Falk College, and the School of Education. Our students have matriculated from different majors including, but not limited to, biology, biochemistry, bioengineering, chemistry, communication sciences and disorders (CSD), computer sciences, linguistics, philosophy, political science, physics, psychology, public health, and public policy. We strive to be as inclusive as possible, and we will work with departments and colleges to facilitate student enrollment and completion of the ILM course of study.

This program of study requires coursework in at least three traditional academic departments. Elective coursework allows students to pursue their interests in a broad variety of departments, reflecting the diverse fields that constitute contemporary neural science. Areas of study include molecular, cellular, systems, and cognitive levels using research tools that vary from behavioral testing to electrophysiology to biomedical imaging to computational and theoretical work.

Finally, a capstone course examines how research in neuroscience touches on diverse problems beyond the laboratory.

The neuroscience ILM provides an excellent complement to undergraduate training in the base majors. Examples include:

  • For Biology and Biochemistry students, neurobiology has long been a core area of research. The neuroscience major offers Biology and Biochemistry students an opportunity to receive focused training in neurobiology and make interdisciplinary connections to study the brain from other perspectives.
  • Many of the disorders of interest to students studying Communication Sciences and Disorders, including aphasia, voice disorders, and hearing impairment, are directly caused by neural dysfunction. Consequently, tools from cognitive neuroscience are core techniques used to assess and study the auditory and linguistic systems.
  • The neuroscience ILM provides Linguistics students training in techniques of cognitive neuroscience and cognitive psychology that will enable them to pursue graduate training or employment in the growing field of neurolinguistics.
  • Philosophy students will learn about the biological substrates underlying consciousness and cognition.
  • Physics students acquire training that prepare them for graduate work in theoretical and computational neuroscience, as well as cognitive neuroscience.
  • Psychology students benefit from learning about the physical basis of cognition, behavior and, ultimately, the mind.
  • The ILM enhances the ability of Engineering students to contribute to cutting-edge technologies such as neural prosthetics and to construct intelligent devices that mimic human abilities in perception and reasoning.

Forms, Petitions, and Other Advising Resources

  • Form to declare the Neuroscience ILM as a major. (All Neuroscience ILM students must fill in this form and submit it to the Undergraduate Neuroscience ILM Primary Advisor, Robin Jones.)
  • Neuroscience ILM Advising Sheet .
  • Petition to combine the Neuroscience ILM with a major not on the current list of primary majors.
  • Petition for two electives with different course prefixes to be considered thematically related.
  • Petition to count a class not on the current approved list as a Neuroscience ILM elective.


Integrated Learning Majors (ILMs) are not stand-alone majors. Undergraduate students must combine the Neuroscience ILM with a primary major, which may include, but is not limited to, Biology, Biochemistry, Communication Sciences & Disorders (CSD), Linguistics, Philosophy, Physics, Psychology, Bioengineering, or Chemical Engineering.

Students can combine the Neuroscience ILM with other majors not listed in the previous paragraph by submitting a petition to the Undergraduate Neuroscience ILM Director, Kate Lewis.

The requirements to graduate with a Neuroscience ILM include:

  • overall GPA of at least 2.0;
  • GPA of no lower than 3.0 in 24 credit-hours counting towards the Neuroscience ILM (see the SU Course Catalog links below for current lists of required and elective courses);
  • a grade of no lower than "B-" in two required entry-level courses (BIO 211 and PSY 223);
  • completion of all the requirements necessary for the primary major.

Students will earn either a BS or a BA in Neuroscience, as dictated by the nature of their primary degree.

SU Course Catalog links: