B.S. in Neuroscience
The B.S. in Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary program emphasizing the relationship between the biology and chemistry of the nervous system and the behavior of an organism. This degree prepares students for medical school and other health-related fields, graduate study in neuroscience, and industry work in the neuroscience field.
The program blends core coursework in biology, chemistry, psychology, physics, mathematics, and computer science with dedicated neuroscience courses. Students choose elective courses in neuroscience or related disciplines, which enables them to tailor the degree to their specific interests. For example, students with a strong psychology interest may take a combination of psychology and neuroscience courses for their electives, while students with a biology interest may take more biology courses for their electives. The neuroscience curriculum is available in the university course catalog, which includes a list of pre-approved electives.
The B.S. in Neuroscience is a great option for students on a pre-med or other pre-health track. The majority of pre-health required courses count towards the neuroscience degree. Students do not need to officially declare a pre-health track, but should meet with both a Neuroscience Advisor and a Health Professions Advisor in the Center for Academic Affairs, Advising, Retention, and Transitions (CAART). Course requirements for specific pre-health tracks can be found at https://prehealth.gmu.edu/.
Research Opportunities at Mason
The Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience at Mason provides students with an abundance of opportunities to gain research experience.
The simplest way to begin gaining research experience is by volunteering as a research assistant in a lab at Mason. Typically, students begin seeking out research opportunities in their sophomore and junior years. The best way to find available research opportunities is to:
- Identify faculty whose research aligns with your interests. Neuroscience faculty research interests and contact information can be found on the faculty web page. You may also consider doing research with a faculty member outside of the neuroscience program. Faculty in Psychology, Biology, Bioengineering, and other departments are all good options.
- Contact faculty to set up a meeting and discuss available research opportunities in their labs. It is typical to reach out via-email. Keep e-mails brief, but include background about yourself, explain why you are interested in their lab. Demonstrate that you have read some of their research.
Once you have established research in a laboratory, you may be able to earn credit for this research through an Independent Study, the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program (URSP) with OSCAR, or an Honors Thesis. These options should be discussed with your research mentor.
There are several internship opportunities that may be of interest to undergraduates, both within and outside Mason. For example:
- George Mason Aspiring Scientists Summer Internship Program (ASSIP)
- Janelia Research Campus Undergraduate Scholars Program
- NIH Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Science
Research and Scholarship Intensive Courses
The Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience offers several laboratory courses where students design and execute original scholarly research projects as part of the course. Many students present their projects as Mason’s research symposiums and at regional and national meetings.