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What is Neuroscience?

As a field of study, neuroscience includes any type of research related to the function of the central and peripheral nervous systems, i.e., the brain, spinal cord, nerves, and sensory organs. As such, neuroscience is incredibly broad and multidisciplinary. Neuroscientists may study the chemistry and physics of molecular interactions, genetics, cellular processes, interactions of neural systems, animal behavior, human cognition and psychology, disease processes, mathematical models, or computer-brain interfaces. Neuroscientists may be physicists, mathematicians, biologists, kinesiologists, physicians, psychologists.

Neuroscience @ UT Austin

Neuroscience is a thriving field at UT Austin. The faculty of the Department of Neuroscience represent the breadth of the field. The faculty page of our website gives a brief summary of each member’s research interests and many link to individual lab webpages. Additionally, there are many neuroscientists at UT who are affiliated with other departments and colleges and Dell Medical School. Most of these faculty are a part of the UT Institute for Neuroscience, which is a intradepartmental program that trains graduate students toward a Ph.D. in Neuroscience.

What do Neuroscience faculty do?

Most faculty in the UT Department of Neuroscience live dual academic lives, being intensely involved in both teaching and research. Faculty members teach lecture or laboratory courses for undergraduates. They also run labs doing cutting edge research in their field of interest. UT Neuroscience faculty receive research funding from both public funding sources, such as the National Institute for Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and private foundations. In the lab, faculty members train and mentor researchers ranging from undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, to staff scientists.

What do Neuroscience students do?

Neuroscience majors at UT receive strong training in concepts and practice of neuroscience through coursework in neuroscience and related science and math disciplines. All neuroscience majors take lower-division coursework in calculus, biology, chemistry, physics. Depending on their chosen degree, they then take a number of cutting-edge upper-division neuroscience lecture and laboratory courses.

Many neuroscience majors also get actively involved in research. Many UT labs in Neuroscience and other departments accept undergraduates to assist with ongoing projects. In some cases, students can receive course credit for independent research work. If you’re interested in getting involved in research at UT, see our page on finding a lab.

Neuroscience majors at UT are also involved in a wide range of campus activities. There are a large number of science-related student organizations on campus. Hornslink is a valuable resource for finding clubs and organizations, both science and non-science related, and getting more involved in the UT community.