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We offer 4 undergraduate degree programs in neuroscience. The default degrees granted are a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) via Option 3, or a Bachelor of Science and Arts (B.S.A.). Below is a brief discussion comparing and contrasting the degree programs.  Detailed descriptions of the requirements and curricula can be found in the UT catalog: BS Degrees and BSA degrees

Option 1: Neuroscience Scholars

This degree program provides strong training in concepts and practice of neuroscience through coursework in neuroscience and related science and math disciplines, cutting-edge upper-division neuroscience laboratory courses, and individual research. This degree involves a 3-course specialization in one of six areas: biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, physics, or psychology. Admission to this degree program requires an application. Applications are accepted at the end of each Fall and Spring semester. The advising office will notify eligible students via email. Details on the application process are available here.

Option 2: Neuroscience Honors

This degree is open only to students participating in the College of Natural Sciences Dean’s Scholars program. Information on the Dean’s Scholars is available here.

Option 3: Neuroscience

Option 3 is the default degree program to receive a B.S. in Neuroscience. Similar to Option 1, this degree provides strong training in concepts and practice of neuroscience. As compared to Option 1, this degree requires fewer upper-division lab courses, does not require individual research, and does not require a 3-course specialization in a related discipline.

Bachelor of Science and Arts in Neuroscience

This degree combines an abbreviated curriculum in neuroscience with a minor or certificate in another discipline. Compared to the B.S. degrees, the B.S.A. degree requires fewer upper-division neuroscience courses than the B.S. degrees. Because of the flexibility it affords, B.S.A. program is great for students who wish to complement training with neuroscience with training in another area, such as psychology, philosophy, or business. Many students who wish to pursue medical school or another professional school pursue the B.S.A. program in order to fit in other courses that they feel are prerequisite for their future training.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do the B.S. degrees differ from the B.S.A. degree?
The major difference between the B.S. and B.S.A. degrees is that the B.S. degrees provide stronger training in the practice of science. The B.S. degrees require upper-division laboratory courses in neuroscience or a closely related discipline (see catalog). The laboratory courses provide significant hands-on training in cutting-edge techniques, including electrophysiological recording, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), live cell imaging, human psychophysics, and molecular genetics. These are small courses in which you will have opportunities to conduct real experiments, analyze data, and present your findings. Although B.S.A. students may take our laboratory courses, neuroscience B.S. students have priority access to these courses with limited enrollment. B.S. students may apply up to 6 hours of independent study (NEU 377) toward their degree, whereas B.S.A. may apply a maximum of 3 hours. We expect that students who graduate with a B.S. in neuroscience will have the strongest training in several areas pertinent to the practice of science, including experimental design, data analysis and statistics, accessing and interpreting scientific literature, and scientific writing. As such, we feel that the B.S. degrees provide stronger preparation for graduate school in science than does the B.S.A. degree.

The B.S.A. degree requires fewer upper-division neuroscience courses than the B.S. degrees but requires that students complete a minor or certificate outside of neuroscience. Minors must be outside of the College of Natural Sciences, whereas certificates may be completed in any College at the University. Because of the flexibility it affords, B.S.A. program is popular among students who wish to pursue medical school or another professional school or wish to complement training with neuroscience with training in another area, such as psychology, philosophy, or business.

How are the B.S. and B.S.A degrees similar?
All of our degrees (with the exception of the B.S. Honors “Option 2”--see below) require the same lower-division coursework in calculus, biology, chemistry, physics. All neuroscience degrees require our introductory sequence, Neural Systems I and Neural Systems II. All of our neuroscience courses are applicable toward all degree programs (with the caveat that B.S. students may have an easier time getting into the lab courses). All of our degrees provide strong training in fundamental neuroscience.

How do the B.S. degrees differ from each other?
There are 3 neuroscience B.S. degree programs, described in the catalog as Option 1 (Neuroscience Scholars), Option 2 (Neuroscience Honors), and Option 3 (Neuroscience). Option 2 is only available to students participating the College of Natural Sciences Dean’s Scholars program. Students may apply for admission to Option 1 after completing Neural Systems I and II and other lower-division courses. Option 3 does not require an application.