What career paths are available in Neuroscience?

Graduates with an advanced degree in neuroscience are employed as scientists, consultants, technical specialists, and educators.  Their expertise is applied in the fields of biotechnology, drug discovery, toxicology, translational research, basic science, medicine, and higher education.  The specialties within neuroscience include:

  • Neuroanatomy, the study of the structure and organization of the nervous system. With dyes, histological staining, and antibody labeling, neuroanatomists analyze the structure and connectivity of the central nervous system and investigate how structure and connectivity change during lifespan development and in disease.
  • Developmental neuroscience, the study how the brain grows and changes. Developmental neuroscientists identify signaling pathways that govern how neurons differentiate and seek out and connect with other neurons.
  • Cognitive neuroscience, the study of the neural basis of higher brain functions such as perception, memory, and attention.  Cognitive neuroscientists usually study these processes in humans using psychological testing in combination with non-invasive brain imaging techniques, such as positron emission tomography and functional magnetic resonance imaging.
  • Behavioral neuroscience, the study of the neural mechanisms of behavior.  Behavioral neuroscientists typically study animals such as rats and mice. Their approaches include in vivo electrophysiology, which is the measurement of the electrical activity of neurons in behaving animals.  Behavioral neuroscientists also study the effects of drugs and brain lesions on behavior and psychological processes.
  • Clinical neuroscience, the study of the brain mechanisms of psychological and neurological disorders.  Clinical neuroscientists include psychiatrists, neurologists and other physicians who have completed a medical scientist training program culminating in M.D. and Ph.D. degrees.  Most medical scientists conduct basic, translational or clinical research in a medical or industry setting.  Many medical scientists continue to practice clinical medicine on a part-time basis while involved in research.

What can I do with a BS in Neuroscience?

Entry-level bachelor’s positions in neuroscience include positions within industry, government and academia as research assistants, laboratory technicians, consultants, marketing/sales representatives, educators and public health workers. Examples of recently posted positions requiring a bachelor’s degree include:

  • Neuroscience Sales Representative, with a focus on hospital clientele
  • Neuroscience Pharmaceutical Primary Care Sales Representative
 Consultant, for a neuroscience data sciences group
  • Research Associate, in a neuroscience laboratory
  • Operations Manager, for a neuroscience laboratory
  • Neuroscience Program Coordinator, conducting outcomes measures
  • Biological Technician, neuroscience laboratory

A website with more information on neuroscience careers can be found here.

What is the difference between BS, NEU and BS, BIO-NB?

The BS in Neuroscience provides undergraduates with a rigorous and multidisciplinary educational opportunity through a strong foundation in the core sciences along with a three-course specialization in one of six areas: biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, physics, or psychology. Features of the program include an emphasis on developing quantitative, statistical, mathematical, and computational skills required in neuroscience and a sequence of meaningful hands-on laboratory experiences. The program of work promotes the necessary foundational work in the sciences, including a common core of innovative neuroscience courses, while allowing students to focus on their particular area of specialization within a 120-hour undergraduate degree.

The BS Biology for Neurobiology degree provides a valuable introduction to neurobiology from the biological perspective and is a viable option for students interested in this.

How do I declare Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience as a major?

No degree major changes will be considered prior to September 1, 2012.

If you currently hold a declared major within the School of Biological Sciences, you may request your major be changed in their office, NHB 2.606.

Students enrolled in the College of Natural Sciences (not under the School of Biological Sciences) or any other College at The University of Texas may apply for a degree major change through the Undergraduate Dean’s Office in the College of Natural Sciences located in WCH 1.106.

What if I am not currently attending UT and want to apply for the degree program?

Please refer to the UT Admission’s website: http://www.utexas.edu/student/admissions/