The Neuroscience curriculum allows students to learn by doing—by actively participating in course laboratories and learning to work hands-on with human electroencephalogram (EEG), research animals and methods of neurophysiology and neuropharmacology. Students have full access to all laboratory equipment in specific courses and for independent research.
Neuroscience is the interdisciplinary study of the neural underpinnings and consequences of behavior. Scholarship in neuroscience includes the philosophical inquiry into the nature of mind and experience, the empirical study of behavior and the resolution of the molecular and cellular underpinnings of neurophysiology. The neuroscience curriculum at the College has been designed to highlight those resonances and counterpoints among different fields of study that yield new perspectives on the biological basis of consciousness and behavior. The major provides students the opportunity to develop strong foundational training in the natural sciences, philosophy and psychology, as well as specific, rigorous training in the emerging core knowledge of neuroscience.
Neuroscience majors leave Muhlenberg with a proficient ability to carefully evaluate both neuroscience theory and data and locate these observations within the context of timely scholarship in the field. The critical skills required to complete this major will also foster creativity and proficiency in approaching problem solving, experimental design and empirical analysis in neuroscience. In the broadest sense, graduates in neuroscience will confidently embrace the unknown, develop multiple strategies for generating new knowledge and effectively articulate both what they do and don’t understand. Given the broad curriculum, faculty scholarly expertise and the many opportunities for faculty-student research collaborations, neuroscience majors are especially prepared for careers in academia, industry or the medical clinic.
Our faculty are outstanding teachers and dedicated, prolific research mentors in topics as varied as neurotransmitter receptors, sensory neurophysiology, pharmacology, learning and memory and the foundations of consciousness and cognition. Students often join a neuroscience faculty member’s research lab, co-author manuscripts with faculty and present research locally and nationally, including the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting.
Neuroscience classes are lively and diverse, and with good reason: students who major in neuroscience often have dedicated interests in other areas of scholarship and performance. Neuroscience students often pursue dual majors, with neuroscience frequently complimenting studies in philosophy, music, mathematics, English, theatre, dance and chemistry. Students leave Muhlenberg with exposure to the depth and breadth of neuroscience and its many interdisciplinary connections.