In the neuroscience BS degree, you’ll learn how the brain works and apply that knowledge to develop systems for new frontiers such as advancing artificial intelligence, combating neurodegenerative diseases, and assisting those with learning disabilities.
If you are drawn to questioning how we think, how we learn, and how understanding the systems in our brains can help change the world, then it’s time to consider RIT’s neuroscience BS. Major advancements in the field are expected in the coming years, and this degree in neuroscience will put you at the forefront of innovation.
RIT’s Degree in Neuroscience
RIT’s flexible neuroscience BS involves the collaboration of the College of Science and the College of Liberal Arts to provide you with a multidisciplinary opportunity to study the brain while developing your background knowledge in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Graduates will be prepared for a multitude of professional careers and pre-professional programs.
Real World Applications
Neuroscience is applied to a vast array of industries, including the rapidly developing field of artificial intelligence (AI). At the intersection of science, technology, and innovation, RIT is uniquely positioned to offer students a rich background in programming and computing as well as access to AI research projects to prepare for this booming field.
Study of the brain is also essential for understanding and combating neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Experts in neuroscience are at the forefront of treating mental illnesses and learning disabilities. With the combination of program electives and the opportunity to create your own track, you have the flexibility to design a neuroscience degree that will prepare you for admission to dental, medical, or optometry professional programs.
Neuroscience as a Major
Course of Study
Students may choose from three track options based on your course preferences and career goals: neurobiology, computational neuroscience, and behavioral neuroscience. In addition to tracks, program electives make it possible for a double major or twin minor to be completed by students who wish to do so. The track courses and program electives allow students to expand their knowledge in intersecting subfields of neuroscience such as biology, cognitive science, health science, psychology, and computing.
The lab requirements provide experience in the practical use of the equipment and methods used in the field of neuroscience today. This background gives graduates from this program a leg up when entering the workforce or continuing education.
Neuroscience Capstone I
You will be required to participate in a two-semester Capstone in your final year of study to enhance your skills in technical communication and scientific research practices. You will research, write, and present a proposal for an independent research project.
Neuroscience BS Tracks
Neurobiology track explores the branch of life sciences that deals with the anatomy, physiology, and pathology of the nervous system. Neurobiology centers around the study of nerve cells and the organization of these cells into functional circuits that process information and mediate behavior. Develop an in-depth understanding of how information is processed and stored in the brain and the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying neural functioning.
Computational neuroscience track studies the relationship between neuroscience and artificial intelligence (AI). The development of artificial neural networks was inspired by studying brain function. AI researchers aim to emulate human intelligence by building models and developing biologically-inspired architectures that can make decisions and solve problems in the same way that humans do. Artificial intelligence is also increasingly used as a research tool in neuroscience to advance our understanding of how the human brain works. For example, by analyzing data on brain activity acquired using neuroimaging techniques, machine learning is used to uncover the patterns in brain activity and link them to specific cognitive and motor actions.
Behavioral neuroscience track focuses on the relationship between behavior and behavioral science such as psychology and neuroscience. Behavioral neuroscience examines what is happening in the brain and the behaviors, thoughts, and emotions that are associated with those processes. A range of topics are studied in this field including learning and memory, motivation and emotion, and sensory processes.
Premedical and Health Professions Advisory Program
Medical schools and graduate programs in the health professions (such as physician assistants, physical therapy, and occupational therapy) welcome applications from students majoring in a wide range of academic programs. Acceptance into these programs requires the completion of pre-med requirements such as course work in biological and physical sciences, a strong academic record, pertinent experiences in the field, and key intrapersonal and interpersonal capabilities. Learn more about how RIT’s Premedical and Health Professions Advisory Program can help you become a competitive candidate for admission to graduate programs in the medical and health professions.
Pre-Vet Advising Program
Occupations in veterinary medicine are expected to grow three times faster than all other occupations between 2016 and 2026. If you’re interested in caring for animals, conducting research related to animal illnesses, or working with livestock in university or government settings, the Pre-Vet Advising Program can help you reach your career goals. Learn more about RIT’s personalized Pre-Vet Advising Program and how it can help you maximize your candidacy for admission to veterinary schools.
Pre-Law Advising Program
Law schools welcome applications from students majoring in a wide range of academic programs. If you are interested in pursuing law school, RIT’s Pre-Law Advising Program is designed to maximize your chances of admission to law school. The program includes personalized advising, LSAT preparation, academic counseling, and a time table for law school admission.
Join us this fall on campus or virtually
Learn about academics, co-op and internships, financial aid, and more.
What’s different about an RIT education? It’s the career experience you gain by completing cooperative education and internships with top companies in every single industry. You’ll earn more than a degree. You’ll gain real-world career experience that sets you apart. It’s exposure–early and often–to a variety of professional work environments, career paths, and industries.
Co-ops and internships take your knowledge and turn it into know-how. Science co-ops include a range of hands-on experiences, from co-ops and internships and work in labs to undergraduate research and clinical experience in health care settings. These opportunities provide the hands-on experience that enables you to apply your scientific, math, and health care knowledge in professional settings while you make valuable connections between classwork and real-world applications.
National Labs Career Fair
Hosted by RIT’s Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education, the National Labs Career Fair is an annual event that brings representatives to campus from the United States’ federally funded research and development labs. These national labs focus on scientific discovery, clean energy development, national security, technology advancements, and more. Students are invited to attend the career fair to network with lab professionals, learn about opportunities, and interview for co-ops, internships, research positions, and full-time employment.
Curriculum for Neuroscience BS
Neuroscience, BS degree, typical course sequence
Sem. Cr. Hrs.
General Education – Elective: Introduction to Biology: Organisms and Ecosystems
General Education – Elective: Introduction to Biology Laboratory: Organisms and Ecosystems
General Education – Elective: Introduction to Biology: Molecules and Cells
General Education – Elective: Introduction to Biology Laboratory: Molecules and Cells
General Education – Natural Science Inquiry Perspective: General & Analytical Chemistry I
General Education – Natural Science Inquiry Perspective: General & Analytical Chemistry I Lab
General Education – Scientific Principles Perspective: General & Analytical Chemistry II
General Education – Scientific Principles Perspective: General & Analytical Chemistry II Lab
General Education – Mathematical Perspective A: Applied Calculus*
General Education – Elective: Introduction to Psychology
General Education – Elective: Principles of Computing
General Education – First-Year Writing (WI)
RIT 365: RIT Connections
General Education – Elective†
Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience
Principles of Data Science
General Education – Elective: College Physics I*
Behavioral Science Research Methods
General Education – Mathematical Perspective B: Introduction to Statistics I
General Education – Artistic Perspective
General Education – Global Perspective
General Education – Social Perspective
Experimental Lab Methods in Neuroscience
Cognitive Neuroscience Seminar A
Cognitive Neuroscience Seminar B
General Education – Elective: Organic Chemistry I
General Education – Elective: Organic Chemistry I Lab
General Education – Ethical Perspective
General Education – Immersion 1, 2
Neuroscience Capstone I
Neuroscience Capstone II
General Education – Immersion 3
Total Semester Credit Hours
Please see General Education Curriculum (GE) for more information.
(WI-PR) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.
Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two different Wellness courses.
* Students may take a higher course if applicable.
† For students interested in the Computational Neuroscience track, MATH-182 Project-Based Calculus II is recommended for this General Education Elective.
‡ Students may choose to expand their knowledge in a specific area by selecting three program elective courses from one of the following tracks: Neurobiology, Computational Neuroscience, or Behavioral Neuroscience. They can select three courses as track courses from the table below. In some cases, with the permission of the program director and a recommendation from the academic advisor, students can define their own track that fits well with their interests and the program of study. If students choose to complete a track, 11-12 credit hours of additional program electives must be completed. If students choose not to complete a track, 21 credit hours of additional program electives must be completed. In addition to the list below, all track courses can be chosen as additional program electives.
Imaging in Neuroscience
BIOL-302 & BIOL-315
Cell Biology & Tissue Culture Laboratory
Neuroscience and Artificial Intelligence
Imaging in Neuroscience
Natural Language Processing I
Decision Making, Judgment, and Problem Solving
Imaging in Neuroscience
Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
Comparative Animal Physiology
Tissue Culture Laboratory
Eukaryotic Gene Regulation and Disease
Statistical Analysis for Bioinformatics
Fundamentals of Color Science
Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence Explorations
Speech Processing I
Natural Language Processing II
Speech Processing II
Vision & Psychophysics
Fundamentals of Color Science
Image Processing & Computer Vision I
Human Anatomy and Physiology I
Introduction to Neuroscience
Advanced Clinical Neuroanatomy
Philosophy of Mind
Biological Basis of Mental Disorders
Memory and Attention
Language and Thought
Visual System & Psychophysics
Color, Form & Object Perception
Depth, Motion & Space Perception
Cognitive and Perceptual Development
For all bachelor’s degree programs, a strong performance in a college preparatory program is expected. Generally, this includes 4 years of English, 3-4 years of mathematics, 2-3 years of science, and 3 years of social studies and/or history.
Specific math and science requirements and other recommendations
3 years of math required; pre-calculus recommended
Biology and chemistry required
Transfer course recommendations without associate degree
Courses in liberal arts, sciences, and math
Appropriate associate degree programs for transfer
AS degree in biology or liberal arts with biology option
Undergraduate research is strongly encouraged and strengthens your preparation for graduate study or employment. Students are encouraged to participate in undergraduate research experience under the guidance of faculty mentors. Students are also encouraged to apply for summer research internships both here at RIT and at other institutions. Explore research initiatives available throughout the College of Science.