Thumbnail
Undergraduate

Neuroscience

Study the least-understood organ in the human body: the brain. Learn how the brain develops, how it drives our ability to learn, and how abnormalities in brain development result in disorders.

Neuroscience strives to unlock the mysteries of the mind, brain, and nervous system function.  The field uses multidisciplinary approaches to answer some of the most perplexing and intriguing questions facing humanity:  how does the brain develop, enact behavior, and drive our ability to learn, reason, and create?  How do abnormalities in brain development or function result in disorders of movement and thought?  
The neuroscience program brings together an interdisciplinary group of professors who are passionate about mentoring undergraduates in this fascinating field of study, involving them in research that unveils novel mechanisms of brain function and exploring the neural correlates of emotion, cognition, and psychopathology.

Assumption University offers numerous opportunities to pursue neuroscience, including:

  1. B.S. in Neuroscience with Cellular Path – for students who wish to develop and refine skills of inquiry with a focus on the brain and mind
  2. B.S. in Biology with a Concentration in Neuroscience and Behavior – for students whose interests are drawn towards genetic, molecular and cellular mechanisms of brain development and function as well as neurological disorders/diseases.
  3. B.A. in Neuroscience with a Psychology Path – for students who are interested in the neurological mechanisms that underlie human thinking and behavior.
  4. B.A. in Psychology with a Concentration in Neuroscience of Human Behavior – for students who want to focus on the psychological aspects of brain function.
  5. Center for Neuroscience, which provides student research internships, a lecture series, networking opportunities, and community outreach. 

Learning Goals for the Major in Neuroscience

A Major in Neuroscience utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to empower students to:

  • Develop and refine skills of inquiry with a focus on the brain and mind
  • Gain a strong understanding of the classic and contemporary findings in neuroscience
  • Comprehend and appreciate the dynamic, multidisciplinary nature of this field
  • To ask thoughtful questions and strategically select approaches to answer questions
  • Develop informed hypotheses and design/execute experiments to test hypotheses
  • Critically analyze data and determine if data supports hypotheses.

Students are encouraged to engage in independent research and internships, in addition to successful completion of the required coursework. Neuroscience majors will be prepared to pursue careers in industry, health professions, and graduate studies within the field of neuroscience.   

Neuroscience Instagram

Assumption Neuroscience Twitter

 

 

Program Contact

Michele Lemons, Ph.D

Professor of Biology, Director of the Center for Neuroscience
508-767-7658 Testa Science Center - Room 254

Paid summer research internships
Opportunity to publish alongside faculty in scientific journals
Center for Neuroscience offers career networking, lecture series, and community service opportunities

Program Curriculum

  • A Bachelor’s Degree in Neuroscience utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to empower students to

    1. Develop and refine skills of inquiry with a focus on the brain and mind
    2. Gain a strong understanding of the classic and contemporary findings in neuroscience
    3. Comprehend and appreciate the dynamic, multidisciplinary nature of this field
    4. To ask thoughtful questions and strategically select approaches to answer questions
    5. Develop informed hypotheses and design/execute experiments to test hypotheses
    6. Critically analyze data and determine if data supports hypotheses.
    Required Courses
    BIO 160 Concepts in Biology
    PSY 101 General Psychology
    MAT 114 (or higher) Elementary Functions (or higher)
    CHE 131-132 General Chemistry 1 and 2
    CHE 201 Organic Chemistry 1
    BIO 210 Genetics
    BIO 240 Human Anatomy
    PSY 224 Statistics
    PSY 251 Introduction to Brain and Behavior
    PHI 267 Person, Mind, and Brain
    BIO 280 Sensory systems
    BIO 340 Cellular and Molecular Biology
    BIO 370 General Physiology
    BIO 375 Milestones in Neuroscience
    PSY 402 Social, Cognitive, Affective Neuroscience
    BIO 415 Principles of Neuroscience
    Choose one of the Following Biology Electives
    BIO 220 Invertebrate Biology
    BIO 260 Bioinformatics
    BIO 310 Animal Behavior
    BIO 410 Developmental Biology
    BIO 430 Comparative Physiology
    BIO 490 Independent Study with a neuroscience focus
    CHE 414 Biochemistry
    Choose one of the following psychology electives:
    PSY 250 Perception
    PSY 252 Cognitive Psychology

    Please note that elementary functions or higher (MAT114 or higher) is a prerequisite for CHE132. While all students must take at least one math course to fulfill the core, MAT114 or higher should be taken as part of the core during the first semester of the first year.

    Course Descriptions

  • The Biology major is particularly well-suited for students whose interests are drawn towards genetic, molecular and cellular mechanisms of brain development and function as well as neurological disorders/diseases.  Students explore current neuroscience research and understand cutting-edge techniques used to unveil novel contributions to the field. It is an excellent choice for individuals hoping to pursue graduate studies in neuroscience and or the health professions, such as medical school, physician assistant and physical therapy programs.  This major is also well-matched for those who wish to pursue work in research as well as health science organizations.

    Individuals who complete the requirements of the major 190 will be prepared to pursue work in the biotechnology and pharmacology industries or in other life science organizations. They will also be eligible to pursue graduate studies in neuroscience or the health professions.

    Required Courses (12)

    Biology majors should take CHE 131 and BIO 160 in their first semester.

    BIO 160 Concepts in Biology
    BIO 210 Genetics
    BIO 310 Animal Behavior
    BIO 415 Principles of Neuroscience
    CHE 131-132 General Chemistry I and II (Note: MAT 114 is a pre-requisite for CHE 132)
    CHE 201-202 Organic Chemistry I and II
    MAT 114 Elementary Functions (or higher if placed higher)
    PHY 201-202 General Physics I and II
    PSY 101 General Psychology
    PSY 402 Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience
    Electives (5)

    Choose at least 3 of the following

    BIO 220 Invertebrate Biology
    BIO 240 Human Anatomy
    BIO 340 Molecular and Cellular Biology
    BIO 370 General Physiology
    BIO 480 Seminar in Life Sciences: Neuroscience topic

    Choose at least 1

    PSY 250 Perception
    PSY 251 Introduction to Brain and Behavior
    PSY 252 Cognitive Psychology
    PSY 253 Psychology of Learning

    Suggested (but not required) Courses

    PSY 224 Statistics
    PSY 225 Research Methods
    PHI 345 Special Topics in Philosophical Issues – Human Nature
    BIO 490–491 Independent Study in Biology

    Course Descriptions

  • A Psychology major with a concentration in Neuroscience of Human Behavior – for students who want to focus on the psychological aspects of brain function and for students wishing to pursue graduate studies in cognition, neuroscience, and clinical psychology. Students in this concentration are grounded in all of the empirical tools of psychology, and then apply these to the specialized study of social, cognitive, and affective neuroscience. Students in this concentration will also be prepared to work in research laboratories and to explore career avenues in applied neuroscience like neuromarketing.

    The major can be combined with further study in natural sciences, and with careful planning, it is possible to pursue a second major or minor in one of these disciplines.  Students who choose this concentration are also encouraged to do internships or independent students in laboratories studying psychophysiology, neurobiology or the biological basis of behavior.

    Required Courses
    PSY 101 General Psychology
    PSY 210 Social Psychology
    PSY 224 Research Methods
    PSY 225 Statistics
    PSY 216 Abnormal Psychology
    PSY 251 Introduction to Brain and Behavior
    PSY 252 Cognitive Psychology
    BIO 160 Concepts in Biology
    BIO 210 Genetics
    PSY 335 Motivation and Emotion
    PSY 390 Research Seminar
    PSY 402 Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience Seminar
    BIO 415 Principles of Neuroscience
    And one additional psychology elective

    Course Descriptions

  • A Major in Neuroscience utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to empower students to: 1) develop and refine skills of inquiry with a focus on the brain and mind, 2) gain a strong understanding of classic and contemporary findings in neuroscience, 3) comprehend and appreciate the dynamic, multidisciplinary nature of this field, 4) ask thoughtful questions and strategically select approaches to answer questions, 5) develop informed hypotheses and design/execute experiments to test hypotheses, 6) critically analyze data and determine if data supports hypotheses, and 7) explore philosophical questions about the nature of human life, consciousness, and free will.

    Neuroscience explores the complex interactions between the distinct aspects of brain, mind, and behavior. The Major in Neuroscience engages students through a holistic, interdisciplinary approach rooted in rigorous science and augmented by philosophical perspectives that address the brain, mind, and human nature.

    In addition, students are encouraged to engage in activities offered by the Center for Neuroscience (CfN), which include research internships, an interdisciplinary lecture series, and community service. Students who major in neuroscience will be prepared to pursue careers in industry, health professions, and graduate studies within the field of neuroscience.

    The Major in Neuroscience with a Psychology Path features curriculum that explores concepts related to human neuroscience, namely:

    1. Neuroanatomy and function of the nervous system
    2. Neural mechanisms of human perception, thought, and behavior
    3. How context, environment, experience, and brain function interact to influence human behavior
    4. Developmental, neurological, and psychiatric disorders
    5. Familiarity and experience with experimental designs and tools used to study human neuroscience
    6. Philosophical conversations about the relationship between brain and mind, free will and human consciousness.

    REQUIRED COURSES (16)

    Foundation Courses (9)
    PSY 101 General Psychology
    PSY 250 Perception
    PSY 251 Introduction to Brain and Behavior
    PSY 252 Cognitive Psychology
    PSY 335 Motivation and Emotion
    BIO 160 Concepts in Biology (+lab; 4-credit)
    BIO 280 Sensory Systems (+lab; 4-credit)
    BIO 415 Principles of Neuroscience (+lab; 4-credit)
    PHI 267 Person, Mind, & Brain
    Choose one of the following BIO courses (1)
    BIO 375 Milestones in Neuroscience (3-credit; no lab)
    BIO 310 Animal Behavior (+ lab; 4-credit)
    Research Sequence (3)
    PSY 224 Statistics
    PSY 225 Research Methods
    PSY 391 Experimental Techniques in Human Neuroscience (+lab; 4-credit)
    Neuroscience Capstone (1)
    PSY 402 Social and Affective Neuroscience
    PSY 403 Cognitive Neuroscience
    Electives (2)
    Any Psychology course (200-level or above)
    Any Biology course (200-level or above)
    MAT 117 Calculus I
    CSC 117 Introduction to Programming
    Recommended Courses (NOT REQUIRED)
    MAT 117 Calculus I (if not taken as elective)
    CSC 117 Introduction to Programming (if not taken as elective)
    PHI 152 The Human Difference -OR- PHI 153 Book of Nature
    THE 151 Faith and Reason

     

Faculty

Michele Lemons, Ph.D
Director of Center for Neuroscience Professor of Biology Director of the Center for Neuroscience
Stuart I. Cromarty, Ph.D
Professor of Biology
Paula A. Fitzpatrick, Ph.D
Adjunct Faculty
Leamarie Gordon, Ph.D.
Department Chair, Psychology Associate Professor of Psychology
Nicolas (Nikos) Lessios, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biology

Experiential Learning

Assumption’s Center for Neuroscience

The Center provides a vibrant, interdisciplinary community of students and faculty with the opportunity to explore current brain-centric research findings in a variety of ways. The Center aims to increase opportunities for student research, enable students to present their research at national conferences, offer neuroscience-focused career-building events on campus, host a neuroscience-centric lecture series featuring nationally recognized neuroscientists, provide opportunities for networking, and engage in community outreach.

Hands-On Research: Students have the opportunity to work one-on-one with Assumption faculty on research projects. Students can earn academic credit for research completed during the academic year and may apply for paid summer research fellowships. Assumption also enjoys an internship pipeline with the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS), just minutes from campus. Lecture Series: Featuring nationally recognized neuroscientists, the lecture series gives students the opportunity to learn more about the field and network with experts. Community Outreach Opportunities: The Center provides students opportunities to give back to the local community, through activities such as visits to local elementary schools and generating awareness of brain-related diseases by participating in community 5k runs/walks. Abroad Opportunities: Students are encouraged to expand their world view by pursuing study abroad opportunities. The Center for Neuroscience looks for ways to connect students interested in neuroscience with related abroad programs, such as the Neuroscience Seminar in Germany.


Career Paths

Abbott Bioresearch Center

Aventis Pharmaceuticals

Biogen Idec

Eli Lilly and Company

Genzyme

Hasbro Children’s Hospital

Massachusetts General Hospital

Mosaic Technologies

Pfizer

Waters Corporation

Medical Programs

Physician Assistant Programs

Physical Therapy Programs

Ph.D. Programs

Occupational Therapy Programs

First-rate Academics in a Catholic University Setting

Assumption University awakens in students a sense of wonder, discovery, and purpose, forming graduates known for their intellectual seriousness, thoughtful citizenship, and devotion to the common good. Students are provided an education that shapes their souls, forms them intellectually, and prepares them for meaningful careers. Enlivened by the harmony of faith and reason, here, students’ minds and hearts are transformed.


Assumption is dedicated to providing a clear understanding of what your education will cost

We’ll help cut through the complexity of financing your education, ensuring you understand what you need, how to apply for aid, and what’s expected of you. You will be assigned a personal financial aid advisor who will guide you through the process and answer all of your financial aid-related questions.


NSF-sponsored Research

In January 2019, Assumption University Associate Professor of Neurobiology and Director of the Center for Neuroscience Michele Lemons, Ph.D., secured a highly competitive $245,710 four-year research grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for neurodevelopment research. This grant is distinctive for the emphasis it places upon research at undergraduate institutions, in particular, training undergraduates. Read more about the opportunities the grant provides Assumption students.

UMASS Partnership

Assumption University enjoys a close partnership and an internship pipeline with the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMASS). In addition to numerous collaborations between faculty at both institutions, many of our students complete research internships in the Department of Neurobiology and with psychiatry faculty at UMASS, as well as a number of other research institutions.

Center for Neuroscience Provides Career Networking, Lecture Series, and Community Service Opportunities

“The Assumption program and this Center, true to an institution committed to the liberal arts, with a concern for and a focus on the human person, offers an authentic interdisciplinary approach, from the areas of biology, or chemistry, psychology and philosophy” -Francesco C. Cesareo, Ph.D., president of Assumption University. Read the Story Here

The Center for Neuroscience Events

The Center for Neuroscience specializes in events ranging from research symposiums showcasing student and faculty work, to lecture series featuring Harvard University professors, to the annual Multiple Sclerosis Walk where students recently raised up to $2,600 for MS research.

Stressed to Death: The Role of Stress in Neurodegenerative Disease

How does stress impact neurogenerative diseases? University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Daryl Bosco, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Neurology, will explore this question during a lecture sponsored by Assumption’s Center for Neuroscience on Thursday, February 27 at 11:30 a.m. in Ballroom B of the Tsotsis Family Academic Center, 500 Salisbury St., Worcester.

Programs Related to Neuroscience