About Neuroscience

The interdisciplinary neuroscience major at Muskingum University is designed for students who are interested in understanding the relations between brain function, physiological events, subjective experiences and behavior.

Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary field in which scientists investigate the full spectrum of structure and function in the brain. Scientists with interests ranging from the microscopic structure of the neuron and its biochemical processes to the macroscopic organization of the brain and its relation to emotions, cognitions, and behavior work together toward a common goal to provide answers to our most pressing personal and societal problems. Presently, neuroscience is the fastest growing area in basic scientific research. To acknowledge the importance of neuroscience and its rapid growth, Congress declared the 1990s as the Decade of the Brain, challenging researchers to be more aggressive and creative in their important work.

Mission Statement

The mission of the interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program at Muskingum University is to expose students to a basic core of knowledge which serves as the foundation for common seminar experiences and advanced research opportunities in neuroscience. Through this process students will gain a complete understanding of the neurophysiologic phenomenon that serve as the basis for all behavior.

The interdisciplinary nature and research experience built into the Neuroscience Program coincides with the University’s mission to offer quality academic programs in the liberal arts and sciences. The program focuses on developing intellectual skills such as critical thinking as a means to better understand the human condition as it is shaped by the mind. The program prepares students to seek a wide variety of careers centered in medicine, education, and research.

Program Learning Goals

  • Student should show familiarity with critical natural science and psychological principles.
  • Students should understand and apply basic experimental methodology, design, and data analysis.
  • Students should have an awareness of historical trends and theoretical perspectives that inform the field of neuroscience.
  • Students should demonstrate information competence and the ability to use computers and other technology for many purposes.                                   
  • Students should be able to communicate effectively in a variety of formats.

The Neuroscience Program

Neuroscientists capitalize on this diversity of disciplinary approaches to enrich their own perspective on a particular problem. This interdisciplinary team philosophy enlivens discussion and often results in exciting and novel approaches to research problems. The nervous system and its relationship to behavior and mental processes presents many complex problems for investigators to explore. We believe a multifaceted approach provides the best strategy for understanding a subject as complex as the brain. The Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Major offered by Muskingum University is designed to provide the undergraduate neuroscience student a basic core of courses which serve as the foundation for common seminar experiences and advanced research opportunities with the neuroscience faculty. The student becomes a part of the team and engages in scientific inquiry rarely experienced by undergraduate students.

The neuroscience major would be an appropriate choice for anyone interested in a psychiatric health-care career including general medicine or nursing, but especially psychiatry, pharmacology, psychiatric nursing, clinical psychology, or cognitive rehabilitation. This major would also provide a good undergraduate foundation for further training in a graduate program in neuroscience or psychobiology. Additionally, majoring in neuroscience at Muskingum University would also provide a solid college education in the finest Liberal Arts tradition for any individual interested in understanding the human condition and their place in the world, regardless of career aspirations.

The major consists of three components. In the Basic Science Core, students are provided a grounding in the physical, life, behavioral, and computational sciences. In the Neuroscience Core, students gain an in-depth understanding of brain organization and function. They do so in a combination of formal lecture and laboratory courses, informal seminar experiences, participation in an international forum on the brain (the annual meeting of the Society For Neuroscience), and the conduct of a year-long individual research project which serves as the capstone for their undergraduate experience. In the Neuroscience Distribution component, students can individualize and fine-tune their program by selecting from a group of specialty courses designed to provide either a behavioral, cognitive, computational, or molecular flavor to the basic major.

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