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College of Arts and Sciences

Neuroscience Minor

This minor is designed for students going into graduate studies in neuroscience, biomedical sciences, animal behavior, or psychology, students going into medicine, and students simply interested in gaining a better understanding of their own interactions with the world. The minor will provide opportunities to develop a strong background of how the nervous system works from the social and behavioral to the cellular and molecular levels.

Overview of the Neuroscience Minor

The Neuroscience Minor allows students to take neuroscience courses across a variety of disciplines.  Neuroscience is a field that is fundamentally interdisciplinary and very broad and students are strongly encouraged to take courses ranging from a focus on the molecular aspects of the nervous system to cognitive neuroscience.  Students interested in medical school, graduate school in neuroscience, or health-related fields and just interested in the brain are encouraged to take the minor.  This is a science-oriented minor and so students should expect that there will be an expectation of a basic understanding of biology and chemistry even at the introductory level.  

Students must apply to be accepted to the Neuroscience Minor.  The current application requirements for the Minor and the course requirements for completion are detailed below.

Fall 2022 Neuroscience Courses

Neuroscience Minors can now enroll in NSCI 498 - Individual Research to complete their research requirement. More details about the research requirement can be found on the Undergraduate Research page

The following courses offered in Fall 2022 can be counted as electives towards the Neuroscience Minor.  If you would like to use these courses to fulfill your minor electives, please register in the course and then complete this online form to have an exception processed.

  • PSYC 589-001 (Instructor: Rorden) - From Image to Inference. 

The following courses are being offered for the first time but are cross-listed with Psychology courses that are already part of the minor curriculum so you can register for these to count as electives without any exceptions:

  • NSCI 560-001 (Instructor: Mactutus) - Neurotoxicology
  • NSCI 570-001 (Instructor: Green) - Neuroscience Laboratory

To be admitted to the Neuroscience Minor, students need to:

  1. Have completed 30 credit hours at USC (not including any AP or transfer credit). Students may submit their application in the semester they expect to reach 30 credit hours, but their application will not be approved until the end of the semester when their completed credit hours have been verified.
  2. Have a minimum 3.30 GPA for all courses completed at USC. Sometimes exceptions can be made for students who are close to the GPA minimum and have a strong science background. If you do not yet meet the GPA requirement you should contact the Minor Director to discuss your situation before applying.
  3. Submit the online application form (link on the right side of this page), which includes a short personal statement (max. 500 words): "Why are you interested in pursuing a Minor in Neuroscience?" You should prepare your statement in a separate document and copy and paste the text into the appropriate box on the application form. 

The current requirements for the Minor can be found in the Undergraduate Bulletin.

Eighteen credit hours are required for the minor.

PSYC 101 - Introduction to Psychology and BIOL 101 - Biological Principles I are required prerequisites for the minor. They do not count toward your minor credit hours, but do fulfill Carolina Core requirements. These courses should be completed prior to undertaking any of the minor coursework. 

Required Course (3 cr hrs):

  • PSYC 455 - Introduction to Neuroscience
    • Previously this course was offered as SCHC 330 - Introduction to Neuroscience. 
    • Beginning in Fall 2022 this course will be cross-listed with NSCI 300. Neuroscience majors and minors should enroll in NSCI 300.

Research Requirement (2-3 hrs):

Research undertaken under any major independent research code can be counted toward the minor as long as the research is in the field of neuroscience, the title of the independent research course clearly indicates that the research involves the study of the nervous system, and is approved by the Neuroscience Minor Director (e.g., BIOL 399, PSYC 498, PSYC 499, SCHC 399, BMEN 499). Starting in Fall 2022, Neuroscience majors and minors will be encouraged to complete their research under the course code NSCI 498 if they are working with any faculty within the College of Arts and Sciences or the School of Medicine as this will streamline the approval process.

Information about potential faculty mentors for individual research can be found on our Neuroscience Faculty page.

Additional information about the requirements and expectations for individual research courses can be found on our Undergraduate Research page.  

Electives (12-13 hrs):

A full list of courses currently approved as Minor electives can be found in the Undergraduate Bulletin

Students may also complete an additional 3 credits of independent study in neuroscience as an elective for the minor.

Sometimes there are relevant Honors and special topics courses that are approved on a semester-by-semester basis. These courses will be listed on the website and information about pre-approved courses emailed to students on the email listserv.


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