Neuroscience, Minor

Program Code: NEURO_UMNR

Program Description

The intercollege minor in neuroscience is designed for the student desiring an in-depth knowledge about the basic and functional aspects of the nervous system. Students in several disciplines ranging from nutrition to psychology to molecular biology could benefit from comprehensive study of the neurosciences in preparation for technical, professional, or research careers. The neurosciences as envisioned here are broadly based, and instruction available spans the levels of investigation from molecular to behavioral and cognitive. Majors complemented by this minor would include, but not be limited to, psychology, biology, biochemistry, nutrition, human development and family studies, genetics, biobehavioral health, kinesiology, animal and poultry science, and veterinary science.

What is Neuroscience?

Neuroscience is the scientific study of the structure and function of the nervous system. The minor at Penn State involves interdisciplinary training in neuroanatomy and circuitry, neuronal physiology, evolution and development of the nervous system, biochemistry, cellular and molecular processes, and functional neurobiology of disease and behavior.

You Might Like This Program If...

  • You are curious about biological processes that support behavior and function.
  • You want to understand neurobiological processes at multiple levels, from functional circuitry to molecular processes.
  • You like to answer important questions by testing and understanding underlying biological processes.
  • You want to pursue a career related to biology and/or health – clinician, research, technician.

Program Requirements

Requirement Credits
Requirements for the Minor 18

Requirements for the Minor

A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the minor, as specified by Senate Policy 59-10. In addition, at least six credits of the minor must be unique from the prescribed courses required by a student's major(s).

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
BIOL 469Neurobiology3
BIOL 470Functional and Integrative Neuroscience3
PSYCH 260Neurological Bases of Human Behavior3
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select 9 credits of the following:9
Developmental and Health Genetics
Biobehavioral Aspects of Stress
Pharmacological Influences on Health
Special Topics
Human Physiology
Laboratory in Mammalian Physiology
General Endocrinology
Motor Patterns of Children
Advanced Biomechanics
Physiological Psychology
Psychology of Fear and Stress
Clinical Neuropsychology

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university's academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee's unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.


University Park

Sonia Cavigelli
Associate Professor
219 Biobehavioral Health Building
University Park, PA 16802

Career Paths

Students with a Minor in Neuroscience pursue a variety of careers. Many pursue health-related careers, including clinical and/or research tracks. For advanced neuroscience-specific careers (e.g. neuropsychology, neuroscience research, etc.) an advanced degree, graduate or professional, is required. The neuroscience minor provides essential training for this advanced training. Students are encouraged to engage in practical learning experiences to complement formal classroom learning, for example, volunteering in a neuroscience research laboratory.


University Park

219 Biobehavioral Health Building
University Park, PA 16802