Neuroscience: Major, Minor

Neuroscience is the multidisciplinary study of the structure and function of nervous systems. Through a balance of depth in the principles of neuroscience and a broad understanding of knowledge and approaches from related disciplines, neuroscience students at Holy Cross are empowered to become critical, flexible, and creative thinkers in pursuing unanswered scientific questions with philosophical and societal implications.

The interdisciplinary program in neuroscience offers a major and a minor. The curriculum includes courses from the natural and quantitative sciences, philosophy, and psychology, with a set of core courses that draw connections between neuroscience and related disciplines. Neuroscience students discover fundamental principles of nervous system structure and function; the role of genes, molecules, cells, and nervous systems in behavior and mental activity; and insights into human nature, health, and disease. They also gain an appreciation of how concepts and methods from multiple disciplines are applied to understand complex problems.

The neuroscience program is committed to providing a core curriculum that implements pedagogical practices that foster diversity, equity and inclusion, is accessible to all Holy Cross students, and promotes student success.

Neuroscience Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement

Read the full statement

Program Highlights

The Holy Cross neuroscience program is a pioneer in developing undergraduate neuroscience courses and curricula. Distinctive features of the Holy Cross approach include opening new opportunities for students to explore science and technology; creating environments that allow diverse students to grow and contribute their unique strengths to the learning process; and inviting students to explore the implications and applications of their learning.

  • The neuroscience curriculum offers multiple points of entry for students, including a 100-level interdisciplinary Introduction to Neuroscience (NEUR 110), and intermediate-level courses in the biology or psychology departments.
  • Neuroscience majors may select electives that focus on different approaches, from cellular and molecular, to systems and behavioral, to computational. Students are provided with academic advising based on their individual goals.
  • The program is flexible and compatible with semester away and study abroad programs.
  • The minor can be successfully paired with any major at the College.
  • The program has more than twenty Holy Cross faculty affiliates from six different departments (biology, chemistry, mathematics and computer science, philosophy, physics, and psychology) who teach neuroscience-related courses and/or involve students in neuroscience-related research. The breadth, scope, and opportunity for students to engage in in-depth inquiry are unusually large for an institution of our size.
  • Holy Cross students present their research annually at regional and national neuroscience conferences and have had their work published in peer-reviewed journals along with their faculty mentors. Recent Holy Cross neuroscience graduates have gone on to clinical and laboratory research assistantships; graduate study in medicine, health professions, or neuroscience; as well as careers outside of science, in law and investment banking.
  • Several distinguished scholars are invited to campus every year to speak on a broad range of neuroscience-related topics and interact with students.

Neuroscience News

Holy Cross First-Year Research Program Helps Inspire Students in STEM Fields
FRAP offers first-year students and senior mentors from historically excluded communities paid research opportunities.
ArtsWorcester Showcases Holy Cross Talent in 18th Annual College Competition
Work of Holy Cross winning artists Shea O’Scannlain ‘22 and Mariam Soas ‘22 is on display at ArtsWorcester through March 27
2021 Alpha Sigma Nu student honorees. Photo by John Buckingham
30 Holy Cross Students Inducted Into Jesuit Honor Society
Alpha Sigma Nu acceptance is granted to less than four percent of the class