A faculty advisor for neuroscience is available to consult with students for guidance in designing their individualized programs of study (abasu@holycross.edu). The interdisciplinary Introduction to Neuroscience course (CISS 110) introduces important science concepts and is therefore a suitable entry point for first-semester students or more advanced students who are non-science majors, preparing them to pursue further coursework in the sciences. As the program is flexible and individualized, entry through PSYC 221: Physiology & Behavior or BIOL 267: Neurobiology is common as well.

The Holy Cross faculty boasts more than a dozen members in five different departments who teach neuroscience-related courses and/or involve students in neuroscience-related research, so 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.

As neuroscience is an interdisciplinary field that fosters critical thinking across many different domains of knowledge and forms of inquiry, study in neuroscience supports the sort of intellectual development that can be applied to challenging work in many different arenas. Recent Holy Cross neuroscience graduates have gone on to clinical and laboratory research assistantships, graduate study in medicine, health professions, or neuroscience, and even investment banking. Further inspiring students to envision how neuroscience can be applied and related to understanding complex problems, Holy Cross invites several distinguished scholars every year to speak on a broad range of neuroscience-related topics through the Schaeffer Family Seminar Series (Department of Biology), Psychology Department Colloquium, Philosophy Department Colloquium, and other special events.

Neuroscience Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement

The following statement is endorsed by the Neuroscience Advising Faculty:

As Holy Cross neuroscience advising faculty, we recognize the existence of structural inequality in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, such that student experiences of equal access and opportunities to succeed are systematically affected by social factors including race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background1.  In seeking to build an inclusive neuroscience program, we make the following commitments:

  1. We will listen with respect to student concerns about diversity, equity, and inclusion, and will not react with defensive responses.
  2. In developing and revising the neuroscience core curriculum, we will employ inclusive pedagogy, which respects diverse social identities and backgrounds2.
  3. We will conduct an annual anonymous student experience survey of neuroscience students which includes questions about program diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  4. We will host an annual listening session to learn about student experiences in the neuroscience program.

1 Riegle-Crumb, C., King, B., and Irizarry, Y. (2019). Does STEM stand out? Examining racial/ethnic gaps in persistence across postsecondary fields. Educational Researcher, 48 (3), 133-144
2 Florian, L. (2015). Conceptualizing Inclusive Pedagogy: The Inclusive Pedagogical Approach in Action. Inclusive Pedagogy Across the Curriculum, 7, 11-24.