undergraduate major in neuroscience is now in its
thirteenth year. Officially established in the 1992-93 academic
year after several years of planning and developing by
the UCLA College Neuroscience Group, its majors now number
approximately three hundred students. Through its continually
growing list of course offerings, it now serves a total
of over six hundred students a year.
The goal of the major is to provide an undergraduate introduction
to the study of the nervous system at all levels of analysis.
This concept is embodied in the core of the curriculum,
the year-long series “Neuroscience: From Molecules
to Mind.” The courses in this series, as well as
others in the major, emphasize critical thinking and analysis,
and an introduction to laboratory research. Students are
encouraged to complete
an independent research project in a faculty member’s
laboratory and present their work in the annual
Neuroscience Undergraduate Poster Session. Students also
have the option to complete a Neuroscience Laboratory course,
which provides hands-on experience with important methodology
and experimental approaches in neuroscience. Additionally,
the major requires a Neuroanatomy Laboratory, taught by
the 1997 Luckman Distinguished Teaching Award winner,
Arnold Scheibel, M.D., of the Department of Neurobiology.
This interdisciplinary major avails itself of the wealth
of neuroscience resources at UCLA, and receives teaching
contributions from Physiological Science, Psychology,
and Molecular, Cell & Developmental Biology in the
College of Letters and Science, and Anesthesiology, Biological
Chemistry, Neurobiology, Neurology, Physiology, Psychiatry
and Biobehavioral Sciences, Medicine, and the Brain Research
Institute in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
In total, over sixty faculty from the College of Letters
and Science and the School of Medicine participate in
the major. Their enthusiasm and generosity have been essential
to the success of this program. To date, there nearly
300 students enrolled in the program, and 807 Bachelor of Science
degrees in neuroscience have been awarded since 1994.
more information regarding the Neuroscience Major at UCLA,