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Major Requirements

The neuroscience major at Carthage reflects the interdisciplinary focus of the field. Required courses in the areas of biology, psychology, and chemistry provide a solid foundation for understanding the methods and principles of the natural and social sciences.

Popular Minors


The major also provides an opportunity for students to choose elective courses in the above areas. Students interested in the molecular and cellular function of the nervous system are encouraged to take electives in biology. Students interested in the behavioral correlates of nervous system function are encouraged to take electives in psychological science. Students interested in the chemical properties of the nervous system are encouraged to take electives in chemistry. BIO 1100 and BIO 1120 are recommended for all students in the major.

The neuroscience major provides both a breadth of understanding in basic scientific principles and depth of understanding in the emerging area of nervous system research, preparing students for graduate school and career opportunities in a diverse range of scientific research and medical/therapeutic fields.

Practical, hands-on research experience is an important component for understanding the discipline of neuroscience. Majors are encouraged to work in the laboratory of a faculty member for at least two semesters to experience the process of obtaining, analyzing, and interpreting neuroscience data.

Many students choose to combine a neuroscience major with majors or minors in other disciplines. Learn more about Biology at Carthage, Chemistry at Carthage, and the Psychological Science at Carthage.

Current students: You should follow the official College Catalog from the year you entered Carthage and work with your advisors and the department chair to ensure all requirements are met.

Neuroscience Major

Students majoring in neuroscience must complete the following courses:


  • CHM 1010 General Chemistry I (4 credits)
  • CHM 1020 General Chemistry II (4 credits)
  • NEU 2100 Introduction to Behavioral Neuroscience (4 credits)
  • BIO 1110 Molecules, Cells, and Organisms (4 credits)
  • BIO 1120 Organisms, Populations, and Systems (4 credits)
  • NEU 2500 Neuroscience Research Methods and Statistical Analysis (4 credits)
  • NEU 3950 Neuroscience II: Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience (4 credits)
  • NEU 4000 Senior Thesis in Neuroscience (4 credits)
  • NEU 4100 Neuroscience III: Neuroanatomy and Physiology (4 credits)


  • BIO 2400 Genetics (4 credits)
  • BIO 3300 Advanced Human Anatomical Systems  (4 credits)
  • BIO 3310 Advanced Human Physiological Systems (4 credits)
  • BIO 3500 Advanced Cell Biology (4 credits)
  • BIO 4310 Developmental Biology (4 credits)
  • CHM 2070 Organic Chemistry I (4 credits)
  • CHM 2080 Organic Chemistry II (4 credits)
  • CHM 3010 Biochemistry (4 credits)
  • CHM 3230 Analytical Chemistry I  (4 credits)
  • CHM 3240 Analytical Chemistry II (4 credits)
  • CHM 4070 Advanced Organic Chemistry (4 credits)
  • PHY 3120 Electronics (4 credits)
  • PHY 4300 Electricity and Magnetism (4 credits)
  • PYC 2150 Sensation and Perception (4 credits)
  • PYC 2300 Cognitive Psychology (4 credits)
  • PYC 2850 Child and Adolescent Development (4 credits)
  • NEU 4900 Research in Neuroscience (1-4 credits)
  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage was granted Wisconsin’s first chapter in Nu Rho Psi, the national honor society for neuroscience. 

    • The Neuroscience Department offers one of Carthage’s most popular J-Term study tours: Biodiversity, Brains, and Behavior. In this course, students earn scuba certification, then spend January diving in Honduras to understand the evolution of nervous systems and behavior.

    • New in 2015, the Carthage Science Center features a neuroscience laboratory equipped with rat and mouse colonies, a behavioral data collection room, suites for rodent surgery and histology, and a confocal microscopy lab.

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2021), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit The Aspire Center.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. More than 90% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • Carthage has ranked as a top Fulbright producer for four of the past five years. Read about Carthage Fulbright winners.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors, and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from marketing to neuroscience, nursing to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our more than 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $5.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from $25,000 up to full tuition. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about Intellectual Foundations.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 130 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked in the Top 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …