Neuroscience

Student in labNeuroscience is a rapidly advancing field that addresses the structure and function of the nervous system, with particular focus on intersection between the brain and behavior. Neuroscientists routinely draw on the fields of psychology, biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics and computer science in their work, and that's one reason neuroscience is such an interesting and challenging field of study.

Neuroscience at IUPUI is an interdisciplinary program of the School of Science that offers students the opportunity to pursue baccalaureate degree training in cellular/molecular, computational, or behavioral neuroscience. No other program provides the cross-disciplinary research and learning environment that IUPUI offers our students.

Learn more about our undergraduate degree programs.

Why study neuroscience?

The field of neuroscience has been described in Science Careers as an ‘explosive field’ that has emerged over the last three decades. There is a high demand for trained professionals with knowledge and skills related to neuroscience.

A BS in neuroscience is an excellent foundation for the pursuit of graduate and professional degrees that culminate in careers in science and medicine. The neuroscience program prepares students for advanced study in schools of medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, veterinary medicine, law or public health as well as in physical therapy, physician assistant or exercise physiology programs. The program provides excellent training for pre-med students, particularly if they desire to combine clinical practice with basic research. Majoring in integrative neuroscience also provides a good background for master's or PhD programs in a variety of disciplines such as neuroscience, anatomy, physiology and pharmacology, among others.

Students with baccalaureate degrees can successfully compete for neuroscience-related jobs in the private and public sectors. Bachelor’s degree students will be well prepared for positions as research technicians in universities, hospitals, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, medical centers, and government agencies, as well as private research foundations, government laboratories, and regulatory agencies.

What Can I Do with a Degree in Neuroscience?

Students with baccalaureate degrees can successfully compete for neuroscience-related jobs in the private and public sectors. Bachelor’s degree students will be well prepared for positions as research technicians in universities, hospitals, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, medical centers, and government agencies, as well as private research foundations, government laboratories, and regulatory agencies.

  • Universities
  • Hospitals & medical centers
  • Biotechnology companies
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Government agencies
  • Private research foundations
  • Government laboratories
  • Regulatory agencies

The most recent Survey of Neuroscience Graduate, Postdoctoral, and Undergraduate Programs (Stricker, 2009) indicated that the majority of graduates from Ph.D. programs in neuroscience pursued further training through postdoctoral positions (70%).

What kind of graduate or professional programs do students pursue after graduating with a BS in neuroscience?

The program provides excellent training for pre-med students, particularly if they desire to combine clinical practice with basic research. Majoring in integrative neuroscience also provides a good background for master's or PhD programs in a variety of disciplines such as neuroscience, anatomy, physiology and pharmacology, among others.

Professional Schools/Programs:

  • Medicine
  • Pharmacy
  • Dentistry
  • Veterinary medicine
  • Law
  • Public health
  • Physical therapy
  • Physician assistant
  • Exercise physiology

Graduate Programs:

  • Bioinformatics
  • Computational Biology
  • Integrative Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Neurobiology
  • Neuroscience
  • Psychobiology

Occupational Outlook + Average Salary

The field of neuroscience has been described as an ‘explosive field’ that has emerged over the last three decades.

Although we anticipate that most undergraduate neuroscience majors will pursue graduate and professional degrees that would culminate in careers in science and medicine, students with baccalaureate degrees are expected to successfully compete for neuroscience-related jobs in the private and public sectors.

According to projections published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of employed life scientists will increase between the years 2008 and 2018 by 40% for medical scientists and 21% for biological scientists, with a low unemployment rate (although recessions can impact the amount of money allocated to new research and development and/or limit extensions or renewals of externally funded projects). The median annual salary was $74,590 in May, 2009 for medical scientists, and $75,080 for biological scientists employed in scientific research and development.

At the baccalaureate level,  biological technician positions are expected to increase by 18%, as continued competition among pharmaceutical companies coupled with an aging population are expected to contribute to drug development. Job opportunities are expected to be best for graduates who are well trained on equipment used in scientific laboratories or production facilities. In May, 2009, the median annual wage for biological technicians was $38,700. 

Within the state of Indiana, occupational projections suggest that life scientist positions will increase by 22.5% by 2018 (Indiana Department of Workforce Development, www.in.gov/dwd/ra), with increases of 20% anticipated for biological scientists and 29% for medical scientists. For B.S. level biological technician positions, an increase of 13% is projected.

The most recent Survey of Neuroscience Graduate, Postdoctoral, and Undergraduate Programs (Stricker, 2009) indicated that the majority of graduates from Ph.D. programs in neuroscience pursued further training through postdoctoral positions (70%). Very few graduates were not yet employed (1%).