Neuroscience at Assumption University
The brain is often referred to as the last frontier because, as stated by Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, “… exactly how [the brain] operates remains one of the biggest unsolved mysteries, and it seems the more we probe its secrets, the more surprises we find.” Neuroscience strives to solve the mysteries of the mind, brain, and nervous system function using multidisciplinary approaches.
Our Neuroscience Program brings together an interdisciplinary group of professors who are passionate about mentoring undergraduates in this fascinating field of study, involving them in research that unveils novel mechanisms of brain function and exploring the neural correlates of emotion, cognition, and psychopathology. Assumption University offers numerous opportunities to pursue neuroscience, including:
A Neuroscience Major
A Biology Major with a concentration in Neuroscience and Behavior
A Psychology Major with a concentration in Human Neuroscience
Center for Neuroscience, which provides student research internships, a lecture series, networking opportunities, and community outreach.
The Assumption University Center for Neuroscience
Assumption University is pleased to announce a new Center for Neuroscience. The Center provides an interdisciplinary community with neuroscience-focused opportunities for co-curricular activities, community outreach, service, and career networking. The Center also offers paid summer research internships, a neuroscience lecture series, and affiliation with the Western Massachusetts Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience.
Neuroscience Major with Cellular Path
A Major in Neuroscience utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to empower students to
Develop and refine skills of inquiry with a focus on the brain and mind
Gain a strong understanding of the classic and contemporary findings in neuroscience
Comprehend and appreciate the dynamic, multidisciplinary nature of this field
To ask thoughtful questions and strategically select approaches to answer questions
Develop informed hypotheses and design/execute experiments to test hypotheses
Critically analyze data and determine if the data support hypotheses.
Students are encouraged to engage in independent research and internships, in addition to the successful completion of the required coursework. Neuroscience majors will be prepared to pursue careers in industry, health professions, and graduate studies within the field of neuroscience.
Biology Major with a Concentration in Neuroscience and Behavior
The Biology major is particularly well-suited for students whose interests are drawn towards genetic, molecular, and cellular mechanisms of brain development and function as well as neurological disorders/diseases. Students explore current neuroscience research and understand cutting-edge techniques used to unveil novel contributions to the field. It is an excellent choice for individuals hoping to pursue graduate studies in neuroscience and or the health professions, such as medical school, physician assistant, and physical therapy programs. This major is also well-matched for those who wish to pursue work in research as well as health science organizations.
Psychology Major with a Concentration in Neuroscience of Human Behavior
The Psychology major is ideal for those who want to focus on the psychological aspects of brain function and for students wishing to pursue graduate studies in cognition, neuroscience, and clinical psychology. Students in this concentration are grounded in all of the empirical tools of psychology, and then apply these to the specialized study of social, cognitive, and affective neuroscience. Students in this concentration will also be prepared to work in research laboratories and to explore career avenues in applied neuroscience like neuromarketing.
Assumption students have the opportunity to work one-on-one with Assumption faculty on research projects during the academic year and during the summer. Students can earn academic credit for research completed during the academic year and students may apply for paid summer research fellowships. Assumption University also enjoys a close partnership and an internship pipeline with the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS). In addition to numerous collaborations between faculty at both institutions, many of our students complete research internships in the Department of Neurobiology and with Psychiatry faculty at UMMS, as well as a number of other research institutions.
Students in both majors are encouraged to take advantage of numerous articulation agreements with other highly competitive programs that offer students opportunities for guaranteed admission and/or accelerated degrees or intensive scientific study.
Students interested in pursuing Neuroscience at Assumption have three options: 1) a Neuroscience major with a cellular path, 2) a Biology major with a concentration in neuroscience and behavior and 3) a Psychology major with a concentration in human neuroscience. Please view the coursework for each of these three options below.
Neuroscience major with a cellular path (18 courses)
A Major in Neuroscience utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to empower students to 1) develop and refine skills of inquiry with a focus on the brain and mind, 2) gain a strong understanding of the classic and contemporary findings in neuroscience, 3) comprehend and appreciate the dynamic, multidisciplinary nature of this field 4) to ask thoughtful questions and strategically select approaches to answer questions, 5) develop informed hypotheses and design/execute experiments to test hypotheses, and 6) critically analyze data and determine if data support hypotheses. Students are encouraged to engage in independent research and internships, in addition to the successful completion of the required coursework. Neuroscience majors will be prepared to pursue careers in industry, health professions, and graduate studies within the field of neuroscience.
Increasing numbers of Assumption students have been selected to participate in research programs at major research institutions around the nation, including the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. Also, Assumption offers on-campus summer research opportunities to upper-level students who apply to assist Assumption faculty with their research projects. Students selected for summer research positions receive a stipend and housing on campus.
Graduate Schools and Careers
Assumption Biology graduates have the education and experience to enter an array of professions including biotechnology, pharmacology, teaching, and other life science organizations. They are also prepared to pursue graduate degrees in a number of scientific fields and the health professions.
Our Psychology graduates can enter an array of fields including laboratory work and working with nonprofit and entrepreneurial organizations, corporations, and local, state, and the federal government. They can also pursue programs in cognition, neuroscience, experimental psychology, school psychology (rated as the #1 social science career by US NEWS), and other disciplines. Assumption University offers a master’s degree in counseling psychology that is nationally renowned.
Many students also pursue graduate degrees in a range of other areas such as sociology, rehabilitative services, and law.
The assumption has articulation agreements with a number of graduate programs so that Assumption students who maintain a strong academic standing are able to gain ready access to these programs.