The Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary program emphasizing the relationship between the biology and chemistry of the nervous system and the behavior of an organism. The BS prepares students for graduate-level study in both medical school and doctoral and master's-level programs in neuroscience and other health-related fields, and work in the neuroscience field.

Admissions

University-wide admissions policies can be found in the Undergraduate Admissions Policies section of this catalog.

To apply for this program, please complete the George Mason University Admissions Application.

Policies

Students must fulfill all Requirements for Bachelor's Degrees, including the Mason Core

NEUR 410 Current Topics in Neuroscience or NEUR 411 Seminar in Neuroscience fulfill the writing intensive requirement.

For policies governing all undergraduate programs, see AP.5 Undergraduate Policies.

Banner Code: SC-BS-NEUR

Degree Requirements

Total credits: minimum 120

Students should refer to the Admissions & Policies tab for specific policies related to this program.

Foundation Courses

Biology
BIOL 213Cell Structure and Function (Mason Core)4
Select one from the following: 1,24
General Genetics
Developmental Biology
Animal Physiology
Human Physiology
Advanced Human Anatomy and Physiology I
Chemistry
CHEM 211
CHEM 213
General Chemistry I (Mason Core)
and General Chemistry Laboratory I (Mason Core)
4
CHEM 212
CHEM 214
General Chemistry II (Mason Core)
and General Chemistry Laboratory II (Mason Core)
4
Mathematics
Select one option (4 or 6 credits) from the following:4-6
Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (Mason Core)
Calculus with Algebra/Trigonometry, Part A
and Calculus with Algebra/Trigonometry, Part B (Mason Core)
Statistics
Select one course (3 or 4 credits) from the following:3-4
Biostatistics for Biology Majors
Introductory Statistics I (Mason Core)
Statistics in Psychology
Statistics
Physics
Select one of the following sequences:8
College Physics I (Mason Core)
and College Physics I Lab (Mason Core)
and College Physics II (Mason Core)
and College Physics II Lab (Mason Core)
University Physics I (Mason Core)
and University Physics I Laboratory (Mason Core)
and University Physics II (Mason Core)
and University Physics II Laboratory (Mason Core)
Psychology 1,3
PSYC 100Basic Concepts in Psychology (Mason Core)3
PSYC 375Brain and Sensory Processes3
PSYC 376Brain and Behavior3
Computer Science
CDS 130Computing for Scientists3
Core Courses in Neuroscience 1
NEUR 327Cellular, Neurophysiological, and Pharmacological Neuroscience3
NEUR 335Molecular, Developmental, and Systems Neuroscience3
Technical Writing 1,2,4
NEUR 410Current Topics in Neuroscience3
or NEUR 411 Seminar in Neuroscience
Required Psychology Lab Course 1
PSYC 373Biopsychology Laboratory2
Total Credits54-57

Electives

Students should consult with an advisor to choose appropriate elective courses, which must be approved by the director of the program. A sample of possible electives is given below. Only courses not already taken in the degree will apply as electives, with the exception of seminar and topics courses; a different topic must be addressed in the second instance of a seminar or topics course. Students may apply no more than 6 credits of courses with a grade of 'D' to this requirement.

Students intending to pursue a doctorate in neuroscience or a medical degree are advised to take CHEM 313 Organic Chemistry I and CHEM 315 Organic Chemistry Lab I.

Select 24 credits from the following:24
Introduction to Bioengineering
Physiology for Engineers
Computational Modelling of Neurons and Networks
Biology of Microorganisms
Biology of Microorganisms Laboratory
General Genetics
Developmental Biology
Lab for Developmental Biology
Animal Physiology
Selected Topics in Molecular and Cellular Biology (when topic is Foundations of the Mammalian Brain)
Vaccines
Human Physiology
Mechanisms of Aging
Advanced Human Anatomy and Physiology I
Advanced Human Anatomy and Physiology II
Clinical Applications in Human Physiology
Immunology
Immunology Laboratory
Evolution
Introduction to Molecular Genetics
General Biochemistry
Cell Signaling and Disease
Developmental Neurobiology
Scientific Information and Data Visualization
Organic Chemistry I
Organic Chemistry II
Organic Chemistry Lab I
Organic Chemistry Lab II
Quantitative Chemical Analysis
General Biochemistry I
General Biochemistry II
Biochemistry Lab
Analytic Geometry and Calculus II
Analytic Geometry and Calculus II (Honors)
Linear Algebra
Analytic Geometry and Calculus III
Elementary Differential Equations
RS: Laboratory Methods in Behavioral Neuroscience
Zebrafish Neurodevelopment Laboratory
Lab Investigations Using Voltage Clamp Electrophysiology
Current Topics in Neuroscience (when not used to fulfill the technical writing requirement) 1
Seminar in Neuroscience 1
Glutamatergic Systems
Independent Study in Neuroscience
Honors Thesis Proposal
Honors Thesis
Special Topics in Neuroscience
Biological Bases of Alzheimer's Disease
University Physics III (Mason Core)
University Physics III Laboratory (Mason Core)
Principles of Learning
Sensation, Perception, and Information Processing
Cognitive Psychology
Criminal Behavior: Psychological and Neurological Aspects
Current Topics in Brain and Behavior
Total Credits24

Mason Core and Elective Credits

In order to meet a minimum of 120 credits, this degree requires an additional 39-42 credits which may be applied toward any remaining Mason Core requirements (outlined below), Requirements for Bachelor's Degrees, and elective courses. Students are strongly encouraged to consult with their advisors to ensure that they fulfill all requirements.

Mason Core

Some Mason Core requirements may already be fulfilled by the major requirements listed above. Students are strongly encouraged to consult their advisors to ensure they fulfill all remaining Mason Core requirements.

Foundation Requirements
Written Communication (ENGH 101)3
Oral Communication3
Quantitative Reasoning3
Information Technology and Computing3
Exploration Requirements
Arts3
Global Understanding3
Literature3
Natural Science7
Social and Behavioral Sciences3
Western Civilization/World History3
Integration Requirements
Written Communications (ENGH 302)3
Writing-Intensive 13
Synthesis/Capstone 23
Total Credits40

Honors in the Major 

Highly-qualified students may apply to graduate with honors in the major.

Eligibility

To be eligible for admission, neuroscience majors must have completed at least 60 credits and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 and a minimum GPA of 3.25 in neuroscience courses.

Honors Requirements

If accepted, students must take a sequence of three courses, which culminates in the successful completion and presentation of an independent honors thesis.

NEUR 410Current Topics in Neuroscience3
or NEUR 411 Seminar in Neuroscience
NEUR 450Honors Thesis Proposal2-3
NEUR 451Honors Thesis3-4
Total Credits8-10

To graduate with honors, students must earn a minimum GPA of 3.50 in their honors courses, maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25, and complete an honors thesis.

Neuroscience, BS/Biology, Accelerated MS

Overview

Qualified undergraduates may be admitted into an accelerated master's program and obtain both a Neuroscience, BS and a Biology, MS within an accelerated time frame. Students admitted to this program may take graduate courses after completing 90 undergraduate credits, and up to 6 credits of graduate work may be used in partial satisfaction of the requirements for the undergraduate degree. If students earn at least a 3.00 GPA in these classes, they are granted advanced standing in the master's program and must then complete an additional 24 credits to receive the master's degree. All other master's degree requirements must be met, including a minimum of 18 credits taken for the master's after the bachelor's degree is complete.

Application Requirements

Applicants to all graduate programs at George Mason University must meet the admission standards and application requirements for graduate study as specified in the Graduate Admission Policies section of this catalog. Application information for this accelerated master's program can be found on the School of Systems Biology's website.
Successful applicants will have an overall undergraduate GPA of at least 3.10. Three letters of recommendation, including one from a prospective thesis or project advisor, are required. Additionally, they will have completed the following courses with a GPA of 3.00 or higher:

BIOL 213Cell Structure and Function (Mason Core)4
One Course in Statistics:3-4
Biostatistics for Biology Majors
Introductory Statistics I (Mason Core)
Statistics in Psychology
Statistics
BIOL 308Foundations of Ecology and Evolution5
or NEUR 327 Cellular, Neurophysiological, and Pharmacological Neuroscience
NEUR 335Molecular, Developmental, and Systems Neuroscience3
BIOL 311General Genetics4
CHEM 313Organic Chemistry I3
CHEM 315Organic Chemistry Lab I2

Accelerated Option Requirements

At the beginning of the student's final undergraduate semester, students must submit a bachelor's/accelerated master's transition form (available from the Office of the University Registrar) to the College of Science's Office of Academic and Student Affairs. Students must begin their master's program in the semester immediately following conferral of the bachelor's degree.
Students must maintain an overall GPA of 3.00 or higher in graduate coursework and should consult with their faculty advisor to coordinate their academic goals.
After completing 120 credits and all requirements for the bachelor's degree and filing the Graduation Intent Form, students are awarded a bachelor's degree. 

Additional Requirements

  • Satisfactory performance in undergraduate coursework must be maintained
  • Satisfactory graduate-level performance in each approved graduate course taken while in undergraduate status (receiving a grade of B or better (3.0 or higher) in each course). 
  • Submission of documents to complete the master’s application before the published deadline, including a goals statement and a resume. GRE scores are not required.
  • Completion of undergraduate degree from George Mason University.
  • Confirmation of a graduate faculty advisor.

Bachelor's Degree (selected), Bioinformatics Management, Accelerated PSM

Overview

This degree option allows highly qualified George Mason University bachelor's students to earn a Bioinformatics Management, PSM degree in less time than if they had first graduated with a BS degree and then applied to the PSM program sequentially.

Admission and Processing Requirements

Students in the Biology, BS; Chemistry, BS; Computational and Data Sciences, BS; Neuroscience, BS; or Physics, BS with an overall GPA of at least 3.00 in their last 60 credits are welcome to apply to the Bioinformatics Management, PSM accelerated master's program. Applicants to this accelerated master's should have previously taken courses in molecular biology, computer science, calculus, physical chemistry, and statistics. Students with deficiencies in one or more of these areas may be required to take additional courses from the undergraduate curriculum.

The GRE requirement is waived for students accepted into this accelerated program.

By the beginning of the undergraduate student's senior year, they should submit a Graduate Application for Accelerated Master's Program form (obtained from the College of Science's Office of Academic and Student Affairs).

By at least the beginning of their senior year, students should seek out the Bioinformatics Management, PSM Program Director who will aid the student in choosing the appropriate graduate courses to take and help to prepare the student for graduate studies.

In their senior year, accelerated master's students must complete the two graduate courses indicated on their Accelerated Master's Program Application with a minimum grade of 3.00 in each course. They must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.00 in all coursework and in coursework applied to their major. In the semester specified on the application (around the completion and conferral of the undergraduate degree), students must submit the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition form (found on the Office of the University Registrar website) and will subsequently be admitted into graduate status.

Reserve Graduate Credits

Students admitted to this program may take graduate courses after completing 90 undergraduate credits, and up to 6 credits of appropriate graduate coursework may be used in partial satisfaction of the requirements for the undergraduate degree. If students earn at least a 3.00 GPA in these classes, they are granted advanced standing in the master's program and must then complete an additional 25 credits to receive the master's degree. 

To apply these credits to the master's degree, students must request that the credits be moved from the undergraduate degree to the graduate degree using the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition form found on the Office of the University Registrar website (as noted above).

Students may take up to 6 additional approved graduate credits as reserve graduate credit. These credits do not apply to the undergraduate degree but will reduce the subsequent master's degree credits accordingly (e.g., with 6 credits counted towards undergraduate degree plus the maximum 6 reserve credits, the PSM could be completed with 19 post-bachelor's credits). The ability to take courses for reserve graduate credit is available to all high achieving undergraduates with the permission of the School of Systems Biology.

Policies

For more detailed information on accelerated master's in general, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees.

For policies governing all graduate programs, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.