Nicole Dudukovic, Director

Neuroscience is the interdisciplinary study of neural function, development, and behavior. The University of Oregon offers an undergraduate major in Neuroscience.  The graduate training program in neuroscience is centered in the Institute of Neuroscience ( Affiliated faculty members in the undergraduate major as well as participating faculty members in the graduate training program are drawn from the Departments of Biology, Human Physiology, and Psychology, along with the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact.

Graduate Studies


First-year graduate students take one of two core sequences:

  1. cellular, systems, and cognitive neuroscience
  2. developmental, molecular, and genetic neuroscience

The core sequences are taught cooperatively by the faculty. Most students also take elective courses in a variety of subjects.

Faculty-Student Seminars

Faculty members and graduate students participate in weekly informal seminars that feature lively discussion of research papers in specific areas of neuroscience. Students and faculty members also participate in the neuroscience seminar, a weekly series featuring visiting scientists. The purpose of the neuroscience seminar is to keep both the faculty and students abreast of current developments in this broad field.


Students are encouraged to participate in laboratory research from the very beginning of their graduate training. A laboratory rotation program is directed toward this objective. In the rotation program, new students take part in the activities of a different laboratory group during each of the three terms of the first year. Participation may include a research project, ongoing experiments, or other activities. This program allows students to learn firsthand about different approaches to the study of neuroscience before choosing an area of concentration.

Doctoral Study

Students who want to enter the neuroscience program should apply to the PhD program of a participating department and indicate their interest in neuroscience. Typically, students interested in cognitive neuroscience apply to the psychology department; students interested in molecular, cellular, developmental, or systems neuroscience apply to the biology department. Such applications are reviewed by the neuroscience faculty as well as the departmental admission committee. Answers to specific questions about prerequisites and deadlines may be obtained by writing directly to one of the participating departments, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon 97403. Additional information about the Institute of Neuroscience may be obtained from the institute website. See also the Institute of Neuroscience section in the Research Centers and Institutes area of this catalog.


Biology. Cell Biology (BI 322), Sensory Physiology (BI 353), Animal Physiology (BI 356), Neurobiology (BI 360), Special Studies: [Topic] (BI 399) (Cellular Biology of the Senses), Experimental Course: [Topic] (BI 410) (Computational Neuroscience), Protein Toxins in Cell Biology (BI 422), Systems Neuroscience (BI 461), , Developmental Neurobiology (BI 466), Experimental Course: [Topic] (BI 510) (Computational Neuroscience), Protein Toxins in Cell Biology (BI 522), Systems Neuroscience (BI 561), , Developmental Neurobiology (BI 566), Experimental Course: [Topic] (BI 610) (Advanced Cellular Neuroscience)

Human Physiology. Motor Control (HPHY 333), Experimental Course: [Topic] (HPHY 410) (Neurophysiology of Concussion), Experimental Course: [Topic] (HPHY 510) (Neurophysiology of Concussion), Experimental Course: [Topic] (HPHY 610) (Advanced Systems Neuroscience)

Psychology. Biopsychology (PSY 304), Brain Mechanisms of Behavior (PSY 445), Cognitive Neuroscience (PSY 449), Brain Mechanisms of Behavior (PSY 545), Cognitive Neuroscience (PSY 549), Experimental Course: [Topic] (PSY 610) (Advanced Cognitive Neuroscience)

Affiliated Faculty

Elliot Berkman, psychology

Melynda Casement, psychology

Robert Chavez, psychology

Paul Dassonville, psychology

Chris Doe, biology

Sarah DuBrow, psychology

Judith Eisen, biology

Tim Gardner, Knight Campus

Ian Greenhouse, human physiology

Tory Herman, biology

Benjamin Hutchinson, psychology

Adrianne Huxtable, human physiology

Santiago Jaramillo, biology

Brice Kuhl, psychology

Shawn Lockery, biology

Michelle Marneweck, human physiology

Ulrich Mayr, psychology

Luca Mazzucato, biology

David McCormick, biology

Adam Miller, biology

Kate Mills, psychology

James Murray, biology

Cris Niell, biology

Jennifer Pfeifer, psychology

Jonathan Reeder, Knight Campus

Margaret Sereno, psychology

Matt Smear, psychology

Nicki Swann, human physiology

Emily Sylwestrak, biology

Terry Takahashi, biology

Nash Unsworth, psychology

Philip Washbourne, biology

Michael Wehr, psychology

Monte Westerfield, biology

Dasa Zeithamova, psychology


As outlined below, the Neuroscience majors consists of the following components:  1) foundation courses in the natural sciences; 2) math and statistics coursework; 3) life science fundamentals; 4) a core neuroscience sequence; 5) upper-division elective courses; and 6) advanced skills courses and/or research experience.  The total number of credits is 104-107 (depending on whether majors complete the General Biology Sequence or the Biology Honors Sequence). 

Foundation Courses in Natural Sciences:46-49
General Biology I: Cells
and General Biology II: Organisms
and General Biology IV: Mechanisms
Honors Biology I: Cells, Biochemistry and Physiology
and Honors Biology II: Genetics and Molecular Biology
and Honors Biology III: Evolution, Diversity and Ecology
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry III
Advanced General Chemistry I
and Advanced General Chemistry II
and Advanced General Chemistry III
General Physics
and General Physics
and General Physics
Foundations of Physics I
and Foundations of Physics I
and Foundations of Physics I
General Chemistry Laboratory
and General Chemistry Laboratory
and General Chemistry Laboratory
Introductory Physics Laboratory
and Introductory Physics Laboratory
and Introductory Physics Laboratory
Mind and Brain
Math and Statistics Courses:8
Calculus for the Biological Sciences I
Calculus I
Statistical Methods in Psychology
Statistical Methods I
Statistical Analysis of Biological Anthropology
Life Science Fundamentals:8
Medical Terminology
Scientific Investigation in Physiology
Core Neuroscience: Sequence order is recommended but not required18
Human Anatomy I
and Human Physiology I (Fall)
Biopsychology (Winter)
Neurobiology (Spring)
Upper Division Electives: 116
Molecular Genetics
Cell Biology
Developmental Biology
Animal Physiology
Protein Toxins in Cell Biology
Molecular Genetics of Human Disease
Developmental Neurobiology
Clinical Pharmacology
Neural Development
Sensory Physiology
Special Studies: [Topic]
Experimental Course: [Topic]
Systems Neuroscience
Motor Control
Sleep Physiology
Neurophysiology of Concussion
Movement Disorders
Clinical Neuroscience
Brain Mechanisms of Behavior
Hormones and Behavior
Experimental Course: [Topic] (Neural Basis of Cognition)
Music and the Brain
Psychoactive Drugs
Learning and Memory
Human Performance
Cognitive Neuroscience
Cognitive Development
Advanced Skills Courses and Research Experience8
Research: [Topic]
Seminar: [Topic]
Experimental Course: [Topic] (Introduction to Programming for Biologists)
Experimental Course: [Topic] (Matlab for Biologists)
Experimental Course: [Topic] (Analysis Neural Data)
Techniques in Computational Neuroscience
Machine Learning for Data Science
Machine Learning
Research: [Topic]
Research: [Topic]
Applied Data Analysis
Total Credits104-107

All courses counted towards the Neuroscience Major requirements must be taken for a letter grade and passed with a grade of C or better.

At least 34 credits of coursework applied to the major must be taken at the University of Oregon.

Criteria for Honors

To graduate with Honors in Neuroscience, the following requirements must be met:

  1. A completed Neuroscience Honors application with signature of a faculty research advisor from BI, HPHY or PSY
  2. Completion of all Neuroscience major requirements
  3. A minimum 3.5 GPA in all courses applied to the major
  4. At least three credits in BI 403, HPHY 403, or PSY 403 Thesis (These credits may be applied to the advanced skills courses and research experience requirement).
  5. Completion of an honors thesis under supervision of a committee, consisting of one BI, HPHY, or PSY faculty member and at least one other committee member (Ph.D. student, postdoctoral scholar, or faculty) from BI, HPHY, or PSY.