Our interdisciplinary science focus makes for a unique academic experience for students interested in studying neuroscience. We easily integrate this program with other sciences—chemistry, biology, physics, and more—to help students understand brain function, behavior, and consciousness.


View Department Courses


Our faculty are both scholars and teachers who devote their careers to making important contributions to their disciplines through writing and research. They are committed to undergraduate education and teach everything from first-year seminars to advanced courses.

View Faculty

Department Overview

Few subjects integrate the sciences as well as neuroscience, which incorporates the study of biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, physiology, mathematics, cognitive science, computer science, and medicine. Together, these fields lead to a better understanding of how the brain works and how it makes behavior and consciousness possible. Our interdisciplinary science focus makes for a distinct academic experience for an Oberlin neuroscience major.

See More About This Department

Curriculum Overview

Students who choose to study neuroscience become part of one of the fastest growing areas in science. They explore brain function using multiple approaches and address current ideas regarding thought, emotions, behavior, and neuropathology. With training in the basic sciences of biology, chemistry, and psychology, the Oberlin student is poised for advanced study in neuroscience including behavioral genetics, animal behavior, pharmacology, developmental neurobiology, and more. Students consult closely with their advisors to determine the most appropriate set of courses consistent with their interests and goals.

Oberlin neuroscience graduates often continue their education, attending some of the finest graduate schools in the country. A background in neuroscience can lead to a variety of challenging and exciting professional careers such as biomedicine, law, education, public health, and scientific writing.

Departmental Goals for Neuroscience Majors

The core competencies that student neuroscience majors should acquire are:

  • basic knowledge of neuroscience,
  • depth of knowledge in neuroscience,
  • some basic and advanced laboratory techniques,
  • scientific critical thinking and analytical reasoning skills, and
  • scientific writing and oral communication skills.

Departmental Goals for Nonmajors

The neuroscience department’s overall goal for nonmajors is to provide opportunities for interested non-science students to take neuroscience courses that increase their understanding of science and scientific reasoning. As a group, our nonmajor courses attempt to teach you to make use of data and to think systematically and scientifically about the conclusions drawn from such data.

Additionally, we provide a broad foundation for your understanding of the brain and neuroscience. We expose students to controversial topics in neuroscience to improve their ability to think critically about the brain. We provide a broad foundation so that students are able to critically evaluate media claims about the mind and brain, and make better decisions regarding their mental and neurological health. Through our nonmajors courses, we seek to demonstrate the importance of neuroscience in our understanding of human behavior and cognition and to inspire students to continue to learn about the brain.

Neuroscience News

student putting on lab coat

Kate Frost ’15 Tackles Medical Goals

July 17, 2017
Kate Frost ’15 majored in biology and neuroscience and minored in chemistry. The Oberlin alum knew early on that she was on a science track. Today she’s completing her first year of medical school at Vanderbilt University.