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Lucas First

 “The Center for Neuroscience is a great home to connect with others in the field, a place in which to pursue how and why the brain works, from the study of neuroethology to the intricacies of cognitive processing.” 
- Lucas First



With 100,000 miles of blood vessels, 1.1 trillion cells and 100 billion neurons – and some 70,000 thoughts a day – the human brain is one of the most complex structures in the universe.

Neuroscience focuses on the relationships among brain function, cognitive processing and behavior. This truly interdisciplinary field is designed for students with interests that intersect the fields of biology and psychology.

As a Union College neuroscience major, you will begin your studies with a variety of core courses, including biology, psychologycomputer science and philosophy. Then you will select one of three tracks for specialization:

  • Bioscience: Focuses on the biological basis of neural development, function and plasticity
  • Cognitive: Addresses how neural networks and brain mechanisms give rise to specific mental processes and behavior; or
  • Computational: Emphasizes issues related to developing computational models of neuronal and mental processes.

Our students work closely with faculty in the Center for Neuroscience, which includes five research laboratories and supports research and training in the areas of neuroplasticity; human cognitive abilities and behavioral dispositions; sex differences in spatial cognition; cognitive genetics; neural control of behavior.

Students also enjoy opportunities for summer research fellowships and participation in symposia, and most present at Union's Steinmetz Research Symposium each spring.

Neuroscience students pursue a wide range of research and clinical internships, and they go on to jobs in research centers and labs in university, government and health-care settings. They are also well prepared to attend graduate and medical schools.

Within approximately five years, Union graduates with degrees in biochemistry, biological sciences, chemistry, geology, mathematics, neuroscience, physics and astronomy, psychology are pursuing careers in a range of fields, including:

  • Education
  • Finance/investment
  • Healthcare
  • Law
  • Media
  • Pharmaceuticals/biotechnology
  • Veterinary services

They're finding success at:

  • University of Toronto
  • JP Morgan Chase & Co
  • Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical
  • Quilling Selander Lownds Winslett & Moser
  • Influenster
  • Novartis Pharmaceuticals
  • Banfield Pet Hospital

And they are ready for everything as:

  • Researcher
  • Analyst
  • Physical therapist
  • Lawyer
  • Social media strategist
  • Consultant
  • Veterinarian