Best Neuroscience Undergraduate Programs

Neuroscience programs can train you in the rehabilitation of traumatic brain injuries or in the analysis of the biochemical basis of behavior. Read on for information on three top undergraduate neuroscience programs. Schools offering Anatomy & Physiology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Makes a Top Neuroscience Undergraduate Program?

Students in top neuroscience undergraduate programs perform research on the brain and nervous system, usually in conjunction with research institutes and teaching hospitals. These facilities offer extensive opportunities to conduct research with faculty.

If you're interested in a specific area, such as behavioral science or biochemistry, you'll want to identify schools that offer program concentrations, fellowships or internships in these sub-fields. If you're bound for graduate school, look for opportunities to conduct independent research projects. You might also consider graduate school program rankings.

What Are Three of the Best Neuroscience Schools for Undergraduates?

Columbia University in New York, NY

This Ivy League school's graduate program in neuroscience and behavior ranked among the top ten neuroscience programs in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report in 2014 ( Columbia University also offers a bachelor's degree in this field. The undergraduate program is jointly sponsored by the Department of Psychology and the Department of Biological Sciences. You can take an upper-level course with faculty from the Columbia University Medical Center's College of Physicians and Surgeons. You'll have research opportunities ranging from volunteer work on the Health Sciences Campus to competitive summer fellowships like the Amgen Scholars Program. The SURF and NYSTEM programs are available to students interested in stem cell research. You might work at the Mahoney-Keck Center for Brain and Behavior Research, the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology or one of 35 medical labs.

  • BA in Neuroscience and Behavior

Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD

In 2015, JHU was ranked 16th among world universities, according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities ( The school tied for third place in U.S. News & World Report's rankings for graduate neuroscience and neurobiology programs in 2014.

The JHU neuroscience undergraduate program prepares you for advanced graduate research through fellowships, internships, work-study positions and recognitions such as the Provost's Undergraduate Research Awards. You could also conduct cross-disciplinary neuroscience research in the Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute's laboratories and the JHU School of Medicine.

Specializations within the bachelor's degree program include cellular and molecular, cognitive or systems neuroscience. Top students can apply for a joint BA/MS neuroscience degree program in their senior year. The extended program permits a full fifth year of laboratory research experience. The following programs are offered to undergraduates:

  • BS in Neuroscience
  • BS in Neuroscience/MS in Neuroscience

University of California, Los Angeles in Los Angeles, CA

UCLA was the 12th-ranked world university by the Academic Ranking of World Universities in 2015. The undergraduate neuroscience program at UCLA is a collaboration of faculty representing many scientific disciplines. The program offers research training throughout, beginning with freshman courses teaching laboratory and scientific communication skills. You'll produce a culminating research paper in order to graduate. You may work under research sponsors who are doctoral program faculty or members of UCLA's research institutes.

You can also participate in lectures or symposiums sponsored by the Neuroscience Undergraduate Society. Neuroscience research at UCLA is conducted through the Brain Research Institute and the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior.

  • BS in Neuroscience

Ten More Universities for Neuroscience Undergraduate Programs

College/UniversityInstitution TypeLocation
Harvard University4-year, PrivateCambridge, MA
Stanford University4-year, PrivateStanford, CA
University of Michigan4-year, PrivateAnn Arbor, MI
Massachusetts Institute of Technology4-year, PrivateCambridge, MA
University of California, San Diego4-year, PublicLa Jolla, CA
University of Pennsylvania4-year, PrivatePhiladelphia, PA
Yale University4-year, PrivateNew Haven, CT
Washington University in St. Louis4-year, PrivateSt. Louis, MO
New York University4-year, PrivateNew York, NY
University of California, Berkeley4-year, PublicBerkeley, CA

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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