Explore your interests in neuroscience at Lawrence.

Academic advising at Lawrence seeks to empower each student to craft and pursue a transformative liberal arts experience that prepares them for impactful and personally fulfilling lives. Faculty advisors support students in planning and achieving their educational goals, facilitate connections to campus resources and communities, and guide students to make informed decisions as they pursue their academic interests and aspirations. 

Course Planning for New and Exploring Students

The neuroscience major is comprised of several foundational, core, and upper-level elective courses. Although all foundational and core courses prepare students for upper-level courses, several foundational and core courses are common prerequisites for many subsequent courses, including BIOL 130: Cellular Form and Function, BIOL 150: Organismal Form and Function, NESC 200: Foundations of Neuroscience, and STAT 107: Principles of Statistics. It is recommended that students complete these within their first two years. First- and second-year students enrolling in BIOL 130 are also required to concurrently enroll in the 1-unit BIOL 131: Biology Learning Teams course.

Importantly, BIOL 130 is a prerequisite for both BIOL 150 and NESC 200 (which is only offered in the spring term). It is preferable for students to enroll in BIOL 130 and NESC 200 within the first year if possible. However, there is nothing to preclude a student from pursuing a neuroscience major if they are unable to complete these two courses the first year.

New students should not take more than one natural science laboratory course per term.

Examples of possible course plans for prospective neuroscience majors:

Option A:

  • Year 1: BIOL 130 & BIOL 131 (fall term) + BIOL 150 (winter term) + NESC 200 (spring term)
  • Year 2: STAT 107 (fall term) +  CHEM 115 (winter term) + CHEM 116 (spring term)

Option B:

  • Year 1: STAT 107 (fall term) + BIOL 130 & BIOL 131 (winter term) + NESC 200 (spring term)
  • Year 2: BIOL 150 (fall term) + CHEM 115 (winter term) + CHEM 116 (spring term)

Option C:

  • Year 1: BIOL 130 & BIOL 131 (fall term) + STAT 107 (winter term) + NESC200 (spring term)
  • Year 2: BIOL 150 (fall term) + CHEM 115 (winter term) + CHEM 116 (spring term)

Option D:

  • Year 1: No science (fall term) +  BIOL 130 & BIOL 131 (winter term) + NESC 200 (spring term)
  • Year 2: CHEM 115 (fall term) + CHEM 116 (winter term) + BIOL 150 (spring term)

AP/IB Credit and Advanced Placement

Students who have earned AP or IB credit in biology are exempt from BIOL 130: Cellular Form and Function and BIOL 131: Biology Learning Teams, but not the other introductory courses in the major. Students without AP/IB credit can opt to take a departmental exemption exam for either BIOL 130: Cellular Form and Function and/or BIOL 150: Organismal Form and Function if they feel well qualified based on previous coursework. Contact the biology department chair, Judith Humphries (judith.humphries@lawrence.edu), for more information. Meanwhile, students with a strong background in chemistry who pass the online chemistry placement exam can skip CHEM 115: Principles of Chemistry: Structure and Reactivity and begin with CHEM 116: Principles of Chemistry: Energetics and Dynamics (CHEM 116 is a requirement for the biology major). 

Declare a Major/Minor

All students are expected to declare a major before the end of sophomore year. Ideally, sophomore students will declare a major (and switch to an advisor in the major) before advance registration advising begins in spring term.

Major Advising

All students will transition to a major advisor upon declaration. The major advisor will help students plan their coursework to satisfy requirements for the major, select courses in other areas to complement the major or satisfy personal interests, and prepare for their Senior Experience. Prospective neuroscience majors can consult with any of the affiliated faculty about serving as a major advisor:

Add a Major Advisor

Need help identifying an advisor in the major? Students can contact advising@lawrence.edu for assistance with advisor matching.

Minor Advising

Students do not need an official advisor for the neuroscience minor. Instead, neuroscience minors are encouraged to consult with the program director or other neuroscience faculty for advice on course selection and satisfying minor requirements.

Additional Student Resources

If you still have questions about advising support related to the neuroscience program, we invite you to contact the program director.