Integrative Neuroscience Curriculum
Incoming freshmen cannot be declared Integrative Neuroscience majors. They can indicate an interest in the major through an XNER designation on DegreeWorks but this does not guarantee admission to the program. Rather, students interested in the Integrative Neuroscience major will be evaluated at the end of their third semester. An online application will be available late November/early December each year and it is at this time that interested sophomores can apply for admission to the Program. Applications will only be accepted at other times with the approval of the Program Director. When a student applies for the major, they specify an area of specialization: Cell and Molecular, Cognitive, or Systems and Computational. They may change this area at a later time with the guidance of their advisor, but since it has implications for which courses they will be selecting and research mentors they will be working with, it is important that they choose one as early as possible.
You should become familiar with the Admissions Requirements page of our website, and start planning for the three Foundations courses that you plan to take. We strongly recommend that you take at least one from each area (Biology, Psychology, Computer Science) so that you have a clear understanding of these different disciplines. Most students have taken Calculus, Biology I and II, Foundations of Psychology, and one of the Computer Science foundation courses (CISC 1800/1810 or CISC 2500) by the time they apply.
It is recommended that you pay close attention to your grades over the course of the year. Remember, you can have no more than 4 science credits lower than a B-, and that includes labs, so if you are struggling in a course, please meet with the professor to get extra help or advice about whether withdrawing is the best option (if it is before the deadline). If you have more than 4 science credits lower than a B- by the end of the year, then you will not be considered for the major and we cannot make exceptions. Contact the Program Director if you have questions/ concerns.
For Rose Hill Freshmen: If you are on the Pre-Health track, you may be considering taking Biology I and II and Chemistry I and II during your first year as this will allow you to apply to medical school at the end of junior year. However, it has been our experience that this is a very challenging curriculum that often negatively impacts the science GPA. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you consider taking only Biology I and II during your freshman year, and hold off on Chemistry until the summer or the following year. This will help you to get better grades for both entrances to the Integrative Neuroscience Program and medical school.
For Lincoln Center Freshmen: If you are not in the Pre-Health track, you should enroll in Concepts in Biology I and II rather than General Biology I and II as this has a greater focus on neuroscience.
Keep an eye out for notices about informational meetings about the program in the fall. This will give you an opportunity to meet program faculty and ask any questions you may have.
Hopefully, you are already familiar with the Admissions Requirements page of our website and have completed a course of study (or will complete by the end of fall semester) that includes 3 Foundation courses.
You should be sure to attend informational sessions that will provide information about the admissions process. This will allow you to ask questions of our faculty and Program Director.
Towards the end of the fall semester, the online application will become available and a deadline for completion will be provided. Please comply with that deadline as all applications need to be processed before the major declaration deadline in February. Once the applications are processed, you will receive an email indicating whether you have been accepted to the program. If you have been accepted, you will be asked to make an appointment with the Program Director to discuss your planned course of study and review the major requirements. At this meeting, you will also be encouraged to come up with a plan for completing the independent research requirement. Once your major has been officially declared, you will be assigned an academic advisor who is a member of our core or affiliated faculty.
If you do not qualify for the program, you are welcome to still make an appointment with the Program Director to discuss other options. Typically, students who do not obtain admission to the Integrative Neuroscience Program choose to major in one of our member departments and take as many neuroscience-oriented courses as they can. They are also encouraged to still pursue research opportunities in neuroscience as this will help them with future neuroscience endeavors (i.e. careers, graduate school).
As an Integrative Neuroscience major, you will spend your junior and senior years working on completing course requirements including Foundation, Neuroscience, and Specialization courses.
You will also be focusing your efforts on completing the independent research requirement. It is strongly advised that you become involved in a research lab either at Fordham or elsewhere during your junior year. Beginning your research experience in your junior year allows you to become familiar with the lab procedures and become an integral member of a research team. This will give you a strong foundation in your mentor’s area of study that will allow you to come up with a research question to test for your independent research project. You may also decide to conduct the independent research during your junior year- this is a decision you must make with your research mentor. If you choose to conduct research with a mentor outside of Fordham, the site and research project must be approved by the Program Director and a Fordham faculty member (onsite mentor) must be tracking progress.
What exactly are the requirements for the independent research project?
You must develop a research project that you can carry out independently. This means deriving your own research question, designing the study, collecting the data (or using existing data), and conducting analyses. Of course, we expect that you will do all of this with the guidance and support of your research mentor. You will complete a poster presentation or brief talk about your work to be presented at one of the Fordham undergraduate research symposia (Natural Sciences Research Fair, ARS-NOVA, or Rose Hill Undergraduate Research Symposium) and at the Neuroscience Senior Showcase. Your research mentor may also require a written paper. Some students have chosen to submit this paper for publication in the Fordham Undergraduate Research Journal or have worked closely with their mentors to submit their work to a peer-reviewed journal.
How do I register for the NEUR 4999 credits?
RH students must complete the RH tutorial form, and LC students complete the LC tutorial form- both of which are available for download on the Independent Research Requirement page of our website. Students should work closely with their mentors to decide upon a title for their project as well as a description of the project and what will be required over the course of the semester. This must include what is required in order for the faculty member to provide a grade for the course.