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The liberal arts' connection to brain science.

Based in psychology, Augustana’s flexible major in neuroscience also includes courses in biology and philosophy, plus additional courses that could include chemistry and/or religion. Your choices depend on your interests.

And because you are curious about the biology behind thoughts, perceptions, emotions, motivations, decisions and actions — basically, neuroscience — the connections you’ll make throughout your liberal arts education will give you even more perspective.

The neuroscience professors are experts in the areas of learning and memory, pain and drug-seeking behavior, communication, cognitive and affective neuropsychology, and sensation and perception. You’ll also learn from faculty in many other fields, whose highest priority is your success at integrating what you learn toward your own goals.

Whatever your academic path, your major and your mentors will prepare you for admission to a variety of graduate programs in neuroscience and other fields related to the brain sciences. A major in neuroscience is an excellent starting point for a career in a medical field, psychology, research science and more.

What you'll learn

Disciplinary knowledge

Disciplinary knowledge

Gain a deep understanding of your subject and how it connects to other subjects.

Quantitative literacy

Quantitative literacy

Interpret, represent and summarize information. Use math and statistics to solve problems.

Intellectual curiosity

Intellectual curiosity

Set yourself up for lifelong intellectual growth. Take responsibility for your own learning.

Critical thinking and information literacy

Critical thinking and information literacy

Judge and construct arguments, raise questions and define problems. Make a conclusion based on evidence.

Intercultural competence

Intercultural competence

Understand real and imaginary similarities and differences. Use more than one perspective to view issues.


• Each year, neuroscience majors are among the Augustana students invited to participate in the prestigious Texas Medical Center Summer Student Research Program in Houston. At the top-ranked MD Anderson Cancer Center and other institutions in the Texas Medical Center, they work with professional mentors and peers from top schools around the country. Augustana students also have participated in the Augustana at Denver internship program, working at the University of Colorado and Craig Hospital, which specializes in rehabilitation from brain and spinal cord injuries.

• Augustana students and faculty participate in several undergraduate, graduate and professional research conferences each year, and many students present their research as part of their professional development. Examples include Midbrains: The Undergraduate Neuroscience Conference of the Upper Midwest, the Chicago chapter and national Society for Neuroscience meetings, and the Midwest Psychological Association Conference.

• Augustana is an institutional partner of IINSPIRE LSAMP, an alliance committed to broadening the participation of underrepresented students in STEM education in the Midwest. Funding is available to support underrepresented students who attend and present their research at the IINSPIRE LSAMP Annual Conference. Augie Choice $2,000 also supports every student’s research with a professor, internship or study abroad.

• Students who major in neuroscience, biology and/or psychology can enroll in a 3+2 Master of Science in Occupational Therapy or 3+3 Clinical Doctorate in Occupational Therapy coordinated degree program with Washington University, St. Louis.

Recent grads

Peyton Couch ’21 is pursuing a master's in biomedical sciences at Kansas City University.

Ruth Nwatu ’20 is working in the Health Equity Office of the North Dakota Department of Health through a Public Health Association Program fellowship with the CDC.

Leah Flanagan ’20 attends the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Juliana Pinheiro ’20 is conducting research in Dr. Krishna Bhat’s laboratory at the MD Anderson Cancer Center before pursuing a career in medicine and neuroscience research.

Olivia Zolnik ’18 attends Indiana University College of Optometry.

Ashley Adams ’18 earned her master's in developmental psychology at Illinois State University, and is pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical neuropsychology


Joseph Kreis
More Than I Imagined Joseph (Joey) Kreis
“The organization of coursework within the psychology and neuroscience department felt like stepping stones guiding me toward a career in research.”
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More Than I Imagined Natalie Hardy
“Dr. Ian Harrington, my neuroscience advisor and professor, is the sort of advisor that every student hopes to have.”
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More Than I Imagined Brittany Hatlestad
“My peak experience would be my summer spent at the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute in Houston, Texas.”
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Environmental justice, AI and neuroethics are top of mind for Hasselmo Award co-winners

Juniors Lucas Fahnoe and Zachary Horve are co-recipients of the $5,500 Nils Hasselmo Award for Academic Pursuit. With majors representing the humanities, social sciences and STEM, both will use their award money to assist them on their way to careers addressing some of the world’s most pressing concerns.

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