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Neuroscience Major

Explore the function of the nervous system and how it regulates behavior, and examine some of the fundamental questions of human nature.

Neuroscience is the interdisciplinary study of the nervous system and its relationship to mental processes and behavior. At the heart of the field are biology, psychology and chemistry.

Because many of the emerging approaches to understanding brain function require a firm foundation in several disciplines, you may take courses in several departments, including mathematics, physics, psychology and computer science.

Studying neuroscience in a liberal arts environment allows you to explore a variety of topics such as neuropharmacology, psychopathology, sensory systems, mathematical physiology, neuroimaging, neurogenetics, neuroethology and the social brain.

Professor Nicole Weekes on studying neuroscience in a liberal arts setting
Summer research in Professor Karen Parfitt’s lab
Summer research in Professor Karen Parfitt’s lab
In class with Professor Nicole Weekes
In class with Professor Nicole Weekes
Class presentation
Class presentation

What You’ll Study

    • Core courses in biology, chemistry, math and psychological science
    • Cell and molecular neuroscience
    • Systems-level neuroscience
    • Human Neuroscience
    • Additional electives in science and neuroscience 
    • A senior experimental thesis, or project thesis
91
percent of majors who participate in laboratory research projects

Research at Pomona

Megan Chang Slideshow

The Barriers to Health Care Faced by Youth Living with HIV

Megan Chang '21 is developing a research project to investigate barriers to care and health service utilization among youth living with HIV and their providers in three New York City clinics.

Emily Rainge in front of poster

C. elegans Olfactory Systems

Emily Rainge ’22 did summer research on what blends of chemical cues C. elegans olfactory systems use to distinguish among different bacteria.

Roland Scott ’22

Virtual Research at Harvard Medical School

Roland Scott ’22 was part of the Summer Honors Undergraduate Research Program at Harvard Medical School during summer of 2020 and he was able to continue working on studying succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase (SSADH) deficiency.

Hannah Caris ’23

Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases

Hannah Caris ’23 did remote summer research with Professor Jonathan King’s lab where she explored ginsenoside mediation of neuroinflammation and oxidative stress in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

Jessica Kuo ’22

Older Adult Classical Musicians and Dementia

Jessica Kuo ’22, a cellist and music minor, is working on a project that explores cognitive function and dementia in older adult classical musicians.

Riya Sivakumar ’23

MAT2A Gene

This past semester, for one of a virtual lab report, Riya Sivakumar ’23 was part of a group that helped analyze data from the Aging, Dementia, and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) study done at the Allen Brain Institute. Specifically, they looked at the gene MAT2A, which is involved in DNA methylation.

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Jessica Kuo ’22
Jessica Kuo ’22

I would not have found my way onto this exciting path if it weren’t for the support of the Neuroscience Department. The faculty here are some of the kindest and most passionate people who want to help their students succeed, and they challenge you to think differently and think critically.

Faculty & Teaching

Research interests range from molecular genetics and physiology to the effect of stress and culture on the human brain. Each faculty member’s research program is driven by undergraduate research students working both in the summer and during the academic year.

Professor Karl Johnson

Understanding how the brain works is one of greatest and most valued challenges in contemporary science. Since the pronouncement of the ‘decade of the brain’ in the 1990s, research in neuroscience has exploded and shows no signs of slowing down. At Pomona, students interested in participating in this exciting scientific pursuit may do so with the faculty in our Neuroscience Department.