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.

  • Majors at Pomona: Neuroscience
    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 is currently investigating what blends of chemical cues C. elegans olfactory systems use to distinguish among different bacteria.

  • Sammy Little Research
    Editing the Fly Genome

    Sammy Little '20 is currently using CRISPR technology to study chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans proteins known as CSPGs, which aid in the development of a functioning nervous system.

Megan Chang ‘21

I believe neuroscience is an area of study that is the perfect intersection of the physical and the abstract. Through neuroscience, I have been able to explore both the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of human behavior.

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.