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College of Arts & Sciences

Neuroscience is the interdisciplinary study of the nervous system, with the ultimate goal to understand higher brain function and neurological disease at the cellular and molecular level. Neuroscientists use molecular, physiological, computational and behavioral approaches to achieve this goal. For most of us, the excitement of this field comes from the attempt to understand the organ that defines us as individual, conscious human beings. The Neuroscience major is a small, intense, multidisciplinary program that leads to a BS. It is designed to take advantage of the depth and breadth of expertise in neuroscience among faculty in many departments at UW, which has been for many years a leading institution in the world in this field.

* A small percentage of students are admitted to this major directly as freshmen. The majority will be admitted through the standard admission process after enrolling at the UW.

Major category: Capacity-constrained

Topic(s): Health, Natural and environmental sciences

Degree requirements

Applicant type

Applicant type

Freshmen can apply to the UW to begin autumn quarter or winter quarter (U.S. applicants only)

Read more about applying to the UW as a freshman, including details for programs that provide high school students with college credit (like Running Start).

Neuroscience is a capacity-constrained major. While the vast majority of students enter this major by submitting an additional application once they are enrolled at the UW, you may be considered for direct admission as a freshman by listing Neuroscience as your first-choice major on the freshman application. Admission may be competitive. Visit the department website for more information.

Quarters of general admisson to UW: autumn / winter (U.S. applicants only) / spring / summer

Preparation for the major is a factor in transfer admission.

  • Use the information below to help you prepare for this degree
  • Visit MyPlan to run a degree audit.
  • Use the UW Equivalency Guide to find out how courses taken at a Washington state community or technical college will transfer to the UW.
  • UW college and school graduation requirements

Department admission information

Departmental application deadline: Second Friday in October
You must enroll at the UW before applying to this major. Please contact the department for additional details.

This major is capacity-constrained. Meeting minimum standards guarantees consideration for the major but does not guarantee acceptance into the major.
  • A minimum grade of 2.0 required in each course.
  • Completion of most supplemental coursework in physics, math and chemistry recommended, with a minimum 2.50 GPA for any such work completed at the time of application.

Read more about applying to the UW as a transfer student.

Courses required for the major:

  • BIOL 180 NSc — Intro Biology I
  • BIOL 200 NSc — Intro Biology II
  • BIOL 220 NSc — Intro Biology III


Entering transfer information:

Total undergraduates: 113
Total from Washington community colleges: 11

Career outcomes

See list of all majors