Programs of Study

The current trend in science is to move beyond traditional disciplines and approach the understanding of nature from multiple perspectives. That’s exactly what Concordia’s interdisciplinary neuroscience program is all about.

Major or Minor in Neuroscience

Study how the brain and nervous system acquire, process and integrate information from the environment. Evaluate how this information affects behavior of an organism. 

Major in ACS Chemistry with a Minor in Neuroscience

This degree is of value for students pursuing an advanced degree in chemistry or a related field.

Benefits of Our Program

Our major comprises unique, interdisciplinary courses and electives from other areas of science and mathematics. Understanding the complexities of the nervous system requires a strong, interdisciplinary foundation and the practice of multiple approaches toward solving challenging problems affecting the nervous system. With our emphasis on learning neuroscience by doing neuroscience and ample opportunities for community engagement, service learning, science communication, original research, and more, you’ll have an edge when applying for graduate and professional programs or landing your first job in neuroscience. 

  • Engage in hands-on laboratory and service-learning opportunities.
  • Complete a learning experience outside the classroom, such as an internship, independent study or a research project.
  • Take courses designed specifically for neuroscience and taught by faculty from four disciplines. 
  • Enjoy a competitive edge when applying for health professions programs, neuroscience research, or industry employment.

Research

Our students frequently work alongside Concordia professors on research projects in which they gain valuable career experience. Each summer, many of our students are also accepted for National Science Foundation-sponsored Research Experiences for Undergraduates at major universities across the country.

Students are encouraged to travel to regional, national or international conferences with faculty to present research. We regularly attend the undergraduate conferences MidBrains, URMS (Undergraduate Research in the Molecular Sciences), NCUR (National Conference on Undergraduate Research), the regional Red River Psychology Conference, and the large, International Society for Neuroscience meeting.

Academic and Career Outcomes

Many of our neuroscience students attend graduate school, medical school or join academic neuroscience labs where they work on some of the most complex neuroscience issues in human health.

Recent graduates of our program:

  • Work at the Mayo Clinic laboratory on the gut-brain axis 
  • Attend Notre Dame working on treating brain cancer by using nanoparticles to deliver drugs to the brain
  • Attend medical school at the University of Minnesota
  • Attend medical school at Rosalind Franklin University in Chicago
  • Study the damaging effects of zinc after stroke at the University of New Mexico
  • Conduct research at Denver Health and Hospital Authority 
  • Work as a pharmacist in the University of Michigan Health System (after studying Pharmacy at U of Michigan)
  • Attend grad school at the University of Minnesota and conducting neuropharmacology research

Unique Opportunities

Brain Awareness Week

Celebrate, share and promote your knowledge of the nervous system. Every March, we get involved in events on campus and in the Fargo-Moorhead community.

Internships and Service-Learning

We encourage and support our students as they apply their learning to off-campus internships or service-learning experiences.

Honor Society

Nu Rho Psi is open to majors who have taken 9 or more credits in neuroscience, and maintain a GPA of 3.5 or higher in neuroscience courses and an overall GPA of 3.2 or higher. Students can apply for research and travel grants through the national honor society.

Concordia Neuroscience Society

This club is open to all students interested in becoming more informed about the field of neuroscience. The club hosts activity nights and journal club, invites speakers, and participates in Brain Awareness Week.

Degree Requirements and Courses

Required Courses

Additional Requirements

Experiential Learning – 2 credits taken as NEU 390, NEU 480, or NEU 487. See ConcordiaCollege.edu/experientiallearning

4 credits from the following neuroscience electives:

8 credits from the following electives (at least 4 credits must be in a lab science):

Recommended courses:

**The neuroscience major can be completed in 40 credits; however, BIOL 222, BIOL 306, BIOL 352, BIOL 406, BIOL 411, BIOL 412, BIOL 416, BIOL 497, CHEM 128, CHEM 330, CHEM 373, CHEM 374, CHEM 431, MATH 315, MATH 316, DATA 316 and PHYS 112 have prerequisites offered in complementary majors.

PSYC 111 or equivalent is a prerequisite for PSYC 319, PSYC 318, PSYC 361, PSYC 325, and PSYC 327.

NEU 109 and junior or senior standing may be used as the prerequisite for BIOL 336, BIOL 350, and BIOL 402.

Required Courses

Additional Requirements

4 additional credits from the following:

4 additional credits; at least one course from the following:

Recommended courses:

*The neuroscience minor can be completed in 24 credits; however, BIOL 306, BIOL 352, BIOL 406, BIOL 411, BIOL 412, BIOL 416, BIOL 497, CHEM 330, CHEM 373, CHEM 374, MATH 315, MATH 316, and PHYS 112 have prerequisites offered in complementary majors.

PSYC 111 or equivalent is a prerequisite for PSYC 318, PSYC 361, and PSYC 325.

NEU 109 and junior or senior standing may be used as the prerequisite for BIOL 336, BIOL 350, and BIOL 402.

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The thing I most love about neuroscience is the unknown. There's always more to learn and more to explore. The brain is such a beautiful thing that is completely unique to every person. – Riley Irman '21

Nornes Lectureship

Each year, the program hosts the Nornes Lectureship in Neuroscience. The lectureship realizes the vision of Dr. Howard. O. Nornes '53. It is open to area students, faculty and the community at large.

Dr. Nornes graduated from Concordia College with a degree in biology. He obtained a doctorate in neuroscience from Purdue University and did postdoctoral research at the University of Lund, Sweden, and the Max Planck Institute, Göttingen, Germany.

He is professor emeritus of neuroscience at Colorado State University and continues to teach courses in neuroplasticity of the adult brain in their continuing education program. His major research interest was the development and regeneration of the nervous system, work that promotes healing and recovery of the function of the spinal cord and brain. Through the years, he has been involved in community programs to promote peace and social justice.

The lectureship was created through generous gifts from the families of Dr. Howard and Sonia Nornes; and LaVern '54 and Lois Nornes '56.

Contact

Dr. Krys Strand

Associate Professor, Biology; Program Director, Neuroscience; Director of National Fellowships and Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity Biology, Neuroscience