CAS: Neuroscience

Sample Pathway

Below is an example of a four-year plan of a College of General Studies student pursuing a degree in neuroscience. Students will work with their CGS academic advisors and the neuroscience department to plan their own pathway to a neuroscience degree.

Gap Semester Recommended external course: Calculus I (equivalent to CAS MA 123) or Calculus for the Life and Social Sciences I (equivalent to CAS MA 121). Note: Prior approval must be granted for external coursework.
  Semester I Semester II
Freshman Year CGS RH 103
CGS SS 103 
CAS MA 124 or CAS MA 122*
CAS CH 101
CGS Required Courses (London or Boston-New England semester)
Sophomore Year CGS SS 201
CGS HU 201
CAS NE 101
CAS CH 102
CGS HU 202
CAS NE 102
Second Language (if needed)
Junior Year CAS NE 203
CAS NE 212
or CAS MA 115 and CAS MA 116
or CAS MA 213 and CAS MA 214
Second Language (if needed)
CAS NE 202
CAS NE 204
CAS NE Elective
Second Language (if needed)
Senior Year CAS PY 105
CAS NE Elective
CAS NE Elective
Second Language (if needed)
CAS PY 106
CAS NE Elective
CAS NE Elective

*Students starting in fall 2023 and after have the option to take one calculus course and one computer science course (CS 111) or one calculus course and one data science course (CDS DS 110 or DS 100).

    Students from an earlier academic year who wish to take a computer science or data science course must petition the Director of the Undergraduate Program in Neuroscience.

    **Choose your electives carefully to fulfill any remaining BU Hub requirementsStudents who take the specific courses noted on the pathway above will fulfill all Hub requirements except for a single unit in Creativity/Innovation. Please see here for more information on which BU Hub units are satisfied by the neuroscience major.

    Note: External courses are not eligible for Hub general education credit.

    College of General Studies Program Requirements

    • Two rhetoric courses: CGS RH 103 and CGS RH 104
      • CGS RH 104 is taken during the London semester
    • Two natural science courses: CGS NS 201 and CGS NS 202
      • Neuroscience majors in good standing will be exempted from CGS NS 201 and CGS NS 202
    • Three social science courses:
      • CGS SS 104 is required and is taken during the London semester
      • Students select at least two additional SS courses and will work with their academic advisor to determine course selection
    • Three humanities courses:
      • CGS HU 104 is required and is taken during the London semester
      • Students select at least two additional HU courses and will work with their academic advisor to determine course selection.

    Note: Students who are exempt from CGS NS 202 must enroll in at least one CGS course in semester II of sophomore year. 

    Major Requirements

    A total of 17 courses is required for the neuroscience major, and is distributed among seven basic science courses, five core neuroscience courses, and five upper-level electives. A grade of C or higher is required for major credit in all courses except for the required 2-course chemistry sequence of CAS CH 101 and 102 (or equivalent, such as CH 101 and 116, CH 109 and 110, or CH 111 and 112). A grade of C– or higher is required for major credit in these chemistry courses (only if completed at BU). A minimum grade of C is required for external courses to be eligible to transfer.

    For required courses, please see the CAS Bulletin. Students may not receive credit for (1) both CAS NE 101 and PS 231, or (2) both CAS NE 212 and PS 211. Please also note that CAS PS 222 is no longer accepted as a neuroscience elective.

    Students majoring in neuroscience must also fulfill the research requirement, which is satisfied through successful completion of CAS NE 102/116 and CAS NE 203/218. Students may alternatively fulfill the research requirement through an upper level elective with a lab component or through one research-for-credit course as a junior or senior at the NE 391 level or higher. For more information, please see the Neuroscience Department webpage. Please contact Kaylyn Dorsey ( with any questions about the major.

    Pre-Medical Students

    Pre-medical students majoring in neuroscience are not required to take CAS BI 107 or CAS BI 108. Instead, students should first take CAS NE 102, which substitutes for CAS BI 108 as a pre-med requirement. Students should then take CAS BI 203 and CAS BI 315 (CAS NE 102 substitutes for CAS BI 108 as a prerequisite for these courses). CAS BI 203, CAS BI 315, and CAS CH 203 are part of the Neuroscience Restricted Electives list: students may count a maximum of 2 courses from this list towards their 5 required neuroscience electives. Additional courses (e.g. CAS CH 204 and courses in biochemistry, psychology, and sociology) are required for pre-med students but are not required for the neuroscience major, nor do they count as neuroscience electives. Students planning to attend medical school should consult advisors in the neuroscience program and in the pre-medical advising office (100 Bay State Road, room 428) for information on the selection and sequencing of courses.

    Continuation Requirements

    • Completion of the CGS required courses and appropriate electives
    • Cumulative GPA greater than or equal to 2.00

    Graduation Requirements

    Boston University students completing a degree in CAS must also complete the following requirements. 

    This is a sample pathway to be used in consultation with your CGS Academic Advisor.

    It is subject to change according to course availability and individual circumstances.

    Last revised: 02/06/2023