Neuroscience (interdepartmental)

MNI building detail Neuroscience image of head and brain

Neuroscience is a multidisciplinary science devoted to the understanding of the nervous system. The brain is one of the most complex systems in the universe, and understanding how it functions is among the most challenging questions in science. Scientists are investigating the brain at many levels, from the molecules at synapses to complex forms of behaviour, and use methods of inquiry that are drawn from a number of disciplines, including molecular and cellular biology, physiology, behavioural sciences and cognitive psychology, computer science and artificial intelligence. In addition, scientists are investigating the nervous system of many different animals, from simple invertebrates to humans. These wide-ranging investigations are providing a clearer understanding of how neurons work; how they communicate with one another; how they are organized into local or distributed networks; how the connections between neurons are established and change with experience; how neuronal function is influenced by pharmacological agents, and during disease states. As a result, we are gaining deeper insights into the neural basis of mental activity, as well as developing new therapeutic approaches to alleviate neurological and psychological diseases.

The Neuroscience program at McGill is coordinated by three departments: Biology (BIOL), Physiology (PHGY), and Psychology (PSYC). It is designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills to pursue higher degrees in graduate studies or medicine, and to access employment opportunities in universities, biomedical research institutes, hospitals, government, and industry.

Program Options

Because Neuroscience is such a vast discipline, students accepted into the Majors program choose one of 3 different streams: a Cell and Molecular Stream, a Neurophysiology/Neural Computation Stream, or a Cognitive/Behavioural Stream.

Students who are interested in proceeding to graduate studies have a broad spectrum of choices because neuroscience research is conducted in almost all departments in the Life Sciences and Basic Health Sciences.

A Minor program is available for students in other programs who are interested in gaining some insight into Neuroscience.

Program Highlights

  • While exploring a major area of neuroscience in depth students also gain insight into a number of other disciplines, giving them a broader perspective of the interplay between the various fields.
  • Students have the opportunity to participate in the research program of a neuroscientist by undertaking an independent Research Project (6 or 9 credits) in the neuroscientist’s laboratory.
  • Neuroscience Undergraduates of McGill (NUM) enhances the student experience through information sessions, invited lectures, and social activities.

More information

Webpage for undergraduate studies in Neuroscience

Calendar entry for Neuroscience – see online calendar