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Friday, April 19, 2024 — Houston, TX

Neuroscience B.S. to debut in the fall

Infographic by Anna Chung

By Hajera Naveed     3/28/23 10:02pm

The neuroscience Bachelors of Science was approved by Faculty Senate at the March 9 meeting and will be incorporated into the General Announcements for the following academic year. The major includes two tracks: molecular and cellular neuroscience and computational neuroscience. 

The idea to create a B.S. major came shortly after the neuroscience Bachelor of Arts was introduced in the spring of 2018, according to assistant professor of biosciences Jon Flynn. After finalizing the proposal in October of last year, it went through approval of several committees and the faculty senate.

Flynn said the proposal was well received by the faculty senate, with a few concerns about whether to include honors research and how many electives should be required for the major. Ultimately, honors research was excluded from both tracks, and two concentration electives, alongside other major requirements, must be completed to earn the degree.

The differences between the B.A. and the B.S. in neuroscience lie in the depth of study, according to Flynn. For those interested in focusing on a more specific topic within the field of neuroscience, Flynn said he recommends considering the B.S. 

“The B.A. is a very generalist degree,” Flynn said. “In a sense, if you like neuroscience as a whole, and you want to learn a little bit of everything about it, go for the B.A. For the B.S., it’s more specialist.”

In an email to the neuroscience listserv, Flynn reminded students that the B.S. is not better than the B.A., and that he does not believe selection committees for medical or graduate school have a preference for one over the other.

Candi Zhao and Aanika Kashyap, presidents of Rice Neuroscience Society, said they were excited that the neuroscience track is expanding to provide more options for students.

“Because there is a wider range of interests covered [in the new B.S. major], we hope RNS can expand with our events and committees to appeal to the students with those interests,” Zhao, a Jones College senior, said.

Students can begin declaring the new major as soon as next fall semester. 

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