New Minor Degree Continues IUPUI Growth in Neuroscience

Release Date: 
Mar 4 2013

neuroscienceIUPUI students now can pursue an academic minor in neuroscience, a rapidly growing field with opportunities for a multitude of careers in the life and health sciences.

Last fall, the School of Science at IUPUI launched an undergraduate major in neuroscience—a rarity at the undergraduate level—to take advantage of a booming neuroscience industry in Indiana and across the country. The response has been remarkable, the program director said, with many current and future students at IUPUI expressing great interest in the new offering.

The new minor will appeal to an even broader audience of students by linking a variety of science disciplines together and adding a specialization option for non-majors.

“The minor will allow students to understand, apply, and analyze the connections among disciplines,” said Steve Boehm, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology and director of the undergraduate neuroscience program at IUPUI.

“These abilities will help them apply their life sciences learning to the rest of their education and better prepare them for graduate and/or professional studies in this new and expanding field,” added Boehm.

To qualify for the minor, students must complete five courses (15 credit hours) from options in neuroscience, biology and psychology. The program will focus on the behavioral and cellular/molecular aspects of neuroscience. Advanced students will have the option to pursue graduate-level courses as part of the minor.

Boehm said he expects the minor to appeal most to pre-med students interested in neurology and psychiatry or those who plan to go to graduate school and study the brain sciences. However, even non-science majors could benefit from the minor because studying neuroscience can provide students insight into a variety of human behaviors.

“Neuroscience is an excellent supplement to virtually any degree program,” Boehm said.

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development predicts life scientist positions will increase by more than 22 percent in the next five years. IU Health recently opened a massive neuroscience treatment facility in Indianapolis, and the adjacent IU Neuroscience Research Center is designed to make Indiana a national focus for neuroscience education, treatment and research.

Neuroscience students at IUPUI have access to a wide array of research and internship possibilities, and the need for skilled workers will grow as the industry continues its upward trend.

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