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Neuroscience and Cognitive Science

Bachelor of Science

Top 3%

Online Bachelor's Program in the Nation

- U.S. News & World Report, 2024

Top 25

Public Flagship University

- U.S. News & World Report, 2024

Quick Facts

Credits Required: 120
Cost Per Credit: $525
University of Arizona Biology Building

College of Science

Would you like to study in a field that is pushing the frontiers of science? Ready to study the brain and nervous system as they drive cognition, behavior, emotion and consciousness? Through the BS in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science, you can explore the amazing complexity of the brain, its important role in developmental disorders, and the devastating effects of injury. You will have the opportunity to engage with new technologies that have facilitated exploration at levels that were impossible only a few years ago.

The BS in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science includes a gateway course NSCS 200: Fundamentals of Neuroscience and Cognitive Science and a common set of core courses that provide a solid foundation in both Neuroscience and Cognitive Science. Upon completion of these core requirements, you will then choose one of two focus areas: Neuroscience or Cognitive Science. Upper division courses within each focus are designed to enhance your knowledge and skills in the chosen content area.

Finally, you will pursue a series of elective courses in your area of emphasis, either Neurobiology or Cognition, allowing you to customize the program to your own interests and develop your knowledge in particular themes of neuroscience or cognitive science. 

This rigorous curriculum is designed to prepare you for a variety of careers in health and research-related fields.

*Residents of some U.S. Territories may not be eligible. Please see our Eligibility & State Authorization page for more information.

This degree consists of 120 credits total. Core courses include a gateway course. All students choose a focus, consisting of six credits, and an emphasis, consisting of 15 credits. Research and independent study can be used for up to six of the 15 credits required to complete an emphasis.

NSCS 200: Fundamentals of Neuroscience and Cognitive Science
NSCS 307: Cellular Neurophysiology
NSCS 308: Methods in Neuroscience
NSCS 311: Scientific Programming Using MATLAB
NSCS 320: Issues & Themes in Cognitive Science
NSCS 321: Methods in Cognitive Science


Earning your Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science will build core skills, including:

  • Critical thinking
  • Brain and behavior problem solving
  • Self-initiated learning
  • Discovery in cognitive science
  • Discovery in neuroscience
  • Formal scientific literature evaluation
  • Evaluating scientific results
  • Mass media evaluation
  • Effective communication
  • Scientific research ethics
  • Ethical scientific decision-making
  • Understanding brain behavior

Graduates of the BS in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science will have different career outcomes depending on the focus area they choose. The following list incorporates career outcomes for both focus areas:

  • Laboratory Technician
  • Medical Scientist
  • Biological Technician
  • Researcher
  • Laboratory Technologist
  • Laboratory Manager
  • Clinical Research Coordinator
  • Biologist
  • Medical Professional
  • Technical Writer
  • Policy Analyst
  • Social Science Researcher
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Neurobiology Focus

Courses in the Neurobiology focus will hone in on the molecular, genetic and cellular bases of neural function. You will study genetics, human and animal behavior and development, neural networking and more. You may use the Neurobiology focus as a stepping-stone to medical school, research ventures or careers in biotechnology, non-profit research foundations, or science writing.

Neurobiology Focus Courses
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Cognition Focus

The Cognition focus concentrates on higher-order functions in the brain including decision making, reasoning, language, attention, perception, memory, and consciousness. Courses also cover brain disorders that disrupt cognitive functioning. This fous is designed for students who are contemplating careers in medicine, law, business, marketing, research and teaching, neuro-rehabilitation, or social and home care services.

Cognition Focus Courses