BA/MA Program in Neuroscience

Program Director: Prof. Sarah Raskin

Program Description

The BA/MA program in neuroscience offers an opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree within approximately five years. It is open only to Trinity College undergraduates who major in neuroscience and who are accepted to enroll in courses for graduate credit during their junior and senior years. The fifth year is devoted largely to completing a thesis based on a long-term research project that has been previously approved.
To complete the BA/MA program, students must fulfill all requirements for a BA in neuroscience, including at least 4 courses for graduate credit that can be simultaneously applied toward requirements for the BA, a 1-credit graduate research seminar (0.5 credit each term), 2 credits of independent research, one additional graduate elective course, and a 2-credit master’s thesis based on a student’s research project for a grade of B- or better. To receive the  MA degree, a minimum graduate GPA of 2.667 must be earned. The thesis will be evaluated by the Neuroscience Coordinating Committee to determine that it meets the requirements for a master’s degree and, as appropriate, honors consideration.

Required Courses

Either as part of the requirements of the major, or in addition, BA/MA students are required to complete the following courses.
In addition to a graduate research seminar, independent graduate research, and the master’s thesis, at least five of the courses listed below (which will be co-listed for graduate/undergraduate credit) must be taken for graduate credit.  Students taking the courses listed below for graduate credit will be expected to complete additional writing or laboratory assignments.
NESC 401/801, Neurochemistry (1 credit)
NESC 402/802, Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology (1 credit)
ENGR 316/NESC 816, Neural Engineering (1 credit)
ENGR 401/NESC 8xx, Special Topic: Introduction to Biomedical Engineering (1 credit)
PSYC 334/NESC 834, Current Issues in Cognition (1 credit)
PSYC 391/NESC 891, Psychology of Languate (1 credit)
PHIL 374/NESC 874, Minds and Brains (1 credit)
PSYC 302/NESC 802, Behavioral Neuroscience (1 credit)
NESC 362/862, Neuroethology (1 credit)
PSYC 392/NESC 892, Human Neuropsychology (1 credit)
PSYC 365/NESC 865, Cognitive Neuroscience (1 credit)

 Application Requirements and Procedures

Applicants to the program must fulfill the following criteria to be considered for admission.
  • Only undergraduate students in good standing at Trinity College who have declared their major field of study to be neuroscience will be considered.
  • Applicants must have completed at least 4 terms of study at Trinity College with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in all subjects and in neuroscience.
  • To be considered, applicants must submit a detailed description of their major research project as approved by a member of the neuroscience faculty who has agreed to supervise the project and who supports it in a written recommendation.
  • Applications must be accompanied by a second letter of recommendation from a regular member of the faculty of Trinity College.
  • Applications, along with all supporting documentation, must be submitted to the Graduate Studies Office (Trinity Commons, Room 113), using the application form for the BA/MA program in neuroscience, no later than close of business on April 1 of each applicant’s sophomore year.
  • The Dean of Graduate Studies will forward applications meeting the above criteria to the Neuroscience Coordinating Committee for consideration. Applicants will be notified in writing of the Committee’s decision by the beginning of registration for the subsequent term.
Applicants to this program should understand that not everyone who meets the minimum qualifications above will be selected for participation. Factors such as the academic quality of the proposed research project, availability of faculty and laboratory resources to support particular research projects, and other considerations may influence the Committee’s decision.