University of Southern California

USC Neuroscience

Honors in Neuroscience

An Honors program is available to outstanding students with a minimum GPA of 3.5 who are pursuing a B.A. or B.S. in Neuroscience. This program offers students exceptional opportunities to participate in scientific research, culminating in the experience of writing an Honors thesis summarizing their completed research. Honors students are required to gain research in a lab; they register for 4 units of Directed Research (NEUR 490) as one of their UDEs (Upper Division Electives). During their junior and senior years, Honors students also take two semesters of an Honors Seminar (BISC 493, 1 unit/semester), in which small groups of students discuss recent experimental findings in Neuroscience and their own research. After completing the Honors Seminar, senior Honors students also take one semester of Honors Thesis (BISC 494, 2 units), in which they write their Honors Thesis. For an example of an Honors thesis, click here.

Students earning honors in Neuroscience must have a minimum overall GPA of 3.5 at graduation. This program leads to the designation on the transcript of Bachelor of Arts/Science in Neuroscience with Honors.

In order to receive Neuroscience Honors you must complete the Neuroscience Request Form by April 4th, 2014.


Why join the Neuroscience Honors program?

One of the great strengths of the Neuroscience major at USC is the opportunity to interact with faculty from different research areas within Neuroscience, and hence to be exposed to different perspectives. Joining the Honors program will offer you even more opportunities for interacting with faculty and gaining experience in how modern research is carried out. Honors students are encouraged to join a lab no later than the end of their sophomore year, which provides extended hands-on experience in research, and a better understanding of how new knowledge is created. Your Senior Honors thesis will be based on the research you have conducted, working directly with the head of a lab and senior graduate students or post-doctoral associates. In addition, you join a cohort of outstanding students like yourself to engage in stimulating discussions in the Honors Seminar (BISC 493). In this class, students give short oral presentations based on research talks given by visiting neuroscientists from around the world. Other students and faculty ask questions, and then give constructive feedback on the presentation. This class is really fun, and will enhance your skills of critical analysis and communication – these are skills that last a lifetime.