Field of Study: Neuroscience
Neuroscience programs teach people how the brain and nervous system work. Students learn about cells, molecules, and the role they play in thinking. They study the central nervous system and the biology of nervous disorders. They learn how to apply the science to biomedical engineering.
There's a common saying that we use only 10% of our brain. The truth of the matter is, we actually use ALL of our brain. What scientists are still figuring out is how different parts of the brain work. People who are neuroscientists study what different parts of the brain do and how those different parts "talk" to each other. After all, it's pretty amazing all that the brain does! It thinks, imagines, learns, remembers, and forgets. It tells us when we're hungry and even unconsciously tells our lungs to contract and expand so that we can breathe!
In neuroscience programs, you take courses from several areas, including psychology, biology, and chemistry. You also take courses in genetics and physiology. You study how the brain works, including how people learn and remember. You also study how the brain and the body communicate to each other. In addition, you can study how medicine, drugs, and alcohol affect brain functioning. Depending on your interests, you can study specific diseases that target the brain. These can include depression, epilepsy, and Alzheimer's.
With a degree in neuroscience, you usually work as a researcher or lab assistant. You can work for medical centers, universities, or drug companies. However, most advanced research jobs require a graduate degree for entry into the field.
About 80 schools offer bachelor's degrees in neuroscience. They usually take four years to complete. In some cases, you can go to school an extra year and earn a combined bachelor's and master's degree. In addition, many schools offer graduate degrees in neuroscience. Such programs typically take three to five years after you complete your bachelor's degree. Most people with graduate degrees in neuroscience become professors or researchers.