What can I do with a degree in neuroscience?
Many students major in neuroscience to prepare for advanced degree programs across a wide range of life science and health-related fields, including graduate training programs, medicine, nursing, pharmaceutical sciences, veterinary medicine and physical therapy.
The breadth of neuroscience as a discipline opens up additional avenues for students depending on their own unique interests and curricular pathways, including industry and sales (especially in pharmaceuticals and health-related fields), advertising, education and work with government agencies, especially those focused on public health issues. Neuroscience is also becoming influential in disciplines such as philosophy, economics and law, as evidenced by the development of new sub-fields in neuroscience such as neuroethics, neuroeconomics and neurolaw.
A neuroscience degree offers skills in:
- Critical thinking, analysis and problem-solving
- Self-management and work habits
- Written and oral communication, data presentation
- Leadership and teamwork
Maximizing the power of your degree
- When choosing a minor, be thoughtful on how that course of work can help you gain additional skills or broaden your exposure to other disciplines in a way that enhances your overall portfolio. See a list of minors that pair well with a neuroscience major
- Engage in research under a university faculty member. These are incredible learning experiences that also look great on a résumé. Internships and related work experiences are also valuable in furthering your education
- Participate in student organizations. Become a campus leader
- As with most degree programs, the more practical experience that you obtain, the more likely it is that you will get a job in your field. Therefore, we recommend that students who do not intend to go to graduate or professional school seek out additional opportunities such as internships, part-time jobs and volunteering that will strategically position them for a neuroscience-related career
Many Neuroscience major pursue advanced degrees in science and medicine. The degree provides a solid foundation for graduate study in:
- Academics and research: Ph.D.
- Medicine: M.D. or D.O.
- Nursing: MSN, DNP, Ph.D.
- Veterinary medicine: DVM
- Law: J.D.
- Physical or occupational therapy: MPT, DPT, MOT, OTD
The interdisciplinary nature of neuroscience, coupled with the fundamental role of the brain in all aspects of human behavior, lends itself to a large variety of careers. Some of these careers have never before existed and are newly emerging as the field of neuroscience matures. For example, there are an increasing number of "neuro-x" careers such as neurolaw, neuromarketing, neuroeconomics, and many more! The DANA Foundation, a non-profit foundation that strongly supports the development of neuroscience, has put together a valuable resource called The Career Network in Neuroscience & Society that will help educate you on the many possibilities. This site also provides resources for career development and job seeking such as virtual job fairs, career networking events, and job boards. And its all free! (https://neuroxcareers.org).
As you view the neuroxcareers site, consider how your choice of a minor can help to prepare you for one of the many different kinds of careers listed on the site.
This tool provides a broad overview of how major selection can lead to careers and is provided without any implied promise of employment. Some careers will require further education, skills, or competencies. Actual salaries may vary significantly between similar employers and could change by graduation, as could employment opportunities and job titles.