The Neuroscience Programme at Amherst College offers opportunities for honors thesis research projects during the senior year, and we have a high level of participation in senior honors. The honors projects are in the research areas of the Neuroscience faculty, which include biochemistry of the retina, molecular biology of synapses and the neuromuscular junction, neurophysiology of sensory systems, developmental psychobiology, and the neural basis of fear and anxiety. We are very fortunate to have close contacts with the Neurosciences and Behavior faculty at the nearby University of Massachusetts, at Amherst, and several of our majors have taken advantage of the opportunity to do senior honors research in the labs of UMass faculty such as Drs. Kay Fite, Geert DeVries, Dan Chase, Jerry Meyer, and Tom Zoeller.
Amherst College students are frequently able to present the results of their research at the national meetings of the Society for Neuroscience or other scientific meetings including the annual N.E.U.R.O.N. meeting (NorthEast Undergraduate Research Organization for Neuroscience) meeting at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut.
Almost all Neuroscience majors enter graduate or professional programs, either right after graduation or after working or traveling for a year or two. Typical careers involve medicine, research, teaching, or a combination of these. Many of our graduates are making significant contributions to their professions. They can be found doing research in laboratories at the National Institutes of Health, teaching high school in Boston, practicing medicine in dozens of places around the country, or working in the business world in a biomedically related area. What they all have in common is a fascination with how the brain works, and the experience of taking the challenging program of Neuroscience courses at Amherst College.
The Neuroscience major consists of science courses in biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, and psychology, plus senior comprehensives, which in some years include attending neuroscience seminars.
Neuroscience majors may also choose to do a senior honors research project in the laboratory of a Neuroscience faculty member or affiliated Biology faculty member (and in some cases a faculty member from UMass).