Mission & Objectives

Our Mission

Students at the control console of an MRI machine. The mission of the UAB Undergraduate Neuroscience Program is to prepare and advance UAB undergraduates to careers in research and health-related sciences in highly competitive programs, enhance the likelihood for success in these programs, and enable UAB graduates to become accomplished scientists, clinicians and health-care professionals who will be ideally equipped for future study of the nervous system and treatment and discovery of cures for neurodevelopmental, neurological, psychological disorders and injury.

The Undergraduate Neuroscience Program and faculty mentors will accomplish these missions by four complementary mechanisms:

  • First we will provide students with a solid academic and intellectual foundation in biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, psychology and neuroscience.
  • Second, we will enable students to conduct innovative hands-on laboratory research under the direction of faculty mentors to learn state-of-the-art experimental approaches and methods in neuroscience research.
  • Third, we will mentor students in the development of skills in scientific methodology, experimental analysis, and effective oral and written communication. We expect our students to evolve to colleagues in our laboratories, which should result in publications in scientific journals and presentations at local, national, or international professional meetings.
  • Fourth, we will provide students with one-on-one academic and career counseling to identify professional programs most suited to their strengths and interests, and strategies to be competitive applicants to these programs.

Students earning the B.S. in neuroscience at UAB will be well suited for admission into the nation's most prestigious graduate programs, medical schools and health-related professional programs.

Our Objectives

To provide a solid academic foundation with core courses in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and psychology.

This core curriculum will be coupled with an advanced curriculum in neuroscience that will emphasize understanding of the molecular, cellular, and physiological mechanisms and processes underlying nervous system functioning, cognitive processes and behavior.

To provide the opportunity for our majors to conduct hands-on independent laboratory research under the direction of high-caliber faculty mentors to learn state-of-the-art experimental approaches and methods.

The goal is to have students develop a fundamental understanding of scientific method and specific techniques used by neuroscientists, in an atmosphere in which the relevance of neuroscience research to the human condition is kept at the forefront. The laboratory environment and research mentors will also provide exposure to professional character, leadership, entrepreneurial thinking, continued development, community service, and ethics. Students will complete a senior research thesis as part of the major and will have the opportunity to publish their research results in collaboration with their faculty mentors.

To help students develop skills in scientific methodology and experimental analysis, and learn how to effectively communicate their results orally and in writing.

Students will begin to learn how to critically evaluate and interpret scientific literature through innovative courses. Learning effective written and oral communication skills will be achieved through the core B.S. curriculum and the senior research thesis and presentation. Students will also have the opportunity to present their research to wider audiences at platforms including the Neurobiology Retreat, Undergraduate Research Day, and regional scientific meetings.

To provide a program for UAB undergraduates to become active participants in the UAB neuroscience community, with important benefits to the participating departments and schools.

The result will be an increase in the number and quality of matriculating students in neuroscience at the undergraduate, graduate, public health, optometry and medical schools, with a positive impact on the training environment. Undergraduate participation will enhance the attractiveness and quality of neuroscience training at UAB and contribute to the establishment of UAB as a pre-eminent university for training in the neurosciences, a rapidly expanding, emerging academic discipline.

To provide an educational and research experience that ensures the successful pursuit of future career goals in academia, medicine, the health sciences and research.

The major will be flexible enough for students to select courses that will prepare them for a variety of career options, including research, medicine, public health, dentistry, optometry, veterinary medicine, and other health-related professions. Workshops and career days are provided for students in the junior year.