Why Neuroscience at Wellesley?
So, you say science is hard. Why should I major in neuroscience? What is there to love about it?
The primary reason is because neuroscience, the study of the biological basis of the brain and behavior, is amazing! The Neuroscience major at Wellesley not only lets you delve into the study of the brain by taking classes in departments of biology, chemistry, and psychology, but it also opens doors to many opportunities in graduate education in a flourishing field of science.
Here's what some Neuroscience students say:
"It's a relatively new field of science and it's applicable to many other fields of study. Here at Wellesley I like how biology, chemistry, computer science, and psychology courses are incorporated into the major—it provides a wide background for all the different specialties in neuroscience. The department faculty are also really great. They are excited about neuroscience and have a lot of interesting research going on at the college."
—Megan Strait '10
"I really love neuroscience as it's so relevant to our lives. It's also very complex and [focuses on], in my opinion, one of the least understood parts of our body. I also believe that neuroscience is one of the fields that's getting a lot of attention these days as we've only recently had the technology to be able to closely investigate the brain and begin to understand how it functions and works. "
—HoiSee Tsao '09
"I love neuroscience because it's the study of one of the most complex organs and systems in the human body: the brain and the nervous system. What makes it fascinating and exciting is that even the slightest change in the system can affect our everyday actions, thoughts, and emotions. It's the epicenter of our being and we are learning more about it every day, but we still don't fully understand how it works or why it works the way it does. "
—Hyon Suk Kim 'o8
A Comprehensive Education
Wellesley's neuroscience majors graduate with a liberal arts background coupled with sufficient concentration in this specialized field to be competitive among students coming from exclusively research-oriented institutions.
Of Wellesley's graduates in neuroscience, approximately 60 percent proceed to medical school, which makes sense, because of the intersection of the interests in the fields of neuroscience and medicine. Approximately 15 percent continue on with graduate work in neuroscience, psychology, or neuropsychology; and approximately 10 percent pursue careers that intersect with neuroscience—such as patent law or work in the biotech industry.
Success in Science
Wellesley's active and early role in neuroscience education is manifest in the success of its graduates. These include: Story Landis '67, director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; Nancy Adler '68, professor of medical psychology and director of the Center for Health and Community at the University of California, San Francisco; and Joanne Berger-Sweeney '79, dean of the Tufts University School of Arts and Sciences and former associate dean and Allene Lummis Russell Professor in Neuroscience at Wellesley College.
Wellesley provides such solid grounding that its graduates successfully move forward and pursue their individual areas of passion. They are not bound by convention; they can typically find role models in virtually every field imaginable, even those that are historically male dominated. No matter what their field of pursuit, Wellesley women seem to be intellectually engaged, and many achieve impressive levels of success at the top of their fields.