The term "neuroscience" was coined in the 1960s to name an interdisciplinary field that focused on both the normal and abnormal structure and function of the nervous system.

That field now sits at the intersection of biology, chemistry and psychology, and  the neuroscience major at Dickinson provides students with rigorous, laboratory-based exposure to the fascinating multidisciplinary study of the brain. Featuring advanced opportunities for research and integrated mentoring, the program is ideal for students planning graduate or professional study in neuroscience, biology, chemistry, psychology, medicine and other related fields.

Upper-division courses allow the student to bring research skills to bear in the laboratory and to integrate skill and knowledge gained in introductory courses. The elective requirements in the major allow students to explore the many facets of neuroscience, and students can then choose to focus on molecular or molar approaches to neuroscience; choose to emphasize biology, chemistry or psychology within their neurosciences major; and explore the ways other fields—such as anthropology, philosophy or sociology—intersect with neuroscience.

Contact Info


Tony PiresProfessor of Biology (1993)

Department Coordinator

Janice Wiss


(717) 245-1632




James Hall - Rector Complex Room 1225 Mailing Address

Department Features

Student Outcomes

Where Our Students Go From Here


  • Boston Children's Hospital
  • Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
  • Experimental Pathology Laboratories, Inc.
  • Imugen Inc.
  • Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Mayo Clinic
  • Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
  • Mount Sinai Medical Center
  • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, NIH
  • National Institutes of Health
  • Shire Pharmaceuticals
  • Society for Neuroscience
  • Takeda Oncology

Graduate Schools:

  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Teachers College, Columbia University
  • University of South Carolina
  • Georgetown University
  • Ohio State University
  • University of Arizona
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Teachers College, Columbia University
  • University of South Carolina
  • Georgetown University
  • Ohio State University
  • University of Arizona
Where Students Have Interned
  • Boston Children's Hospital
  • Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
  • La Cruz Roja (the Red Cross), Málaga, Spain
  • Mayo Clinic (summer undergraduate research fellowship)
  • Johns Hopkins Medicine
  • World Health Organization
  • Children's National Medical Center

Student Perspectives

“Last year I was involved in a research project … titled “The Decrease in Anxiety in Valerian-Injected C57BL6J Mice and the Non-Significant Effect in 129S1/SVLMJ Mice.” This experiment looked at the effects of an herbal remedy on the brain and was presented at the Eastern Psychological Association Conference in March. I never thought that I would have the opportunity to be a part of so much research during college. This experience has helped me understand the methods used in this field of science and has been instrumental to my growth as a neuroscientist.” 

Olivia Lowden '19 

Neuroscience News

Neuroscience Major Jobs and Graduate School Acceptances 2020

Neuroscience Major Jobs and Graduate School Acceptances 2020

Neuroscience majors launch jobs in health care and medical research and are accepted into graduate programs at the Mayo Clinic, the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, and Villanova University.

Student Snapshot: Justina Warnick

Student Snapshot: Justina Warnick '20

"Dickinson provided me with the best mentors," says Justina Warnick ’20, who researched neurodegenerative disease and addiction and will attend med school on full scholarship.

Student Snapshot: Lucille Papile ’21

Student Snapshot: Lucille Papile ’21

Lucille Papile ’21 is a published essayist-poet and neuroscience major who plans a career in wilderness therapy. She discusses her love of writing and her favorite experiences at Dickinson so far.

Internship Spotlight: Katie Koczirka

Internship Spotlight: Katie Koczirka '20, Boston Children's Hospital

Katie Koczirka '20 is spending her summer as an intern at the Boston Children's Hospital, where she's sharpening her lab skills while working alongside professional cancer researchers.

The Mind-Body Connection

The Mind-Body Connection

Meet Michael Murphy ’20, a track-and-field student-athlete majoring in neuroscience who researched telemedicine through an internship at the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.

Committed to Memory

Committed to Memory

From neurological research into memory on campus to volunteering in an Alzheimer's clinic in Spain, Olivia Lowden ’19 puts classroom lessons into action around the globe.