The Neuroscience program at Virginia Tech takes a very broad view of Neuroscience considering any interactions that are directed or perceived by the nervous system as Neuroscience. For example, any expression of artistry is generated and perceived by brain circuits, as are emotions, motivation, empathy, passion and compassion. Communications between cells, individual organisms, organismal groups and even societies are governed by brain activity.
Whether a student wishes to pursue Neuroscience research in the future or simply acquire this wealth of knowledge, understanding Neuroscience makes us more competent human beings, and provides us skills to be applied to a multitude of careers in art, music, architecture, urban and community planning, law, finance, policy, politics, health care and many other professions.
Students in the School of Neuroscience program learn directly from experts in the field about advances in genetic, cellular, molecular, cognitive and systems Neuroscience. Choose your major from Clinical Neuroscience, Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience, Computational and Systems Neuroscience, and Experimental Neuroscience.
The Clinical Neuroscience major is designed for students who wish to pursue a career in health related professions (medical, dentistry, veterinary medicine, physician assistant, physical therapy, nursing, etc.). It offers a curriculum that spans from a detailed understanding of genetic, cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying diseases and disorders in the nervous system to a translation of such findings into clinical practice and the role and responsibility that health care plays in society. Students are encouraged to participate in independent research and each student will complete a capstone thesis based either on their own laboratory findings or on a literature based research question.
Computational and Systems Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary branch of Neuroscience that incorporates theoretical and experimental approaches to understand the brain. Students choosing this major will explore tools and techniques that Neuroscientists use to make sense of the vast data available in hope of finding solutions to neurological diseases and disorders as well as to understand processes such as decision-making, addiction, motivation, and more. Students in this major will also be able to explore exciting research areas in artificial intelligence and human-computer interactions. Typical computational Neuroscience students will develop a strong background in Mathematics and computer programing.
Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience focuses on thought processes in humans. Students majoring in Cognitive Neuroscience will explore a wide array of topics including sensory and motor systems, learning, memory, decision-making, language, sleep, mood, awareness and attention, and others. Courses will introduce students to biological substrates underlying cognition ranging from genes to complex circuits. Additional courses illuminate the role of Neuroscience in social interactions and Society. This major prepares students for graduate studies in cognitive Neuroscience or Psychology as well as many professional careers including Law School, Business, Public Health, Finance and Policy.
The Experimental Neuroscience major prepares students for a hands-on career in science or science education. The curriculum focuses on the structure and function of the nervous system with the ultimate goal to experimentally test questions relevant to health and disease. Students in this major will gain a comprehensive understanding of genes, molecules and cells that are the building blocks of the brain. Students will work with model organisms to learn how the brain develops and functions. Students will explore the many disorders and diseases that are linked to the brain and nervous system from a model systems perspective. A capstone thesis typically follows 1-2 years of hand-on research in a laboratory and is typically based on the students own data.
From the classroom to the operating room: A one of kind learning experience for undergraduate students,
a collaboration between Carilion Clinic and the School of Neuroscience.
The School of Neuroscience at Virginia Tech’s Clinical Neuroscience in Practice course is no ordinary class. In class, students receive lectures from residents and attending physicians from Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital and get to ask questions and see real-life clinical cases and treatments.
Download Article: Clinical Neuroscience in Practice: An Experiential Learning Course for Undergraduates Offered by Neurosurgeons and Neuroscientists. The Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education (JUNE), Spring 2018, 16(2):A112-A119