Neuroanatomy and Neurobiology Are Two Areas of Focus for Those Interested in a Neuroscience Major
This past weekend, a friend asked me this question: Is UCLA the right school to pursue a neuroscience major? Specifically, he was considering enrolling in the Bhattar Neuro Neurological Institute. He noted that he had heard quite a few students have trouble passing their neuro exam after matriculation and that many of them never did go on to become doctors.
He asked if the school provided support for such struggling students or needed to find other funding sources. In my opinion, it’s best to look at the entire field before making a decision.
UCLA Interesting Programs
For starters, UCLA offers many exciting programs in the sciences. They offer courses in molecular biology, cell and tissue culture technologies, developmental biology, neuroanatomy, pharmacology, and anatomy.
There’s even an undergraduate program in neuroanatomy. But when it comes to the bachelor’s program in neuroanatomy, there are just six courses required, and they are all relatively low-level courses. That means more opportunities to explore the brain than is available in higher-level science courses.
But is this enough to justify the expense? Not necessarily. Many neuroscience majors find the program lacks sufficient structure. My undergraduate studies focused on neuroanatomy, and the lack of coursework and lab experience rendered it nonexistent.
Doctorate Adviser Emphasized the program.
But my doctorate adviser emphasized that his program was specifically designed for those wishing to become neuroscience specialists, not clinical neuroanatomists. As such, our program had a solid prerequisites policy and strong lab rotations.
Does this mean UCLA is less competent than other schools? No. Many programs have similar APA-recommended coursework and a robust lab environment.
Only two of our twenty neuroscientists are in their first year of study, but the ratio of students finding the right lab partners with whom to share time is excellent. This helps ensure a bright future for all concerned.
The second reason to consider UCLA as an ideal program is its proximity to other top research centers. Neuroanatomy and neurobiology are among the most exciting areas of study in the world.
It is no wonder that UCLA’s proximity to such highly ranked research centers (including the molecular biology center, the Salk Institute for Medical Science, and the neuroscience institute) contributes to its reputation.
Neurobiological Engineering Center
The school’s Neurobiological Engineering Center has received nearly twenty awards, and the school’s Neurobiological Synthetic Materials Processing Program has been ranked seventh in the nation.
This brings us to the third reason to consider UCLA a good fit for your future neuroscience major. The lab work is unparalleled. The clinical services are impressive, too. But research is just the beginning.
Those pursuing a neuroscience major can expect to spend three to four years in the lab, performing work in functional MRI; neuroanatomy and neurobiology; cognitive and memory; and pharmacology.
Those working in the lab will also be required to complete a year of graduate work in either human biology or chemistry.
In addition to the heavy work that lies ahead, however, those pursuing a neuroanatomy and neurobiology degree will also be required to participate in extensive laboratory work.
Structure and Function of the Brain
The composition and purpose of the brain are still largely unknown, but the science of neuroscience is consistently making advances. And it is the job of these scientists to play a part in understanding how the brain operates and how it may be used to benefit humankind.
To participate in this growing area of science, students must choose to pursue either an interdisciplinary program at the UCLA School of Medicine or a neuroscience department at UCLA. The interdisciplinary approach allows students to focus on a specific area of study, while the neurological option offers a more comprehensive and longer path to a degree.
If you are interested in a neuroscience major but don’t know which area to concentrate on, you might want to consider the neuroscience department at UCLA. In this program, you will learn about all the branches of neurology,
emphasizing the visual and nervous systems. This is a crucial area of study because the visual system includes the eyes, the entire brain, and even the body’s muscular system.
When you study this area, you will learn everything from how the eyeball moves around the retina to how movement patterns in the visual system produce colors.
You will also study how the nervous system produces messages from the eye to the brain and how these messages get from one part of the brain to another.