Learning Outcomes of the Neuroscience Major

Upon completion of the Neuroscience major, through the completion of course work and their senior thesis, a student will have demonstrated that they can think critically and creatively about neuroscience, plan and execute a sustained research project, and clearly communicate their understanding/findings both in written and oral presentation. The student will be able to:

  • demonstrate understanding of foundational material that spans the disciplines of Biology and Psychology 
  • integrate these perspectives to draw connections between both disciplines
  • choose and define important and contemporary topics of inquiry from the major field
  • independently execute a significant research project under the mentorship of an adviser 
  • develop new knowledge, whether integrative or innovative
  • develop cogent and testable hypotheses, and design and critique logical experiments
  • identify, analyze, critique, and evaluate existing scholarship 
  • select and conduct appropriate data analysis and interpretation
  • apply ethical standards to research, including an understanding of the planning and approval steps for conducting research on humans and other vertebrate animals
  • write a clear and coherent document that is substantially longer than a traditional term paper or project and in the style and format appropriate to the field
  • present, discuss and defend their work orally to scientific and non-scientific audiences. 

The primary assessment tool for learning in the major at Reed and the level of student achievement in these areas, is the senior thesis; in addition, the junior qualifying examination offers a secondary assessment tool for student learning in the Neuroscience major.