Polygence blog / Education and College Admissions

What Can I Do With a Neuroscience Degree?

3 minute read

Are you captivated by the complexities of the human brain, the mysteries of consciousness, and the complex workings of the nervous system? Pursuing a neuroscience major at the university level unveils many captivating pathways, each offering a distinct perspective within this ever-evolving field that explores the intricacies of our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. 

This academic journey provides access to diverse opportunities, ranging from research initiatives to healthcare roles, and establishes a solid foundation for a specialized career pathway. These specialized roles encompass clinical practice, where the emphasis is on understanding and addressing neurological conditions, to the forefront of avant-garde research and academia, pushing the boundaries of neuroscientific knowledge.

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Here are some career options  that you can choose from with a neuroscience degree:

  • Research Scientist 

  • Medical Scientist

  • Clinical Neurologist

  • Neuropsychologist

  • Pharmaceutical Researcher

  • Neuroinformatics Specialist

  • Science Writer or Communicator

  • Neurosurgeon

  • Cognitive Psychologist

  • Neuroimaging Specialist

  • Genetic Counselor in Neurology

  • Neuropharmacologist

  • Clinical Trial Coordinator

  • Clinical Research Assistant

  • Laboratory Technician, Medical Technician, or Forensic Science Technician

  • EEG Technologist

  • Neuroethicist

  • Clinical Psychologist

  • Rehabilitation Specialist in Neurology

  • Medical Science Liaison in the Neuroscience Industry

  • Professor at a Medical College or University

  • Pursue Graduate School or Graduate Studies in Neuroscience (Master’s, PhD, post-doctoral research)

Preparing for a Neuroscience Degree in High School

For current students aspiring to pursue a degree in neuroscience, laying the groundwork early is essential. Strengthen your foundation in biology, chemistry, and mathematics. Seek opportunities for extracurricular activities, internships, or mentorships that provide exposure to science and research. 

Practical experience, through internships or research projects, is often a crucial component of a neuroscience program. This hands-on approach equips students with the skills needed to navigate the complexities of real-world neuroscience applications.

Polygence offers programs designed to match high school students with neuroscience research mentors. Through these mentorships, students can explore their interests, undertake research projects, and gain valuable insights into the field of neuroscience.

Exploring Neuroscience Career Paths Before College

Polygence Pathfinders, a career discovery mentorship program, is tailored for students eager to explore a neuroscience career path or any related science career. Their career services can help you engage with expert mentors in areas such as neurobiology, cognitive neuroscience, behavioral neuroscience, integrative neuroscience, or clinical neurology to gain personalized advice and guidance on picking the best career option. When you do become a neuroscience graduate, you'll appreciate the program as a part of your valuable career resources.

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Interdisciplinary Approach

Neuroscience, by its nature, is interdisciplinary. A neuroscience degree integrates principles from various fields, enabling students to adopt a holistic approach to understanding the brain. It involves elements of biology to comprehend neural structures and functions, psychology to delve into behavior and mental processes, and even physics and engineering for those inclined toward neuroimaging and computational modeling. Combinations with psychology, computer science, or bioinformatics, for instance, open up new dimensions of understanding and application.

Neuroscience Research Projects on Polygence

Seeking mentorship and and engaging in careful career planning are advantageous for budding neuroscientists, as connecting with seasoned professionals not only offers guidance in navigating the field but also unlocks doors to collaborative opportunities and diverse research projects. Within neuroscience, research endeavors span a broad spectrum, allowing students and professionals to delve into projects exploring cellular and molecular mechanisms associated with neurological disorders like Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, or schizophrenia. For high school students interested in conducting research in this field, Polygence can help bridge this gap. 

For example, meet Polygence mentor, Carmen. She's currently immersed in a project exploring the current state of Neurodevelopmental Disorders. With her, you can delve into the definition, diagnosis, and treatment of these disorders alongside behavioral therapeutic interventions. Throughout the project, you'll gain skills in critically analyzing scientific papers, culminating in a review of the topic suitable for submission to scientific journals, such as the International Journal of High School Research.

Understanding how the brain adapts and learns is another captivating avenue of research. Polygence mentor, Ollie is working on projects exploring neuroplasticity to delve into the mechanisms that enable the brain to reorganize itself in response to experience, offering insights into learning and recovery from brain injuries.

For the mathematically inclined, research projects in computational neuroscience involve developing and refining models that simulate neural processes. These models utilize modern machine learning techniques and artificial intelligence to contribute to understanding complex phenomena such as neural networks and information processing in the brain.

Another topic of interest is the ethical implications of neuroscience research, as conducted by Polygence mentor Jennifer. Jennifer is interested in the intersection of science, policy, and law, and researching how science can inform evidence-based legal practices. Research projects in neuroethics examine the ethical considerations surrounding emerging neurotechnologies, brain enhancement, and sometimes, even the implications of neuroscience for concepts of identity and free will.

Advances in neuroscience contribute significantly to the future of medicine. From groundbreaking discoveries in neural regeneration to innovative therapies for neurological disorders, professionals with neuroscience degrees play a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of healthcare.

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