The Spectator

Neuroscience major coming to UW-Eau Claire

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Rachel Helgeson

More stories from Rachel Helgeson

Student interest in the major was 'primary driving factor' behind push for new degree

The+psychology+department+serves+as+home+base+for+the+new+major%2C+but+it+is+connected+to+six+different+departments+in+total.
The psychology department serves as home base for the new major, but it is connected to six different departments in total.

The psychology department serves as home base for the new major, but it is connected to six different departments in total.

Rachel Helgeson

Rachel Helgeson

The psychology department serves as home base for the new major, but it is connected to six different departments in total.

Advertisement

Students at UW-Eau Claire now have the opportunity to declare neuroscience as their major in the fall after the UW-System Board of Regents approved the idea at its February meeting.

“It was unanimously approved,” said Doug Matthews, the head of the psychology department. “It’s been a process that’s actively taken about two years. The primary driving factor was just student interest (and) the support and efforts from Provost (Patricia) Kleine.”

Matthews said there’s a need for people who thoroughly understand the nervous system because the average age of the population is increasing.

“Neuroscience is one of the most rapidly-growing career paths,” Matthews said. “In the next 10 years it’s going to increase by 25 percent in the job market.”

Daniel Janik, associate professor of biology, said he thinks “we’re really in the midst an exciting period in neuroscience discovery that is likely to continue for quite a while.”

Janik will be teaching lectures and laboratory sessions for upper-level students enrolled in the program, as well as a beginner’s course about the brain which is co-taught with Matthews and associate professor of psychology David Leland.

To prepare students for the progressive field of study and career path, the new major will cover a wide variety of topics.

The interdisciplinary major, which will consist of 60 credits, will be housed in the psychology department but the degree plan comprises courses from various departments. Besides psychology, these include biology, math, philosophy and chemistry as well as electives through music and communication sciences and disorders.

“Hopefully we train students well for whatever direction the field takes us,” Matthews said.

Matthews said he predicts about 20-25 students will declare the major this coming fall.

The university already offers neuroscience as a minor and will not have to adjust or add to their course offerings to accommodate the major.

“All the classes in the major were already taught at the university and frequently they were often over-enrolled,” Matthews said.

Matthews said UW-Eau Claire will be able to provide “meaningful, high-impact practices” in the new major because of the quality of the university’s student and faculty.

“Eau Claire provides a unique opportunity where you have excellent students and excellent faculty with enough resources,” Matthews said.

Amelia Schneider, a second-year student who began her college career in nursing, switched her major to psychology and added a neuroscience minor in the spring of 2017 after taking a beginning psychology course with Matthews.

This fall, she will declare neuroscience as her major.

Schneider said her new plan will “better suit her” because of her interest in psychology. She said she thinks it will be a great degree plan which also allows “access to fun classes like music and philosophy”.

“The psychology major with a neuroscience minor is restricting in that the psychology major has core classes that may not be as applicable to someone who wants to pursue neuroscience in their future,” Schenider said. “They (neuroscience majors) get to spend more time in the ‘hard sciences’ (biology, genetics, molecular biology, chemistry, psychopharmacology).”

Schneider said she plans to pursue her master’s degree and Ph.D. in a neuroscience-related field.

Students who earn their undergraduate degree in neuroscience may go on to graduate school for medical or dental fields. Graduate students with a neuroscience degree may pursue careers in pharmaceutical sales, medical equipment sales and medical engineering.

Matthews said he can’t predict how the major may evolve over time because of the progression of technology and new discoveries in the field. He said he is hopeful that about 100 students will declare a neuroscience major in the next 3-5 years.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the Contributor
Rachel Helgeson, Freelance Writer
Rachel Helgeson is a senior journalism student and is excited to graduate this December. Although she has no clue what she’ll be doing after graduation, she does know that she enjoys the outdoors, global travel, photography, old books and napping. 
Leave a Comment

The Spectator intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Spectator does not allow anonymous comments and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Neuroscience major coming to UW-Eau Claire

    News

    Student Office of Sustainability works to educate students on composting

  • Neuroscience major coming to UW-Eau Claire

    News

    Police Blotter

  • Neuroscience major coming to UW-Eau Claire

    News

    Student Senate passes resolution in support of revised ordinance

  • Blugold Radio

    This week on Blugold Radio Sunday

  • Neuroscience major coming to UW-Eau Claire

    News

    U.S. News ranks UW-Eau Claire fifth among top regional public universities in the Midwest

  • Neuroscience major coming to UW-Eau Claire

    News

    Building relationships at Randall Park block party

  • Neuroscience major coming to UW-Eau Claire

    News

    Blu’s Organizational Bash invites students to join clubs

  • Neuroscience major coming to UW-Eau Claire

    Blugold Radio

    Blugold Radio Sunday debuts new four-hour format for fall

  • Neuroscience major coming to UW-Eau Claire

    News

    Organizing in the pursuit of systematic change

  • Neuroscience major coming to UW-Eau Claire

    News

    Police Blotter

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.
Neuroscience major coming to UW-Eau Claire