The laboratory of Professor Bin Chen focuses on mammalian brain development.


The neuroscience major provides students with rigorous preparation for graduate studies and research. The brain and determinants of behavior are studied at all levels, from biological molecules to individual nerve cells to functioning organisms to social behavior.

Degrees Offered

  • B.S.

Study and Research Opportunities

  • Beyond the core upper-division neuroscience courses, students have access to electives tailored to the major, such as Mechanisms of Neurodegenerative Disease and Developmental Neurobiology.
  • Access to courses in related fields, such as Psychology and Cognitive Science
  • Hands-on laboratory courses and opportunities for independent research

Information for First-Year Students (Freshmen)

In addition to the courses required for UC admission, high school students who intend to major in biology should take high school courses in biology, chemistry, advanced mathematics (precalculus and/or calculus), and physics.

Information for Transfers

Junior transfer students who plan to major in neuroscience must complete the introductory requirements prior to transfer, specifically a complete year of calculus, general chemistry, and introductory biology. Additionally, students who complete a year of organic chemistry, and calculus-based physics will transfer prepared to begin their advanced degree requirements and allow time in their senior year for doing research.

California community college students should follow the prescribed coursework in the UCSC transfer agreements available at


  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical research
  • Cell biology
  • Child development
  • Government research
  • Medical technology
  • Medicine
  • Mental health
  • Optometry
  • Physiology
  • Psychology/Psychotherapy
  • Teaching

These are only samples of the field’s many possibilities.

Department Website

General Catalog Information

More Information

Molecular Cell & Developmental Biology Advising
142 Jack Baskin Engineering Building
University of California, Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, California 95064