The Neuroscience Certificate is a new, interdisciplinary, undergraduate program offered through the department of Psychology at Wheaton College.
Neuroscience is one of the fastest-growing interdisciplinary fields of study in the 21st century and its influence has been widespread. It has extended an impact on disciplines beyond the natural sciences to include: philosophy, law, business, the arts, the social sciences, and the humanities. As the field has grown there has been an increase in the number of undergraduate and graduate interdisciplinary neuroscience programs across the nation and demand for them has increased.
Nationally, neuroscience is one of the top 10 career options and is very popular with national and foundation funding support. Studying the nervous system is critical in helping make the connections between mind and brain, and this mind-brain link has significant theological implications on questions of human personhood and the imago Dei.
This program encourages interdisciplinary coursework and collaboration for students and faculty across the natural and social sciences, the arts, and the humanities. It offers an opportunity for students who see the natural sciences of physics, geology, biology, and chemistry as distant fields an opportunity to engage in the scientific process, develop research skills, and be critical evaluators of scientific research in an area that has a great degree of theological impact--most notably the brain.
The certificate prepares students for graduate school, medical school, or other professional training in neuroscience. It prepares students for careers in basic and applied research and teaching, as well as careers in traditional healthcare fields by offering both a core set of courses, and a degree of flexibility to tailor their coursework to their own interests. The neuroscience certificate is an interdisciplinary experience that explores a comprehensive knowledge of the nervous system derived from:
- genetics, molecular and cellular biology
- neural circuitry and the interconnection between various brain regions
- psychological factors including cognition, behavior, and emotion, and
- systematically interconnects/integrates these levels in coursework and research across multiple departments