- Offered as:
- Specialization track in Neuroscience
Computational neuroscience links the information processing features of the brain and nervous system with the information processing systems of computer hardware and software.
WSU's computational neuroscience program is an interdisciplinary offering that allows students to study both neurobiology and computer science. The program emphasizes the organism and the machine as information processing entities. The program is designed to allow students to acquire a breadth of knowledge in computational subjects (math, bioengineering, computer science, and electrical engineering), or to focus on either software design (computer science) or hardware aspects of computation (computer engineering).
- Strengths of the program
- Discover new knowledge about the natural world and technology, and design and build new devices, processes, and algorithms—all in a program that provides a balanced curriculum of science.
- Work in a laboratory where you can apply knowledge learned in the classroom into hands-on experience.
- Work side-by-side with more than 40 renowned neuroscientists and bioengineers, many of whom are among the very best in the world.
- Engage in cutting-edge neuroscience research such as movement disorders, substance abuse, addictions, eating disorders, sleep disorders, vision disorders, reproduction, and biorobotics
- You can join a math, science, and engineering community residence hall at WSU Pullman—share classes with your neighbors, study together, get free tutoring, and use the hall’s computer lab.
- The program draws faculty from six colleges: Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resources; Engineering and Architecture; Liberal Arts; Sciences; Veterinary Medicine; and the Honors College.
- Learn in centrally located, state-of-the-art buildings that feature classrooms with Internet connections and the latest in audiovisual technology.
- Signature courses
The computational neuroscience option supplements the neuroscience core curriculum with computer software and hardware design courses. Courses in computer science and engineering are selected to provide as broad an exposure as possible to subjects that underlie the basic neural and computational sciences.
The program is designed to allow students to acquire a breadth of knowledge in computational subjects (math, bioengineering, computer science, and electrical engineering), or to focus on either software design or hardware aspects of computation, culminating in a minor in either computer science or computer engineering. The curriculum also meets all subject requirements for application to medical school and graduate study in most areas of neural and biomedical science, including bioengineering.
All computational neuroscience students take a central set of courses:
Neuroscience for Freshmen
Exploring the Brain
Design of Logic Circuits
Principles of Neurophysiology
Neuroscience Senior Project
The computational option in neuroscience includes additional courses allowing you to achieve breadth in computational subjects or to focus on software or hardware design minors. Examples of electives you might take include:
Cognition and Memory
Note: See the WSU Catalog (http://www.catalog.wsu.edu/Pullman) for degree requirements and talk with your academic advisor about planning and scheduling your courses. All students must meet requirements as outlined in the catalog in order to graduate.
- Research experience
Given the growing importance of research to the future career plans of our students, the neuroscience program requires majors to complete a senior research project, which can be started as early as the freshman year. Under the guidance of a neuroscience faculty member, students are able to research a neuroscience topic of their choice.
Competition for admission to graduate and professional school is increasing across the nation, and many students have found that participating in research projects is a critical part of their academic career.
Research experience, networking, career exploration, enhanced laboratory skills and abilities, improved critical thinking skills, opportunities to publish your research findings, and letters of recommendations are just a few of the positive outcomes for undergraduates who participate in a research experience.
- Pre-admit PhD in neuroscience
Pre-admission to the WSU graduate program in neuroscience is intended for the academically exceptional neuroscience major who intends to pursue a career in neuroscience research. A student nominated for the pre-admit program will have an outstanding record of academic achievement and will have exhibited an aptitude and strong motivation for original research in neuroscience.
This program provides incentives for the best and brightest students in the undergraduate program in neuroscience to remain at WSU for their graduate work.
- Scholarships and financial aid
For neuroscience students
The Honors College, Neuroscience Program, and College of Engineering and Architecture award many scholarships to specifically to computational neuroscience students. For more information, contact the Neuroscience Program, Honors College, or College of Engineering and Architecture.
For all students
A variety of state, federal, and university-sponsored programs are available to help students with educational costs. Washington State University awards millions of dollars in financial aid and scholarships to students every year based on financial need, academic merit, or a combination of the two.
Students should complete the Washington State University general scholarship application and the FAFSA to ensure their eligibility for the widest range of scholarships and need-based financial aid.
For information or to apply for financial aid and scholarships from WSU, see the Scholarships and Finances section of the WSU website.
Common computational neuroscience careers include work in computer programming (artificial neural networks), process control engineering, academic research, biomedical engineering and instrumentation, biomedical imaging and radiology, economics and forecasting, stock market analysis, satellite imaging and analysis, and robotics.
Computational neuroscience is excellent preparation for graduate school in scientific and technical fields. The program in computational neuroscience also provides ideal preparation for professional programs such as medical, veterinary, or pharmacy school.
Computational neuroscience majors with a computer science or engineering minor can expect to make between $40,000 and $60,000 at first. Salaries can rise dramatically with on-the-job experience.