The Neurobiology major recognizes that study abroad programs offer students countless opportunities for expanding their educational experience. Many Neurobiology majors take advantage of this opportunity. Whether it be through taking courses abroad that may fulfill Neuro requirements, or requirements necessary for the BA/BS degree, students find the abroad academic experience highly valuable. This opportunity can range from intimately experiencing a new place and culture to participating in a Neuroscience research laboratory in another country. In a globalized world, international experience gained from studying abroad is highly attractive to potential graduate/medical/professional schools and employers. The information below is intended to help Neurobiology majors potentially combine major requirements and study abroad options. Please meet with a Study Abroad advisor and your Neurobiology Major advisor to make your study abroad dreams a reality.
Prospective Neurobiology Major Students
Most students in the Neurobiology major that have studied abroad have done so in the spring semester of their junior year, although there are other equally good times to study abroad during your undergraduate career. You should always talk to a Neurobiology major advisor to find out how a study abroad can fit into your 4-year plan. It is recommended that you complete introductory coursework such as introductory mathematics, general and organic chemistry, and physics at UW-Madison. Current and potential Neurobiology majors should be aware that core requirements for the major MAY NOT be taken abroad.
Neurobiology Major Course Considerations Abroad
The Neurobiology major requirements dictate that all majors must complete 3 distributed neuroscience electives in addition to the core courses, listed below. These Neuroscience-specific electives plus other biology requirements (see requirements listed at neuromajor.wisc.edu) should total 30 credits. In many cases, if a study abroad course does not count as a distributed neuroscience elective, these courses may count toward the 30 credits in the major. Core requirements for the Neurobiology major must not be taken abroad. The core courses for the major includes the following classes:
Psychology 454 – Behavioral Neuroscience
Zoology 523 – Neurobiology
Zoology 500 – Neuroscience Seminar
You must get approval from your advisor before you can expect a certain course taken abroad to count as one of the distributed neuroscience courses or toward the 30 credits in the major. In addition, it may be possible to fulfill your lab research requirement abroad. You must contact your advisor in the Neurobiology major to get approval for any course that you think might fulfill a Neurobiology requirement.
Mapping Your Study Abroad Experience as a Neurobiology Major
While it is most advantageous to tackle math and chemistry requirements for the major during the first year, students intending to declare the Neurobiology major could focus on fulfilling Letters & Science breadth requirements abroad. Students thinking about studying abroad in the first year may wish to get involved in programs that take place during winter intersession or summer term. In so doing, a student is able to create an all-important peer base that studies have shown is an integral part of undergraduate success. This year could also be a good time to explore options for study abroad in future years.
Study abroad this year is probably a more realistic option for many students in the Neurobiology major. There are still several foundational courses you need to take for the major that should be taken in this year. The majority of your foundational Statistics, Math, Chemistry and Physics courses should be complete by the end of this year. However, as these courses can trickle into junior year, it is possible for students to find abroad programs in the sophomore year that provide a good fit.
Most Neurobiology major students that study abroad do so in the spring of the junior year. The core course requirements for the Neurobiology major are usually taken during this year as well. The core course, Psychology 454, course is offered only in the spring semester, so this will require some advanced planning, but it is possible to take this course in an alternate spring semester.
Senior Neurobiology majors will likely be taking upper-level Neurobiology courses as well as completing additional majors or certificates. Seniors should be aware of the Senior Residency Requirement; these students must earn a minimum of 30-degree credits in residence at UW-Madison after they have earned 86 credits toward their undergraduate degree. All UW-approved study abroad programs qualify as in residence; however, you should consult with your Study Abroad advisor on this issue if you wish to study abroad in your senior year.
Questions to Ask
Your Academic Advisor
- What classes must I complete for my degree (breadth/depth, major requirements, etc.)?
- Can I take core courses in an alternate semester?
- How many electives do I have outside of my major?
Your Study Abroad Advisor
- What classes can I take abroad?
- How and when do I select courses for my program?
- When will I know course equivalents for my program?
- What is the class structure like abroad?
- Is it possible to take the MCAT exam abroad?
Identifying Programs That are Right for You
There are many different study abroad programs available to you. Programs vary in their course offerings, language of instruction, duration, and cost. It is important to consider your goals and priorities in selecting a program. The list below is not exhaustive but is demonstrative of programs that offer courses that work well for Neurobiology students.
Australia, Brisbane / University of Queensland Exchange
Australia, Cairns & Townsville / James Cook University
Denmark, Copenhagen / DIS – Study Abroad in Scandinavia
Denmark, Copenhagen / University of Copenhagen Exchange
England, Leeds / University of Leeds Exchange
England, Bristol / University of Bristol Exchange
China, Hong Kong / Hong Kong University of Science & Technology Exchange
New Zealand, Multiple / Massey University Exchange
Singapore / National University of Singapore Exchange
South Africa, Cape Town / University of Cape Town Exchange
South Korea, Seoul / Korea University Exchange
Sweden, Stockholm / DIS – Study Abroad in Scandinavia
Wales, Cardiff / Cardiff University
Search all IAP programs
Research all programs using the IAP Program Search page. The above is not an exhaustive list of all programs that offer courses accepted in the Neurobiology major. There may be other programs that are a better fit for your individual needs or interests.