Explore the elegance and complexity of the brain and investigate how our 86 billion neurons contribute to our thinking, our behavior, and our sense of self.

Why study Neuroscience at Sewanee?

Neuroscience is a highly interdisciplinary field that spans the study of everything from single molecules to brain-wide circuits. The Sewanee neuroscience curriculum is designed to provide a fundamental understanding of cellular /molecular, behavioral, and cognitive approaches to exploring the brain. Flexible electives allow our students to expand their training into many related fields, including biomedical and health sciences, computational modeling, chemistry, and philosophy. Our professors provide a welcoming and collaborative environment where our students develop critical thinking skills, creativity, and a rigorous approach to understanding neuroscientific research.

Spotlight on: Experimental Neurobiology

Students in the new NEUR 351 Experimental Biology course using optogenetics and electrophysiology. In these experiments Drosophila (fruit flies) have been genetically engineered to express a light-sensitive ion channel in the motor neurons. In concert with intracellular electrophysiological recording, light-activation of these motor neurons leads to recordable changes of the membrane potential of the flight muscles of the fly.

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Spotlight On: Behavioral Neuroscience

Dr. Cammack’s research explores how drugs of abuse impact behavior. Specifically, she is interested in how abused drugs alter normal brain processes like learning, memory, and motivation; how sex differences and hormones alter drug seeking; and why similar individuals respond differently to the same drug. Her current research explores how prescription opioids, such as oxycodone, cause short- and long-term changes to motivation-related circuits in the brains of males and females.

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Spotlight On: Neurodegeneration

Elise Kikis studies the aberrant proteins that underlie neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington’s disease. Huntington’s disease is one of several autosomal dominant disorders in which a polyglutamine (polyQ) expansion leads to “toxic gain of function” caused by the adoption of a misfolded or aggregated state associated with proteotoxicity. Contact her for more information about research opportunities in her laboratory.

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See What Our Students Have To Say

Student CO-Authored Articles

Meet our Faculty

Courses In NeuroScience


Sewanee’s Neuroscience curriculum is designed to cultivate core competencies in neuroscience. Students explore core subdisciplines in neuroscience and engage in hands-on laboratory courses that allow them to develop and conduct inquiry-driven research projects in neuroscience. Flexible, interdisciplinary electives enable students to expand their appreciation of neuroscience while pursuing their interests and goals.

A Sampling of Courses


Faculty & Student Research

Explore the research programs run by our Neuroscience faculty, and discover how our students conduct and present scientific research of their own.

Spend a Semester at Yale

A diverse and developing collection of innovative collaborations between Sewanee and Yale School of Medicine combining the unique strengths these two institutions offer tremendous possibilities for students, faculty, and community partners both on the Mountain and in New Haven. Our cross-institutional collaborations range from courses to research projects to community engagement efforts. The partnership between these two institutions continues to grow and evolve and the opportunities are many.

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Programs of Study

Requirements for the Major & Minor in Neuroscience

Requirements for the Major & Minor in BiologyWebsite

Requirements for the Major & Minor in Psychology | Website

Our Community

Sewanee’s neuroscience community welcomes all members, from the neuro-curious to the newly declared major to the graduating senior. Discover the many ways to connect with other students, interact with faculty, plug into social and professional networks, and expand your neuroscientific world.

Neuroscience Brightspace

Interested in pursuing a degree in neuroscience, or just neuro-curious? Our Brightspace page is filled with valuable resources, tips, and ways to get involved in our community.


Sewanee is a designated peer review site for the undergraduate neuroscience journal IMPULSE. IMPULSE publishes scholarly reviews and research papers written by undergraduates like yourselves. As a peer review site, Sewanee students can serve as anonymous reviewers for papers submitted to IMPULSE to be considered for publication.

We’re looking for students who are interested in joining our IMPULSE peer review team!

This experience provides:

- A sense of neuroscience research being done in labs at other universities

- A better understanding of the peer review process

- A way to hone your logic, critical thinking, and writing skills

- A way to encourage and promote good, sound science being done in the world

You do not need to be a neuroscience major or minor – just neuro-interested! For more information, please contact Dr. Cammack, Faculty Advisor for Sewanee’s peer review team, at kmcammac@sewanee.edu

Sewanee NEURDS

The Neuroscience Club (aka The Sewanee Neurds) promotes Neuroscience on campus and in the local community. Members coordinate Brain Awareness Week (BAW) activities, professional development panels, movie nights, and faculty colloquia. Everyone is welcome.


Careers in Neuroscience

Neuroscience is intrinsically an interdisciplinary field and being able to deal with information and concepts from a variety of fields and being able to analyze and interpret quantitative data are key skills in the modern workplace.

A major in Neuroscience can lead to a huge number of different careers, from professions in healthcare and research, to law, education, policy making, to popular writing and more creative endeavours. 


Check out the following links that have some great examples of careers that utilize a neuroscience degree:


There is also lots of career guidance information specifically for neuroscience available on the Sewanee Neuroscience Brightspace page (sign up if you haven’t already!), including strategies for graduate school applications and advice from our Neuroscience alumni.


The Sewanee Career Center also has lots of information and resources including identifying career skills, workshops, internships, and careers events on campus. Further resources can be found at the careers pages of the Society for Neuroscience, the New York Academy of Sciences, and on the Stories of Women in Neuroscience website.


Also check out the Careers panel organized by the Sewanee Neuroscience Society (“The Neurds”) in which professionals from a range of different careers and career stages talk about their journey’s from undergraduate Neuroscience to their current roles. 


Dr. Kate Cammack
Assistant professor of Psychology, Co Chair of the Neuroscience Program

kmcammac@sewanee.edu // Woods Lab 335

Dr. Karen Yu
Professor of Psychology, Co Chair of the neuroscience program

kyu@sewanee.edu // Woods Lab 321


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