Frequently Asked Questions

If you are thinking about pursuing a Ph.D. in Neuroscience or have other career goals in which calculus-based physics would be beneficial, then you should complete the physics requirement at Duke. If you decide that calculus-based physics is not necessary then you may take a two-course sequence in college-/university-level physics away from Duke. In order for the course(s) to count toward your major requirements, you must get pre-approval from the Director of Undergraduate Studies prior to enrollment. Please email a course syllabus to Dr. White at for approval. If you wish to receive Duke transfer credit for the course(s), you also need to get pre-approval from the Physics Department:

Yes! You may take 1 course per term (including summer) at five local universities via the interinstitutional registration process: To register for a course via interinstitutional enrollment complete the Interinstitutional Approval Form. Submit the form to the Registrar after obtaining signatures from the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) for the subject being taken and your Academic Dean.  For example, if you are taking physics at another university, you will need approval from the Physics DUS; if you are taking an approved neuroscience course at another university, you will need approval from Dr. White (Neuroscience DUS).  

Please note:  

  • You must be concurrently enrolled at Duke when taking an interinstitutional course. Therefore, if you wish to take a 3- or 4-credit course away from Duke through interinstitutional enrollment you must be enrolled in at least one 1-unit course at Duke.   

  • A course taken via the interinstitutional agreement may meet the neuroscience major requirements, but may not be eligible to earn Duke credit. To seek approval for a course to count toward your Modes of Inquiry and/or Area of Knowledge codes please visit  

The undergraduate program in neuroscience is not involved in the Duke admissions process or financial aid decisions at all. You will apply to Duke University’s Trinity College of Arts & Sciences or Pratt School of Engineering. If accepted you can declare your major during your sophomore year. For more information about Duke Admissions and Financial Aid please visit

No more than two of the ten courses required for the Major in Neuroscience (not including co-requisites) may be used to satisfy the requirements of another major or academic program. For BS2 Majors, this rule only applies to the electives: of the 5 Neuroscience electives, no more than 2 electives may be cross-listed between NEUROSCI and BME. No more than two of the five courses required for the Minor may be used to satisfy the requirements of another major, minor, or certificate.  

Yes, you may count one co-requisite and one of the major courses in which you have earned an S toward your neuroscience major. Please visit for Trinity College’s policy on the S/U grading option.  

Yes, depending on the course! To see if a study abroad course is already approved for transfer credit, please use the GEO Approved Courses Database: If the course is not listed in the database, you can request approval here. Upon completion of the course(s), you will need to take action to submit your transcript and reconcile your transfer credit. If you have questions about studying abroad reach out to a GEO advisor.  

Yes, you can take more than one lab/methods course and one will count toward your methods/lab requirement and the other(s) will count toward your electives. The only restriction on electives is that you must have a 350+ level or higher seminar as one of your electives and only one can be an intersection course if you are earning a BS. If you are earning a BA then you can take more than one intersection course.  

While many of our alumni have gone on to medical school and are now physicians, many others are now scientists and professors, consultants, physical therapists, clinical psychologists, nurses, clinical health educators, human resource research analysts, and working in industries such as government, CROs, bio-pharmaceutical companies and more. Princeton has put together an exhaustive list that will give you some ideas to jumpstart your imagination and goal-setting.  

The BS degree is beneficial if the additional coursework in computer science and calculus is of interest to you and/or would be useful to your research and/or future career plans. However, as outlined in the Duke pre-health course requirements, many medical schools require one calculus course, making the Neuroscience AB a perfectly acceptable degree choice: Dr. White, the Director for Undergraduate Studies in Neuroscience is on the Medical Executive Admissions Committee at Duke University School of Medicine. According to Dr. White, “Our Admissions Committee at Duke and most committees around the nation, I’m sure, truly do not care what kind of degree you earn. What we care about is what you have actually done to invest in your future and exercise your privilege to be pursuing a career in medicine.”  

You must submit a paper summarizing your work at the end of each semester in which you are enrolled in a Research Independent Study. Students proposing a 2nd – 4th term of an independent study on the same project should submit an application detailing the accomplishments from your completed research, as well as your plans and goals for the upcoming semester. Once your application is approved you will receive permission to enroll in NEUROSCI 494-496.   

Yes, with approval from the Director of Undergraduate Studies. You can apply to complete an independent scholarship course (NEUROSCI 391) by submitting the Independent Study Proposal Application along with a half-page description of your project. You will also need to find a faculty member who has an affiliation with Trinity College and has knowledge on the topic in which you will complete your independent study to supervise your readings, discussions and final product.