What high school courses should I take to be eligible for York’s Neuroscience Program?

When you are assessed for admission to York University’s Neuroscience program, we assess you on the following four courses:

  • English ENG4U
  • Biology SBI4U
  • Chemistry SCH4U
  • Advanced Functions MHF4U

HOWEVER, we also look at the results of the top two of any other grade 12 4U or 4M credits for calculation of any scholarships you might be offered.

If you are not eligible to Neuroscience based on the four required courses, above, we may then look at all six courses (English ENG4U, Biology SBI4U, Chemistry SCH4U, Advanced Functions MHF4U plus the top two grades from your other 12 4U or 4M courses) to propose an alternative program you may wish to consider.

What is an Entry Pathway?

The entry pathway is the department/school you enrol in to start the Neuroscience program. When applying to the program, students apply to one of the three departments/school, below, in their application.

  • B.Sc., Spec. Hons. Neuroscience – Biology in the Faculty of Science, (OUAC code YVA)
  • B.Sc., Spec. Hons. Neuroscience – Kinesiology & Health Science in the Faculty of Health, (OUAC code YHU)
  • B.Sc., Spec. Hons. Neuroscience – Psychology in the Faculty of Health, (OUAC code YHU)

This choice becomes your ‘entry pathway’ into the Neuroscience program. Regardless of which entry pathway you use, you will take common foundational Neuroscience courses and have similar experiences. The decision you make is entirely up to your interests when you apply.

At the end of the second year, you will choose the Neuroscience stream in which you’d like to specialize. The entry pathway (first-year) is different than the Neuroscience stream (third and fourth years).

What is the difference among the three entry pathways choices?

Each entry pathway represents a different ‘home’ department/school within the Neuroscience program -- the Biology department, the School of Kinesiology & Health Science, and the Psychology department. Your choice of entry pathway will influence your first-year courses. Although students in every entry pathway will take common Neuroscience foundation courses, some first-year courses are only offered in the entry pathway that you choose. Regardless of your entry pathway, all curricular options in years 2, 3, and 4 will be available to all Neuroscience students. In addition, each of the three options have identical prerequisite requirements in terms of high school courses and grades. Go to the Neuroscience Courses webpage to see the 1st year courses students will take depending on the entry pathway chosen.

What is a Program Stream and how is it different from an Entry Pathway?

The entry pathway is the department/school in which you start your Neuroscience program in first year. The program stream is the stream of Neuroscience that you would like to focus on in the senior (third and fourth) years of your Neuroscience degree. Those streams are Cellular & Molecular or Cognitive & Behavioural or Systems Neuroscience. Even though you choose to focus on one stream, requiring a minimum of 12 credits in that area, you will still be required to gain knowledge in the other streams by also taking a minimum of 12 credits from the other two areas.

What are the features of York’s Neuroscience program?

York’s Neuroscience program allows students to gain depth in their areas of interest without sacrificing breadth of knowledge of the field overall. We provide foundational Neuroscience courses that give students an in-depth knowledge regardless of their main focus within Neuroscience. As a field that integrates many disciplines, our students are well prepared to engage in any of the streams.

Highlights are:

  • Interdisciplinary content/research, greater breadth of Neuroscience courses
  • Taught by distinguished neuroscientists from various academic backgrounds and experiences
  • Experiential, hands on, opportunities to work with Neuroscience researchers by volunteering in their labs and/or with a final year individual or team based research project.
  • Specialized Neuroscience (NRSC) courses designed to build critical reflection, oral and written communication skills, and provide opportunities to engage in active learning through group interactions and applied thinking.
  • Neuroscience courses (NRSC) designed such that the evaluation of knowledge and skills are flexible, accessible, and enable students to make choices to be more involved in the learning process.

What happens after first-year?

Continuation into the second year of the program: You will be required to achieve a GPA of 7.5 on 27 credits (equivalent of 4.5 full year courses) in order to remain in the program and continue in second year. After entering second year, you will be required to maintain a cumulative GPA of 6.0 to remain in the program.

Second-year curriculum: You will take several new Neuroscience courses, including NRSC 2200 3.0 Neuroscience Techniques, which is specifically designed for Neuroscience majors. You will also take any key courses that you need to take to satisfy your degree requirements as well as prerequisite courses required for 3rd and 4th year courses.

Declaring your streams: At the end of the second year, you will choose to focus on one of three streams. You can choose any stream regardless of your entry pathway. The program streams you can choose from are:

  • Cellular & Molecular, or
  • Cognitive & Behavioural, or
  • Systems Neuroscience

You will take a minimum of 12 credits in your chosen stream and are also required to take 12 credits from across the other two streams. Thus, you achieve depth in one stream and breadth by taking courses in the other two streams. Regardless of incoming Neuroscience entry pathways (i.e. Psychology, Kinesiology & Health Sciences, and Biology), students can select courses that are listed on the Neuroscience Courses webpage from any of the streams.

Third-year curriculum: You will pursue completion of 12 credits from your chosen stream and 12 credits from the other two streams.

Fourth-year curriculum: During your final year, you will complete a 6-credit Neuroscience Capstone project. This will be either a thesis-based individual project or a problem-based group project. Both options are research-based, and the context could be a research lab, a clinical setting, or with other community or industry partners.

How do I choose a stream?

You will be introduced to the main areas of Neuroscience in the first year Neuroscience course, NRSC1001, with further exposure to different areas in second year. You will also have access to researchers and to advising support staff in the Neuroscience program to help you make your choice.

What is the capstone course in the fourth year?

To complete the Neuroscience program, you must complete the capstone course. It is a  6-credit (two term) course in the fourth year of the program. This can be done as a team-based group project or as an individual thesis project. Both options are supervised by faculty members in the Neuroscience program. Either course will give you an opportunity to acquire hands on research experience.

The team-based group project (NRSC 4002) allows you to develop solutions to applied research problems, typically in the community working with hospital or industry partners.

The thesis course (NRSC 4000) engages you in a research-intensive experimental lab project or a clinically focused research project, either in a lab at York or with a partner in a community setting (industry or hospital)

What can I do with a degree in Neuroscience?

After graduation, you will be prepared for a number of academic and career options. You will be prepared for professional programs such as medical school, for graduate school in the Neuroscience field, and for a multitude of careers such as clinical data collection, clinical research, community programming, analytical laboratory work, medical devices and therapies, pharmaceuticals, regulatory affairs, science advocacy, and science communications.

I am currently completing my B.Sc. degree at York, but not in Neuroscience. Can I transfer into the Neuroscience program?

We cannot consider students from other programs until 2024, and then only if space is available. If you are interested in learning more about the brain and nervous system, many existing courses in Biology, Kinesiology & Health Science, and Psychology have neuroscience content (see the Neuroscience Courses webpage for titles and course codes). These courses are open to non-Neuroscience majors, so long as the prerequisites are satisfied.

Will I have a better chance of being accepted into the program if I apply to all three entrance pathways on OUAC?

No, if you apply to all three entrance pathways through OUAC your application will only be considered once. If a specific Faculty receives more qualified applicants than it is able to accept, students will be given an offer to an alternative entrance pathway and/or to the home program’s department or school.