What Can I Do with My Neurobiology Major?

The neurobiology major focuses on the brain and the brain’s development. The program includes coursework and research in molecular, cellular, developmental, cognitive and behavioral neurobiology, and examines the intersections of these areas, along with psychology. The major is research-intensive, and students who major in neurobiology are required to get into research earlier than students in other biology majors. Enrolling in tutorial research their junior year and conducting a senior thesis in the following year allows students to conduct research in neurobiology from the molecular and cellular to the behavioral levels.

Graduates are prepared for advanced study in biological sciences, particularly neuroscience, medicine, business or law, as well as professions in education and biotechnology.

The study of neurobiology allows for the development of a core set of skills sought after by employers in a wide range of occupational settings Throughout your experience in the program, you will obtain the following skills:

Critical Thinking Skills

  • Interpret and critique scientific text, presentations, and primary literature
  • Structure and place understanding with appropriate references to literature
  • Speculate on meanings of data and on possible future directions
  • Ability to relate biology to other disciplines

Effective Communication Skills

  • Present scientific understanding to both scientific and general audiences
  • Speak and write precisely
  • Present scientific ideas arguing from evidence
  • Stimulate interest of audience

Research Skills

  • Design and perform experiments
  • Construct mathematical models in order to test scientific hypotheses
  • Use a variety of sources to develop questions and hypotheses
  • Collection and presentation of data
  • Construct, evaluate, and interpret both qualitative and quantitative data

You can use the examples above, and experiences from classes or research projects to enhance your resume. Try plugging in some of your experiences or skills gained into this formula: Accomplished (X) as measured by (Y) by doing (Z).

Sample Resume Class 1, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
Member of Class, taught by ________

  • Studied the foundations of nervous system organization and function, along with methods and emerging technologies in Neurobiology.
  • Analyzed primary research literature in neurobiology through critical readings and in-class discussions on the rationale, data, conclusions, and significance of research papers.
  • Evaluated a current journal article on (insert topic) to develop a “News and Views” style essay in BIOL-195 Gateway to Neurobiology and found that (insert results/impact of essay).

Georgetown Alumni have taken their neurobiology degree across multiple different industries and have applied the skills they learned in neurobiology across multiple disciplines. 

Additional information about these outcomes can be found in Cawley’s Post Graduation Outcome Report

“In the Neurobiology department, the faculty all had good relationships with each individual student, and the students in the neurobiology major were all close by the time we graduated. I also loved the course offerings for my major. In addition, as a senior, I was able to participate in the RISE program, which gives students a chance to do research for course credit. The skills I gained from that experience are ones I still use daily in my job, but more importantly, participating in RISE as an undergraduate made me realize that I wanted to have a career in research. I’m currently applying to PhD programs to further that goal.” – 2018 Georgetown College Graduate, Neurobiology 

“The neurobiology major was demanding, but my advisors were still happy to work with me to figure out how to accommodate a French minor and study abroad into my four year plan.” – 2018 Georgetown College Graduate, Neurobiology

Helpful Keywords to Improve Searches
There are lots of ways to find good keywords to help your job or internship search process, or even just to learn more about the types of jobs you can do within a specific major. One way to explore this is by checking out the job search tool on Google. 

Once you are in, type in something generic like your major and the world internship afterward. Once you hit enter, it will give you lots of options to explore, but if you want to explore titles, possible career paths, or keywords, hover your mouse over the ‘Title’ tab on the top of the page. This will give you a ton of ideas and options to explore possible keywords. 

Sample Internship Opportunities

  • Government agencies/Government relations (e.g., National Institutes of Health, Institute of Biotechnology, Environmental Science, and Computing)
  • Nonprofit agencies (e.g., Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History)
  • Health care (e.g., Academy for Health Services Research and Health Policy)
  • Biotechnology (e.g., Millennium Pharmaceuticals)

The Georgetown Biology Department Website is rich with additional information on studying Neurobiology.

GU Biology Department

Professional Associations are a great place to go to dive deeper into the field of neurobiology and learn more about what post grad life might look like. 

Vault is a fantastic resource to learn more about specific career fields in neurobiology. Vault has information such as salary information, work environment, education and training requirements, outlooks, and specific tips for entering into the field. 

Professors & Academic Deans
Georgetown professors and faculty members can be a wonderful resource for Georgetown students. If you are still curious to learn more about the disciplines of a specific major, we’d encourage you to connect with your professors! Outside of office hours, Georgetown has an online interface called GU360 where students can explore and connect with faculty members that are eager to mentor and support students. You can use this interface to learn more about specific department research, specialties, and areas of study within a major.  

You can also connect with your academic dean or counselor to further discuss opportunities within a given major. 

Lastly, each department has a dedicated Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS). This is the individual in charge of coordinating the major program or department as a whole. You can find the Director of Undergraduate Studies by exploring the faculty and staff pages of individual departments websites.

Connecting with alumni is a fantastic way to explore a day in the life of any given major student. There are several different ways to connect with Georgetown Alums. Hoya Gateway is Georgetown’s premier networking platform which connects alumni and students to have meaningful conversations and build a strong network of support. This is a platform alumni opt into with the sole purpose of supporting current students, which means there is an extremely high response rate. 

You can also utilize LinkedIn to connect with Georgetown Alum. A simple alumni search on Georgetown’s LinkedIn profile will help you get connected to approximately 130 thousand alumni, which you can then filter to meet the location, major, industry, or skills that you are interested in exploring.

You can also check out our Post Graduation Outcomes to learn more about what Georgetown alumni in specific majors are up to after graduation. We survey our seniors at the end of each year and into the following year to learn about jobs they secured, service opportunities they committed to, or graduate schools they decided to attend. You can filter by first major to get an idea of what life after Georgetown looks like. You’ll see in many cases that alums are using majors in a wide variety of ways, and your major doesn’t always equal your career path. 

Career Center Staff
You can also connect with career center staff to talk through the possible outcomes of one major over another. In short, there are endless opportunities no matter what major you choose. However, connecting with someone might help you navigate your decision making process a little bit easier. 

At the career center, you have the opportunity to meet with either a Career Exploration Counselor or an Industry Advisor. Career Exploration Counselors can help you talk through concerns, goals, the big picture, and strategies to move forward. You can think of them as generalists and a great place to get started. Industry Advisors can help you think through specific questions about a given career path and provide specific industry information and trends. You can think of them as specialists for once you start to narrow down your possible path. If you think an appointment with one of these individuals would benefit you, you can make an appointment on Handshake.

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