Major Capstone

What Are The Neuroscience Major Capstone Options?

The Neuroscience, B.S. is designated as a capstone major. The capstone major at UCLA serves as a project-based culmination to a curriculum (a meaningful, shaped collection of courses typical of a major or minor), bringing together in a coherent way key elements of that curriculum. The acquisition of knowledge should lead to a specialized topic explored in a paper or project. Methodological training should be applied to a specific inquiry. Knowledge integrated across a range of topics and disciplines should provide broader contexts for a topic or project. And specific skills, such as research, discussion, teamwork, project design, performance, oral presentation, and writing, should be employed as appropriate to that inquiry

STUDENTS CAN SELECT ONE OF THE FOLLOWING CAPSTONE OPTIONS:

Option 1: Laboratory Methods

(1) NEUROSC 101L* (offered in Winter Quarter Only) 

Pre-requisites: NEUROSC M101A, M101B (NEUROSC M101B can be taken concurrently)

* PSYCH 116A and PSYCH 116B are both approved substitutions for this course (offered all academic quarters and summer session) – please contact the Neuroscience advisors to update your DARS if you take this course. Psychology prerequisite courses can be waived by the Psychology department on your second enrollment pass. 

(2) Additional major elective

Students who choose the NEUROSC 101L (or PSYCH 116A or 116B) option must take a total of 4 upper division electives, with at least one from each elective option (see Major Requirements). NEURBIO M169 can be taken as an elective option provided that the student still completes one elective for each of the 3 elective categories.

Option 2: Independent Research

(1) NEUROSC 198A or 199A

          and

(2) NEUROSC 198B or 199B**

 **Students pursuing Departmental Honors must sign up for NEUROSC 198AB instead of 199AB.

  • Fall, Winter, and Spring Quarters (two courses must be taken in concurrent quarters)
  • Pre-requisites: NEUROSC M101A and an SRP-99 or departmental 199 research contract under the same faculty mentor
  • Students who choose the NEUROSC 198A/B or NEUROSC 199A/B option must take 3 upper division electives (one from each elective option). NEURBIO M169 does not apply.
  • Poster required at the annual Neuroscience undergraduate poster session in May

Please see below for detailed guidelines on enrolling in Neuroscience research courses.

Information On NEUROSC 199AB: Project Brainstorm Capstone 

You may use participation in Project Brainstorm to fulfill your capstone requirement for the Neuroscience major.  

  • Project Brainstorm (usually offered as Neuroscience 192BX) is a two-quarter outreach and research project offered to Juniors and Seniors in which you have an opportunity to develop teaching lessons on Neuroscience that you present to local K-12 students. Capstone students also develop a research project and present at Neuroscience Poster Day.   
  • Project Brainstorm meets Thursdays, 9:00 am – 11:50 am in both the Winter and Spring quarters. However, for Capstone students, there will be additional requirements and an increased time commitment.
  • If you are interested in doing Project Brainstorm over two quarters to fulfill the Neuroscience Major Capstone Requirement, please download and submit the application when it becomes available in Fall Quarter. 

Please note: The Project Brainstorm capstone option is EXTREMELY limited at this time, only accepting about 7 students total per year.

Students should be prepared with a back-up plan: Capstone Option #1 (NEUROSC 101L in the Winter and an extra elective from any category), Capstone Option #2 (Participate in Neuroscience Independent Research in a Neuroscience Lab under NEUROSC 199A/B or NEUROSC 198A/B), or Capstone Option #3 (NEUROSC C177 + NEUROSC 192CX). 

Questions? Please contact instructor, Dr. Walter Babiec, at brainstorm@ucla.edu

Option 3: Neuroscience C177 + Neuroscience 192CX (Effective Fall 2019)

Beginning in the academic year 2019-2020, students can apply to complete their Capstone requirement in an additional option entitled ‘DOPA-Team’. Specifically, successful applicants will enroll in two sequential courses, NEUROSC C177 ‘Drugs of Abuse: Translational Neurobiology’ and NEUROSC 192CX ‘Drug Abuse and Society: Conveying Concepts to High School Students’ as a third capstone research option. The research component will be built into the C177 course. Under the tutelage of the course instructors, students will choose a novel and unique project, such as youth drug trends over time. Public databases will be mined and analyzed. For the outreach component, students will be given the opportunity to choose a drug category and translate the academic knowledge acquired in C177 into an age-appropriate and interactive presentation and hands-on activity for high school students. As with Project Brainstorm and research lab-based options, students will be required to present findings at the annual Neuroscience Poster Day.

Students will apply for the “DOPA-Team” Capstone option via an application available in Fall Quarter. Please note enrollment will be limited so students should be prepared with a back-up Capstone option. Accepted “DOPA-Team” students will complete NEUROSC C177 in Winter Quarter and NEUROSC 192C in Spring Quarter.

Interested in DOPA-Team? Check out this article based on the experience of this past year’s Capstone course that will be published in the Mind, Brain and Education Journal! 


How to Enroll in Neuroscience Research Courses

NEUROSCIENCE 199A/B and 198A/B

Pre-Requisites: NEUROSC M101A and at least one quarter of an SRP-99 OR departmental 199 research contract in the same Neuroscience-related research lab. 

(The faculty mentor for your research contract must have an academic senate title [Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor] and be doing research related to the brain. You can find instructions for how to submit an SRP-99 contract through the Undergraduate Research Center. These contracts are due by 5 p.m. on Friday of Week 2 of each quarter).

NEUROSCIENCE MAJORS AND MINORS ONLY.

Non-majors and minor students should enroll in a 199 under the department of their mentor. 

4 units each. Letter grade given at the end of the NEUROSC 199B/198B for 8 units.  Grades for NEUROSC 199A/198A stay “IP” (in-progress) indefinitely, but the 4 units still count towards your study list units. 

NEUROSC 199 contracts are only available in fall, winter, and spring quarters and must be taken in consecutive quarters (i.e., winter and spring, spring and fall, etc.). NEUROSC 198 contracts can only be taken in consecutive quarters during the same academic year (i.e., fall and winter or winter and spring). 

PLEASE NOTE: You may ONLY do NEUROSC 199A/B OR NEUROSC 198A/B ONCE. If you’d like to continue with your Neuroscience research, you may do NEUROSC 199C, which may also only be taken once (instructions below). 

NEUROSCIENCE 199A

STEP 1. Download NEUROC 199A contract from MyUCLA. For assistance, please use the MyUCLA contract tutorial

STEP 2. Complete supplemental outline – 198A/199A Supplemental Outline Instructions

  • STEP 2A. Include proof of completion of the laboratory safety fundamental concepts course if your contract requires it (it will say “safety training” at the top of your MyUCLA contract)
  • STEP 2B. Faculty directory information (see outline instructions in step 2 for an example) 

STEP 3. Fill out the faculty sponsor form

STEP 4. Get faculty mentor to sign both the MyUCLA contract and the faculty sponsor form. (Please leave the Chair Signature link blank on the MyUCLA contract as this will be signed by the uNSIDP Vice Chair).

If your major GPA is below a 3.0, please include or have your faculty mentor email the Neuroscience advisors (neurosci@ucla.edu) a brief 2-3 sentence statement of support for your lab participation. You will not be enrolled until this support statement is included or emailed. 

STEP 5. Submit the MyUCLA contract, faculty sponsor form, and supplemental outline to the CCLE website by 4 p.m. on Friday of Week 1.

A status report is due by Friday of finals week – see report directions at the bottom of the page. 

NEUROSCIENCE 199B

STEP 1. Download NEUROC 199B contract from MyUCLA. For assistance, please use the MyUCLA contract tutorial

STEP 2. Get faculty mentor to sign the MyUCLA contract. Under Course Proposal, please include as much detail as possible regarding your project and how you will be evaluated at the end of the quarter.

If your major GPA is below a 3.0, please include or have your faculty mentor email the Neuroscience advisors (neurosci@ucla.edu) a brief 2-3 sentence statement of support for your lab participation. You will not be enrolled until this support statement is included or emailed. 

STEP 3. Submit the MyUCLA contract to the CCLE website by 4 p.m. on Friday of Week 1.

  • A final report is due Friday of finals week – see report directions at the bottom of the page. 
  • Students must present a poster at the annual Neuroscience Poster Day in May
  • Students will receive an 8-unit letter grade at the end of the quarter, reflecting the work in the lab for the past two quarters and the quality of both reports. 

NEUROSCIENCE 198A and 198B (Neuroscience departmental honors students only)

Follow the same steps as for the NEUROSC 199A and 199B contracts, but make sure to use the NEUROSC 198 faculty sponsor form as it includes a spot to note who the second reader for your research report will be. 

* If you are completing SRP-99, NEUROSC 199A/B or NEUROSC 198A/B through a UCLA Health Sciences Lab, please note that UCLA Health Sciences now requires that you are dual processed through the UCLA Health Science Volunteer Office (though you do not need to send these documents to the URC or the Neuroscience IDP). For UCLA Health Sciences processing steps, please visit: https://www.uclahealth.org/Volunteer/ucla-health-sciences-volunteer-program.

NEUROSCIENCE 199C

Do you want to continue with upper division research units?

Enroll in NEUROSC 199C ← 199C faculty form located here

STEP 1. Download the NEUROSC 199C contract from MyUCLA. Under Course Proposal, please include as much detail as possible regarding your project and how you will be evaluated at the end of the quarter.

STEP 2. Get faculty mentor to sign the MyUCLA contract.

STEP 3. Submit the MyUCLA contract and faculty sponsor form to the CCLE website by 4 p.m. on Friday of Week 1. 

For NEUROSC 199C, students will receive a 4-unit letter grade at the end of the quarter. These units will count towards the university’s upper division requirement, but will not count for the Neuroscience major. 

QUARTERLY DEADLINES

A report is due by Friday of finals week (a status report for NEUROSC 199A/198A and a lab report or honors thesis for NEUROSC 199BC/198B, respectively) – see report directions below.

****CLICK HERE FOR NS 198/199 REPORT INSTRUCTIONS****