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Psychology Career Path: Neuropsychology

Potential Career Paths

  • Clinical Neuropsychologist (M.A., Ph.D.)
  • School Neuropsychologist (Ph.D.)
  • Professional Research Scientist (Ph.D.)
  • Clinical Psychologist (Ph.D.)
  • Biomedical Researcher (Ph.D.)
  • Cognitive/Behavioral Neuroscientist (Ph.D.)

Action Steps for Students

To become more involved in neuropsychology or learn about the profession, here is what students can do:

  1. Visit professional organizations, such as Division 40 (Neuropsychology) or Division 6 (Behavioral Neuroscience and Comparative Psychology) of the American Psychological Association (APA). For those specifically interested in clinical neuropsychology, see
  2. Volunteer in hospitals or other mental health settings.
  3. Schedule a meeting with a neuropsychologist to discuss the profession.

What is Neuropsychology?

Neuropsychology is the scientific discipline that brings together the fields of neurology and psychology. Neuropsychologists study the brain-behavior relationship and the clinical application of that knowledge to human medical problems, such as head trauma or Alzheimer’s dementia.

A neuropsychologist may have a range of responsibilities, including conducting research, conducting clinical interviews and assessments, and providing rehabilitation services to patients with serious medical and neurological problems.

A Ph.D. Clinical Neuropsychologist may be employed by a public, private or university hospital, a rehabilitation facility, or a private practice.

For those with a Ph.D. in a non-clinical neuro-psychology area, such as cognitive neuroscience or behavioral neuroscience, their career is usually research related because they cannot perform clinical assessments or provide clinical treatment services. Some behavioral neuroscientists conduct research with animals rather than humans.

One may earn a master’s degree in clinical neuropsychology. Master’s-level neuropsychologists may find opportunities assisting in a research lab, testing patients, coordinating data, completing data analysis, and publishing. It is important to recognize that graduate programs in neuropsychology are competitive.

The purpose of the neuropsychology track in psychology is to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of psychology while providing students who want to focus on the interplay between neurology and psychology with the requisite coursework to pursue advanced training in neuropsychology.

Undergraduate Course Requirements

Students who are interested in pursuing a career in neuropsychology should be sure to work with an adviser to develop an academic plan that is tailored to their interests. The plan should lead to the completion of coursework that is desired for admission to a graduate program in neuropsychology.

University and College Requirements

In addition to the suggestions for the neuropsychology, be sure to complete all other university and college requirements, including the foreign language requirement.

The center staff recommend beginning the foreign language requirement in the first year. NOTE: Students may begin with a class higher than 1110 depending on foreign language placement test results. It is possible to place out of the foreign language requirement. Therefore, it is recommended that students take the placement test for any foreign language completed in high school.

Required Courses in Psychology

The following courses are highly recommended for students planning on pursuing a graduate degree in degree in neuropsychology:

  • PSY 3110 Advanced Statistics (4)
  • PSY 3120 Tests and Measurement (3)
  • PSY 3410 Behavioral Genetics & Individual Differences (3)
  • PSY 3420 Adulthood & Aging (3)
  • PSY 3240 Human Psychophysiology (3)
  • PSY 3250 Psychology of Health & Illness (3)
  • PSY 3710 Intro to Clinical & Counseling (3)
  • PSY 4010 History & Systems of Psychology (3)
  • PSY 4210 Clinical Neuropsychology (3)
  • PSY 4710 Psychoactive Drugs: Therapeutic Agents & Drug Abuse (3)

Additional Coursework

Below are additional courses outside of the Psychology Department that may be relevant to those interested in neuropsychology.

  • BIOS 2060 Drugs and the Brain (3)
  • BIOS 3330 Neural Basis of Behavior (3)
  • HLTH 2300 Medical Terminology (3)

Extra-Curricular Recommendations—Sciences & Mathematics

One of the two following sequences is recommended:

  • BIOS 1030 Human Biology I: Basic Principles (3)
  • BIOS 2030, 2035 Human Biology II: Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology + Lab (4)
  • BIOS 4130, 4135 Human Neuroscience (4)
  • or BIOS 1700, 1705 Biological Sciences I + Lab (4)
  • BIOS 1710, 1715 Biological Sciences II + Lab (4)
  • BIOS 3010, 3015 Human Anatomy + Lab (4)
  • BIOS 3450, 3455 Human Physiology + Lab (5)
  • BIOS 4130, 4135 Human Neuroscience + Lab (4)

One of the two following sequences is recommended:

  • CHEM 1210, 1220 Prin of Chemistry (8)
  • CHEM 1510, 1520 Fund of Chemistry (8)

The following is recommended:

  • PHYS 2001 Intro to Physics (4)

At least two of the following are recommended:

  • MATH 1200 College Algebra (5)
  • MATH 1250 Intro to Game Theory (3)
  • MATH 1260 Finite Mathematics (3)
  • MATH 1350 Survey of Calculus (4)
  • MATH 2301, 2302 Calculus I & II (4)

Extra-Curricular Recommendations—Social Sciences & Humanities

PHIL 1300 or 3310 Introduction to Ethics (3) or Moral Prob in Medicine (3)

Note: Be sure to check prerequisites for all coursework.

Students who intend to go to graduate school in neuropsychology are encouraged to complete courses in Biological Sciences.

Fieldwork and Research in Psychology

It is highly recommended that students interested in neuropsychology participate in research in a psychology lab and engage in fieldwork in settings related to the student’s particular area of interest.