College path if Interested in Drugs and the Brain?
I really enjoy reading on the Neuroscience and Pharmacology section of Bluelight, and Im just starting college. I was curious what some might suggest would be a good major to pick for starters for someone interested in Drugs and their effects on the brain, brain chemistry and neurotransmitters in general, and also psychedelics and their effects on the brain and consciousness - ya know, those types of things.
If anyone has taken this path, what types of work can you get in to? Or is it a research based field. (if that makes sense). Im mostly lost on which college major these topics fall under, so any insight or advice from anyone who studies or works in these fields or just happens to be knowledgable would be greatly appreciated.
I'll give this a shot, although I went to school for computer science (but I'm fascinated by the same topics ). I believe the fields of study are actually known as neuroscience, and pharmacology. These are probably broad categories with sub-specialties. I believe that neuroscience is more of a study of the brain, whereas pharmacology is the study of how drugs work in the brain, so perhaps pharmacology is a subset of neuroscience? A quick googling shows me that many colleges seem to have departments for both of these areas. If you're interested in doing the actual chemistry and making things, it's organic chemistry you would want to study.
In terms of how to begin, I guess look at the prerequisites for a school you'er thinking of going to, to get a degree in neuroscience or pharmacology or whatever, and just sign up for gen eds you need, and prerequisite courses. That way you'll be completing some general stuff you'll need regardless of what you choose, while dipping your toes into the area you're interested in, so it gives you some time to ease into it and make sure you're heading in the direction you want to be. It's really good you're asking this, because a lot of people go to college without a clear idea of what they're going for and end up getting a degree in something they don't care about, or not getting one at all, or taking much longer to finish school.
I have no idea what sort of jobs you can get. I'm hoping someone with more experience will drop in and give you a less speculative answer.
This is a common topic on BL over the years (surprise!), to the point where such questions and answers have been collected in MEGA-Courses and Careers related to Drugs. Though, that thread is in the archive (not reply-able). One can still give a read thru there, but recognize course offerings evolve over time.
Perhaps a mod would want to move that MEGA from archive back into discussion? Perhaps move these last few posts there?