THE FUNDAMENTALS OF NEUROSCIENCE is an online course at Harvard University offered under the course number MCB80x. The online version of the course is completely free to take, and those students who successfully complete the course are eligible to receive a certificate of completion from edX

The course serves as an introductory survey of topics in neuroscience, ranging from the function of ion channels in the neuronal membrane, to the activity of individual neurons and small groups of neurons, to the function of the brain and its subsystems. The online version of the course has no specific prerequisites, though some prior exposure to biology and/or chemistry can be helpful.


THE FUNDAMENTALS OF NEUROSCIENCE strives to push the boundaries of what is possible in online education. By utilizing fun artistic presentations, on-location fieldtrips, do-it-yourself at-home experiments and rich online interactive experiences, we have tried to make our course a totally new kind of online educational experience.

Guided Interactivity

In THE FUNDAMENTALS OF NEUROSCIENCE, we're piloting a style of instruction that we call "Guided Interactivity", where in interactive simulations are seamlessly woven into the flow of instruction. We will walk you through the process of building up a neuron, piece by piece, allowing you to dynamically explore the function of the nervous system.

Education, on location

While lectures are tied to the physical environment lecture hall, the internet has no such limitations. With the internet, we can bring you into the laboratory, or to a museum, or to a doctor's office. Neuroscience happens in the world, and we want to take you to see it firsthand.

Student Generated Content

We all have a natural desire to contribute. In THE FUNDAMENTALS OF NEUROSCIENCE, we invite students to conduct their own experiments at home and in their own schools, using DIY hardware from our partners at Backyard Brains. Students are encouraged to film and contribute back their experiments!

Ready to experience the course?

Come join fellow students from around the world and learn about neuroscience ENTER THE COURSE