Despite recent budget shortfalls, the University of Montana is introducing a new bachelor's program in neuroscience.

The program will revolve around the study of the nervous system and the brain, including other courses in multiple UM departments like bio-med, psychology and biology.

"The courses offer a range of different perspectives on the brain, mind and behaviors," Biology Professor and Program Director Jesse Hay said. "You need to have a broad-ranging university with many areas of expertise to offer a comprehensive degree like this. It’s really taking advantage of the strengths of multiple departments and people across campus."

Hay said students can choose from two tracks: cognitive and behavioral neuroscience or cellular and molecular neuroscience.

The first option prepares students for careers in human-centered neuroscience fields, such as occupational, physical and speech therapy and counseling. Graduates who earn degrees in the cellular and molecular neuroscience option can pursue careers in fields such as medicine and biomedical research. Either track provides an entryway into science writing, patent law or entrepreneurial endeavors related to brain science.

"Neuroscience is a rapidly growing area of health care," Hay said. "The job forecast is really good right now. It’s been growing for decades and is projected to continue to grow by at least 13 percent in the current decade."