Neuroscience is a rapidly expanding multidisciplinary field devoted to understanding the complex functioning of the nervous system. Neuroscience attempts to understand the neural substrates of both normal and abnormal patterns of behavior as well as mental events and mental states.
The Neuroscience major is designed for students interested in exploring how the nervous system contributes to thought, emotion, neuropathology, and behavior. This major integrates the multidisciplinary nature of the field by providing students with an interdisciplinary approach to the study of brain function, behavior, and the mind.
The courses in the neuroscience curriculum are selected from an array of disciplines. The following areas of study contribute to the interdisciplinary perspective of the major: biology, biochemistry and molecular biology, chemistry, computer science, health and exercise physiology, philosophy, psychology, and physics.
Neuroscience majors will graduate with a Bachelor of Science that will prepare them for a career in government, industry, biomedical and medical settings or some combination of these. Neuroscience majors often pursue graduate work (at the M.A. or Ph.D. level) in behavioral neuroscience, biology, biochemistry, cognitive science, clinical or experimental psychology, neuroanatomy, neurobiology, neuropharmacology, neurophysiology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, toxicology, or medicine (e.g. M.D., D.O., D.P.M., M.D./Ph.D., D.V.M., Pharm.D., D.D.S., O.D., etc.). Neuroscience majors fulfill the writing requirement by completing NEUR-200WQ, BIO-201W, and an advanced research course in Biology (i.e., NEUR/BIO-431W or NEUR/BCMB/BIO-433W or NEUR/BIO-435W). Neuroscience majors fulfill the oral presentation and capstone requirement by completing two advanced research courses (one in biology and one in psychology)
Requirements for Majors
To fulfill the requirements of the major, all students must complete a minimum of 56 semester hours in the neuroscience curriculum as outlined below. Neuroscience majors fulfill the requirement for an oral presentation in the major and the capstone requirement by taking the two required Advanced Research Courses (at least one must be taken during the junior or senior year).
I. Neuroscience Core: (2 courses)
II. Interdisciplinary Foundation: (7 courses)
a. Biology Foundation: BIO-101Q, BIO-102Q and BIO 201W
b. Psychology Foundation: NEUR/PSYC-330 and NEUR/PSYC-332
c. Chemistry or Physics Foundation:
- i. Chemistry: (CHEM-105 and CHEM-105LQ); and either (CHEM-106 and CHEM-106L) or (CHEM-206 and CHEM-206L)
- ii. Physics: PHYS-111Q and PHYS-112
Note: Students interested in a more traditional background to Neuroscience are encouraged to choose the Chemistry Foundation. Students interested in more mathematical aspects of Neuroscience (e.g., modeling, biomechanics, etc.) are encouraged to choose the Physics Foundation.
III. Advanced Research Courses: (2 courses)
a. Biology: NEUR/BIO-431W or NEUR/BCMB/BIO-433W or NEUR/BIO-435W; and
b. Psychology: NEUR/PSYC-430 or NEUR/PSYC-432
IV. Breadth Courses (3 courses)
Neuroscience majors must take a minimum of 3 approved breadth courses. Only one 4-credit, on-campus research course may be used to satisfy the breadth requirement (i.e., NEUR-481, 482, 491W, 492W). Students may not use courses to fulfill both the Breadth requirement as well as either the Interdisciplinary Foundation or Advanced Research Course credit. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the interdisciplinary nature of the neuroscience major and choose breadth courses from multiple departments.
NEUR/BIO-225, NEUR-350, NEUR-382, NEUR/PSYC-430, NEUR/BIO-431W, NEUR/PSYC-432, NEUR/BCMB/BIO-433W, NEUR/BIO-435W, NEUR/PSYC-464, NEUR/PSYC-466, NEUR-481W, NEUR-482W, NEUR-485, NEUR-486, NEUR-491W, NEUR-492W
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology:
BIO-305, BIO-306 or BIO-349, *BIO-350
CHEM-106/106L, CHEM-205/205L, CHEM-206/206L, CHEM-347
Health and Exercise Physiology:
Mathematics and Computer Science:
CS-170Q, CS-173, MATH-235, MATH/PHIL-260, STAT-243W
PHIL-274, PHIL-278, *PHIL-309, PHIL-364, PHIL-374
PSYC-220, PSYC-230, PSYC-232, *PSYC-275, PSYC-320, PSYC-340, *PSYC-475
*BIO-350, PHIL-309, PSYC-275, PSYC-475 may be used as a major elective when the topic(s) covered are related to Neuroscience. Approval of the Neuroscience Coordinator required.
Requirements for Minors
A minor concentration in neuroscience consists of
- the neuroscience core: NEUR-100 and NEUR-200WQ
- a biology foundation course: BIO-102Q
- a psychology foundation course: NEUR/PSYC-330 or 332
- two elective courses from the following list: BIO-101Q, 201W, NEUR/BIO-225, NEUR/PSYC-330, 332, NEUR-350, 382; NEUR/PSYC-430; NEUR/BIO-431W; NEUR/PSYC-432; NEUR/BCMB/BIO-433W; NEUR/BIO-435W; NEUR/PSYC-464, 466; NEUR-481W, 482W, 485, 486, 491W, or 492W.
Only one course from the following list can be applied to the minor: NEUR-382, 481W, 482W, 485, 486, 491W, 492W.
A student may substitute NEUR/PSYC-330 for NEUR-100 and STAT-141Q for NEUR-200. When NEUR/PSYC-330 is substituted for NEUR-100, a student must take NEUR/PSYC-332 as their psychology foundation course. This course sequence is recommended for students who declare the minor after their sophomore year.
No course can count toward multiple requirements.
Special Career Interests
I. Students seeking admission to more experimental psychology related graduate programs should note the following:
A. A second Advanced Research Methods course in psychology and STAT-243W are recommended.
B. Two additional upper level (300-400) psychology courses germane to their area of interest/specialization are recommended.
II. Students seeking admission to more biologically related graduate programs should note the following:
- A second year of chemistry is strongly recommended.
- STAT-141Q; 242 or 243, and CS-173 are recommended. Additional coursework in mathematics/computer science is recommended.
- MATH/STAT-141Q; 242 or 243, and CS-173 are recommended.
III. Students seeking admission to schools of medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, optometry and podiatry should note the following:
- Two years of chemistry and one year of general physics for science majors are required by most of the above schools.
- Students and their advisers should consult one of the pre-health advisers for requirements of specific schools.
IV. Students seeking admission to other health science programs, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, or physician’s assistant, should consult the pre-health adviser.
V. Students who seek employment in a biologically oriented profession should note the following:
- STAT-141Q; 242 or 243, and CS-173 are strongly recommended.
- ACCT-140 and ECON-102 are recommended
- Additional coursework in Media and Communication Studies is recommended.
- Additional courses that emphasize writing are recommended.