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Neuroscience Program
 

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Majors

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To fulfill the major, students must complete the following:

  1. Core courses:

    NS 101: Neuroscience: Mind and Behavior

    NS 201: Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

    BI 105: Biological Sciences I: Unity of Life or BI 107 Molecular and Cellular Foundations of Life

    BI 106: Biological Sciences II: Diversity of Life or BI 108 Organismal Biology

    CH 125: Principles of Chemistry

    PS 202: Research Methods in Psychology I
  2. Advanced Research Methods Requirement-take one of the following classes:*

    PS 225B: Perception

    PS 303: Research Methods in Psychology II

    PS 304: Physiological Psychology

    PS 314: Psychology of Reading

    PS 325: Perception Research Methods

    PS 327: Computational Methods in Psychology and Neuroscience

    PS 330: Research Methods in Memory (Fall 2016 only)

    BI 242: Molecular Biology

    BI 245: Principles of Genetics

    BI 247: Cell Biology

    BI 311: Biological Electron Microscopy

    BI 341: Neurodevelopment

    BI 344: Biological Clocks

    BI 352: Topics in Biology with Lab (when topic is appropriate for NS majors)

    BI 368: Advanced Light Microscopy

    CH 341: Biochemistry: Macromolecular Structure and Function with Lab

    *If a course is taken to satisfy the Advanced Research Methods requirement, it cannot also be used to fulfill one of the elective requirements listed below.
  3. Integrative course: NS 277 Integrative Seminar in Neuroscience Research

     
  4. Elective courses:

    a. 100 and 200-level Electives - Take any three of the following courses:

        CS 106 OR CS 107: Introduction to Computer Science OR Introduction to Computer Science with Animations and 2D Games

        NS 212: Topics in Neuroscience

        BI 242: Molecular Biology

        BI 244: Comparative Vertebrate Physiology

        BI 245: Principles of Genetics

        BI 247: Cell Biology

        PS 213: Hormones and Behavior

        PS 218: Cognition

        PS 221: Clinical Psychopharmacology

        PS 225: Perception

        PS 231: Neuropsychology

        PS 232: Introduction to Cognitive Science

        CH 221: Organic I

        PY 207 - General Physics I

    b. 300-level Electives - Take any four of the following courses:

        NS 312: Advanced Topics in Neuroscience

        NS 314  Mapping the Cerebellum: Structure, Connectivity & Bioinformatics

        NS 315: Mechanisms of Alzheimer's Disease

        BI 311:  Biological Electron Microscopy

        BI 314:  Neurodevelopment

        BI 316:  Animal Behavior

        BI 341:  Neurodevelopment

        BI 342:  Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience

        BI 343:  Endocrinology

        BI 344:  Biological Clocks

        BI 352:  Topics in Biology with Lab (when topic is appropriate for NS majors)

        BI 368:  Advanced Light Microscopyz

        PS 304: Physiological Psychology

        PS 314: Psychology of Reading

        PS 325: Perception Research Methods

        PS 327: Computational Methods in Psychology and Neuroscience

        PS 341: Seminar in Cognitive Neuroscience: Left Brain/Right Brain

        CH 341: Biochemistry: Macromolecular Structure and Function with Lab

        CS 322: Artificial Intelligence
  5. Optional independent research courses (with approval of faculty member)

    a. 200-level Research

        NS 275: Neuroscience Research

    b. 300-level Research 

        NS 371A: Research in Neuroscience (1 credit)

        NS 371B: Research in Neuroscience (2 credits)

        NS 371C: Research in Neuroscience (3 credits)

        NS 375H: NS Senior Research I  (fall semester only)

        NS 376H: NS Senior Research II (spring semester only)

Recommendations and Advice

Tutorial project: Students are strongly encouraged to enroll in Introduction to Neuroscience Research (NS 275) and Research Experience in Neuroscience (NS 371) prior to completion of the Neuroscience major. These courses allow students to obtain valuable research experience by working directly with Neuroscience faculty. Highly motivated students may wish to pursue a senior tutorial project (NS 375/NS 376), which is a yearlong, intensive research thesis conducted in collaboration with a Neuroscience faculty. Generally speaking, majors should consider taking NS 275 in their sophomore and/or junior year, and NS 371 in their junior year as a prelude to senior research.

Advice on Choosing Electives: Students' choices of electives (both within and beyond the requirements specified by the neuroscience major) may be guided by interests as well as professional goals. For example, in the Core course Principles of Chemistry (CH 125), students are introduced to fundamental concepts of chemistry that are necessary for understanding basic mechanisms in the neurosciences; students wishing to deepen this understanding are encouraged to take additional courses in chemistry, including organic chemistry and biochemistry. Examples of Projected Paths through the Major are intended as illustrations of groupings of electives informed by different kinds of interests and goals. For each illustration, suggestions are offered for electives within and beyond the major.

Core courses:  Students are strongly encouraged to complete the six lab-based core courses (NS101, NS201, BI107, BI108, CH125, and PS202) by the end of their sophomore year in preparation for their upper level courses.

Projected Paths through the Major

Path 1: A Biobehavioral Neuroscience Focus

Within major: Consider these electives: BI 245 Principles of Genetics, BI 316 Animal Behavior, BI 341 Neurodevelopment, BI 344 Biological Clocks, PS 213 Hormones and Behavior, PS 304 Physiological Psychology, NS 312: Advanced Topics in NS From Molecules to Memory,  Sleep: Neurological Perspectives

Beyond major: Additional electives from psychology (e.g., PS 223 Evolutionary Psychology) and biology (e.g., BI 302 Behavioral Ecology, BI 324 Evolution, BI 370 Computer Modeling of Biological Systems).

Path 2: A Cellular/Molecular Focus

Within major: Consider these electives: BI 242 Molecular Biology, BI 245 Principles of Genetics, BI 247 Cell Biology, BI 342 Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, CH 221 Organic Chemistry I, CH 341 Biochemistry, NS 212: Topics in Neuroscience: Neurophysiology, NS 315: Mechanisms of Alzheimer's Disease, NS 314: Mapping the Cerebellum: Structure, Connectivity & Bioinformatics.

Beyond major: Additional courses from biology (BI 360 Gene Expression I: DNA Metabolism, BI 363 RNA Metabolism) and chemistry (CH 222 Organic Chemistry II, Macromolecular Structure and Function with Lab).

Path 3: A Cognitive Neuroscience Focus

Within major: Consider these electives: PS 231 Neuropsychology, PS 218 Cognition, PS 225 Perception, PS 314 Psychology of Reading, PS 323 Psycholinguistics, PS 341 Seminar in Cognitive Neuroscience: Left Brain/Right Brain), BI 245 Principles of Genetics, CS 106 Introduction to Computer Science I, CS 107: Introduction to COmputer Science with Animations and 2D Games.

Beyond major: Additional courses from computer science (e.g., CS 206 Introduction to Computer Science II).

Path 4: A Cognitive Science Focus

Within major: Consider these electives: CS 106 Introduction to Computer Science I, PS 218 Cognition, PS 225 Perception, PS 232 Introduction to Cognitive Science, PS 327 Computational Methods in Psychology and Neuroscience.

Beyond major: Additional courses from computer science (e.g., CS 206 Introduction to Computer Science II, CS 306 Computability, Complexity, and Heuristics) and philosophy (e.g., PH 241 Mind, Thought, and Consciousness).

Path 5: A Health Professions Focus

Within major: Consider these electives: CH 221 Organic Chemistry I, CH 341 Biochemistry: Macromolecular Structure and Function with Lab, PS 231 Neuropsychology, BI 242 Molecular Biology, BI 244 Comparative Vertebrate Physiology, BI 245 Principles Of Genetics, BI 247 Cell Biology, NS 312: Advanced Topics in NS (From Molecules to Memory, Sleep: Neurological Perspectives, PY 207 General Physics I.

Beyond major: Additional courses from biology (BI 306 Mammalian Physiology), chemistry (CH 222 Organic Chemistry II), physics (PY 208 General Physics II), calculus (MA 111 Calculus I, MA 113 Calculus II), Sociology, Anthropology, Exercise Science and English.

Note: Those students interested in pre-med and other health professions should consult with the Health Professions Advisory Committee for guidance in selecting courses.

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