2013–2014 Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience (NEURO)

Program Goals | Objectives | Program Requirements | Academic Major | Course Descriptions

Faculty: Brian Avery, Russell Costa, Lesa Ellis

Program Goals


Neuroscience is the scientific study of normal and abnormal development, structure, and function of the nervous system. In addition, Neuroscience seeks to better understand the role of the nervous system in behavior. The Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience offers a Bachelor of Science degree with a breadth of coursework across Psychology and the Natural Sciences. Undergraduate research is prominent, and students are encouraged to explore relations between brain and behavior across multiple levels. The curriculum provides students with an academic and experiential background for graduate study in the neurosciences and/or employment in a research setting. The program is designed to offer both breadth of background while allowing a degree of specialization.

Program Requirements

Students must maintain at least a cumulative 2.5 GPA in courses required for the Neuroscience major. Students desiring further specialization are encouraged to pursue a relevant minor in combination with the major. For example, students interested in Theoretical Neuroscience may choose a minor in Mathematics, Physics, or Computer Science. Students interested in Clinical Neuropsychology are encouraged
to pursue a minor in Psychology. Pre-Med are strongly advised to complete applicable Chemistry and
Biology coursework as needed for medical school acceptance. Consultation with program advisors is
crucial in preparing the best pathway for the individual students. Students choosing a double major or minor within the science program or psychology may not apply electives to more than one major or

Only classes listed as required classes for both majors/minors may be applied to both.

Students must meet the college-wide graduation requirements in addition to the Neuroscience major:

Academic Major

Credit Hours Prerequisites
Liberal Education Courses    
The Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Social Science II, and Mathematics LE requirements are fulfilled by meeting the requirements of the major.    


Requirement Description
Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. Foreign Language Requirement 8  

Neuroscience majors must complete eight credit hours in a single foreign language.

II. Required Core Courses 36  
BIOL 204 Principles of Genetics (4)   CHEM 112
BIOL 205 Intro to Cell Biology (4)   CHEM 112
CHEM 111–112 Principles of Chemistry I and II and Labs (4–4)   co-requisite: MATH 141
MATH 150 Intro to Statistics, LE (4)—offered every semester
  MATH 105 or placement test
MATH 240 Statistics for the Sciences (4)   MATH 141 (LE)
MATH 201 Calculus I, LE (4)—offered every semester
  MATH 142 (LE) or consent of
instructor or placement test
MATH 201B Calculus for Life Sciences (4)   MATH 142 (LE) or consent of
instructor or placement test
PSYC 105 Introduction to Psychology, LE (4)    
PSYC 205 Introduction to Brain and Behavior (4)    
PSYC 390 Quantitative Research Methods (4)   MATH 150 (LE)
III. Natural Science and Math Electives 20  
Complete 20 credit hours from the following list of courses.    
CHEM 303 Organic Chemistry I and Lab (4)   CHEM 111, 112
CHEM 304 Organic Chemistry II and Lab (4)   CHEM 111, 112
PHYS 151 Principles of Physics I and Lab (4)   MATH 141–142 (LE)
PHYS 152 Principles of Physics II and Lab (4)   MATH 141–142 (LE)
PHYS 211 Physics for Sci. & Eng. I and Lab (4)   MATH 141–142 (LE), co-requisites: MATH 201 (LE)–202
PHYS 212 Physics for Sci. & Eng. II and Lab (4)   same as PHYS 211
PHYS 305 Optics and Electronics (4)   PHYS 152 or 212; MATH 202
MATH 202 Calculus II (4)—offered every semester   MATH 201 (LE) or 201B (LE) or placement test
MATH 203 Multivariate Calculus (4)—offered every fall   MATH 202
MATH 211 Introduction to Linear Algebra (4)   MATH 201 (LE)
MATH 363 Differential Equations (4)   MATH 202
BIOL/CHEM/PHYS 370 Scientific Computing (4)   PHYS 211, or both PHYS 151 and MATH 201 or equivalent. See course description.
BIOL 202 Organisms and Evolution (4)    
BIOL 301 Comparative Anatomy (4)   BIOL 202, 203, 205 (pre-2011: BIOL 105, 106); CHEM 111, 112
BIOL 304 Developmental Biology (4)   BIOL 202, 204, 205 (pre-2011: BIOL 105, 106, 331); CHEM 111, 112. CHEM 303 recommended
BIOL 307 Comparative Physiology (4)   BIOL 202, 203, 205 (pre-2011: BIOL 105, 106), CHEM 111, 112
BIOL 350 Biochemistry (4)   BIOL 205 (pre-2011: BIOL 105); CHEM 304. Same as CHEM 350
BIOL 405 Cell Biology (4)   BIOL 204, 205 (pre-2011: BIOL 105, 106, 331); CHEM 111, 112, 303, 304
PSYC 209 Cognitive Psychology (4)   PSYC 105
PSYC 362 Abnormal Psychology (4)   PSYC 105
BIOL/PSYC/NEUR 300 Special Topics (2–4)   will vary with course content;
see course description
NEURO 401 Directed Studies (1–4)   consent of instructor and school dean
PSYC 209, Cognitive Psychology, is a prerequisite for PSYC 408, Cognitive Neuroscience, and may be counted as elective credit only when taken to satisfy the prerequisite requirement. In addition, BIOL 202 may be counted as elective credit only when taken to satisfy the prerequisite requirement for BIOL 301, 304, and/or 307. Students may count either PHYS 150- level coursework OR PHYS 200-level coursework as elective credit toward the major, but not both. Students must complete 4 hours of upper-division BIOL credit, either in the form of Section III elective credit or by taking BIOL 403 in Section IV. Students desiring to take additional hours in a particular discipline should consider an academic minor in the pertinent field. Special topics and directed studies hours are limited to a total of 6 credits and must be approved by an academic advisor prior to registration. Additional coursework may be approved for elective credit by an academic advisor if the advisor and student feel that the suggested course is pertinent to the individual student’s plan of study and educational goals.    
IV. Additional Neuroscience Electives 8  
Neuroscience majors must choose 8 hours of additional neuroscience
electives chosen from the following courses.
BIOL 403 Cellular Neuroscience and Lab (4)   BIOL 204, 205 (pre-2011: BIOL 105, 106, 331); CHEM 111, 112, 303
PSYC 306 Physiological Psychology and Lab (4)   PSYC 105, 205
PSYC 408 Cognitive Neuroscience and Lab (4)   PSYC 105, 205, 209, 390; MATH 150
V. Required Senior Coursework 6  
NEURO 409 Advanced Topics in Neuroscience (2)   BIOL 204 (pre-2011: BIOL 105); PSYC 205, 390; or consent of instructor
NEURO 470 Neuroscience Senior Project I,II (2–2)   PSYC 390, senior standing, consent of instructor

Recommended Plan of Study for Neuroscience


Fall Semester

Spring Semester
Freshman Year PSYC 105 or 205
CHEM 111
Language or LE (8)
PSYC 105 or 205
CHEM 112
Language or LE (8)
Sophomore Year MATH 150 or 240 (or 201 or 201B)
BIO 204 or 205
Electives (8)
MATH 150 or 240 (or 201 or 201B)
BIO 204 or 205
Language or LE (8)
Junior Year PSYC 390* or Elective (4)
and/or Part IV Elective
and/or Electives
PSYC 390* or Elective (4)
and/or Part IV Elective
and/or Electives
Senior Year NEUR 470 (2)**
PART IV Elective (4)
and/or Electives
and/or Language/LE
NEUR 470 (2)**
NEUR 409 (2)
Part IV Elective (4)
and/or Electives
and/or Language/LE

*PSYC 390 MUST be completed by the end of junior year and prior to taking NEURO 409.

**NEUR 409 must be taken both semesters of senior year.