Neuroscience (NEURO)

Faculty: Brian Avery, Russell Costa, Lesa Ellis

Program Goals

  • To develop critical and interdisciplinary thinking skills.
  • To enhance both oral and written communication and information literacy skills
  • To acquire depth and breadth of knowledge in neuroscience.
  • To gain knowledge of and respect for the varying levels of analysis in neuroscience, and to develop the ability to synthesize information across such levels
  • To develop an understanding of issues pertinent to ethics in neuroscience, as well as the ambiguity inherent in neuroscience
  • To develop knowledge of and experience with a number of research methodologies employed in the field of neuroscience
  • To gain an understanding of future employment and educational opportunities available to individuals majoring in neuroscience.


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 minor.

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:

  • 124 total hours
  • 30 upper division hours
  • Liberal education distribution

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 38
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)
NEURO 205 Introduction to Brain and Behavior (4)
NEURO 390 Research Methods in Neuroscience (4)
(Pre 2014-2015 Catalog may substitute PSYC 390)
MATH 150 (LE) or MATH 240 (LE)
NEUR 409 Advanced Topics in Neuroscience (2) PSYC 105, NEURO/PSYC 205, PSYC 209, and PSYC 390 or NEURO 390
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
CMPT 201 Introduction to Computer Science co-requisite: MATH 105
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,  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, 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 301 Neuroanatomy (2) NEURO/PSYC 205
NEURO 401 Directed Studies (1–4) consent of instructor and school dean
NEURO 402 Behavioral Endocrinology (4) NEURO/PSYC 205, NEURO 390 or PSYC 390 or consent of instructor
Note: PSYC 209, Cognitive Psychology (4), is a prerequisite for PSYC/NEURO 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.
NEURO 306 Behavioral Neuroscience and Lab (4) PSYC 105, 205
NEURO 403 Cellular Neuroscience and Lab (4) BIOL 204, 205 (pre-2011: BIOL 105, 106, 331); CHEM 111, 112
NEURO 408 Cognitive Neuroscience and Lab (4) PSYC 105,  209, NEURO/PSYC 205, NEURO 390 or PSYC 390

Recommended Plan of Study

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Freshman Year PSYC 105/NEURO 205
CHEM 111
Language or LE (8)

PSYC 105/NEURO 205
CHEM 112
Language or LE (8)

Sophomore Year MATH 150/240 (or 201/201B)
BIO 204/205
LE (8)

MATH 201/201B (or 150/240)
BIO 204/205
Language or LE (8)

Junior Year NEURO 390
Part III Elective(s) and/or
Part IV Electives
LE (4)

Part III Elective(s) and/or
Part IV Electives
LE (4)

Senior Year Part III Elective(s) and/or
Part IV Electives and/or
LE (4) and/or
NEUR 409
Part III Elective(s) and/or
Part IV Electives
LE (4) and/or
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