2010 - 2011 Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience

Objectives | Program Requirements | Academic Major

Faculty: Brian Avery, Peter Conwell, Lesa Ellis, Angela Hicks, Jennifer Simonds

Program Goals

  • To develop an understanding of the scientific process and to gain critical thinking and problem solving skills.
  • To enhance both oral and written communication and information literacy skills.
  • To promote leadership, collaboration and teamwork.
  • To encourage reflective capacities.
  • To teach breadth and depth of knowledge content in the field of 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.

For course prerequisites, please refer to the course description.

Academic Major

Liberal Education Courses Credit Hours
The following courses, which fulfill LE requirements, are required for the Neuroscience major.

MATH 150 Introduction to Statistics, LE
PSYC 105 Introduction to Psychology, LE

Requirement Description
Credit Hours
I. Foreign Language Requirement 8
. Neuroscience majors must complete eight credit hours in a single foreign language. 8
II. Required Core Courses 32
. BIOL 105 Principles of Biology I and Lab
CHEM 111-112 Principles of Chemistry I and II and Labs
MATH 150 Introduction to Statistics, LE
MATH 201 or 201B Calculus I or Calculus for Life Sciences
PSYC 105 Introduction to Psychology, LE
PSYC 205 Introduction to Brain and Behavior
PSYC 390 Research Methods
III. Natural Science and Math Electives 24
. Complete 24 credit hours from the following two groups, including a minimum of 4 hours from each group. Courses listed as a set must be taken as such and hours for both courses will be counted as elective hours. Four hours of upper division psychology credit may be counted as elective credit with advisor permission. Students desiring to take additional hours from a particular group should consider an academic minor in the pertinent field. Special topics hours limited to 4.

Group 1 - Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics

CHEM 303-304 Organic Chemistry I and II and Labs (4-4)

PHYS 151-152 Principles of Physics I and II and Labs (4-4)
PHYS 211-212 Physics for Sci. & Eng. I & II and Labs (4-4)

PHYS 305 Optics and Electronics (4)
MATH 202 Calculus II (4)
MATH 204 Linear Algebra and Differential Equations (4)
BIOL/CHEM/PHYS 370 Scientific Computing (3)

Group 2 - Biology

BIOL 301 Comparative Anatomy (4)
BIOL 304 Developmental Biology (4)
BIOL 307 Comparative Physiology (4)
BIOL 331 Genetics and Lab (4)
BIOL 350 Biochemistry (4)
BIOL 405 Cell Biology (4)
BIOL 300/400 Special Topics in Biology (2)
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)
PSYC 406 Physiological Psychology and Lab (4)
PSYC 408 Cognitive Neuroscience and Lab (4)
V. Required Senior Coursework 6
. BIOL/PSYC 409 Advanced Topics in Neuroscience
PSYC 470 Senior Project I, II

Recommended Plan of Study for Neuroscience

. Fall Semester Spring Semester
Freshman Year PSYC 105
CHEM 111
MATH 150 (or 201 or 201B)
Language or LE
BIOL 105
CHEM 112
MATH 201 or 201B (or 150)
Language or LE
Sophomore Year PSYC 205
Science/Math Electives (8)
Science/Math Electives (8)
Language or LE
Junior Year Science/Math Electives (8) or
Neuroscience Elective or PSYC 390*
Science/Math Electives (8) and/or Neuroscience Elective or PSYC 390*
Senior Year PSYC 470 (2)**
Neuroscience Elective
PSYC 470 (2)**
BIOL/PSYC 409 (2)

*PSYC 390 needs to be completed by the end of Junior year and before taking PSYC 470 (Senior Project)
**PSYC 470 (Senior Project) is taken both semesters Senior year