Neuroscience

Mission
The major in neuroscience affords students the opportunity to develop rigorous foundational training in the neural underpinnings of mind and behavior within the context of the liberal arts.  Course requirements of the major have been designed to balance biological, psychological, and philosophical approaches to the brain in order to broadly equip students with the fundamental knowledge and tools of the emerging interdiscipline of neuroscience.  The critical skills required to complete this major will also foster creativity and proficiency in approaching problem solving, experimental design, and empirical analysis in neuroscience.  In the broadest sense, graduates in neuroscience will confidently embrace the unknown, develop multiple strategies for generating new knowledge, and effectively articulate both what they do and don’t understand.  Given the broad curriculum, faculty scholarly expertise, and the many opportunities for faculty-student research collaborations, neuroscience majors are especially prepared for careers in academia, industry, or the clinic.




Program Goals


At the completion of the major, students will demonstrate an ability to:

1.  Proficiently describe the structure and function of the nervous system using molecular, cellular, systems, behavioral, and computational perspectives;

2.  Recognize and articulate key theoretical approaches to studying the mind and brain;

3.  Independently and proficiently engage in multiple forms of structured conversation, including small group discussion, oral presentation, writing for a scientific audience, and writing for the general public;

4.  Read, analyze, and synthesize literature carefully and critically;

5.  Carefully and critically evaluate ideas and observations and locate them within the context of current scholarship in neuroscience;

6.  Rigorously interpret and evaluate scientific evidence, including graphs, tables, and novel claims;

7.  Document accurate and precise observations in empirical research;

8.  Independently design, conduct, and evaluate ethical research;

9.  Demonstrate proficiency at interpreting and generating qualitative and quantitative data;

10.  Develop strategies for generating new knowledge and articulate and use effective learning strategies to master new knowledge; and

11.  Use effective interpersonal and professional skills (e.g., working across lines of difference, acting as a peer mentor, negotiating and managing conflict, building and supporting effective teams).


Major Requirements
The neuroscience major requires 15 courses distributed in the Neuroscience Department and the affiliated academic departments of Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Philosophy, and Psychology.

1. Four (4) core courses in neuroscience

  • NSC 201 – Mind & Brain, with laboratory
  • NSC 310 – Brain & Behavior, with laboratory
  • NSC 311 – Neurons & Networks, with laboratory
  • NSC 401 – Advanced Seminar in Neuroscience (Writing-Intensive Culminating Undergraduate Experience)

2. Eight (8) cognate courses

  • BIO 150, 151, and 152 – Principles of Biology I, II, and III
  • CHM 103 and 104 – General Chemistry I and II
  • MTH 119 - Statistical Analysis OR MTH 121 - Calculus I OR MTH 122 - Calculus II OR MTH 223 - Calculus III
  • PHL 229 - Phenomenology OR PHL 328 – Philosophy of Mind
  • PSY 101 – Introduction to Psychology

3. Three (3) electives in neuroscience.  At least one course must be from List A.

List A - Neuroscience Seminars

  • NSC 302 - States of Consciousness
  • NSC 304 - Receptors & Channels
  • NSC 306 - Neuroprosthetics
  • PSY 410 - Memory & Amnesia
  • NSC 3XX - Neuroscience of Anxiety (pending)
  • NSC 3XX - Sensory Systems & Behavior (pending)

List B - Perspectives

  • BIO 205 - Cell Biology
  • BIO 215 - Genetics
  • BIO 220 - Biochemistry
  • BIO 240 - Developmental Biology
  • BIO 245 - Comparative Anatomy
  • BIO 250 - General Physiology
  • BIO 265 - Behavior
  • PHL 223 - Modern Philosophy
  • PHL 229 - Phenomenology (cannot be used to satisfy both the elective and the PHL cognate requirement)
  • PHL 249 - Neuroethics
  • PHL 327 - Philosophy of Language
  • PHL 328 - Philosophy of Mind (cannot be used to satisfy both the elective and the PHL cognate requirement)
  • PSY 212 - Learning & Behavior
  • PSY 214 - Sensation & Perception
  • PSY 240 - Abnormal Psychology
  • PSY 311 - Cognitive Processes
  • PSY 312 - Psychopharmacology
  • PSY 489 - Philosophical Psychology
  • NSC 970 - Independent Study / Research