Jul 02, 2020  
Catalog 2020-2021 
Catalog 2020-2021


Director of the Neuroscience Program: Jennifer Bonner

Associate Director of the Neuroscience Program: Sarita Lagalwar

Associate Professor: Sarita Lagalwar

Assistant Professor: Christopher Vecsey

Affiliated Faculty:

Biology: Jennifer Bonner, Jason Breves, David Domozych, Corey Freeman-Gallant, Bernard Possidente, Monica Raveret-Richter

Computer Science: Tom O’Connell

Mathematics: Lucy Spardy

Psychology: Denise Evert; Susan Kettering Williamson ‘59 Chair in Neuroscience, Rebecca Johnson, Hassan Lopez, Flip Phillips, Dominique Vuvan

Department Overview

Neuroscience is the scientific community’s effort to understand the mechanisms that give rise to thoughts, motives, and behavior. The central mechanism of behavior is the brain, and exploring it is a fascinating odyssey in natural science. Neuroscientists investigate the connections between events that occur at the subcellular level and the behavior of the whole organism. Addressing the fundamental questions of neuroscience requires the collaboration of specialists in diverse fields. Thus, although neuroscientists specialize in one particular discipline, they need to be cognizant of many related areas. The neuroscience major is cross-disciplinary and taught primarily by professors in the biology and psychology departments; however, students desiring to do advanced work may choose to work with faculty from a wide variety of departments.

As neuroscience majors, students will engage in broadly based study of the nervous system. This study will be multidisciplinary, integrating the perspectives of biology, psychology, and related sciences. Students will develop a foundation in concepts, issues, discoveries, and methodological approaches to the interdisciplinary endeavor of neuroscience. Students will discover how approaches from various neuroscience subdisciplines complement one another and how the findings can be integrated to provide a more global understanding of the functioning of the nervous system. Students will gather, analyze, and interpret scientific data and summarize and communicate empirical results; this process will enhance their familiarity and facility with scientific methodology. Students will develop their verbal, quantitative, and writing skills. Students may focus in a subfield of neuroscience and may conduct research with faculty members. Students will gain experience in integrating and synthesizing data, develop a broad background in the sciences and humanities, and acquire skills adaptable to a wide variety of areas and interests. The major will prepare students for career paths that include graduate school, the health professions, research, and clinical work.

Nu Rho Psi:

Nu Rho Psi is the national honor society in neuroscience, founded in 2006 for the purpose of encouraging professional interest and excellence in scholarship in neuroscience. Eligibility requirements include declaration of a major in neuroscience, completion of at least three semesters of courses towards the neuroscience major, a grade-point average of 3.5 or higher in courses required for the neuroscience major, and a grade-point average of 3.4 in all college courses.

Major Requirements




Course Listing

NS 101 - Neuroscience: Mind and Behavior 
NS 201 - Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience 

NS 212 - Topics in Neuroscience 
NS 275 - Introduction to Neuroscience Research 
NS 277 - Integrative Seminar in Neuroscience Research 
NS 312 - Advanced Topics in Neuroscience 
NS 314 - Mapping the Cerebellum: Structure, Connectivity & Bioinformatics  
NS 315 - Mechanisms of Alzheimer’s Disease 
NS 371 - Research Experience in Neuroscience 
NS 375H - Senior Research Project I 
NS 376 - Senior Research Project II 

BI 242 - Molecular Cell Biology 
BI 244 - Comparative Vertebrate Physiology 
BI 245 - Principles of Genetics 
BI 247 - Cell Biology 
BI 251 - Topics in Biology 
BI 252 - Topics in Biology with Lab 
BI 306 - Mammalian Physiology 
BI 311 - Biological Electron Microscopy 
BI 316 - Animal Behavior 
BI 341 - Neurodevelopment 
BI 342 - Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience 
BI 344 - Biological Clocks 
BI 351 - Topics in Biology 
BI 352 - Topics in Biology with Lab 
BI 368 - Advanced Light Microscopy 

CH 125 - Principles of Chemistry 
CH 222 - Organic Chemistry II 
CH 341 - Biochemistry: Macromolecular Structure and Function with Lab 

CS 322 - Artificial Intelligence  

PS 202 - Statistics and Research Methods I 
PS 213 - Hormones and Behavior 
PS 221 - Clinical Psychopharmacology 

PS 231 - Neuropsychology 
PS 232 - Introduction to Cognitive Science 
PS 303 - Statistics and Research Methods II 
PS 304 - Physiological Psychology 
PS 314 - Psychology of Reading 
PS 318H - Advanced Statistics in Psychology 
PS 327 - Computational Methods in Psychology and Neuroscience 
PS 341 - Seminar in Cognitive Neuroscience: Left Brain/Right Brain