Neuroscience (minor only)

Changes effective Fall Term 2016

Faculty teaching Neuroscience include members of the Natural Sciences, Humanities, and Social Sciences Divisions in the College of Arts and Sciences. Please see the schedule of classes for each academic term for specific assignments.

The neuroscience minor combines courses in biology, psychology, and philosophy for an integrated study of how the brain functions and the biological contributions to behavior. The program is interdisciplinary with a variety of topical and methodological perspectives. Students aspiring to graduate studies in neuroscience may combine the minor with a major in biology, biochemistry and molecular biology, marine biology, or psychology. 


Because prerequisites will be waived for admission to upper-level Psychology and Biology courses, students must apply to register as a Neuroscience Minor. Eligibility requirements include:

  • Sophomore standing
  • Declared Psychology, Biology, Biochemistry/Molecular Biology, or Marine Biology major
  • Minimum of two courses in major sequence completed
  • Major GPA of 3.0

Majors from another discipline may petition the Program Director for admission to the minor with additional requirements including:

  • Statement of interest
  • Statement of support from a faculty instructor


Ten (10) courses are required: five (5) core courses, four (4) elective courses, and one (1) capstone. 

CORE COURSES (required)

  • BIO 121 General Biology II
  • BIO 360 Cellular Biology
  • PHI 348 Philosophy of Mind
  • PSY 155 Perspectives in Psychology II
  • PSY 326 Physiological Psychology
Four (4) of the following courses, two from psychology and two from biology or biochemistry


  • BCH 335 Biochemistry
  • BIO 308 Genetics
  • BIO 312 Animal Physiology
  • BIO 341 Molecular Biology
  • BIO 370 Developmental Biology
  • PSY 302 Brain & Language
  • PSY 305 Sleep, Dreams, and Behavior
  • PSY 314 Sensation & Perception
  • PSY 322 Cognitive Psychology
  • PSY 324 Neuropsychology
  • PSY 327 Evolutionary Psychology
  • PSY 333 Mind/Body Problem


One (1) course.

  • INT 4xx Senior Seminar in Neuroscience


BIO 121 General Biology II: Includes cell structure and function, genetics and evolution. Offered each Fall.  Prerequisites: waived for registered minors with instructor's permission.

BIO 360 Cellular Biology: Correlates structure and function of cell. Discusses energy, enzymes and metabolism, membrane structure, transport, endomembrane system, communication, and growth and division. Offered annually. Prerequisites: waived for registered minors with instructor's permission.

INT 4xx: Senior Seminar in Neuroscience: An intensive interdisciplinary investigation of theory, research, and practice relating to neuroscience; requires students to apply knowledge and skills from courses across the student's major and minor. Offered annually. Prerequisites: completion of Neuroscience Foundation and Elective Courses.

PHI 348 Philosophy of Mind: Follows philosophical antecedents of contemporary psychology. Considers nature of mind, mind-body problem, and purpose. Offered annually. Prerequisite: PSY 155.

PSY 155 Perspectives in Psychology II: Thought and Behavior: Designed for psychology majors and minors (or those considering psychology), course examines historical and current perspectives on topics in behavioral, cognitive/physiological, and applied psychology. Offered each spring.

PSY 326 BIO: Physiological Psychology with Laboratory: Introduces the fundamentals of nervous system responses to psychological processes. Explores the anatomy and physiology associated with psychological events, historical and contemporary issues in the field, and the societal and personal implications regarding the use of such measures. Offered annually. Prerequisites: waived for registered minors with instructor's permission.

PSYCHOLOGY ELECTIVES (Minors must take two (2) courses from list below)

PSY 302 Brain and Language: Examines language in a biological context, and investigates the relationship between brain mechanisms and language behavior. Includes aphasia and other language disorders, hemispheric specialization, aphasia in the deaf, critical periods and aphasia in children, and gender differences in brain organization and cognitive abilities. Offered every 2-3 years. Prerequisite: PSY 155.

PSY 305 Sleep, Dreams, and Behavior: We spend approximately a third of our lives engaged in sleep. The psychology of sleep and dreams is an important area of the discipline with implications for physiological psychology, neuroscience, personality, and clinical psychology. Lecture/discussion course in which students and instructor explore the recent scientific research on sleep and dreams and its impact on behavior. Prerequisite: PSY 155.

PSY 314 Sensation and Perception with Laboratory: Introduction to the psychophysical, physiological, and cognitive aspects of human and animal perception. Areas covered include visual, auditory, somatic, and chemical sensation; visual perception of color, objects, depth, and movement; and speech, pain, and flavor perception. Offered every 2-3 years. Prerequisite: PSY 155.

PSY 322 Cognitive Psychology with Laboratory: Introduces basic cognitive theories, methods, and research findings. Includes areas such as attention, memory, imagery, knowledge, language, problem-solving, and logical reasoning. Offered annually. Prerequisite: PSY 155.

PSY 324 Neuropsychology: A study of central nervous system damage and the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of brain damaged individuals. Emphasizes how the study of brain damage enhances our understanding of the intact nervous system. Offered every other year. Prerequisite: PSY 155.

PSY 327 Evolutionary Psychology: Draws on evolutionary principles to understand human behavior, thought, and emotion, and maintains that certain psychological processes exist because they facilitated survival and reproduction during our evolutionary history. Offered every 2-3 years. Prerequisite: PSY 155.

PSY 333 The Mind/Body Problem: Examines topics such as consciousness, sense of self, and freewill from both a philosophical and experimental psychological point of view. Focuses on recent experimental attempts to better understand these topics, including neuropsychological studies of synesthesia, hallucinations, and blindsight, and neurobiological approaches to binocular rivalry, subliminal stimuli, and optical illusions. Offered every 2-3 years. Prerequisite: PSY 155.

BIOLOGY ELECTIVES (Minors must take two (2) courses from the list below)

BCH 335 Biochemistry: Introduces an integrated perspective of the chemical structure and cellular functions of proteins, nucleic acids, lipids, and carbohydrates. Topics include structural enzymology, molecular biology, and metabolism. Offered each spring. Prerequisites: BIO 121 and CHM 221.

BIO 308 Genetics: Analyzes prokaryotic and eukaryotic genetics at the level of molecule, cell, organism, and population. Uses quantitative approach in presentation of concepts and in genetic analysis. Offered annually. Prerequisites: BIO 121.

BIO 312 Animal Physiology: Studies animals at cellular and organismic levels: nervous, muscular, endocrine, excretory, circulatory, respiratory, digestive, and reproductive systems. Considers invertebrate and lower vertebrate physiology but stresses mammalian systems. Offered alternate years. Prerequisites: BIO 121.

BIO 341 Molecular Biology: Describes structure of chromosomes and organization of genomes. Examines replication, repair, transcription, and translation of genetic information -- and methodology to study these processes. Offered each spring. Prerequisites: BIO 121.

BIO 370 Developmental Biology: Studies gametogenesis, fertilization, and patterns of embryonic development, differentiation, and morphogenesis. Stresses concept of development program in animals established during gametogenesis, activated at fertilization, and expressed in subsequent development. Offered alternate years. Prerequisites: BIO 121.