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Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology

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Principal Course Distribution Requirement

Principal courses offer introductions to the breadth of disciplines in the College. They acquaint students with the subject matter in an area, with the types of questions that are asked about that subject matter, with the knowledge that has been developed and is now basic to the area, and with the methods and standards by which claims to truth are judged.

Students must complete courses in topical groups in three major divisions (humanities, natural sciences and mathematics, and social sciences). For the B.A., three courses are required from each division, with no more than one course from any topical group. The B.G.S. requires two courses from each division, with no more than one from any topical group. To fulfill the requirement, a course must be designated as a principal course according to the codes listed below.

These are the major divisions, their topical subgroups, and the codes that identify them:


  • HT: Historical studies
  • HL: Literature and the arts
  • HR: Philosophy and religion

Natural Sciences and Mathematics

  • NB: Biological sciences
  • NE: Earth sciences
  • NM: Mathematical sciences
  • NP: Physical science

Social Sciences

  • SC: Culture and society
  • SI: Individual behavior
  • SF: Public affairs

No course may fulfill both a principal course distribution requirement and a non-Western culture or second-level mathematics course requirement. Laboratory science courses designated as principal courses may fulfill both the laboratory science requirement and one of the distribution requirements. No free-standing laboratory course may by itself fulfill either the laboratory science requirement or a principal course requirement. Students should begin taking principal courses early in their academic careers. An honors equivalent of a principal course may fulfill a principal course requirement.

View all approved principal course distribution courses »

Non-Western Culture Requirement

A non-Western culture course acquaints students with the culture, society, and values of a non-Western people, for example, from Asia, the Pacific Islands, the Middle East, or Africa. Students must complete one approved non-Western culture course.

One approved non-Western culture course is required. Occasionally courses with varying topics fulfill the non-Western culture course requirement. See the Schedule of Classes for details. These courses are coded NW.

View all approved non-Western culture courses »

Transfer and Earned Credit Course Codes

These codes are used to evaluate transfer credit and to determine which academic requirements a course meets.

  • H: Humanities
  • N: Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • S: Social Sciences
  • W: World Civilization and Culture
  • U: Undesignated Elective Credit (course does not satisfy distribution requirement)

All Anatomy and Cell Biology courses

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Basic methods in preparation of tissues and cells for ultrastructural studies; use of electron microscopy in specific research problems; interpretation of biological ultrastructure; reading assignments and discussion sessions. Prerequisite: ANAT 830, or consent of course instructor. LEC
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Analysis of the genetic causes and molecular mechanisms underlying mental disorders: an introduction to the principles and applications of medical genetics and syndromes associated with mental disorders. Topics to be covered include, but are not limited to, autism spectrum disorders (ASD), schizophrenia, an introduction to imprinting mechanisms and disorders including Prader-Willi and Angelman syndromes. An overview of the disorders, candidate genes and mutations linked to these disorders will be presented. Prerequisite: Introductory course in cell biology, development neurobiology, and/or neuroscience. LEC
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This course will bridge student knowledge of systems/organs with cellular histology and is designed as an accelerated introduction to histological techniques, microscope/optics, and histology. The course will be held within a one month period in the summer. Individual tissues will be covered by a brief 30 minute lecture followed by a 90 minute session of observing the tissues under the microscope. Prerequisite: Advanced course in cell biology (IGPBS module 4 or equivalent) or consent of instructor. LEC
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Team taught, in-depth neuroscience course focusing on normal and diseased brain function at the molecular, cellular and systems levels. Lectures and discussions will emphasize current issues in neuroscience research. (Same as PHCL 846, PHSL 846 and NURO 846). Prerequisite: Permission of course director. LEC
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Development of the nervous system from early induction to the development of learning and memory. Topics include: Induction; Cellular Differentiation; Axon Growth and Guidance; Target Selection; Cell Survival and Growth; Synapse Formation; Synapse Elimination; and Development of Behavior. (Same as NURO 847 and PHSL 847.) Prerequisite: Advanced Neuroscience (ANAT 846; NURO 846; PHSL 846) or consent of instructor. LEC
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An in-depth coverage of pathogenic mechanisms in neurological diseases; cellular and molecular responses to brain injury and disease, neuroinflammatory diseases (e.g., multiple sclerosis), neurodegenerative diseases (e.g., Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and prion diseases), neurogenetic diseases (e.g., lysosomal and peroxisomal disorders, Down's syndrome and fragile X), trauma, stroke, and viral diseases (e.g., HIV encephalitis). (Same as NURO 848, PHCL 848, and PHSL 848.) Prerequisite: Advanced Neuroscience (ANAT 846, PHCL 846 or PHSL 846) or an equivalent course and consent of instructor. LEC
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Detailed analysis of developmental mechanisms in key vertebrate systems. Fertilization, cleavage, morphogenesis and gastrulation, axis determination, and organogenesis, with special attention to the most recent advances. Prerequisite: IGPBS Module 4 or consent of instructors. LEC
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All aspects of preparing grant applications are covered. This includes writing an actual grant application containing all the usual elements of grants - budgets, biosketches, resources, and scientific text. In addition, different funding agencies, building research teams, the review process, responding to reviewers, and resubmitting grants will be covered. (Same as HP&M 878 and NRSG 889.) Prerequisite: Appropriate research methods and statistics courses in student's current graduate program; and permission of the instructor. For students in the Outcomes Management and Research concentration, HP&M 821. LEC
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Advanced study allowing a student to pursue a particular research or educational skill through directed laboratory work. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. LEC
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Special study allowing a student to pursue a particular subject through readings, laboratory work, and conferences with a faculty member. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. IND
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Research-oriented presentations in a seminar format by students, faculty, and guests. LEC
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Independent laboratory investigation approved by and under the supervision of the student's advisor, and in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the M.A. degree. Prerequisite: Consent of advisor. RSH
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Preparation of the formal thesis based upon independent research and in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the M.A. degree. Credits will be given only after the thesis has been accepted by the department. Prerequisite: Consent of advisor. THE
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Research articles are analyzed by the student with the guidance of an instructor in terms of quality of scientific content and mechanics of the presentation. One or more articles are discussed in each tutorial session. The research topics and the instructor are chosen in accordance with the research interest of the student. LAB
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Original and independent laboratory investigation, approved by and conducted under the supervision of the students' advisor and advisory committee, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Ph.D. degree. Prerequisite: Consent of advisor. LEC
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Preparation of the dissertation based upon original research and in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Ph.D. degree. Credits will be given only after the dissertation has been accepted by the student's dissertation committee. Prerequisite: Consent of advisor. THE
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