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Neurosciences Program

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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 Neurosciences Program courses

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The course will build an in depth knowledge about basic mechanisms of synaptic communication among nerve cells and their targets, and the structure and function of nervous systems. Topics will include nervous system development and synapse formation, structure and function of neurons, physiological and molecular basis of synaptic communication between neurons, mechanisms of synaptic plasticity involved in learning and memory, sensory systems (vision, auditory, vestibular, motor reflexes and pain), processing of neural information at cellular and system levels, synapse regeneration and diseases of the nervous system. Prerequisite: BIOL 435 (Introduction to Neurobiology), or consent of instructor. LEC
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A detailed study of the molecular aspects of nerve transmission will be covered with special emphasis on the uptake, storage, release, biosynthesis, and metabolism of specific neurotransmitters. Drugs affecting these processes and current research on receptor isolation and receptor mechanisms will be discussed from a chemical viewpoint. (Same as BIOL 775, CHEM 775, MDCM 775, P&TX 775, and PHCH 775.) Prerequisite: BIOL 600 or equivalent. LEC
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Presentations of research papers by faculty, post-doctoral research associates, and graduate students. All graduate students in the Neuroscience program participate in this seminar series throughout their period of training. Each student has to present a seminar once every semester. Presentations by students are evaluated by other graduate students and faculty at the end of each seminar. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in the Neuroscience program. LEC
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This course is to be used by graduate students fulfilling the teaching requirements for the Ph.D. in Neuroscience. The student will function as a discussion leader and lecturer in a limited number of class sessions. Each student will meet with faculty whom he or she is assisting in preparation of presentation materials and tests. Each student will be evaluated by the faculty mentor and by the students in the class taught. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in Neuroscience. LEC
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Lectures and discussion on ethical issues in the conduct of a scientific career, with emphasis on practical topics of special importance in molecular-level research in the chemical, biological, and pharmaceutical sciences. Topics will include the nature of ethics, the scientist in the laboratory, the scientist as author, grantee, reviewer, employer/employee, teacher, student, and citizen. Discussions will focus on case histories. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. (Same as MDCM 801, P&TX 801, PHCH 801 and PHCH 802.) Prerequisite: Graduate standing in the Neuroscience program. LEC
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The course will cover basic techniques of moral reasoning, especially as applied to ethical issues in the physical sciences and engineering. Topics covered will include the ethical conduct of research, the federal and professional guidelines for different kinds of research, and the ethical dimensions of publication and professional life. Emphasis will be on practical applications, cases and student involvement. (Same as GS 804, MDCM 804, P&TX 804, and PHCH 804.) Prerequisite: Must be admitted to the program or division of Pharmacy to enroll in this class. LEC
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Original investigations at an advanced level in the areas of neuroscience. The research by each student will be performed in the laboratory of one of the faculty mentors of the graduate program in Neuroscience. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in the Neuroscience program. LEC
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Somatosensory, motor and cognitive function of the brain will be discussed using a combination of lecture and student presentation formats. Current issues and evidence underlying accepted concepts and mechanisms will be emphasized. (Same as PHSL 844.) Prerequisite: PHSL 846 or equivalent and 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 ANAT 846, PHCL 846, and PHSL 846.) Prerequisite: Permission of the course instructor. 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 ANAT 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 ANAT 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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Hours and credit for this course to be arranged with the mentor. Independent investigation of a research problem in neuroscience, but of limited scope. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in the Neuroscience program and consent of mentor/instructor. THE
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Hours and credit for this course to be arranged with the mentor. Conduct of original investigation in neurosciences. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in the Neuroscience program post-oral comprehensive examination and consent of mentor/instructor. THE
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