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SMITH COLLEGE NEUROSCIENCE PROGRAM

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Courses in the Neuroscience Major and Minor


Revised: September 14, 2016

Courses offered in Fall 2016:

Core: BIO 132/133; CHM 111/118; NSC 230; PSY 201; MTH 220; BIO 200/201; BIO 202/203; BIO 302/303; BIO 310/311.

Electives: BIO 363; PSY 130.

Seminars: PSY 315 (Autism Spectrum Disorders).

Courses offered in Spring 2017:

Core: BIO 132/133; CHM 222; NSC/PSY 110; NSC 230; MTH/PSY 201; MTH 220; BIO 230/231; BIO 300/301; NSC 314/315.

Electives: PSY 230.

Seminars: BIO 323 (Topics in Developmental Biology); NSC 312 (General Anesthesia); PSY 320 (Research Seminar in Biological Rhythms).

Changes for 2016-2017:

Not offered: BCH 380, BIO 159Y, BIO 362, MTH 219, NSC 316, NSC 318/319, PSY 105, PSY 120, PSY 215, PSY 326, PSY 327.

The Major in Neuroscience (53 or 54 credits)

The major normally begins with NSC/PSY 110, Introduction to Neuroscience, which gives an overview of the brain and behavior. Majors also need a strong early foundation in biology and chemistry. First-year students might thus start with BIO 132/133, CHM 111, CHM 222, and NSC/PSY 110. Courses after that should be chosen from the following core requirements and electives in consultation with a Neuroscience advisor. Tables of suggested paths through the major will help in your planning.

Required Core Courses (47 credits)

BIO 132/133 [formerly 150/151] Cells, Physiology and Development + lab (fall & spring)
BIO 230/231 Genomes and Genetic Analysis + lab (spring)

10

CHM 111 (or 118), 222 Chemistry I, II (fall & spring)

10

NSC/PSY 110 Fundamentals of Neuroscience (spring)

4

NSC 230 Experimental Methods in Neuroscience (fall & spring)

4

MTH 201 / PSY 201 or MTH 219 or MTH 220 Statistics (fall & spring)

4

Take one of these biology courses -- and its lab -- as a core course:
BIO 200/201 Animal Physiology + lab (fall)
BIO 202/203 Cell Biology + lab (fall)

5

Take two advanced courses with labs from these six options:
BIO 300/301 Neurophysiology + lab (spring)
BIO 302/303 Developmental Biology + lab (fall)
BIO 310/311 Cell & Molecular Neuroscience + lab (fall)
BIO 363        Animal Behavior Methods (fall)
NSC 314/315 Neuroendocrinology + lab (spring)
NSC 318/319 Systems Neurobiology + lab (spring, not offered in 2016-17)

8-10

Elective Courses (6-8 credits)

Choose one course from this group:

BIO 159Y Environment to Embryo (fall+spring, not offered in 2016-17) (5)
BIO 200 (fall) or BIO 202 (fall) or BIO 230 (spring) (4)
BIO 300/301 (spring) or 302 (fall) or 310 (fall) or NSC 314 (spring) or 318 (spring) (4 or 5)
BIO 362 Animal Behavior (fall, not offered in 2016-17) or BIO 363 Animal Behavior Methods (fall) (3)
PSY 105 Brain, Behavior, and Emotion (spring, not offered in 2016-17) (4)
PSY 120 Human Cognition (spring, not offered in 2016-17) (4)
PSY 130 Clinical Neuroscience (fall) (4)
PSY 215 Brain States (fall, not offered in 2016-17) (4)
PSY 230 Psychopharmacology (spring) (4)

3 - 5

Choose one seminar or research course from this group:

BCH 380 Topics in Biochemistry: Epilepsy (spring, not offered in 2016-17) (3)
BIO 323 Topics in Developmental Biology (spring) (4)
NSC 312 Seminar in General Anesthesia (spring) (4)
NSC 316 Neuroscience in the Public Eye (spring, not offered in 2016-17) (4)
PSY 314 Seminar in Foundations of Behavior (spring) (4)
PSY 315 Seminar in Autism Spectrum Disorders (fall) (4)
PSY 326 Seminar in Biopsychology: Behavioral Epigenetics (fall, not offered in 2016-17) (4)
PSY 327 Seminar in Mind and Brain: Alzheimer's Disease (fall, not offered in 2016-17) (4)
NSC 400 Special Studies (1 to 5 credits)
NSC 430 or 432 Honors Thesis (8 or 12 credits)

3 - 12

The Five College Certificate in Cognitive Neuroscience is offered for students enrolled at Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College. It encourages students to follow a program of courses on "the mind as manifested in the human brain" as a complement to a major in neuroscience. For details, consult the certificate website.

Study Abroad is possible in Neuroscience. Mary Harrington is the advisor for study abroad; interested students should consult her and our online advice page early in their careers to plan their programs.

Notes:

  • The Neuroscience major requires a minimum of 53 credits, depending on which electives are chosen.
  • The S/U option may not be used for courses in the major.
  • A student who places out of required courses with AP or IB credits is expected to replace those with others offered in the major.
  • BIO 200, 202, 230, 300/301, 302, 310 or NSC 314 or 318 may be taken as either core or elective courses, but one course cannot be counted as both.
  • NSC/PSY 110 (Introduction to Neuroscience): seniors require permission of the instructor to enroll.
  • NSC 230 (Experimental Methods in Neuroscience) is not open to seniors.


Honors

Director: Adam Hall

430d Thesis
8 credits
Full-year course; offered each year

432d Thesis
12 credits
Full-year course; offered each year

Requirements:  The same as for the major, with 8 or 12 thesis credits in the senior year involving an individual investigation, a written thesis, and two oral presentations (one at midyear and one following submission of the thesis). The thesis is graded by two readers: the thesis adviser and another faculty member. The final honors determination is based on overall GPA (20%), final oral presentation (20%) and the quality of the thesis (60%). The thesis course (430d or 432d) receives a grade which is calculated in the overall GPA.

Eligibility:  3.3 GPA in the major through the junior year and a thesis proposal (1000-1500 words) approved by the thesis adviser and the members of the program prior to the college deadline for submission of honors applications.


The Minor in Neuroscience

 

Two required core courses:

* NSC/PSY 110 Introduction to Neuroscience (spring)

* A 300-level course with laboratory, selected in consultation with your advisor.

Four electives (choose any four additional courses from this list):

PSY 105, 120, 130, 230, 314, 315, 326, 327

NSC 230, 312, 314, 316, 318

BIO 230, 200, 202, 230, 300/301, 302, 310, 323, 362, 363

Notes:

  • Six courses are required for the minor.
  • One course must include a laboratory component.
  • No more than two courses in the minor can also be counted to fulfill a major.
  • The S/U option may not be used for courses in the minor.

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