Course Program for the Neurobiology Major, Graduation in 2013-2014
The Major in Neurobiology is designed to educate students in the foundations of biology and neurobiology while providing opportunities for advanced study on a range of disciplines ranging from cell and molecular neuroscience to cognitive science and psychology as well as the interfaces of these disciplines. The curriculum will include the breadth of subject matter encompassed by neurobiology and the rapidly advancing knowledge at the forefront of this discipline. Graduates will be well prepared for advanced study in biological sciences, particularly neuroscience, medicine, business or law, as well as professions in education and biotechnology.
For questions on this major, consult your academic advisor or the Directors of the Neurobiology major, Maria Donoghue (202-687-5579; firstname.lastname@example.org) or Joseph Neale (202-687-5574; email@example.com).
Program for the Neurobiology major
The program is described in detail below in the following sections:
Biology Courses (required and elective), Additional Required Courses, Comprehensive Exam, and RISE. Completion of all requirements is necessary to obtain the major.
Application for the major will be in the fall of the second year.
AP- and IB-credit in Biology
The Department of Biology accepts one of the following: the AP Exam in Biology, the AP Exam in Environmental Biology, or the IB Higher-level Biology exam.
- Students who receive a score of 5 on the AP Biology Exam or on the AP Enviornmental Sciences Exam will receive 2 credits of upper division electives that will count towards the major and will receive the equivalent of a 4-credit nonmajors course (this is recorded as a College elective course).
- Students with a score of 4 on the AP Biology Exam or on the AP Environmental Sciences Exam will receive 1 credit of upper division elective that will count towards the major and will receive the equivalent of a 3-credit nonmajors course (this is recorded as a College elective course).
- Students with a score of 6 or 7 on the IB Higher-level Biology Exam will receive 2 credits of upper division electives that will count towards the major and will receive the equivalent of a 4-credit nonmajors course (this is recorded as a College elective course).
Courses in the first year
Normally, the first year includes biology, chemistry, mathematics and general education courses:
Fall term: We recommend 4 courses and seminar
- Foundations in Biology I with laboratory (BIOL-103)
- First year seminar (BIOL-101)
- General Chemistry with laboratory (CHEM-001, -009)
- Mathematics (generally Calculus I)
- General education (one course): language, English, History, Philosophy or Theology
Spring term: 5 courses is the normal load
- Foundations in Biology II with laboratory (BIOL-104)
- General Chemistry with laboratory (CHEM-002, -010)
- Mathematics (Probability and Statistics, or Calculus II)
- General Education (two courses): language, English, History, Philosophy or Theology
Courses in the upper years
- Second year, Spring term -- all Neurobiology majors will complete BIOL-195 Neurobiology
- Fourth year, Fall term -- all Neurobiology majors will enroll in BIOL-401 Senior Seminar
Program for Neurobiology Majors
1. Biology Courses
Required core courses
- BIOL-101 First-year seminar (1 credit). This course is required for first year students and is recommended for transfer students and those students who enter the program after the first-year (contact the department chair or your advisor).
- BIOL-103 Foundations in Biology I (4 credits), or BIOL-103/113 Foundations in Biology I with separate lab course (5 credits)
- BIOL-104 Foundations in Biology II (4 credits), or BIOL-104/114 Foundations in Biology II with separate lab course (5 credits)
- BIOL-195 Neurobiology (4 credits)
- BIOL-354 Synaptic Transmission (3 credits)
- BIOL-370 Neurodisorders (3 credits)
- BIOL-376 Developmental Neurobiology (3 credits)
- BIOL-380 Sensory Systems (3 credits)
- BIOL-401 Senior Seminar in Biology (1 credit) [to be taken during the fall term of the last year]
(21 credits) Enrollment in graduate-level courses (numbered 500 or greater) is at the discretion of the instructor. No more than two courses in Psychology and Animal Behavior (Group B) can count as Neurobiology electives.
- BIOL-152 Genetics
- BIOL-151 Biochemistry
- BIOL-170 Developmental Cell Biology (cannot have taken BIOL-363)
- BIOL-175 Mammalian Physiology
- BIOL-300 Research Tutorial
- BIOL-341/342 RISE: Research Intensive Senior Experience
- BIOL-363 Cell Biology (offered through spring 2011)
- BIOL-379 Genomics and Bioinformatics
- BIOL-390 Molecular Biology
- BIOL-480 Advanced Molecular Biology (not offered in 2011-2012)
- ICOS-201 Introduction to Cognitive Science
- NSCI-525 Functional Neuroimaging and Cognition (Note-2 credits)
- NSCI-556 Molecular Mechanisms of Neurodegeneration
- BIOL-226 Animal Behavior
- PSYC-001 General Psychology
- PSYC-002 Research Methods and Statistics
- PSYC-120 Physiological Phychology
- PSYC-130 Cognition
- PSYC-232 Sensation and Perception
- PSYC-321 Clinical Neuropsychology
- PSYC-350 Cognitive Neurogenetics
2. Additional Science Courses Required
- CHEM-001/-009 and -002/-010 General Chemistry with laboratory
- MATH-035 Calculus I
- MATH-036 Calculus II or MATH-040 Probability and Statistics or MATH-140 Introduction to Mathematical Statistics
3. Comprehensive Exam
A comprehensive exam is required of all seniors. This exam will be administered during the fall term and will consist of the GRE exam to test biology content knowledge.
4. RISE - Research Intensive Senior Experience
RISE is an option for Neurobiology majors and replaces the senior thesis.
RISE is a commitment for two semesters and is intended to be selective. Research will be conducted over two semesters in the senior year and is awarded a total of six credits. However, students may begin research earlier, generally in the third year and in the summer between the third and fourth years.
The RISE options are research in the laboratory, field or computer-based, or meta-analysis of data (but not teaching). Students choose from faculty in our department or outside of the department (although a departmental co-mentor must also be identified).
RISE - choose these (6 credits total)
- BIOL-341 (fall) and BIOL-342 (spring) RISE