Courses & Requirements

Requirements for the Neuroscience Major

Required Introductory Courses

  • Choose either Organic Chemistry II (CHE-340) or Medicinal Organic Chemistry (CHE-350)
  • Choose either Elements of Physics I (PHY-102) or Intro Physics I (PHY-202)
  • Choose either Elements of Physics II (PHY-103) or Intro Physics II (PHY-203)

BIO-110: Integrative Biology I (3.00)

An integrated study of biological form and function as they relate to ecology, evolution and genetics. Inquiry-based approaches to problem solving in science. Lecture, 3 credits.

Course requisites: BIO-110 & BIO-110L must be taken concurrently.

BIO-110L: Integrative Biology I LAB (1.00)

Laboratory co-requisite course to BIO-110; must be taken concurrently with BIO-110.

Course requisites: BIO-110 & 110L must be taken concurrently.

BIO-111: Integrative Biology II (3.00)

An integrated study of biological form and function using one or more current problems such as addiction and cancer as a central theme. Molecular, cellular and organismal biology and the relationship of biological issues to science and society. Lecture, 3 credits.

Course requisites: Req'd prereqs: BIO-110 & 110L; req'd coreq 111L BIO-111 & 111L must be taken concurrently.

BIO-111L: Integrative Biology II Lab (1.00)

Laboratory co-requisite course to BIO-111; must be taken concurrently with BIO-111.

Course requisites: BIO-111 & 111L must be taken concurrently.

PSY-101: Intro Psy: Biologicl & Cognitv (4.00)

This is one-half of a two-semester introduction to psychology. The course is about the nervous system as it pertains to behavior and cognition. Students may take 101 or 102 first and each course is independent of the other.

CHE-150: Introduction to Chemistry (3.00)

This course delves into the world of atoms and molecules in order to study the structure of matter and the changes it undergoes. The course will provide an introduction to the field of chemistry. Topics include atomic and molecular structure, stoichiometry, acids and bases, enthalpy, and equilibrium. In addition, contemporary problems and applications of these topics may be explored. Examples may include atomic and molecular structure relevant to the design of new material such as memory metals; stoichiometry as a means of achieving green chemistry; acids and bases in the context of biochemical and environmental reactions; enthalpy in the context of energy generating fuels; and equilibrium and its role in energy storing batteries.

Course requisites: Take CHE-150L

CHE-150L: Intro Basic Chemical Lab Techniques (1.00)

This lab course focuses on the experimental methods in basic scientific measurements, elementary reactions and analysis arranged around a theme such as forensics or the environment.

Course requisites: CHE-150 prereq or coreq for CHE-150L

CHE-240: Organic Chemistry I (3.00)

The systematic study of the chemistry of organic compounds with emphasis on theories of structure and reactivity. Specific topics include basic organic molecular structure and bonding, isomerism, stereochemistry, molecular energetics, substitution and elimination reactions, and reactions of biologically relevant functional groups.

Course requisites: CHE-150 CHE-150L; Take CHE-240L

CHE-240L: Organic Chemistry I Laboratory (1.00)

Introduction to fundamental experimental techniques of carbon based molecules, including organic synthesis, purification and separation techniques, and theory and interpretation of infrared and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

Course requisites: CHE-150 CHE-150L; Take CHE-240

CHE-340: Organic Chemistry II (3.00)

This course is a continuation of CHE-240 and it continues the systematic study of the principal functional groups in organic compounds. Specific topics include the theory and chemical reactivity of conjugated and aromatic systems, the fundamentals of organic synthesis, and reactions of biologically relevant functional groups.

Course requisites: CHE-240 CHE-240L pre-requisites CHE-340L coreq Take CHE-340L

CHE-340L: Organic Chemistry II Laboratory (1.00)

Project based synthesis based laboratories including functional group analyses and reactions. Use of advanced instrumentation including nuclear magnetic resonance, infrared spectroscopy and GC-MS are required for analysis of project results.

Course requisites: CHE-240 CHE-240L pre-reqs; CHE-340 co-req Take CHE-340

CHE-350: Medicinal Organic Chemistry (4.00)

Drug discovery and development is the study of how biological targets for new drugs are selected, and how appropriate drugs for those targets are identified and brought to market. It is an interdisciplinary subject that draws from biology, chemistry and biochemistry to help us understand the interaction of a drug with a biological target, how the drug reaches its target in the body, and how it is eliminated once its function is achieved. Since a biologically active drug results from many years of experimental work in drug design and development, structure-activity relationships and drug structure optimization are topics also discussed in this course.

Course requisites: CHE-240 and 240L

PHY-102: Elements of Physics I/Lab (4.00)

Quantitative discussion of physical phenomena. Knowledge of algebra and trigonometry is required. This course does not count toward a major or minor in physics or astrophysics. Students planning to major or minor in physics or astrophysics should take Physics 202-203. Physics 102/Lab satisfies the lab science distribution requirement. Credit cannot be received for both PHY-102 and PHY-202. 3 LEC, 1 LAB.

PHY-202: Intro Physics I/Lab: Mechanics (4.00)

A calculus-based course with laboratory covering Newtonian mechanics, oscillations, and other classical physics topics. Credit cannot be received for both PHY-102 and 202. 3 LEC, 1 LAB.

Course requisites: Prereq MAT-118; Pre- or coreq MAT-119 Corequisite MAT-119

PHY-103: Elements of Physics II/Lab (4.00)

ELEMENTS OF PHYSICS II/LAB--Continuation of Physics 102/Lab. Credit cannot be received for both PHY 103 and PHY 203. 3 LEC, 1 LAB.

Course requisites: Prerequisite PHY-102

PHY-203: Intro Phys II/Lab: Electricity and Magnetism (4.00)

A calculus-based course with laboratory covering Newtonian mechanics, oscillations, and other classical physics topics. Credit cannot be received for both PHY-102 and PHY 202. 3 LEC, 1 LAB.

Course requisites: PHY-202 (grade C- or higher) and MAT-119

Methods and Process Courses

  • PSY-206, Research Statistics (or MAT-115, Statistics; PSY-206 is preferred)

PSY-206: Research Statistics (4.00)

Basic theory, principles and applications of statistics in behavioral science research. Cross-listed with SOC-206.

Course requisites: One 100-level course from ANT,PH,POL,PSY, or SOC

MAT-115: Elementary Statistics (4.00)

Statistical measures and distributions, probability and its application to statistical inference, linear correlation, hypothesis testing, confidence intervals and applications in the natural and social sciences.

PSY-207: Research Design and Methods (4.00)

Fundamentals of research design and methods, including scientific writing and presentation. Laboratories involve applications to major areas of psychology such as perception, learning, memory, and social psychology. Small group or individual experiments are designed and conducted. 3 LEC, 1 LAB.

Course requisites: PSY-206 or permission of Psych/Neuro Dept.

Foundations Courses

BIO-350: Foundations of Neuroscience I (3.00)

This course requires students to understand the basics of the nervous system at the cellular and subcellular level as well as equip students with scientific tools such as critical analysis of primary literature, development of an inquiry based project, and presentation of scientific research. Cross-listed with PSY-350.

Course requisites: BIO-350 & BIO-350L must be taken concurrently.

BIO-350L: Inquiry Based Research Neuroscience Lab (1.00)

INQUIRY BASED RESEARCH IN NEUROSCIENCE LAB--In this laboratory co-requisite course to BIO-350, students are given background material and generate their own line of scientific inquiry with tools and specific techniques explained and taught. Based on their questions and the techniques available, they will design experiments and analyze the results.

Course requisites: BIO-350 & 350L must be taken concurrently.

BIO-351: Foundations of Neuroscience II (3.00)

This course requires students to understand the basics of the nervous system at the systems level and equips students with scientific tools such as critical analysis of primary literature, development of an inquiry based project, and presentation of scientific research. Cross-listed with PSY-351.

Course requisites: BIO-351 & BIO-351L must be taken concurrently.

BIO-351L: Inquiry Based Research Neurosci II Lab (1.00)

INQUIRY BASED RESEARCH IN NEUROSCIENCE II LAB--In this laboratory co-requisite course to BIO-351, students are given background material and generate their own line of scientific inquiry with tools and specific techniques explained and taught. Based on their questions and the techniques available, they will design experiments and analyze the results.

Course requisites: BIO-351 & 351L must be taken concurrently.

Molecular Electives

Choose one of the following (plus lab):

BIO-216: Molecular Biology (3.00)

Genes and their activities at the molecular level in viruses, prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Mechanisms of gene expression and regulation in health and disease. Advanced topics in genetic engineering and biotechnology. Emphasis on experimental strategies and data analysis. 3 LEC, 1 LAB.

Course requisites: BIO-110 and BIO-111 BIO-216 & BIO-216L must be taken concurrently.

BIO-216L: Inquiry-Based Research Molecul Bio/Lab (1.00)

One-credit inquiry-based research experience/laboratory corequisite course to BIO-216 Molecular Biology.

Course requisites: BIO-216 & 216L must be taken concurrently.

BIO-300: Biochemistry I/Lab (4.00)

Fundamentals of biochemistry, including structure and function of biomolecules, enzyme kinetics, bioenergetics, catabolic and anabolic pathways, signal transduction and regulation of biochemical processes (lecture plus lab). Fundamental biochemical laboratory methods including the study of acid-base properties of amino acids and proteins, spectro-photometric characterization, chromatographic separation techniques and electrophoresis. Cross-listed with CHE-300.

Course requisites: CHE-240 & 240L (BIO-110/L & 111/L also prereqs for BIO mjrs)

Behavioral Electives

Choose one (plus lab, if applicable) of the following:

BIO-222: Human Anatomy & Physiology I/Lab (4.00)

Covers the basics of human anatomy and physiology including anatomical terminology, cells and tissues, and the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, endocrine, and cardiovascular. 3 LEC, 1 LAB.

Course requisites: BIO-110/Lab and BIO-111/Lab

BIO-285: Animal Behavior (4.00)

Development, ecology and causation of animal behavior. Emphasis on comparative analysis of mechanisms underlying the production of species-specific behavior. 3 LEC, 1 LAB. Cross-listed with PSY-285.

Course requisites: BIO-111 (or 192) or PSY-101

BIO-325: Addiction (4.00)

This is a course about addiction to drugs and other behaviors. General topics will include cellular and molecular foundations of neuropharmacology, receptors, and modulation of neural signaling. In addition, we will discuss other topics such as government policy and susceptibility to addiction. Cross-listed with PSY-325.

Course requisites: BIO-110, 111 & one 200-level BIO course; CHE-150 recommended

BIO-330: Diseases of the Nervous System (4.00)

This course examines the cell types that make up the human brain and how the cells function properly to make us who we are. We will examine the sub-cellular nature of different diseases to understand how brain cells function.

Course requisites: BIO-110, 111 & one 200-lev BIO crs (216 or 220 recommended)

BIO-324: Neuroendocrinology (4.00)

The course provides comprehensive and up-to-date coverage of the inter-relationship between the nervous and endocrine systems in mammals. Topics covered include endocrine regulation of reproductive behavior, aggressive behavior, biological rhythms, energy balance, stress, and learning and memory. Cross-listed with PSY-324.

Course requisites: BIO-110 & 111 (& labs)

Psychology Electives

Choose one of the following:

PSY-296: Topics in Neuroscience (4.00)

New technologies emerging from neuroscience such as designer drugs, MRI use as lie-detector, and gene therapy for neural disorders. Examination of the basic science behind these and other technologies as well as important social, political, and ethical implications. May not be used to fulfill minimum requirements for the biology major. May be used as elective credit in the psychology major. Cross-listed with BIO-296.

Course requisites: BIO-110, PSY-101 or PSY-102 (1 course)

PSY-311: Animal and Human Learning (4.00)

Principles of learning, behavioral change, and motivation in humans and other animals. Emphasis on conceptual, methodological, and theoretical findings in classical, operant, and observational learning, with a focus on application in a variety of settings.

Course requisites: PSY-101 and PSY-207

PSY-315: Cognitive Neuroscience (4.00)

Human cognition and perception and their neurophysiological correlates as revealed by functional imaging techniques and clinical populations. Selected topics include basic neuroanatomy and brain imaging techniques and their application to the study of attention, memory imagery, concept formation, language, problem solving, creative thinking, and intelligence.

Course requisites: PSY-101 and PSY-207

PSY-323: Sensation and Perception (4.00)

The study of how our sensory systems detect the physical world around us and how we understand what these sensations mean. Emphasis on current research.

Course requisites: PSY-101 and PSY-207

Math/Physics Electives

Choose one of the following:

MAT-118: Calculus I (4.00)

Introduction to the basic concepts of differential and integral calculus, emphasizing conceptual understanding and applications. Topics are covered from a graphical, algebraic and numerical perspective. Mathematical writing is emphasized.

PHY-131: Introduction to Computer Programming (4.00)

This introduction to computer science, developed by Google and their academic computer science partners, emphasizes problem solving and data analysis skills along with computer programming skills. Using Python, you will learn design, implementation, testing, and analysis of algorithms and programs. And within the context of programming, you will learn to formulate problems, think creatively about solutions, and express those solutions clearly and accurately. Problems will be chosen from real-world examples such as graphics, image processing, cryptography, data analysis, astronomy, video games, and environmental simulation. You'll get instruction from a World-class computer science professor, delivered remotely through video and interactive media. Then you will attend class for collaborative team projects to solve real-life problems, similar to those a team at Google might face. Prior programming experience is not a requirement for this course. Cross-listed with MAT-131.

Research Experience Courses

Complete one of the following courses (permission and/or application required):

PSY-480: Capstone in Psychology: Placement (2.00)

A 2-credit class, which can be taken in the junior or senior year. The department will offer sections for psychology and neuroscience majors or psychology minors who want to conduct research in a lab with a professor at Agnes Scott and sections for students with applied placements. In addition to attending these class sessions, each student will participate in a research or applied psychology placement for an average of 5 to 10 hours per week. Students will be required to complete a minimum of 65 hours at their placement for the semester and work a minimum of 8 weeks. This capstone experience will help students to build mentor and other network relationships, obtain valuable research and/or work experience, determine the areas of psychology they are most interested in, and develop professional skills. Prerequisite: permission is required (for Psychology majors and minors, prerequisite is PSY-470 in addition to permission required).

Course requisites: To register this course, you must submit an add form with permission and instructor's signature (online add form currently available at www.agnesscott.edu/registrar). NOTE: Psychology majors or minors must complete PSY-470 before taking PSY-480. Neuroscience majors may take 480 as research without being required to take 470 but must still get permission to register.

BIO-440: Directed Research (4.00)

Directed research courses are open to junior and senior majors to work with a faculty member on a project related to a particular field of intellectual or artistic interest, or to non-majors who demonstrate sufficient preparation in the discipline. Applications are available in the Office of Academic Advising and must be returned to the assistant dean of the college for approval. A 440 course carries 4 semester hours of credit.

BIO-450: Credit Internship (4.00)

For juniors and seniors who want a more-focused academic component to accompany their internship, the independently designed 450 may be an option. Students must identify a faculty sponsor and complete detailed paperwork for approval from the Office of Internship and Career Development.

BIO-490: Senior Thesis (4.00)

A senior thesis in the student's major gives superior students the opportunity to write a thesis about a project related to a particular field of intellectual or artistic interest. Interested students should obtain thesis guidelines (available in the Office of Academic Advising) and apply in writing to the appropriate department chair or program chair. A 490 course carries 4 semester hours of credit.

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