Neuroscience Coursework

Print this page as a checklist for major requirements

Students (including transfer students intending to major in Neuroscience) are encouraged to use the Course Scheduler to review course information for those listed below (including content, requisites, etc..)

Neuroscience majors must preregister for all courses they will use to satisfy requirements for the major, rather than to assume that they will be guaranteed entry into a course during the add/drop period if they did not preregister for it (e.g., you must preregister for BIOL-301 or 351).

Quick Links
  1. General Requirements
  2. Intro to Neuroscience
  3. Upper-level Behavioral
  4. Upper-level Molecular
  5. Electives


(1) General science requirements: 
  • Chemistry: All of the following:
    • CHEM-151 (or 155)
    • CHEM-161
    • CHEM-221 (most majors also take CHEM-231)
  • Biology:
    • BIOL-191
      • note: BIOL-181 is optional for Neuroscience, but should be considered by students in the second semester of their freshman year that are considering majoring in Biology or Neuroscience but haven't decided between them yet.
  • Biochemistry: One of the following:
    • BIOL-331:Biochemistry -or-
    • BIOL-251: Molecular Genetics -or-
    • BIOL-330: Biochemical Principles of Life at the Molecular Level  AND one additional 200-level Biology laboratory course or higher.
  • Statistics: One of the following:
    • STAT-111 (formerly MATH-130) -or-
    • STAT-135 (formerly MATH-135) -or-
    • STAT-230 (formerly MATH-230) -or-
    • BIOL-210 -or-  
    • PSYC-122
  • Physics/Mathematics: At least two of the following courses:
    • PHYS-116, 117, 123, 124
    • MATH 111, 121, 211
      • note: This requirement applies to the classes of 2016 and subsequently.
      • If you have Advanced Placement in any of these subjects, take more advanced courses.
      • MATH-111 or Advanced Placement (at least 4 on AB or 3 on BC) is a prerequisite for CHEM-161 and PHYS-117.
      • The Statistics requirement above is a separate requirement and those courses do not count towards this Physics/Math requirement. 

Advanced Placement information for the General Science courses:

  • Chemistry: with a Chemistry AP score of 4 or 5, follow the recommendation made during orientation (many students with AP credit still take 151).
  • Math: you may place out MATH-111 with a score of 4 or 5 on the AB exam, or a 3 on the BC exam.  In this case you still need to satisfy the Physics/Mathematics requirement above.
  • Biology: you may place out of BIOL-191 with a score of 5 on the Biology AP exam.  In this case you must substitute BIOL-251 or 291 for BIOL-191 requirement. If you use BIOL-251 to substitute for BIOL-191, then you may not count it for the Biochemistry requirement.
  • Statistics: Someone with a 4 or 5 on the AP Stats exam should take STAT-230 (formerly MATH-230).  Students with a 3 (or less) and with some calculus background should take STAT-135 (formerly MATH-135). 
(2) Introduction to Neuroscience course

The following course must be taken in the Spring semester of your sophomore year:

  • NEUR-226 : Introduction to Neuroscience
(3) Upper-level Behavioral Neuroscience

One of the following:

  • PSYC-325 : Psychopharmacology
  • PSYC-356 : Neurophysiology of Motivation 
  • PSYC-359 : Hormones and Behavior
(4) Upper-level Cellular/Molecular Neuroscience

 One of the following:

  • BIOL-301 : Molecular Neurobiology
  • BIOL-351 : Neurophysiology
(5) Electives

Two additional upper-level science courses, chosen as follows:

GROUP A. At least one course must be chosen from the following courses:

  • An additional behavioral neuroscience course from item (3) above
  • An additional molecular/cellular neuroscience course from item (4) above
  • BIOL-450 : Seminar in Physiology
  • NEUR-425 : Proseminar: Research & Writing
  • A Five College neuroscience course that is approved by the Neuroscience faculty

GROUP B: The second elective may also be from Group A, or it may be chosen from the following courses:

  • BIOL-251 : Molecular Genetics
    • (if BIOL-331 was taken for the General science requirement above)
  • BIOL-331 : Biochemistry
    • (if BIOL-251 was taken for the General science requirement above)
  • BIOL-220 : Developmental Biology
  • BIOL-241 : Genetic Analysis
  • BIOL-260 : Animal Physiology
  • BIOL-271 : Microbiology
  • BIOL-381 : Genome Biology w/ Lab
  • BIOL-380 : Genome Biology w/out Lab
  • BIOL-291 : Cell Structure and Function
  • BIOL-370 : Immunology
  • BIOL-310 : Structural Biochemistry
  • BIOL-281 : Animal Behavior
  • CHEM-351 : Physical Chemistry I
  • CHEM-361 : Physical Chemistry II
  • PHYS-225 : Modern Physics
  • PHYS-400 : Molecular and Cellular Biophysics (also called Biology 400 and Chemistry 400)
  • PSYC-233 : Cognitive Psychology
  • PSYC-234 : Memory
  • PSYC-236 : Psychology of Aging
  • PSYC-357 : History of Psychiatry

Courses in which a student has not received a letter grade better than "D" are not counted towards the Neuroscience major.