Whether you want to try something for the first time, or dive deep into your area of study, our courses offer you the opportunity to shine a light on what interests you. 

Please note: The Course Catalog should be used for all official planning. 

NESC - Neuroscience

CHEM 115: Principles of Chemistry: Structure and Reactivity

Introduction to the basic principles of chemistry, emphasizing structures of chemical species (atoms, ions, and molecules), stoichiometry, the relationships between structure and reactivity, basic chemical models (gas laws, e. g.) and laboratory skills. This course will serve primarily to prepare students who have not had any previous (high school) coursework in chemistry for CHEM 116. Three lectures and one laboratory session each week. Students with high school chemistry should normally take 116 instead of this course. See the chemistry department's web page for placement examination information.
Units: 6
Prerequisite: Placement examination

CHEM 116: Principles of Chemistry: Energetics and Dynamics

Introduction to the study of chemistry, for students who have taken high school chemistry or CHEM 115, emphasizing structural and quantitative models of chemical behavior. Topics include bonding, thermochemistry, equilibrium, kinetics, and related applications. Three lectures and one laboratory per week. Enrollment is determined by placement examination for students who have not completed CHEM 115. See the chemistry department's web page for placement examination information.
Units: 6
Prerequisite: CHEM 115 or placement examination

BIOL 130: Cellular Form and Function
Cellular Form and Function
Cellular Form and Function

An exploration of fundamental cellular processes in an evolutionary context including homeostasis, cell cycle, gene expression, energy transformation, inheritance, and multi-cellular development. Experimental approaches will be emphasized. Lecture and laboratory.
Units: 6
Prerequisite: First-year or second-year standing: consent of instructor required for juniors and seniors. Simultaneous enrollment in BIOL 130 and BIOL 131 required for first- and second-year students.

BIOL 150: Organismal Form and Function

Development, morphology, physiology, and ecology of plants, animals, fungi and unicellular organisms will be compared in evolutionary context. Phylogenic relationships, ecological interactions, and ecosystem processes will be explored. Lecture and laboratory.
Units: 6
Prerequisite: BIOL 130 or departmental examination

BIOL 170: Integrative Biology: Experimental Design and Statistics

An introduction to experimental and sampling design in the fields of biology and biochemistry, as well as methods of data analysis and interpretation. The connection between statistical analysis and experimental design will be emphasized. Topics include descriptive, exploratory, and confirmatory statistical analyses. Lecture and computer laboratory.
Units: 6
Prerequisite: BIOL 150 or consent of instructor

PSYC 170: Statistics in Psychology

This course introduces statistical methods applied in psychological research. It will cover topics such as hypothesis testing, analysis of variance, and sampling distributions, and provide basic training in the computer package SPSS. The course aims to enable students to design and test research questions in psychology and to improve students' understanding of published research. Quizzes, exams, and a group report. Intended for psychology majors.
Units: 6
Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or equivalent

NESC 191: Directed Study in Neuroscience

Units: 1 TO 98

BIOL 200: Animal Behavior

A lecture and field-study course examining the principles and problems of animal behavior. Subjects include orientation, feeding, locomotion, communication, escape in time and space, biological rhythms, mate choice, and aspects of social behavior, examined from evolutionary, ontogenetic, physiological, ecological, and ethological perspectives. Lecture and laboratory.
Units: 6
Also listed as Environmental Studies 210
Prerequisite: BIOL 150

NESC 200: Foundations of Neuroscience

This lecture- and discussion-based course provides an introduction to the structure and function of the nervous system. Basic principles of neurobiology from the anatomical to cellular level are discussed to develop an understanding of how these biological factors are associated with human behaviors. Includes group projects and exams. Not open to students who took PSYC 360.
Units: 6
Prerequisite: BIOL 130

BIOL 240: Morphogenesis of the Vertebrates

An integrated lecture and laboratory course that undertakes the study of the structure and function of vertebrate organ systems through examination of morphology. Vertebrate ontogeny, phylogeny, and anatomy are addressed.
Units: 6
Prerequisite: BIOL 150

BIOL 242: Comparative Physiology

A comparative study of the variety of solutions and adaptations diverse animals can make to similar problems — obtaining and transporting oxygen, maintaining water and salt balance, utilizing food, movement, and nervous and hormonal integration. Lecture and laboratory.
Units: 6
Prerequisite: BIOL 150

CHEM 250: Organic Chemistry I

A study of the relationship between structure and function in organic compounds. Basic topics such as molecular orbital theory, conformational equilibria, stereochemistry, and nucleophilic substitution are covered. Students also learn to use instrumental analysis (NMR, IR, GC-MS) to identify and characterize compounds. One four-hour laboratory per week.
Units: 6
Prerequisite: CHEM 116 or 119 or consent of instructor

CHEM 252: Organic Chemistry II

A study of organic reactions and their mechanisms. The focus of the class is synthesis, both in the concrete sense of building molecules and in the abstract sense of pulling together disparate concepts to solve problems. Case studies from the polymer and pharmaceutical industries underline the relevance of the discipline to everyday life. One four-hour laboratory per week.
Units: 6
Prerequisite: CHEM 250

PSYC 290: Developmental Psychopathology

Using developmental psychopathology theory, this course involves the examination of psychological disorders in children and adolescents. The course emphasizes the complex interplay of biological and psychological factors over the course of development that lead to different outcomes. Several topics are covered including ADHD, anxiety, autism, conduct disorder, eating disorders, depression, and self-harm.
Units: 6
Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or sophomore standing

BIOL 325: Cell Biology

Survey of the structure and function of eukaryotic cells, the basic functional unit of life. Correlation of cellular structures including organelles, proteins, and membranes with functions such as cellular communication, division, transport, movement, and secretory pathways will be analyzed. Lecture and laboratory.
Units: 6
Prerequisite: BIOL 130 and BIOL 150, BIOL 170 recommended

BIOL 340: Topics in Neuroscience

A study of the nervous system from the perspectives of psychology and biology. Topics vary year to year and may include glial cells, neural development, and the evolution of nervous systems and neurotransmitter systems. Lecture only. May be repeated when topic is different.

Topic for Fall 2022: Aging and the Brain
Prerequisites: CHEM 116, BIOL 150 and one course in psychology; or PSYC 360 and one course in biology; or consent of instructor
With the advancement of medicine, our population continues to grow older, and the prevalence of age-related diseases is on the rise. In particular, the brain undergoes many molecular changes with aging that makes is susceptible to disease, such as dementias and Alzheimer’s disease. In this course, we will explore the mechanisms of aging and their impact on the brain, disease manifestations related to aging in the brain, and the current medical treatments for age-related brain disorders.

Units: 6
Also listed as Psychology 580
Prerequisite: CHEM 116, BIOL 150 and either NESC 200 or PSYC 384, or consent of instructor

CHEM 340: Biochemistry I

An introduction to the study of biological processes at the molecular level with emphases on protein struction and function, enzyme mechanism and kinetics, fundamentals of physical biochemistry, and the chemistry of biological molecules, including carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids.
Units: 6
Also listed as Biology 444
Prerequisite: CHEM 250 or concurrent enrollment, or consent of instructor

PSYC 350: Psychopharmacology and Behavior

An interdisciplinary examination of the ways in which behaviorally active drugs exert their effects, drawing on research in pharmacology, psychology, biochemistry, anatomy, and neurophysiology. Provides an understanding and appreciation of the role of behaviorally active drugs in people’s lives, today and in the past.
Units: 6
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing; at least one prior biology course recommended

BIOL 354: Molecular Biology

An interdisciplinary examination of regulatory mechanisms leading to differential gene expression. Main topics include transcription, translation, gene and protein structure, and modern genomics. The application of current molecular techniques is emphasized throughout the course. Laboratory work is experimental in approach. Lecture and laboratory.
Units: 6
Prerequisite: BIOL 130 and CHEM 115

PSYC 365: Brain and Behavior (with laboratory)

A lecture course with a laboratory that explores the neurobiological mechanisms associated with complex behaviors. Topics range from hormonal regulation of behavior to learning and memory, motivation, and emotion, sleep, appetitive behaviors, and various psychological disorders. Assessments include exams, presentations, laboratory reports, and participation. Not open to students who took PSYC 360 or PSYC 525.
Units: 6
Prerequisite: NESC 200 or PSYC 348 AND PSYC 284 OR BIOL 280 or instructor approval

PSYC 370: Perception

An introduction to the physiological and psychological processes by which we receive, transform, and use the information from the world acquired through our senses. Special emphasis on visual and auditory perception to allow a more in-depth study of two perceptual systems and to provide information useful to those interested in the visual arts and music.
Units: 6
Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or sophomore standing

NESC 390: Tutorial Studies in Neuroscience

Advanced work, arranged and carried out in consultation with an instructor.
Units: 1 TO 98
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required

NESC 399: Independent Study in Neuroscience

Units: 1 TO 98
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

PSYC 420: Clinical and Affective Neuroscience

This course focuses on advanced topics in neuroscience involving emotion. We will explore emerging knowledge of the brain's involvement in emotional behaviors, including physiological and psychological states. Course topics include: neural plasticity, human neuroscience methods, emotions, and pathophysiology of affective disorders.
Units: 6
Prerequisite: NESC 200, PSYC 348, or PSYC 365

BIOL 444: Biochemistry I

An introduction to the study of biological processes at the molecular level with emphases on protein struction and function, enzyme mechanism and kinetics, fundamentals of physical biochemistry, and the chemistry of biological molecules, including carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids.
Units: 6
Also listed as Chemistry 340
Prerequisite: CHEM 250 or concurrent enrollment, or consent of instructor

BIOL 453: Developmental Biology

An experimental approach to animal development with laboratory and lecture emphasis on molecular and cellular processes of embryogenesis. Includes discussions of pattern formation, differentiation, cell interactions, gametogenesis and fertilization. Lecture and laboratory.
Units: 6
Prerequisite: BIOL 150; and one of the following (or concurrent enrollment): BIOL 354, BIOL 444/CHEM 340, BIOL 260, or BIOL 325

PSYC 580: Topics in Neuroscience

A study of the nervous system from the perspectives of psychology and biology. Topics vary year to year and may include glial cells, neural development, and the evolution of nervous systems and neurotransmitter systems. Lecture only. May be repeated when topic is different.

Topic for Fall 2022: Aging and the Brain
Prerequisites: CHEM 116, BIOL 150 and either NESC 200 or PSYC 348, or consent of instructor
With the advancement of medicine, our population continues to grow older, and the prevalence of age-related diseases is on the rise. In particular, the brain undergoes many molecular changes with aging that makes is susceptible to disease, such as dementias and Alzheimer’s disease. In this course, we will explore the mechanisms of aging and their impact on the brain, disease manifestations related to aging in the brain, and the current medical treatments for age-related brain disorders.

Units: 6
Also listed as Biology 340
Prerequisite: CHEM 116, BIOL 150 and either NESC 200 or PSYC 348, or consent of instructor

NESC 599: Independent Study in Neuroscience

Units: 1 TO 98
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

NESC 699: Independent Study in Neuroscience

Advanced research, arranged in consultation with a faculty member in the program. Students considering an honors project should register for this course.
Units: 1 TO 98
Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required