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Home > Academics > Divisions > Mathematics and the Natural Sciences > Neuroscience
Neuroscience

Undergraduate Neuroscience Major Curriculum

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Students must take at least 55 credit hours including:

Required courses: Credits:
Psy 101: Introductory Psychology 4

An introduction to the chief facts, principles, methods, and theories of psychology. Topics discussed include the history of psychology, sensory and perceptual processes, motivation and emotion, behavior development, learning and cognition, psychometrics, personality, psychopathology, and social behavior. Not open to students who have taken PSYCH 102 (currently on reserve). This course requires a research experience of up to 5 hours. This experience can consist of participation in research studies or short written reports of published psychological research.

Psy 107/Bio 230: Statistics 4

Prereq.: Demonstration of current mathematical competency equivalent to 2-1/2 years of high school mathematics as defined by performance on the Queens College Mathematics Placement Exam. This mathematics prerequisite may also be fulfilled by evidence of satisfactory completion of one or more of the following courses: MATH 110 or 122 (or their equivalents). Data reduction, analysis, and reporting of frequency distributions, curve fitting, correlation, estimation, and hypothesis testing on evidence from one, two, and three or more samples and from factorial designs including interaction. Bio 230 not offered every semester.

Psy 213W: Experimental Methods 4

Prereq.: PSYCH 101 and 107. Recommended: Grade of C or better in PSYCH 107. A laboratory course designed to acquaint the student with the application of experimental methods to psychological problems. Experiments are conducted in a variety of areas chosen to give the student an appreciation of the range of current psychological research. Particular emphasis is given to the areas of experimental methodology, psychophysics, and learning.

Psy 243: Behavioral Neuroscience 3

Prereq.: PSYCH 101 or BIOL 106 or equivalent. A survey of the physiological basis of behavior with special emphasis on the underlying anatomy, physiology, and chemistry of the central nervous system, sensory, perceptual, and motor systems, physiological development, and circadian rhythms and sleep. Topics relating to learning, memory, motivation, and emotion are also introduced.

Psy 391/Bio 390-395/HMNS 291,391* 3

Can be done any semester and split any way, but two semesters of research are required to graduate.

Psy 391. Special Problems. PSYCH 391.1, 3 hr. per week; 1 cr. PSYCH 391.2, 6 hr. per week; 2 cr. PSYCH 391.3, 9 hr. per week; 3 cr. Prereq.: Written proposal submitted to and approved by the department. Open only to specially qualified upper juniors and seniors of exceptional promise and ability who are majoring in psychology.

Bio 390. Research in Biology I. BIOL 390.1, 1 hr.; 1 cr., BIOL 390.2, 2 hr.; 2 cr., BIOL 390.3, 3 hr.; 3 cr. Prereq.: CHEM 114 or equivalent; two or more courses in biology numbered 200 or above and written permission of a biology faculty sponsor. Biology majors of exceptional ability may arrange to do research under supervision of a member of the faculty. A report of the research undertaken sponsor. This, together with the sponsor’s written evaluation, must be submitted to the department.

Bio 391. Research in Biology II. BIOL 391.1, 3 hr.; 1 cr., BIOL 391.2, 6 hr.; 2 cr., BIOL 391.3, 9 hr.; 3 cr. Prereq.: CHEM 114 or equivalent; BIOL 390 and written permission of a biology faculty sponsor. Biology majors of exceptional ability may arrange to do research under supervision of a member of the faculty. A report of the research undertaken must be submitted and approved by the faculty sponsor. This, together with the sponsor’s written evaluation, must be submitted to the department.

Bio 395. Honors Research in Biology I. BIOL 395.1, 1 hr.; 1 cr., BIOL 395.2, 2 hr.; 2 cr., BIOL 395.3, 3 hr.; 3 cr. Prereq.: Senior standing and written permission of a biology faculty sponsor. Biology majors of exceptional ability may arrange to do honors research under the supervision of a member of the faculty. Upon completion of the research, a thesis must be submitted and approved by the faculty sponsor.

HMNS 291. Intermediate Science Honors Research. Three similar courses varying in credit: HMNS 291.1, 3 hr.; 1 cr., HMNS 291.2, 6 hr.; 2 cr., and HMNS 291.3, 9 hr.; 3 cr. Prereq.: HMNS 102 and permission of the director. Students who take HMNS 101 and receive a SPUR Fellowship or complete an approved research project at another institution do not have to take HMNS 102. The intermediate stage of research is with a science division faculty mentor or a mentor from a NYC-area research institution. In the latter case, the student must work as an unpaid volunteer. Students describe their research in a report. For sophomores and juniors.

HMNS 391. Advanced Science Honors Research. Three similar courses varying in credits: HMNS 391.1, 3 hr.; 1 cr., HMNS 391.2, 6 hr.; 2 cr., and HMNS 391.3, 9 hr.; 3 cr. Prereq.: 3 credits of HMNS 291. The advanced stage of research with a science division faculty mentor. This course is aimed at the completion of a serious research effort. Work may involve additional data collection and analysis, preparation of results for publication and/or presentation at a scientific meeting. For juniors and lower seniors. HMNS 398. Senior Science Honors Seminar. 2 hr.; 2 cr. Prereq.: HMNS 391 or equivalent (a 3-credit, 391-level research course in the student’s major department can substitute) and senior standing. Final analysis of experimental data and preparation of a comprehensive research report, presentation of a research seminar, and discussion of career opportunities in the mathematical and natural sciences.

Bio 105 & 106: Introductory Biology I and II** 8

Bio 105: Prereq.: High School biology and chemistry. Not open to students who have taken Biology 108. Principles of cell biology, heredity and information transfer, physiology, and development.

Bio 106: Prereq.: Biology 105 or Biology 108 or permission of Chair. Not open to students who have taken Biology 107. Principles of animal and plant diversity, evolution, behavior, and ecology.

Bio 286: Cell Biology 3

Prereq.: BIOL 106; CHEM 114 or 159 or equivalent. Structure, function, and regulation of cells, including cell cycle, subcellular compartmentalization, signal transduction, and cell-cell interactions. Offered fall only.

Choose from one of the following: 4
Bio 373: Neurobiology  

Prereq.: BIOL 105 and 286, or permission of the instructor. Examination of the structure and function of the nervous system of both invertebrates and vertebrates. Emphases will be placed on cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying neural activity. Offered fall only.

Psy 316/Bio 385.4:  Advanced Experimental: Neurobiology Laboratory  

Prereq.: PSYCH 101, 107, 213 or 213W, 243 or BIOL 373, or permission of the instructor. The structural and physiological basis of neuronal functioning. Lectures will provide the necessary conceptual background as well as the empirical and practical information necessary for the experimental exercise for the week. The main concept the course will focus on is the relationship between neuronal structure and its role in neuronal functioning. The course will be organized around three lecture/laboratory modules where the students will gain an understanding of neuronal anatomy, physiology, and their interrelationships. Students will be expected to write up and submit each laboratory exercise.

Chem 113 & 114: Introductory Chemistry I and II** 10

Chem 113: This course is required for more advanced study in chemistry, biochemistry, and biology. It is intended for students in the physical and life sciences, science education, pre-health professional students, and pre-engineering students and is designed to provide a thorough knowledge of facts and theory in the fundamental areas of chemistry. As appropriate, topics are presented in terms of contemporary scientific issues such as global warming, energy production, and hazardous waste. The relationship between chemistry and society is discussed.

Chem 114: Prereq.: A grade of C or better in CHEM 113.4, 113.1 and MATH 122 (or equivalent); coreq.: CHEM 114.1.This in chemistry, biochemistry, and biology. It is intended for students in the physical and life sciences, science education, pre-health professional students, and pre-engineering students and is designed to provide a thorough knowledge of facts and theory in the fundamental areas of chemistry. As appropriate, topics are presented in terms of contemporary scientific issues such as global warming, energy production, and hazardous waste. The relationship between chemistry and society is discussed.

Total credits from required courses: 43

*This reflects research thesis credit and is taken in the student’s last semester
**These courses are also required pre-med courses

 

Students must take 12 additional elective credits from the following courses:

Psy 281/282:  Special Topics (when relevant***) 3
    Already approved:  Clinical Neuropsychology  
Psy 260: Sensation and Perception 3

Prereq.: PSYCH 101. How the sensory systems code and perceive environmental stimuli. Topics include the visual system, the auditory/vestibular systems, speech perception, the cutaneous senses, and the chemical senses. Similarities and differences across the systems are highlighted and discussed, especially in terms of how stimuli for each sense are transduced into neuronal signals and how areas in the brain are specifically organized to receive and process these signals. Discussion of this conversion of sensory information to sensory perception is complemented throughout the course by examination of research using multiple techniques such as psychophysics, physiological recording, and brain imaging.

If you choose Bio 373 in the required category, then you may select ONE course from the list of Advanced Experimental offerings:  
Psy 311:  Advanced Experimental:  Learning 4

Prereq.: PSYCH 213W (or 213). A laboratory course emphasizing application of experimental techniques to the study of learning in animal and human subjects. Topics covered include classical conditioning, instrumental (operant) learning, verbal learning, and a critical analysis of current controversial issues in learning.

Psy 312:  Advanced Experimental:  Sensation and Perception 4

Prereq.: PSYCH 213W (or 213). A laboratory course emphasizing application of experimental techniques to the study of perceptual processes. Included are an examination of the sensory basis of perception, psychophysics, scaling methods, and discussion of current theoretical issues in perception.

Psy 313:  Advanced Experimental:  Cognition 4

Prereq.: PSYCH 213W (or 213). A laboratory course emphasizing the application of experimental techniques to the study of cognition in human subjects. Among the topics covered are attention, recognition of patterns (such as speech and visual forms), imagery, storage and retrieval of information from short-term and long-term memory, and the organization of thought and language. A central theme of the course is a focus on structure and organization in these various cognitive processes.

Psy 316/Bio 385.4:  Advanced Experimental: Neurobiology Laboratory 4

Prereq.: PSYCH 101, 107, 213 or 213W, 243 or BIOL 373, or permission of the instructor. The structural and physiological basis of neuronal functioning. Lectures will provide the necessary conceptual background as well as the empirical and practical information necessary for the experimental exercise for the week. The main concept the course will focus on is the relationship between neuronal structure and its role in neuronal functioning. The course will be organized around three lecture/laboratory modules where the students will gain an understanding of neuronal anatomy, physiology, and their interrelationships. Students will be expected to write up and submit each laboratory exercise.

Psy 319:  Advanced Experimental:  Memory 4

Prereq.: PSYCH 101, 107, and 213W (or 213). This course will introduce the topics and methods treated in current research on human memory. The course will begin with a sampling of traditional experiments, with emphasis on the theoretical and methodological problems raised, followed by more up-to-date cognitively oriented experiments.

Psy 342:  Comparative Psychology 3

Prereq.: PSYCH 101 or 102. Recommended for juniors and seniors only. May not be taken if PSYCH 344 has already been taken. omparison of behavior across phyla and species with a view toward understanding the underlying mechanisms and adaptive features of behavior. Lecture topics will include feeding, reproductive behavior, parental behavior, orientation, communication, social behavior, learning, phylogeny of the nervous system, behavior genetics, and a critical evaluation of the concept of instinct.

Psy 345:  Cognitive Neuroscience 3

Prereq.: PSYCH 243. A survey of the behavioral models of human cognitive processes combined with recent neuropsychological and brain-imaging data on the neural mechanisms that underlie these cognitive processes. Topics include an introduction to brain-imaging methods, object and face recognition, visual imagery, attention, speech and language, spatial behavior, calculation and planning/problemsolving.

Psy 346:  Neuroscience of Memory 3

Prereq.: PSYCH 243. A survey of the behavioral models of memory, as well as recent neuropsychological and brain imaging data on the neural mechanisms underlying memory processes. The course covers all aspects of short- and long-term memory including working memory, unconscious (implicit) memory, episodic and autobiographical memory, memory for source, false memories, and the organization and representation of knowledge in the brain.

Psy 352:  Psychopharmacology 3

Prereq.: PSYCH 243. Relevant for psychology and biology students. Considers mechanisms of drug action and applications of biologically active agents as a basis for conceptual evaluation of behavioral functions.

Bio 285:  Genetics 4

Prereq.: BIOL 105 and 106; CHEM 114 or 159 or the equivalent. The inheritance, structure, and function of genetic material.

Bio 325:  Anatomy and Physiology I 4

Prereq.: BIOL 286, CHEM 114, or equivalents, or permission of the instructor. The structure, function and integration of the nervous, musculoskeletal, and circulatory systems.

Bio 326:  Anatomy and Physiology II 4

Prereq. BIOL 286, CHEM 114, or equivalents, or permission of the instructor. The structure, function and integration of the respiratory, osmoregulatory, digestive, and endocrine systems.

Bio 345:  Animal Behavior 4

Prereq.: BIOL 285 or 287. Study of animal behavior. Topics include the description, evolution, development, physiological basis, and ecological significance of behavior.

Bio 354:  Evolution 4

Prereq.: Biology 285 and any of 210, 212, 213, 220, 226 , or permission of the Chair. Study of the mechanisms and processes by which groups of organisms change through time.

Bio 365:  Developmental Biology 4

Prereq.: BIOL 105 and 286. Gametogenesis, fertilization, and embryonic development through organogenesis. Mechanisms of cell differentiation and morphogenesis as revealed by techniques of experimental embryology.

Bio 372:  Physiology 4

Prereq.: BIOL 105 and 286; and CHEM 252 or the equivalent. Functioning of the major organ systems of animals, with special emphasis on the vertebrates.

Chem 371:  Biochemistry**** 4

Prereq.: A grade of C or better in CHEM 252.4, 252.1 and BIOL 105, or permission of the instructor. Structure, properties, biosynthesis, and metabolism of major groups of compounds of biological importance: proteins, amino acids, carbohydrates, lipids, and coenzymes. The course emphasizes the relationship between the biochemical pathways and their location in the cell as well as metabolic regulation.

Total 55

***to be determined by the Neuroscience Committee
**** Students who take Chem 371 are advised that, if they also take Chem 376 (Biochemistry laboratory), then they will complete a minor in Chemistry.

All course selection should be made in consultation with the Director or Deputy Director of the Neuroscience major.

 
 

 Office Information

 
Director: Ray Johnson, Jr., PhD
Psychology Department
Office: Science Building, Room A316
Phone: 718-997-3241
Email: ray.johnson@qc.cuny.edu

Deputy Director: Carolyn Pytte, PhD
Psychology Department
Office: Razran Building, Room 368
Phone: 718-997-4528
Email: carolyn.pytte@qc.cuny.edu


 

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