The B.S. program in neuroscience at Lafayette educates students to understand nervous systems from a variety of scientific perspectives. 

Within the major program, students have the freedom to create their own combination of electives that reflect their particular interests. The major consists of 17 courses distributed among foundation, core, and elective courses.

Our Course and Research Handout  ’16-17 Handbook

Course Schedule Selection Advice Course Schedule Selection Advice

Foundation Courses:

  • BIOL 101 (General Biology I  w/ lab)
  • PSYC 110 (Introduction to Psychological Science w/ lab)
  • PSYC 120 (Quantitative Methods in Psychology)
  • CHEM 121 (Introductory Chemistry I w/ lab)
  • CHEM 122 (Introductory Chemistry w/ lab)
  • CHEM 221 (Organic Chemistry I w/ lab), for graduate school/medical school we recommend students take Chem 222 as well
  • PHYS  111 (Mechanics & Thermodynamics, w/ lab)
  • PHYS  112 (Electricity, Magnetism, & Optics, w/ lab)
  • As part of the Common Course of Study, Neuroscience Majors must take MATH 125 or 161.  For students interested in quantitative disciplines, we recommend 2 semesters of Calculus

Core Courses:

Elective courses:

5 total courses, at least 2 from each category below:

Category A

Category B

*requires Biol 102 or equivalent AP credit

One Independent Study (NEUR 391/392), Advanced Research (491/492), or Honors (NEUR 495/496) course also may be used as an elective.

Visit the Course Catalog for the official course description and listing

List of Neuroscience courses:

NEUR 201: Introduction to Neuroscience

This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of neuroscience using a problem-based approach. The structure and function of the brain are explored at molecular, cellular, and systems levels. Students become familiar with approaches used by neuroscientists as well as the connections between neuroscience and other disciplinary fields.

NEUR 255: Music & the Brain: Neuroscience of Music

Recent scientific evidence indicates that the benefits of music extend to the brain. Further insights into how music affects the brain may lead to new education methods and ways to treat neurological disorders. We will take a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding the connection between music and neural function. By the end of this course, students will have a broad understanding of research in this field and specific knowledge about brain mechanisms mediating music perception and performance.

NEUR 275: Art, Neuroscience and Consciousness

Art and science share a long history of common ideas and practice. We hope to develop the students’ sense of connected history as well as the current intersection between the fields by exploring various perspectives about visual processes, perception, self creativity, and consciousness through readings, discussion and studio/lab projects. Students will benefit from the rare opportunity to intensively study the interconnection between two disciplines.

NEUR 351: Neurophysiology

This laboratory course builds on information covered in the prerequisites concerning the excitability of neurons. The electrophysiology of neurons and neuronal interactions are examined using electrical recording techniques. Laboratory exercises provide hands-on experience with the properties of nerve function under a variety of circumstances. [W]
Prerequisite: Psychology 323 or Biology 256

NEUR 391, 392: Independent Study

An opportunity for students to pursue a topic of choice. Each student examines the topic, using primary and secondary sources, discusses the topic with their faculty mentor, and writes a paper of distinguished quality. The study may be designed for one or two semesters. [W]
Prerequisite: Permission of program chair

NEUR 401: Advanced Neuroscience

This capstone course builds upon information covered in the prerequisites. Through seminar and laboratory, students explore in greater depth the development, organization, and functioning of the nervous system. Particular attention is paid to discussion of current research findings and to learning advanced laboratory techniques used by neuroscientists. Offered in spring semester. [W]
Prerequisite: Biology 256 and Psychology 323, or permission of instructor

NEUR 491, 492: Advanced Research

An opportunity for students to conduct an in-depth research project in an area of choice under the supervision of a faculty mentor. The research can be designed for one or two semesters and should culminate in a paper of distinguished quality. [W]
Prerequisite: Permission of program chair

NEUR 495, 496: Thesis

Open to qualified majors by permission of program chair. [W]