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. Starting with the class of 2022, the major consists of 15 courses distributed among foundation, core, and elective courses.

Foundation Courses:

  • BIOL 112 (Biomolecular Foundations of Biology w/ lab)
  • PSYC 110 (Introduction to Psychological Science w/ lab)
  • PSYC 120 (Quantitative Methods in Psychology)
  • CHEM 107 (General Chemistry I w/ lab), CHEM 103 can substitute for CHEM 107.
  • CHEM 108 (General Chemistry II w/ lab)
  • CHEM 221 (Organic Chemistry I w/ lab), for graduate school/medical school we recommend students take Chem 222 as well
  • As part of the Common Course of Study, Neuroscience Majors must take a Quantitative Reasoning Elective (e.g. MATH 125 or MATH 161, MATH 110 is not recommended).  For students interested in quantitative disciplines, we recommend 2 semesters of Calculus

Core Courses:

Elective courses:

5 total courses from the list below:

*requires Biol 111 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 205: Human Machine & Advances in Medical Technology

From smart algorithms analyzing wearable data to the development of brain-machine interface, significant advances have been made in the development of medical devices for treating and assisting patients. In this team-taught course we will explore the physiological changes (i.e. chemical and electrical signals) associated with voluntary and involuntary physiological activities, such as brain and heart function. We will develop an understanding of current technology and discuss the ethical issues surrounding the development of future medical instrumentation. [STSC, V]

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 256: Neurobiology

This course examines the field of neuroscience from a cellular and molecular perspective, with the neuron and neural networks as the focus of discussion and experimentation. After an intensive look at neuronal cell biology and signaling, the course examines the cellular basis of higher-order functions, such as sensation, behavior, and memory.
Prerequisite: Biology 112 or Neuroscience 201

NEUR 265: Introduction to Neural Data Analysis

How do neuroscientists make sense of the brain? How does the brain encode cognition and behavior? To answer these questions, we must use currently available tools to collect data from the brain. How do we interpret these data and use them to answer fundamental questions about what our brains are doing? In this course, we will learn how to analyze real examples of neural data with the Python programming language. This class is designed for students who have no starting knowledge of programming in Python or working with neural data.

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/Neuroscience 256

NEUR 353: Neuroregeneration

Our neuronal tissues are particularly sensitive to injury and, in many cases, are not able to repair themselves. This course explores the problem of neuronal regeneration through in-class discussions and an analysis of primary research literature. We will investigate invertebrates and amphibians with remarkable regenerative capabilities as well as regeneration of axons and sensory cells in both mammalian and non-mammalian systems.
Prerequisite: Neuroscience 201

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/Neuroscience 256 and Psychology/Neuroscience 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]