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Neuroscience Oversight Committee: S. T. Grafton (Chair), D. J. Bucci, H. Farid, L. P. Henderson.


Neuroscience is a broad interdisciplinary field requiring a rigorous preparation in basic science. Students in this discipline are expected to understand introductory neuroscience, cell biology and statistics. They are also expected to gain competency in calculus, chemistry, physics or computer science. These prerequisites are fundamental to understanding contemporary experimental methods in neuroscience.

Required courses are also intended to provide a strong background in the measurement of behavior. Then, students are expected to choose a set of electives that will lead them towards a research project with a specific emphasis in neuroscience. For example electives in Computer Science and Mathematics could be selected that emphasize computational methods, leading towards a senior research project in computational neuroscience. Alternatively, a student might choose electives emphasizing cell or molecular biology, leading towards a research project in cellular neurobiology. The list of electives is adaptive. Students develop an elective list with an advisor that is subject to approval by the Neuroscience Oversight Committee.

A central mission of the new major is to encourage students to work closely with sponsoring faculty to learn experimental methods in neuroscience. As their culminating experience, students are expected to engage in research in neuroscience under the direction of a faculty advisor. Faculty in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences provide a core resource for research opportunities for students, however neuroscience research opportunities for undergraduate majors also involve faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Medicine, and the Thayer Engineering School, subject to approval by the Neuroscience Oversight Committee.

Potential majors are encouraged to begin planning their course of study by the end of their first year.


Prerequisites - 7 courses

Psychology 6 (Introduction to Neuroscience)

Psychology 10 (Statistics and Experimental Design) or equivalent

Biology 15 (Cell Biology)

Four of the following:

Mathematics 3, 4 (Introduction to Calculus, Calculus with Applications)

Chemistry 5, 6 (General Chemistry)

Physics 3, 4 (General Physics I, II)

Computer Science 5, 15 (Introduction to Computer Science)

Engineering Sciences 20 (Introduction to Computer Science with Applications in Engineering)

Required - 7 courses

Psychology 26 (Physiological Psychology)

Psychology 65 (Physiology of Behavior)

Psychology 21 (Perception) or Psychology 28 (Cognition)

Four electives approved by the Neuroscience Oversight Committee. One of these must be 70’s or higher. Students may use the electives to emphasize different areas of interest within neuroscience, such as physiology, computational, cognitive, cell or molecular neuroscience. The following are among the courses that could be used for developing the major.

Biology 34 (Neurobiology)

Biology 39 (Neuroimaging and Cellular Neuroscience)

Biology 63 (Developmental Genetics)

Biology 74 (Advanced Neurobiology)

Computer Science/Mathematics 56 (Numerical analysis)

Education 10 (The Reading Brain/Numeracy/Methods of Development Neuroscience Research)

Education 87 (Thinking, Learning and Knowing)

Mathematics 22 (Linear Algebra with Applications)

Psychology 50 (Issues in Neuropsychology),

Psychology 51 (Issues in Information Processing)

Psychology 60 (Principles of Brain Mapping)

Psychology 64 (Sensory Psychology)

Psychology 67 (Experimental Study of Animal Behavior)

Psychology 80s (seminar courses with a neuroscience emphasis)

Culminating experience (Cannot be used to satisfy the electives requirement)

Students are expected to engage in research in Neuroscience under the direction of a faculty advisor for their culminating experience.

Psychology 90 - (Independent Neuroscience Research) This course is designed to enable students to engage in independent laboratory research under the direction of a neuroscience faculty member. Students may take up to two terms of independent research. Students are required to write a final report of their research.


Psychology 91 - (Honors Neuroscience Research) This course is designed to enable especially qualified students, usually seniors, to engage in independent laboratory research under the direction of a neuroscience faculty member. Students must take at least two terms of Psychology 91. A student must have a minimum grade point average of 3.30 in the major and 3.00 overall to enroll and must enroll by the Fall term of the senior year. The honors thesis will be evaluated by a two-person thesis committee approved by the Neuroscience Committee. Thesis committee members must be identified prior to the student signing up for Psychology 91. The thesis committee must include a regular faculty member of the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. The other individual must have an active academic appointment at Dartmouth. A prospectus of proposed research is due by the end of the fall term for approval by the Neuroscience Committee. The student is expected to submit a written thesis, give a public lecture and pass an oral examination administered by the thesis committee. The thesis committee will make recommendations to the Neuroscience Committee regarding the awarding of Honors or High Honors.


D. J. Bucci (Psychological and Brain Sciences), S. J. Vélez (Biological Sciences)

The Minor in Neuroscience is jointly sponsored by the Department of Biological Sciences and the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. It is intended to provide formal recognition for students who have concentrated some of their academic work in the interdisciplinary area of Neuroscience. The courses come from the Departments of Biological Sciences and Psychological and Brain Sciences. The minor can accommodate majors in either department as well as majors in all other departments. The minor requires seven courses: two prerequisites, two required courses, and three electives. Many of the courses may require permission of the instructor in addition to prerequisite courses.


Introductory Psychology: Psychology 1, or Introduction to Neuroscience: Psychology 6;

AND Introduction to Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology: Biology 15.

Required courses: (Prerequisites as shown.)

Neurobiology: Biology 34 (Psychology 6 or Biology 15)

Physiology of Behavior: Psychology 65 (Psychology 6, or Psychology 1 and 26, or Biology 34, and permission)

Electives: The electives are in two categories, biology and psychology. For the remaining three courses in the minor you may pick one course from the biology list and two from the psychology list or the reverse (see remarks under ‘Other Issues’ below). These courses require prerequisites as listed.


Animal Physiology: Biology 35 (Biology 15).

Advanced Neurobiology: Biology 74 (Biology 34).

Animal Behavior: Biology 33 (Biology 14). You cannot count both Biology 33 and Psychology 67 toward the minor.


Physiological Psychology: Psychology 26 (Psychology 1). Cannot be taken after Psychology 65.

Brain Mapping: The Methods: Psychology 60 (Psychology 1 or 6, and 10, and one course from the 20’s series, and permission)

Sensory Psychology: Psychology 64 (Psychology 1 or 6, and permission)

Experimental Study of Animal Behavior: Psychology 67 (Psychology 1 or 6, and 10, and permission). You cannot count both Psychology 67 and Biology 33 toward the minor.

Issues in Neuropsychology: Psychology 50. (Prerequisites vary; check specific course.)

Seminars in psychology: Psychology 80-87. (Appropriate seminars as approved. Prerequisites vary; check specific course.)

Other Issues:

1. A standard minor in Neuroscience may be approved by the advisors to the minor, Professors Bucci (Psychology) or Vélez (Biology).

2. Psychology majors who wish to obtain a Neuroscience Minor must make their one-course selection from Psychology and their two-course selection from Biology. Biology majors must do the reverse. This allows the Psychology or Biology major to obtain a Neuroscience minor by only taking two additional courses in the major. (Courses cannot count toward both the major and minor.)



Elective Courses



Psychology 1 or

Psychology 6


Biology 15

Biology 34

Psychology 65

Three Courses: Either one from Biology and two from Psychology or the reverse.

Biology 33, 35, 74

Psychology 26, 50,60, 64, 67, appropriate seminars (80-87)

Special restrictions apply to some courses. See above description.