Undergraduate Neuroscience Courses


Course List (updated January 2019)

BIO 203 Fundamentals of Biology: Cellular and Organ Physiology

The fundamentals of cell and organ physiology in mammalian and non-mammalian organisms. The structure and function of cell membranes and the physiology of cell to cell signaling, cellular respiration, and homeostasis of organs and organisms are examined with an emphasis on the comparative physiology of vertebrates and invertebrates.

Prerequisite: Level 3 or higher on the mathematics placement examination or BME 100
Pre- or Corequisites: CHE 123 or 129 or 131 or 141; MAT 125 or higher or AMS 151

3 credits
 Instructors:  W. Collins, E. Vasudevan, R. Watson

BIO 203.01 Syllabus (lecture) Fall 2018;  BIO 203.02 Syllabus (hybrid) Fall 2018

Back to course list

BIO 208 Cell, Brain, Mind

An introduction to the human brain and how it is the target of diseases, drugs, and psychological disturbances. The course explores these topics through a knowledge of basic cell neurobiology. The implications of brain science for human behavior in society are also considered. Not for major credit.

Advisory Prerequisite: High school chemistry 
3 credits
Instructors: L. Mendell and C. Evinger

BIO 208 Syllabus Spring 2018

Back to course list

BIO 317 Principles of Cellular Signaling

Basic principles of cellular signaling and maintenance of cellular and organismic homeostasis through intra- and intercellular signaling mechanisms. The roles of membrane and nuclear receptors, second-messenger pathways and gene regulation in controlling diverse mammalian systems such as sensory physiology, organic metabolism, growth control, and neuronal development are discussed.

Prerequisite: C or higher in BIO 202
Advisory Prerequisite: BIO 203
3 credits
Instructors: S. Halegoua and M. Shelly

BIO 317 Syllabus Fall 2018

Back to course list

BIO 328 Mammalian Physiology

The course covers basic principles of mammalian physiology. The subject matter includes cellular physiology, introduction to peripheral and CNS sensory and motor function, immune system, endocrine system, skeletal and smooth muscle physiology, cardiovascular function, respiration, renal physiology and reproduction. May not be taken for credit in addition to HBY 350.

Prerequisite: BIO 203
Advisory Prerequisite: CHE 132 or 142
3 credits
Instructors: D. McKinnon and R. Watson

BIO 328 Syllabus Spring 2018

Back to course list

BIO 332: Computational Modeling of Physiological Systems

Introduces students to the fundamental principles underlying computational modeling of complex physiological systems. A major focus of the course will be on the process by which a model of a biological system is developed. Students will be introduced to the mathematical methods required for the modeling of complex systems (including stochastic processes and both temporal and spatial dynamics) as well as to tools for computational simulation. Roughly one half of the class will focus on models for general cellular physiology, while the remaining half will focus on the development of higher-level models of a particular physiological system (for example, the neurobiological systems underlying learning). This course is offered as both AMS 332 and BIO 332 and is intended for STEM majors who have already completed the foundational courses in their major. Students who satisfy the prerequisites but do not have a deeper background in some STEM field may find the class very challenging and should ask the instructor for guidance before registering.

Prerequisites: MAT 127 or MAT 132 or higher and any one of the following: BIO 202 or BIO 203 or CHE 132 or CHE 331 or PHY 127 or PHY 132
3 credits
Instructors: D. Green, G. La Camera

BIO 332 Syllabus Spring 2017

Back to course list

BIO 334 Principles of Neurobiology

The ionic basis of nerve potentials, the physiology of synapses, sense organs and effectors, and the integrative action of the nervous system are discussed.

Prerequisites: BIO 203; CHE 131 or 141
3 credits
Instructors: C. Evinger and Q. Xiong

BIO 334 Syllabus Spring 2018BIO 334 & NEU 534 Syllabus Summer 2018

Back to course list

BIO 335 Neurobiology Laboratory

 Laboratory exercises designed to illustrate principles learned in BIO 328. Topics include compound action potentials; synaptic transmission; isometric and isotonic skeletal muscle contraction; neural, hormonal, and ionic control of cardiac function; and human respiration. One hour of lecture, one hour of recitation and one three-hour laboratory per week.

Prerequisites: CHE 132 or 133
Pre- or Corequisite: BIO 328
3 credits
Course Directors: M. Kernan, E. Vasudevan

BIO 335 Syllabus Fall 2018

Back to course list

BIO 337 Neurotransmission and Neuromodulation: Implications for Brain Function

Exploration of fundamental concepts of neurotransmission and neuromodulation of synaptic transmission. The subject matter includes an overview of the basic principles of neurotransmission and of the neuromodulatory systems in the brain. The involvement of these systems in behavior and neurological disorders is emphasized. We will discuss how specific neurological disorders can be investigated experimentally and how experimental results can contribute to understanding and treating these disorders.  

Prerequisite: C or higher in BIO 203
 3 credits
Instructors: A. Maffei and L. Wollmuth

BIO 337 Syllabus Spring 2018

Back to course list

BIO 338 From Synapse to Circuit: Self-organization of the Brain

Exploration of basic neural and synaptic mechanisms and the operation of representative brain circuits, using both theoretical approaches and experimental evidence. Particular attention is given to Hebb's Rule, its cellular basis, its consequences for circuit selforganization, and its limits. A solid background in a mathematical, physical, or biological science is desirable, but most relevant background material is covered in the course.

Prerequisite: BIO 203 or CHE 132 or PHY 122
Advisory Prerequisite: BIO 334
3 credits
Instructor: P. Adams

BIO 338 Syllabus Fall 2017

Back to course list

BIO 339 Molecular Development of the Nervous Systems

An introduction to the molecular events that underlie development and plasticity of both the peripheral and central nervous systems, with a focus on neuronal mechanisms. Molecular and genetic approaches to the analysis of neural induction, neuronal differentiation, neuronal death and survival, neurotrophic factors, synapse formation and plasticity are presented.

Prerequisite: BIO 202
Advisory Prerequisite: BIO 203 or 325
3 credits
Instructors: S. Ge, H. Sirotkin, J. Levine

BIO 339 Syllabus Spring 2018

Back to course list

BIO 446 Readings in Neurobiology and Physiology

Tutorial readings in the biological sciences. These courses may be repeated, but not more than two credits may be used toward biology major requirements.

Limit of one topic per semester.
Prerequisites: Written permission of instructor and undergraduate studies committee
1-2 credits, S/U grading

Back to course list

BIO 486 Research in Neurobiology and Physiology

In these courses, the student works under the supervision of a faculty member in developing an individual project that makes use of the knowledge and techniques acquired in previous courses. The student prepares an appropriate report on the project. Any of the courses may be taken for more than two semesters, but no more than four credits of research and internship may be used for biology major requirements. Limit of one topic per semester.

Prerequisite: Written permission of instructor and undergraduate studies committee. See this page for suggestions on how to get started.


Back to course list