Major Course of Study (14 courses)

 3 Prerequisites Courses: Needed to enter the NEU major

  • NEU 201 - Fundamentals of Neuroscience (Fall)
  • NEU 202 - Intro to Cognitive Neuroscience (Spring)
  • MAT 103 - Calculus I
Note 1: Your placement in (or out of) MAT 103 is decided by the Department of Mathematics.
Note 2: You do not need to take NEU 201 before NEU 202

2 Core Courses: Must be completed

Unless you have extensive programming experience or some experience with Python, it is strongly recommended that you take NEU 314 before NEU 350.

This course aims to provide a comprehensive yet intuitive grasp of the mathematical and computational tools central to the analysis of neural systems and neural data. The course will introduce students to topics in linear algebra, differential equations, and probability & statistics, with a heavy emphasis on applications to neurobiology. Coursework will focus primarily on problem sets requiring the use of a simple computer programming language (e.g., Matlab, Python). The course will seek to develop intuition and achieve a practical mastery of the methods introduced, and will equip students with programming and data visualization skills that are increasingly important to scientific inquiry in general, and neuroscience in particular.

This course is designed to introduce undergraduate students to modern methods of analysis applied to the activity of single neurons, the synaptic connections between neurons, and the dynamics of networks of neurons underlying learning and decision making. The course will include methods for intracellular and extracellular recording of neural activity, the application of optogenetic approaches to analysis of neuronal function, and noninvasive measurement of human cognitive information processing using fMRI. The capstone of the course is a 2-week independent research project designed and carried out by students.

1 Cognate Course: Required but not taught by NEU

  • PHY 101 - Introductory Physics I (or the equivalent)
Note: Your placement in (or out of) PHY 101 is decided by the Physics Department.

Electives: (5 NEU + 3 Cognate courses)

I. Five NEU courses

  • Students must take 5 NEU courses from 3 out of 4 subject areas.
  • The areas are Molecular/Cellular/Disease, Neural Computation, Systems & Circuits and Social & Cognitive Neuroscience.
  • List of current NEU electives

II. Three additional courses

A. Students must take one 200-level or higher course in cell biology from the following list:

  • MOL 214 - Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology
  • MOL 342 - Genetics
  • EEB 211/MOL 211 - The Biology of Organisms

B. Students must take one 200-level or higher course in behavior from the following list:

  • PSY 207 - Psychopathology
  • PSY 255 - Cognitive Psychology
  • PSY 252 - Social Psychology
  • PSY/NEU 345 - Sensation & Perception*
  • PSY 254 - Developmental Psychology
  • PSY/NEU 338 - Animal Learning & Decision Making*
  • EEB 311 - Animal Behavior
  • EEB 313 - Behavioral Ecology
  • EEB 329 - Sensory Ecology
*Note: crosslisted NEU courses will not count twice in the elective total.

C. Students must take one course in statistics from the following list:

  • SML 201 - Introduction to Data Science is recommended.

Entry through the ISC program

The first year ISC sequence (ISC 231, 232, 233, 234) offers an alternative to the combination of MOL 214 or 215 (biology elective), COS 126 (a quantitative thinking elective), SML 201 - Introduction to Data Science and PHY 101-102 (required courses) (or the equivalent).

  • ISC 236 - Biochemistry and Neuroscience offers an alternative to NEU 201 (a prerequisite).
  • ISC 235 - Genetics and Genomics offers an alternative to MOL 342 Genetics (and will thus count as a “biology” elective).