Neuroscience Program

Director: Patti Simone (Psychology)

Faculty: Lang Chen (Psychology), Laura Cocas (Biology), Lindsay Halladay (Psychology)

A Bachelor of Science degree in neuroscience at SCU will provide students with the scientific foundation needed to understand the nervous system at many levels, from molecular to patient symptomatology. Students will use interdisciplinary approaches to examine the biological, computational, and psychological underpinnings of the nervous system. Students will come to appreciate the interactions between neurological and environmental factors contributing to disease, disorders, and development. They will be challenged to consider ethical issues in neuroscience research and practice. Students who graduate with a neuroscience major will be prepared for diverse careers in health care, policy, business, law, biomedical, and clinical research or in graduate level studies in neuroscience-related disciplines.

Requirements for the Major

In addition to fulfilling the undergraduate Core Curriculum requirements for the bachelor of science degree, students majoring in neuroscience must complete the following requirements:

  • NEUR 1, 10, 150, 190
  • BIOL 1A, 1B, 1C, 122, 160
  • CHEM 11, 12 (or 14), 31, 32, 33
  • MATH 35 or 11 (35 recommended)
  • MATH 36 or 12 or CSCI 10
  • PHIL 32 (recommended)
  • PSYC 1, 165, 169
  • One from BIOL 110, 112, 120, 123, 124, 165, 172, 174, 175, 178; CHEM 141
  • One from NEUR 185, PSYC 120, 130, 138, 166, 167, 196
  • One additional course from: BIOL 110, 112, 119, 120, 123, 123A, 124, 165, 171, 172, 174, 175, 178; CHEM 141
  • One additional course from: COMM 176A/113; PHIL 113, 117, 153, 158, 160, 161; NEUR 185; PSYC 120, 130, 138, 166, 167, 196
  • Recommended courses for students intending to pursue graduate work in Neuroscience: PHYS 11, 12, 13 or PHYS 31, 32, 33

Lower-Division Courses

1. Introduction to Neuroscience

This course introduces fundamental concepts in neuroscience. Students will consider the importance of biological and environmental factors on brain function and behavior. Students will examine interdisciplinary approaches to problems in neuroscience and engage with important ethical and societal issues in neuroscience (e.g., Brain-Computer Interfaces, cognition, addiction). (4 units)

10. Explorations in Neuroscience

A course with a focus on foundational knowledge essential to the field (e.g., neurons, neuroanatomy, neurophysiology) with an introduction to research methodologies to be able to understand and conduct neuroscience research. Lecture and lab. Prerequisite: NEUR 1 and Neuroscience major or permission of instructor. (5 units)

Upper-Division Courses

150. Neuroscience Research Seminar

Junior-level course using journal readings and invited neuroscientists from on- and off-campus to discuss research from several disciplines (e.g., biology, chemistry, engineering, ethics, psychology). An opportunity for majors to explore potential career paths and strategies, discuss the scientific merit of original research and be introduced to neuroscientists in a variety of fields and professions. Course may be repeated multiple times. P/NP grading. Prerequisite: NEUR 10. Recommended but not required: BIOL 122. (2 units)

185. Developmental Neuroscience of Human Behavior

This course will focus on the current research findings on brain changes over the lifespan development in humans in responses to learning and experience. Students will be introduced to foundational methods and skills to explore and understand the typical and atypical developments of cognitive, language, and social skills in humans. Students will also practice scientific inquiry skills via research-based activities. Prerequisite: PSYC 169. (5 units)

190. Neuroscience Capstone

This senior-level capstone experience examines the breadth and depth of the neuroscience discipline, using in-class primary research presentations, career exploration and preparation projects, as well as a final capstone project to investigate both theory and practice to answer new questions in neuroscience today. Prerequisites: BIOL 122 and NEUR 150. Recommended but not required: ENVS 110/BIOL 160. (5 units)

198. Neuroscience Internship

A course where students can learn how they can best apply classroom instruction to their career objectives through an academically supported work or volunteer experience outside of Santa Clara University. Internships should encourage career skills and professional growth and serve to introduce the student to the range of opportunities afforded a degree in the discipline. To be eligible for this course, students must present an outline of their projected work as part of the internship to the Neuroscience program director no later than the sixth week of the term preceding the start of the project. Number of units will be determined based on the expected time commitment. Prerequisite: departmental and University permission. P/NP grading. (1-5 units)