Academic program

Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary major that examines the bidirectional interrelations between the nervous system and behavior and includes perspectives from the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Majors build a strong foundation in the sciences to explore core domains of neuroscience, including neurobiology, physiological psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and computational neuroscience, through classroom and laboratory experiences. Students then extend and apply their knowledge with neuroscience-related electives and course work that critically examines the theories and practices of neuroscience from ethical and humanistic perspectives. Progress through the major culminates with a senior capstone experience. More information on the neuroscience program is available on the website (bates.edu/neuroscience).

Students interested in declaring the major may take the introductory course in their first or second year. As performance on the examinations in the introductory course is predictive of future academic success in the major, students whose exam performance is below a B- who wish to pursue the major should consult with the program chair about their academic preparedness for subsequent neuroscience courses. Given the emphasis on quantitative reasoning in neuroscience, prospective majors whose score on the college’s Quantitative Reasoning Assessment (QRA) entrance exam is at or below the fiftieth percentile are cautioned against majoring in neuroscience without further intensive preparation in mathematics. Students in this situation must consult with the program chair to identify a suitable plan to address their level of college mathematics preparedness.

Major Requirements for the Class of 2021 and beyond.
There are fourteen courses required for the major, with courses distributed across Groups A, B, C, D, and E. NS/PY 160 must be taken prior to junior year; Group B must be completed prior to senior year.

Group A. Foundation Courses. All of the following:
BIO 190. Organismal Biology/Lab.
BIO 242. Cellular and Molecular Biology/Lab.
CHEM 107A. Atomic and Molecular Structure/Lab.
CHEM 108A Chemical Reactivity/Lab.
CHEM 217. Organic Chemistry I/Lab.
NS/PY 160. Introduction to Neuroscience.

Statistics: one of the following:
BIO 244. Biostatistics.
PSYC 218. Statistics.

Group B. Upper-level Core Courses. Two of the following:
BI/NS 308. Neurobiology/Lab.
NS/PY 330. Cognitive Neuroscience/Lab.
NS/PY 357. Computational Neuroscience/Lab.
NS/PY 363. Physiological Psychology/Lab.

Group C. Neuroscience Electives. Three of the following courses:
BIO 102. Sensory Biology.
BIO 337. Animal Physiology/Lab.
BIO s44. Experimental Neuro/Physiology/Lab.
CH/NS 320. Mechanisms of Memory.
NS/PH 117. Brain Imaging.
NS/PY 319. Physiological Profiles of Mental Illness.
NS/PY 361. Topics in Affective Neuroscience.
NS/PY 364. Biopsychology of Smell.
NS/PY 382. Cultural Neuroscience.
PSYC 302. Sensation and Perception.
PYSC 305. Animal Learning.

Students cannot count more than one 100-level or one Short Term course in Group C. Students may apply additional courses from Group B to Group C if they wish. Students may count either BIO 102 or PSYC 302 toward the major, but not both.

Group D. Neuroscience in Humanistic Context. One of the following:
FYS 455. Neuroscience Fiction.
ENG 395I. Literary Imagination and Neuroscience.
MU/PY 253. Music and the Embodied Mind.
NRSC 130. Neuroscience of Morality.
NRSC 208. Neuroscience, Ethics, and Society.
PHIL 210. Philosophy of Cognitive Science.
PHIL 211. Philosophy of Science.
PHIL 233. On Being Human.
PHIL 235. Philosophy of Mind.

Group E. Senior Capstone. One of the following in senior year:
NRSC 457-458. Capstone Thesis in Neuroscience.
NRSC 459. Community-Engaged Learning Capstone.
NRSC 460. Capstone Seminar on Cellular Neuroscience.
NS/PY 461. Capstone Seminar on Psychoendocrinology.
NRSC 462. Capstone Seminar on Computational Neuroscience.
NS/PY 463. Capstone Seminar on Human Cognitive Neuroscience.

Double Majoring in Neuroscience and Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, or Psychology. Students may not double major in neuroscience and biochemistry, biology, chemistry or psychology.

Transfer of Courses. A maximum of two non-Bates courses can be counted toward the major, pending approval from the program chair.

Pass/Fail Grading Option. Pass/fail grading may not be elected for courses applied toward the major.

Major Requirements for the Classes of 2018, 2019, and 2020. Students take fourteen courses.
1) Core courses:

All of the following:
BIO 190. Organismal Biology/Lab.
BIO 242. Cellular and Molecular Biology/Lab.
CHEM 107A. Atomic and Molecular Structure/Lab.
CHEM 108A. Chemical Reactivity/Lab.
CHEM 217. Organic Chemistry I/Lab.
NS/PY 160. Introduction to Neuroscience.

One of the following:
BIO 244. Biostatistics.
PSYC 218. Statistics.

Three of the following:
BI/NS 308. Neurobiology/Lab.
NS/PY 330. Cognitive Neuroscience/Lab.
NS/PY 357. Computational Neuroscience/Lab.
NS/PY 363. Physiological Psychology/Lab.

NS/PY 160 must be taken prior to junior year. At least two of the three 300-level courses must be taken prior to senior year.

2) Electives. Three courses from the two elective lists below, either all three from list A or two from list A and one from list B. Students are encouraged to take these courses from different faculty members. Students may count PSYC 357 or s51B toward the major but not both. Only one Short Term course can count toward the major.

List A: Courses Related to Neuroscience:
BIO 321. Cellular Biochemistry.
BIO 328. Developmental Biology/Lab.
BIO 331. Molecular Biology/Lab.
BIO 337. Animal Physiology/Lab.
BIO 350. Immunology.
BIO 473. Seminar and Research in Cell Biology.
BIO s44. Experimental Neuro/Physiology/Lab.
NS/PY 319. Physiological Profiles of Mental Illness.
NS/PY 357. Computational Neuroscience.
NS/PY 361. Topics in Affective Neuroscience.
NS/PY 364. Biopsychology of Smell.
NS/PY 382. Cultural Neuroscience.
PSYC 305. Animal Learning.

List B: Supplemental Courses.
BI/MA 255A. Mathematical Models in Biology.
BIO 355. Advanced Topics in Evolution.
CHEM 218. Organic Chemistry II/Lab.
CHEM 321. Biological Chemistry I/Lab.
ENG 395I. Literary Imagination and Neuroscience.
MU/PY 253. Music and the Embodied Mind.
NRSC 130. Neuroscience of Morality.
NRSC 208. Neuroscience, Ethics, and Society.
PHIL 210. Philosophy of Cognitive Science.
PHIL 211. Philosophy of Science.
PHIL 213. Biomedical Ethics.
PHIL 235. Philosophy of Mind.
PHIL 236. Philosophy of Knowledge.
PHIL 321J. Topics in Contemporary Philosophy of Mind and Language: Self-Knowledge.
PHYS 301. Mathematical Methods of Physics.
PSYC 261. Research Methodology.
PSYC 302. Sensation and Perception.
PSYC 303. Health Psychology.

3) Senior Capstone.

Senior Capstone. The senior capstone may take one of three forms: an empirical thesis, a capstone seminar, or a community-engaged learning project. Guidelines concerning the capstone process are available on the neuroscience website.

NRSC 457-458. Capstone Thesis in Neuroscience.
NRSC 459. Community-Engaged Learning Capstone.
NRSC 460. Capstone Seminar on Cellular Neuroscience.
NS/PY 461. Capstone Seminar on Psychoendocrinology.
NRSC 462. Capstone Seminar on Computational Neuroscience.
NS/PY 463. Capstone Seminar on Human Cognitive Neuroscience.

Double Majoring in Neuroscience and Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, or Psychology. Students may not double major in neuroscience and biochemistry, biology, chemistry, or psychology.

Students planning to minor in chemistry may not use CHEM 321 toward both the chemistry minor and the neuroscience major.

Transfer of Courses. Neuroscience majors may transfer up to two non-Bates credits toward the major, provided that the credits are pre-approved by the program chair.

Pass/Fail Grading Option. Pass/fail grading may not be elected for courses applied toward the major.