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Neuroscience

Course Descriptions

Neuroscience Courses


NS 341 Behavioral Neuroscience (SD) (4.00 SH). Analysis of how nervous system activity underlies sensory, perceptual and higher cognitive activities including motivation, memory, language, thought, and mental illness. A laboratory is included. Prerequisite: PSY 101 or BIO 201. (Also listed as PSY 341 and BIO 433.) Meets Scientific Discovery Intellectual Perspective requirement (SD).

NS 434 Neurobiology (4.00 SH). This course is an exploration of advanced topics in the field of neurobiology, with the focus being the nervous system as the central control and integrating system in animals. It reviews fundamental neuroanatomy and neurophysiology, as well as more specific topics such as sensory systems, neuroendocrinology, and nervous system development and disease. Recent advances published in the field of neurobiology will also be discussed. The lab component will be complementary to material covered during lectures. Prerequisite: BIO 334 or consent of instructor. (Also listed as BIO 434.)

NS 594 Field Experience/Internship (4.00 SH). An opportunity for students to work in a research or applied setting. Regular contact with the Westminster College internship instructor is required. A reading list developed prior to actual internship activities, a journal and a paper integrating the readings, internship experience and other college course work are also required. Prerequisite: junior level standing.

NS 622 Independent Study (2.00 SH).

NS 624 Independent Study (4.00 SH).

NS 631 Neuroscience Research I (2.00 SH). A two-semester guided research project. Projects can be supervised by any department participating in the neuroscience major. Students must participate in PSY 601, 602.

NS 632 Neuroscience Research (2.00 SH). A two-semester guided research project. Projects can be supervised by any department participating in the neuroscience major. Students must participate in PSY 601, 602.

NS 651 Research Scholars (2.00 SH).

NS 652 Research Scholars (2.00 SH).

NS 653 Research Scholars (2.00 SH).

NS 662 Honors Research (2.00 SH).

NS 664 Honors Research (4.00 SH).

NS 672 Honors Research (2.00 SH).

NS 674 Honors Research (4.00 SH).

NS 682 Honors Research (2.00 SH).

NS 684 Honors Research (4.00 SH).

 

Supporting Courses


BIO 201 Cell Biology & Genetics (SD) (4.00 SH). This course serves as an introduction for students who have chosen biology or molecular biology as a major or minor. A combination of lectures, laboratory exercises, and assignments will introduce students to ways of observing and thinking about fundamental concepts and processes in the following areas of biology—biochemistry, cell structure and function, metabolism, genetics, and biotechnology. Various resources will be utilized to reinforce biological concepts, learn new laboratory skills, and improve critical thinking skills. Multiple sections offered every Fall Semester; one section offered every Spring Semester. Meets Scientific Discovery Intellectual Perspective requirement (SD).

BIO 202 Found II:Evolution,Form&Func (SD) (4.00 SH). BIO 202 is the second in a series of three foundational courses in biology, designed to serve as an introduction for students who are taking a biology or molecular biology major or minor. Using explorative lectures coupled with investigative laboratories, BIO 202 will focus on evolution, the structure and physiology of plants and animals, and animal development. Concepts and practices of experimental design, data analysis, and interpretation of results will be reinforced and extended through integrated laboratory activities. Prerequisite: completion of BIO 201. Offered Spring Semester.

BIO 302 Cell & Molecular Biology (4.00 SH). A study of molecular structure and function in eukaryotic cells. Topics include organic molecules that contribute to cells the function of cells, membrane transport and signal transduction, gene expression, intracellular transport, structure and motility, energy conversions, tissue composition and cell division. Laboratory exercises will reinforce many of concepts covered in lecture. Required for the molecular biology major. Prerequisite: C- or better in BIO 201. Offered Fall Semester.

BIO 303 Molec Genet & Hered (4.00 SH). This course serves as a broad introduction to the structure and function of nucleic acids, processes that regulate expression of genetic information, and processes that direct inheritance of genetic information. Prokaryotic and eukaryotic organism will serve as model systems for studying topics such as nucleic acid structure, function, replication, damage, repair, and control of gene expression. Additional topics include, but are not limited to, Mendelian genetics, epigenetics, population genetics, and the genetics of cancer. Weekly laboratory exercises are an essential component of this class and will be used to explore various molecular and biochemical techniques for isolating, replicating and analyzing nucleic acid sequence as well as studying modes of inheritance. Required for the molecular biology major. Prerequisite: C- or better in BIO 201. Offered every other Spring Semester.

BIO 304 Developmental Biology (4.00 SH). A study of the mechanisms of organism development from fertilization to birth. Both molecular and classical morphologic aspects of development are covered, with emphasis on the vertebrates. A laboratory is included. Prerequisite: C- or better in BIO 202.

BIO 334 Physiology (4.00 SH). An introduction to the physiology of cells and animals. Major emphasis is placed on the functional interrelationships that exist within cells and organisms. A laboratory is included. Prerequisite: C- or better in BIO 202. Offered Fall Semester.

BIO 335 Anatomy/Physiology (4.00 SH). First of a two-course sequence studying the anatomical and physiological principles of the human body, including a survey of the major organ systems of the human body and their relationship to health and disease. Emphasis is placed on cells, tissues, and the musculo-skeletal, nervous, and endocrine systems. A laboratory is included. Prerequisite: C- or better in BIO 202. Offered Fall Semester, alternate years.

BIO 336 Anatomy & Physiology II (4.00 SH). Second of the two-course sequence studying the anatomical and physiological principles of the human body. Emphasis is placed on the cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, urinary, immune, and reproductive systems. A laboratory is included. Prerequisite: C- or better in BIO 335. Offered Spring Semester, alternate years.

BIO 363 Animal Behavior (4.00 SH). An introduction to the fascinating fields of animal behavior. This course focuses on the relationships between animals and their environments through adaptation, communication and social organization. It also explores other exciting issues such as, what animal behavior can teach us about ourselves, how economic game theory has been used to explain evolution of behavior, and how our understanding of animal behavior is changing the way we treat them. The lab component consists mainly of field work and bench work in the form of animal observations and a possible field trip to a wild animal facility. Prerequisites: C- or better in BIO 202 or PSY 201; willingness to spend significant amounts of time watching animals. (Also listed as PSY 315.)

BIO 433 Behavioral Neuroscience (SD) (4.00 SH). Analysis of how nervous systems activity underlies sensory, perceptual and higher cognitive activities including motivation, memory, language, thought and mental illness. A laboratory is included. Prerequisite: PSY 101 or BIO 201. (Also listed as NS 341 and PSY 341.) Meets Scientific Discovery Intellectual Perspective requirement (SD).

BIO 434 Neurobiology (4.00 SH). This course is an exploration of advanced topics in the field of neurobiology, with the focus being the nervous system as the central control and integrating system in animals. It reviews fundamental neuroanatomy and neurophysiology, as well as more specific topics such as sensory systems, neuroendocrinology and nervous system development and disease. Recent advances published in the field of neurobiology will also be discussed. The lab component will be complementary to material covered during lectures. Prerequisite: C- or better in BIO 334 or BIO 335. Offered Spring Semester in alternate years. (Also listed as NS 434.)

CHE 117 Principles of Chemistry (SD) (4.00 SH). A course emphasizing stoichiometry, chemical equilibria, acids and bases, chemical kinetics, thermodynamics, electrochemistry, nuclear phenomena, and interactions of science and society. In the laboratory program students will investigate chemical systems, analyze observations and data, devise explanations, and communicate results. Prerequisites: High school chemistry and an acceptable score on a placement test or completion of CHE 111 or ES 160 with a grade of C- or better. Offered Fall and Spring semesters. Meets Scientific Discovery Intellectual Perspective requirement (SD).

CHE 180 Inorganic Chemistry (4.00 SH). A study of the energetics of the bonding and reactions of inorganic compounds. Emphasis is given to the periodicity of the chemical and physical properties of the elements. Major themes of the course include effective nuclear charge, lattice energy, charge density, acid/base theories, and the descriptive chemistry of all of the elements. The laboratory includes the investigation of the energetics of reactions, the synthesis and analysis of coordination compounds, qualitative chemistry, and the communication of results. Prerequisite: CHE 117 with a grade of C- or better. Offered Fall and Spring semesters.

CHE 261 Organic Chemistry I (4.00 SH). An overview of organic chemistry. Organic molecules are compared by their functional group, focusing on nomenclature, physical properties, and the major chemical reactions used in synthesis and identification. Emphasis is also given to the areas of acidity, basicity, stereochemistry, aromaticity, and spectroscopy. Laboratory activities involve techniques for determination of physical and chemical properties, and methods of purification. Prerequisite: CHE 117 with a grade of C- or better. Offered Fall and Spring semesters.

CHE 262 Organic Chemistry II (4.00 SH). A study of organic reactivity. This course details organic molecules by reactivity and emphasizes the differences between organic reactions. Specifically, organic reactions will be surveyed by type of reaction keying on the movement of electrons, molecular orbitals, and energetics. Spectroscopy is employed to monitor structural changes. Laboratory activities also probe the reactivity of molecules and explore the relationship between structure and reactivity. Prerequisite: CHE 261 with a grade of C- or better. Offered Spring Semester.

CS 151 Principles of Computer Science I (4.00 SH). A broad introduction to the discipline of computer science, with attention given to many components of the field. Topics include an examination of subfields of computer science, computer representation of data, an introduction to hardware structure, and fundamentals of programming languages. Special emphasis is given to techniques for problem solving and algorithm development, designing and implementing computer programs, and software analysis and verification methods. Prerequisite: prior programming experience recommended. (Offered Fall semester.)

CS 152 Principles of Computer Science II (4.00 SH). A continuation of the study of the discipline of computer science. This course includes an introduction to data structures, simulation, and scientific uses of computing. Programming for searching and sorting data is covered, as well as an introduction to recursion. Prerequisite: CS 151. (Offered Spring semester.)

MTH 131 Applied Calculus (QR) (4.00 SH). A one-semester study of applications of differential and integral calculus with emphasis on polynomials, exponential functions, logarithmic functions, business and economics applications. This course is for individuals with a good high school background in mathematics. This course does not provide the background for a student to continue on to Calculus II. Not available to students who have credit for MTH 150, MTH 152, or MTH 250. Prerequisites: C or better in MTH 130 or permission of the instructor or department chair. (Offered every semester.) Meets Quantitative Reasoning Intellectual Perspective requirement (QR).

MTH 150 Calculus I (QR) (4.00 SH). This course will focus on the fundamentals of differential calculus. Topics considered include functions, limits, continuous functions, differentiation and integration of functions with one real variable, applications of differentiation and the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. Students will be introduced to some basic calculus proofs. This course is suggested for all students who expect to continue for any advanced degree including finance, law, and medicine. (Offered every semester.) Meets Quantitative Reasoning Intellectual Perspective requirement (QR).

MTH 152 Calculus II (QR) (4.00 SH). This course will focus on the fundamentals of integral calculus, including techniques and applications of integration. Other topics include infinite series and introductory topics from differential equations. Prerequisite: C- or better in MTH 150 or the permission of the instructor. (Offered every semester.) Meets Quantitative Reasoning Intellectual Perspective requirement (QR).

MTH 250 Calculus III (QR) (4.00 SH). An introduction to the calculus of several variables. Topics include the geometry of three-dimensional space, partial derivatives, multiple integrals, and vector calculus. Prerequisite: C- or better in MTH 152. (Offered Fall semester.) Meets Quantitative Reasoning Intellectual Perspective requirement (QR).

PHI 218 Philosophy Of Mind (RP) (4.00 SH). The philosophy of mind is one of the most rapidly developing and vigorous areas in contemporary philosophy. New techniques in neuroscientific imaging are providing a steady flow of data requiring philosophical analysis and interpretation. Guided reading will be supplemented by historical primary sources and articles on neuropsychology. Since it is highly desirable that both philosophy majors and students of neuropsychology be given the opportunity to study philosophy of mind, this course will normally be offered as part of a cluster with PSY 262: Neuropsychology of Mind. Meets Religious and Philosophical Though Intellectual Perspective requirement (RP).

PHY 141 Foundations Physics I (SD) (4.00 SH). The first semester of an introductory study of physics (mechanics, heat, electricity, magnetism, waves, light and modern physics) without calculus. Basic principles used in both semesters are introduced in the first semester. Some emphasis will be given to applications of physics to biological systems. A laboratory is included. Prerequisite: a good background in high school mathematics including algebra and trigonometry. Offered Fall Semester. Meets Scientific Discovery Intellectual Perspective requirement (SD).

PHY 142 Foundations Physics II (4.00 SH). The second semester of an introductory study of physics (mechanics, heat, electricity, magnetism, waves, light and modern physics) without calculus. Some emphasis will be given to applications of physics to biological systems. A laboratory is included. Prerequisite: PHY 141 or PHY 151. Offered Spring Semester.

PHY 151 Principles Physics I (SD) (4.00 SH). The first semester of an introductory study of physics (mechanics, heat, electricity, magnetism, waves, light and modern physics). Basic principles used in both semesters are introduced in the first semester. Some basic concepts of calculus may be introduced as needed. A laboratory is included. Co-requisite: MTH 150 or higher. Offered Fall Semester. Meets Scientific Discovery Intellectual Perspective requirement (SD).

PHY 152 Principles Physics II (4.00 SH). The second semester of an introductory study of physics (mechanics, heat, electricity, magnetism, waves, light and modern physics). Calculus methods will be used. A laboratory is included. Prerequisite: PHY 151; Co-requisite: MTH 152 or higher. Offered Spring Semester.

PSY 101 Intro To Psychology (ST) (4.00 SH). Principles of human and animal behavior. The study of individual, group and institutional behavior in context. Offered every semester. Meets Social Thought and Tradition Intellectual Perspective requirement (ST).

PSY 201 Statistics & Analysis (QR) (4.00 SH). An introduction to the experimental methodology, descriptive data analysis, statistical inference, and philosophy of science that are most germane to psychology. A laboratory is included. Prerequisites: PSY 101, MTH 131 (or permission of instructor). Meets Quantitative Reasoning Intellectual Perspective requirement (QR).

PSY 261 Neural Networks: The Biopsyc Perspe (4.00 SH).

PSY 261C Neural Networks (4.00 SH).

PSY 281 Principles of Learning (4.00 SH). Analysis of the variety of mechanisms by which our behavior and our representations develop from experience. Prerequisite: PSY 101.

PSY 315 Animal Behavior (4.00 SH). An introduction to the fascinating fields of animal behavior and cultural learning. This course focuses on the relationships between animals and their environments through adaptation, communication and social organization. It also explores other exciting issues such as, what animal behavior can teach us about ourselves, how economic game theory has been used to explain evolution of behavior, and how our understanding of animal behavior is changing the way we treat them. There will be field work in the form of animal observations and a possible field trip to Pittsburgh Zoo or another wild animal facility. Prerequisites: C- or better in BIO 203 or permission of instructor, willingness to spend a lot of time watching animals. (Also listed as BIO 363.)

PSY 341 Behavioral Neuroscience (SD) (4.00 SH). Analysis of how nervous system activity underlies sensory, perceptual and higher cognitive activities including motivation, memory, language, thought, and mental illness. A laboratory is included. Prerequisite: PSY 101 or BIO 201. (Also listed as NS 341 and BIO 433.) Meets Scientific Discovery Intellectual Perspective requirement (SD).

PSY 351 Cognition (4.00 SH). Memory, problem solving, language and intelligence considered from information processing and alternative views. Prerequisite: PSY 101

PSY 401 Abnormal Psychology (4.00 SH). An examination of the theoretical and empirical approaches to understanding abnormal human behavior with an introduction to the nature, causes and treatment of various psychological disorders. Prerequisite: PSY 101.

PSY 592 Field Experience/Internship (2.00 SH). Working in a psychology related field under the supervision of a person with at least a master’s degree in psychology or a related discipline. Regular contact with the Westminster College internship instructor is required. A reading list developed prior to actual internship activities, a journal and a paper integrating the readings, internship experience and other college course work are required. Prerequisite: junior level standing.

PSY 594 Field Experience/Internship (4.00 SH). Working in a psychology related field under the supervision of a person with at least a master’s degree in psychology or a related discipline. Regular contact with the Westminster College internship instructor is required. A reading list developed prior to actual internship activities, a journal and a paper integrating the readings, internship experience and other college course work are required. Prerequisite: junior level standing.

PSY 601 Psych Capstone:Senior Studies I (2.00 SH). Senior Capstone seminar which addresses psychological research, its strengths, weaknesses and applications beyond psychology. Students must register for Senior Studies I concurrently with Advanced Research I (611, 621, 631, 641, or 651). Students will prepare and review proposals for senior theses and begin preliminary research. Prerequisites: PSY 201 and junior level standing. Offered Spring Semester.

PSY 602 Psych Capstone:Senior Studies II (2.00 SH). Continuation of Senior Studies I. Students must register for Senior Studies II concurrently with Advanced Research II (612, 622, 632, 642, or 652). Students will conduct, revise, review and formally present senior theses. Prerequisite: PSY 601. Offered Fall Semester. Successful completion of this course and the Advanced Research II course satisfies the Liberal Studies Capstone requirement.

PSY 631 General Experimental Research I (2.00 SH). When registering for PSY 601 and 602 students must co-register in one of the following two-course sequences: PSY 631, 632 General Experimental Research I and II. PSY 633, 634 Developmental Research I and II. PSY 635, 636 Social Psychology Research I and II. PSY 637, 638 Applied Psychological Research I and II.

PSY 632 General Experimental Research II (2.00 SH). When registering for PSY 601 and 602 students must co-register in one of the following two-course sequences: PSY 631, 632 General Experimental Research I and II. PSY 633, 634 Developmental Research I and II. PSY 635, 636 Social Psychology Research I and II. PSY 637, 638 Applied Psychological Research I and II.

 

What can you do with a Neuroscience degree?

Imagine yourself in a research laboratory investigating drug discovery, going to medical school, writing scientific articles, working in industry, or teaching other, future neuroscientists.