B.S. in Neuroscience

Lin Mei with a student in the lab

In an exciting new collaboration between one of the finest medical schools in the country and its outstanding undergraduate college, CWRU now offers an undergraduate major in Neuroscience. The major is the first to offer CWRU undergraduate students access to faculty in the School of Medicine through coursework and research in pursuit of the Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience degree.

Developed by the Department of Neurosciences in the School of Medicine (SOM) and the Department of Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), the major has been designed to be cross-disciplinary, reflecting the cross-disciplinary field that neuroscience has become. Students interested in the structure and function of the nervous system at the molecular, cellular, or systems levels can seek relevant knowledge and understanding through the B.S. in Neuroscience.

The major will allow students to pursue a program of study that will equip them to pursue multiple career paths. The coursework includes instruction and exposure to concepts and methods from disciplines as diverse as biophysics and philosophy.  Students will be exposed to a variety of hypotheses and perspectives that inform the field. The major draws on coursework throughout CAS (Biology, Chemistry, Cognitive Science, Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, and Statistics, Physics, Psychological Sciences, and Philosophy) and SOM (Neurosciences, and Neurology), and will allow undergraduates to learn the disciplines they need for the careers they want, from neuroscientists regardless of their affiliations within the University. 

Perhaps most importantly, students will have the opportunity to conduct neuroscience research under the supervision of faculty in multiple CWRU schools and departments, including Neuroscience faculty at University Hospitals, the Cleveland Clinic, and affiliates of the Cleveland Brain Health Initiative. This unprecedented access to world-class neuroscience research will allow our students to move forward the frontiers of scientific inquiry even as they prepare to reach them.

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Are you interested in the B.S. in Neuroscience major? Course requirements for the major are outlined as follows:

College of Arts and Sciences General Education Requirements: 
Arts/Humanities: 6-8hrs
Natural Sciences/Math 6-8 hrs
Social Sciences: 6 hrs
Quantitative Reasoning: 3-4hrs
Global and Cultural Diversity: 3-4 hrs
Physical Education (2 full semesters, 4 half-semester courses)

SAGES requirements
First Year Seminar
University Seminar (2 courses)
Department seminar
Capstone
Writing Portfolio

Biology Core Courses (required):
·         BIOL 214: Genes, Evolution and Ecology (3 credits)

·         BIOL 214L: Genes, Evolution and Ecology Laboratory (1 credit)

·         BIOL 215: Cells and Proteins (3 credits)

·         BIOL 215: Cells and Proteins Laboratory (1 credit)

·         BIOL 216: Development and Physiology (3 credits)

·         BIOL 216L: Development and Physiology Laboratory (1 credit)

Programming Course (choose 1):
·         ENGR 131: Elementary Computer Programming (3 credits)

·         BIOL 321: Design and Analysis of Biological Experiments (3 credits)

Mathematics (required):
·         MATH 125: Math and Calculus Applications for Life, Managerial and Social Sciences I (or 121)  (4 credits)

·         MATH 126: Math and Calculus Applications for Life, Managerial and Social Sciences II (or 122) (4 credits)

·         STAT 312:  Basic Statistics for Engineering and Science (or 313) (3 credits)

Chemistry (required):
·         CHEM 105: Principles of Chemistry I (3 credits)

·         CHEM 106: Principles of Chemistry II (3 credits)

·         CHEM 113: Principles of Chemistry Laboratory (2 credits)

·         CHEM 223: Introductory Organic Chemistry I (or 323): (3 credits)

·         CHEM 224: Introductory Organic Chemistry II (or 324): (3 credits)

·         CHEM 233: Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory I (2 credits)

Physics (required):
·         PHYS 115: Introductory Physics I (4 credits)

·         PHYS 116: Introductory Physics II (4 credits)

Cellular/Molecular elective (choose one):
·         BIOL 326: Genetics (3 credits)

·         BIOL 325: Cell Biology (3 credits)

·         BIOC 307: Introduction to Biochemistry (4 credits) or CHEM 328: Introductory Biochemistry I  (3 credits)

Ecology/Evolution elective (choose one):
·         BIOL 225: Evolution (3 credits)

·         BIOL 351: Principles of Ecology (3 credits)

Neuroscience (required):
·         NEUR 166: Explorations in Neuroscience (1 credit)

·         NEUR 201: Fundamentals of Neuroscience I (3 credits)

·         NEUR 202: Fundamentals of Neuroscience II (3 credits)

Neurobiology core courses (choose 2):
·         BIOL 373: Intro to Neurobiology (3 credits)

·         BIOL 322: Sensory Biology (3 credits)

·         BIOL 358: Animal Behavior (3 credits)

·         BIOL 374 Neurobiology of Behavior

·         NEUR 301: Biological Mechanisms of Brain Disorders (3 credits)

·         PSCL 350: Behavior Genetics (3 credits)

Neuroscience research (minimum 6 credits):
·         BIOL 388, 390: Independent Research

·         BIOL 388S: Capstone research (3 credits)

·         NEUR 388, 390: Independent Research

·         NEUR 388S: Capstone research (3 credits)

Neuroscience electives (minimum 2 courses; At least 1 course taken from a non-Biology department):
·         BIOL 302: Human Learning and the Brain (3 credits)

·         BIOL 378: Computational Neuroscience (3 credits)

·         BIOL 385: Seminar on Biological Processes in Learning and Cognition (3 credits)

·         PSCL 101: General Psychology (3 credits)

·         PSCL 352: Physiological Psychology (3 credits)

·         PSCL 379: Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (3 credits)

·         COGS 102: Introduction To Cognitive Neuroscience (3 credits)

·         COGS 201: Human Cognition in Evolution and Development (3 credits)

·         COGS 215: Words and Mind (3 credits)

·         COGS 305: Social Cognition and the Brain (3 credits)

·         COSI 305: Neuroscience of Communication and Communication Disorders (3 credits)

·         COSI 357: Acquired Neurogenic Communication Disorders (3 credits)

·         PHIL 311: Neuroethics (3 credits)

·         PHIL 366: Brain, Mind and Consciousness (3 credits)

·         MATH 333: Math and Brain (3 credits)

NEUR 166 – Explorations in Neuroscience

NEUR 201, 202 – Fundamentals of Neuroscience 1 and 2

NEUR 301 – Biological Mechanisms of Nervous System Disorders

NEUR 388, 388S and 390 – Undergraduate research in Neurosciences

 
Course Descriptions:

NEUR 166 - Explorations in Neuroscience (1 Credit)

This survey course provides students with an opportunity to learn about some of the most exciting and timely concepts in neuroscience, including topics in basic and translational research, as well as perspectives on neuroscience as a profession, through a series of 14 lectures given by members of the Neurosciences Department in the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Topics are presented in a way that can be understood by students who have taken a high school biology class. Every effort is made to explain any new concepts that are included in the lectures. Each lecturer will provide general background reading material for the topics they discuss. Contact David Friel, Ph.D. 

NEUR 201 - Fundamentals of Neuroscience 1 (3 Credits)

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an introduction to neuroscience with an emphasis on the functional properties of neural systems. This is the first of two introductory neuroscience courses that are required for the undergraduate neuroscience major at Case. The second course, Fundamentals of Neuroscience II, examines the cellular and molecular properties that underlie these functional properties. Topics that will be discussed, and the level at which they are discussed, assumes that the students have a basic familiarity with cell structure and function and specialized properties of cells found in different physiological systems, from their previous biology coursework. The course will also provide a foundation for elective upper-level courses in the undergraduate neuroscience curriculum. Prerequisites: BIOL 214, 215 and 216. BIOL 216 may be taken concurrently. Contact: Ashley Nemes, Ph.D. 

NEUR 202 - Fundamentals of Neuroscience 2 (3 Credits)

This course is designed for undergraduates in their sophomore year to provide them with an understanding of signaling mechanisms that are utilized by nerve cells, including mechanisms that are responsible for signaling within cells and mechanisms that underlie signaling between cells. These mechanisms will range from the fast, millisecond time-scale transitions of ion channels that contribute to action potentials and synaptic signaling, to slower events that underlie modulation of channel activity and neurotransmitter synthesis and degradation, to even slower events on the hour and day timescale involving changes in gene expression and protein synthesis that underlie phenotypic development and neural plasticity. Prerequisite: NEUR 201. Contact: Ashley Nemes, Ph.D. 

NEUR 301 - Biological Mechanisms of Brain Disorders (3 Credits)

This course is designed to introduce students to a broad range of neurological and neuropsychiatric diseases and disorders in order to understand how genetic and environmental perturbations can disrupt normal brain function. The primary focus will be on understanding the biological bases of nervous system dysfunction. For each disease discussed, the subject matter will be organized to explain how normal brain function is impacted, the biological mechanisms underlying dysfunction (including still-unanswered questions) and current efforts to develop effective treatments (translational research). With this approach, students will gain an understanding of disease presentation, how animal models and human studies are being used to elucidate pathophysiological mechanisms, and opportunities and challenges in the development of new therapies. The class format will be a mix of lecture-based sessions and discussions of scientific journal articles. Offered as NEUR 301 and NEUR 401. Prerequisites: BIOL 216 or PSCL 352. Contact David Katz, Ph.D.

NEUR 388 - Undergraduate Research in Neuroscience (3 Credits)

Guided laboratory research under the sponsorship of a SOM faculty member who conducts basic and/or translational neuroscience research. Students are required to obtain permission from the prospective research supervisor and the Neuroscience Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (NUCC) prior to enrolling in the course. Appropriate forms must be submitted to the Neurosciences Department office. At the end of the semester, a research report, written in the format of a scientific research publication, must be submitted and approved by the research mentor and the NUCC before credit is granted. 3 credits. Graded Pass/NoPass. Contact David Friel Ph.D. or Ashley Nemes, Ph.D.

NEUR 388S - Undergraduate Research – SAGES Capstone (3 Credits)

Guided laboratory research supervised and guided by a SOM faculty member who conducts basic and/or translational neuroscience research. Students are required to obtain permission from the prospective research supervisor and the Neuroscience Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (NUCC) prior to enrolling in the course. Appropriate forms must be submitted to the Neurosciences Department office. At the end of the semester, a research report, written in the format of a scientific research publication, must be submitted and approved by the research mentor and the NUCC before credit is granted. A public presentation is required. 3 credits. Graded A-F. Contact David Friel, Ph.D. or Ashley Nemes, Ph.D.

NEUR 390 - Advanced Undergraduate Research in Neuroscience (1-3 Credits)

Guided research under the sponsorship of a SOM faculty member who conducts basic and/or translational neuroscience research. Students are required to obtain permission from the prospective research supervisor and the Neuroscience Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (NUCC) prior to enrolling in the course. Appropriate forms must be submitted to the Neurosciences Department office. Does not count toward the hours required for a major in neuroscience, but may be counted toward the total number of hours required for graduation. At the end of the semester, a written report must be submitted and approved by the research mentor and the NUCC before credit is granted. 1-3 credits. Graded Pass/NoPass. Contact David Friel, Ph.D. or Ashley Nemes, Ph.D.