University of Southern California

Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Neuroscience

Hedco Neurosciences Building 120
(213) 740-6091
FAX: (213) 740-2534
Email: yuhungw@usc.edu

Participating Faculty: See Biological Sciences, Computer Science, Biomedical Engineering, Philosophy, Psychology, Engineering, Gerontology, Medicine and Pharmacy in this catalogue.

Bachelor of Arts in Neuroscience

Co-Coordinators: Irving Biederman, Ph.D., and Albert Herrera, Ph.D.

Undergraduate Advisers: Lica Abu-Esba, abuesba@dornsife.usc.edu; Briana Weiland, bweiland@dornsife.usc.edu

Grade Requirements

A grade of C- or higher is required to count toward major requirements.

Degree Requirements

The degree requires eight core courses (32 units) and four elective courses (12-16 unites) for a total of 44-48 units.

Core Requirements (32 units) Units
BISC 220L General Biology: Cell Biology and Physiology, or
BISC 221L Advanced General Biology: Cell Biology and Physiology 4
BISC 408 Systems Neuroscience 4
BISC 421 Neurobiology 4
CHEM 103Lx General Chemistry for the Environment and Life, or
CHEM 105aLg General Chemistry 4
MATH 125 Calculus I 4
PSYC 100 Introduction to Psychology 4
PSYC 274L* Statistics I 4
PSYC 440 Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience 4
*An equivalent course may be substituted with permission.

Four upper-division elective courses from the list below are required. At least one course in the upper-division electives must carry a lab (“L”) designation or be NEUR 490x. No more than 4 units of NEUR 490x may be used to fulfill the upper-division elective requirement.

Electives Units
BISC 307L General Physiology 4
BISC 313 Evolution and Population Genetics 4
BISC 320L Molecular Biology 4
BISC 325 Genetics 4
BISC 330L Biochemistry 4
BISC 403 Advanced Molecular Biology 4
BISC 406L Biotechnology 4
BISC 410 Applications of Molecular Biology to Medicine 4
BISC 411 Advanced Cell Biology 4
BISC 422L Neurobiology Laboratory 4
BISC 423 Epilepsy to Ecstasy: Biological Basis of Neurological Disorders 4
BISC 424 Brain Architecture 4
BISC 426 Principles of Neural Development 4
BISC 462 Seminar in Neurobiology 2, max 4
BISC 480 Developmental Biology 4
BME 402 Control and Communication in the Nervous System 3
CSCI 360L Introduction to Artificial Intelligence 4
GERO 414 Neurobiology of Aging 4
GERO 415 Neuroaffective Disorders of Aging 4
HBIO 306 Primate Social Behavior and Ecology 4
MATH 265* Mathematical and Computational Methods for Neuroscience 4
NEUR 490x Directed Research 4
PSYC 301L Cognitive Processes 4
PSYC 304L Sensation and Perception 4
PSYC 305 Learning and Memory 4
PSYC 320 Principles of Psychobiology 4
PSYC 326 Behavioral Neuroscience 4
PSYC 404L Psychophysiology of Emotion 4
PSYC 420 Animal Behavior 4
PSYC 424 Neuropsychology 4
PSYC 425 Functional Imaging of the Human Brain 4
PSYC 426 Motivated Behaviors 4
PSYC 438 Behavioral Genetics 4
PSYC 450L Neural Network Models of Social and Cognitive Processes 4
*Only an elective for BA and Minor.

A graduate class from the following list can be substituted for an upper-division elective with permission:

BME 575L* Computational Neuroengineering 3
CSCI 564* Brain Theory and Artificial Intelligence 3
NSCI 524* Advanced Overview of Neuroscience 4
NSCI 531* Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology 4
NSCI 532* Systems and Behavioral Neurobiology 3
PSYC 506* Learning and Cognition 4
PSYC 510* Visual Cognition 4
PSYC 540* Cognitive Neuroscience 4
PSYC 544* Psychophysiology 4
PSYC 545* Neuropsychology 4
PSYC 547* Functional Neuroanatomy 4
PSYC 551* Decision Neuroscience 4
*With minimum GPA of 3.3 and permission of co-coordinators and instructor

Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience

Co-Coordinators: Irving Biederman, Ph.D., and Albert Herrera, Ph.D.

Undergraduate Advisers: Lica Abu-Esba, abuesba@dornsife.usc.edu; Briana Weiland, bweiland@dornsife.usc.edu

Grade Requirements

A grade of C- or higher is required to count toward major requirements.

Degree Requirements

The degree requires 14 core courses (54-56 units) and five elective courses (16-20 unites) for a total of 70-76 units.

Core Requirements Units
BISC 220L General Biology: Cell Biology and Physiology, or
BISC 221L Advanced General Biology: Cell Biology and Physiology 4
BISC 408 Systems Neuroscience 4
BISC 421 Neurobiology 4
CHEM 105aLg General Chemistry, or
CHEM 115aL Advanced General Chemistry 4
CHEM 105bLg General Chemistry, or
CHEM 115bL Advanced General Chemistry 4
CHEM 322abL Organic Chemistry 4-4
CSCI 103L Introduction to Programming, or 3
CSCI 455 Introduction to Programming System Design, or 4
EE 150 Engineering Computational Methods 3
ITP 109 Introduction to Java Programming, or 2
ITP 115 Programming in Python, or 2
ITP 168 Introduction to Matlab 2
MATH 125 Calculus I 4
PHYS 135aL Physics for the Life Sciences, or
PHYS 151 Fundamentals of Physics I: Mechanics and Thermodynamics 4
PHYS 135bL Physics for the Life Sciences, or
PHYS 152 Fundamentals of Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism 4
PSYC 100 Introduction to Psychology 4
PSYC 274L* Statistics 4
PSYC 440 Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience 4
*An equivalent course may be substituted with permission.

Five upper-division elective courses from the list below are required. At least one course in the upper-division electives must carry a lab (“L”) designation or be 490. No more than 4 units of NEUR 490x may be used to fulfill the upper-division elective requirement.

Electives Units
BISC 307L General Physiology 4
BISC 313 Evolution and Population Genetics 4
BISC 320L Molecular Biology 4
BISC 325 Genetics 4
BISC 330L Biochemistry 4
BISC 403 Advanced Molecular Biology 4
BISC 406L Biotechnology 4
BISC 410 Applications of Molecular Biology to Medicine 4
BISC 411 Advanced Cell Biology 4
BISC 422L Neurobiology Laboratory 4
BISC 423 Epilepsy to Ecstasy: Biological Basis of Neurological Disorders 4
BISC 424 Brain Architecture 4
BISC 426 Principles of Neural Development 4
BISC 462 Seminar in Neurobiology 2, max 4
BISC 480 Developmental Biology 4
BME 402 Control and Communication in the Nervous System 3
CSCI 360L Introduction to Artificial Intelligence 3
GERO 414 Neurobiology of Aging 4
GERO 415 Neuroaffective Disorders of Aging 4
HBIO 306 Primate Social Behavior and Ecology 4
NEUR 490x Directed Research 2 or 4
PSYC 301L Cognitive Processes 4
PSYC 304L Sensation and Perception 4
PSYC 305 Learning and Memory 4
PSYC 320 Principles of Psychobiology 4
PSYC 326 Behavioral Neuroscience 4
PSYC 404L Psychophysiology of Emotion 4
PSYC 420 Animal Behavior 4
PSYC 424 Neuropsychology 4
PSYC 425 Functional Imaging of the Human Brain 4
PSYC 438 Behavioral Genetics 4
PSYC 450L Neural Network Models of Social and Cognitive Processes 4
*Only an elective for BA and Minor.

A graduate class from the following list can be substituted for an upper-division elective with permission:

BME 575L* Computational Neuroengineering 3
CSCI 564* Brain Theory and Artificial Intelligence 3
NSCI 524* Advanced Overview of Neuroscience 4
NSCI 531* Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology 4
NSCI 532* Systems and Behavioral Neurobiology 3
PSYC 506* Learning and Cognition 4
PSYC 510* Visual Cognition 4
PSYC 540* Cognitive Neuroscience 4
PSYC 544* Psychophysiology 4
PSYC 545* Neuropsychology 4
PSYC 547* Functional Neuroanatomy 4
PSYC 551* Decision Neuroscience 4
*With minimum GPA of 3.3 and permission of co-coordinators and instructor

Honors Program in Neuroscience

An honors program is available to outstanding students who are pursuing a B.A. or B.S. degree in Neuroscience. This program offers students exceptional opportunities to participate in undergraduate research, culminating in the experience of writing an honors thesis summarizing their completed research. Honors students must register for 4 units of Directed Research (NEUR 490x). Honors students are also required to take two semesters of the Honors Seminar (BISC 493x as one of their upper-division electives, 1 unit/semester), in which small groups of students discuss recent findings in neuroscience literature and their own research. After completing the honors seminar, honors students also take one semester of Honors Thesis (BISC 494x, 2 units), in which students write their senior thesis. Students earning honors in neuroscience must have a minimum overall GPA of 3.5 at graduation. This program leads to the designation on the transcript of Bachelor of Arts/Science in Neuroscience with Honors.

Bachelor of Science in Computational Neuroscience

Co-coordinators: Sarah Bottjer, Ph.D., and Irving Biederman, Ph.D.

Undergraduate Advisers: Eva Hinojoza, hinojoza@dornsife.usc.edu; Briana Weiland, bweiland@dornsife.usc.edu

The computational neuroscience major is designed for those students with an interest in applying mathematical and computational methodologies towards understanding the structure and functioning of the nervous system. The major will provide progressive training in interdisciplinary and inter-faculty aspects of neuroscience, and serve as a foundation for students interested in pursuing post-graduate education in graduate or professional schools or career opportunities in technically advanced occupations. Research is integral to this major and students are encouraged to engage in research with neuroscience faculty as early as possible in their undergraduate years.

Grade Requirements

A grade of C- or higher is required to count toward major requirements.

Program Requirements:

11 core courses (44 units) + 6-7 electives (16-18 units) for a total of 62-68 units.

Core Requirements Units
BISC 220L General Biology: Cell Biology and Physiology, or
BISC 221L Advanced General Biology: Cell Biology and Physiology 4
BISC 421 Neurobiology 4
CHEM 103Lx General Chemistry for the Environment and Life, or
CHEM 105aL General Chemistry 4
MATH 125 Calculus I 4
MATH 126 Calculus II 4
NEUR 408 Systems Neuroscience: From Synapses to Perception 4
PHYS 135aL Physics for the Life Sciences, or
PHYS 151L Fundamentals of Physics I: Mechanics and Thermodynamics 4
PHYS 135bL Physics for the Life Sciences, or
PHYS 152L Fundamentals of Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism 4
PSYC 100 Introduction to Psychology 4
PSYC 274 Statistics 4
PSYC 440 Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience 4
Computational Area

Students are to take a total of three courses. The courses are listed in the table according to the programming language of the courses. It is not obligatory that all courses be from the same programming language, but the student should be aware that knowledge of a different language will likely be assumed in the advanced courses. Only one introductory programming course will be counted toward the major, although an introductory programming course is not required.

Optional: Choose one course (2-4 units).

COMPUTATIONAL AREA: INTRODUCTORY COURSES Language Units
CSCI 103L Introduction to Programming C/C++ 3
CSCI 455x Introduction to Programming Systems Design Java/C++ 4
EE 150L Engineering Computational Methods Matlab 3
ITP 109x Introduction to Java Programming Java 2
ITP 115 Programming in Python Python 2
ITP 168x Introduction to MATLAB Matlab 2

Choose 2-3 courses (6-12 units). A minimum of two courses is required.

COMPUTATIONAL AREA: ADVANCED COURSES Units
BME 210 Biomedical Computer Simulation Methods 3
BME 402 Control and Communication in the Nervous System 3
CSCI 360L Introduction to Artificial Intelligence 4
CSCI 445L Introduction to Robotics 4
PSYC 450L Neural Network Models of Social and Cognitive Processes 4

A graduate-level advanced course from those listed below may be substituted for the undergraduate advanced course with permission.

GRADUATE-LEVEL COURSES Units
BME 502 Advanced Studies of the Nervous System 4
BME 575L Computational Neuroengineering 3
CSCI 561 Foundations of Artificial Intelligence 4
CSCI 564 Brain Theory and Artificial Intelligence 4
CSCI 574 Computer Vision 3
CSCI 662 Advanced Natural Language Processing 4
EE 559 Mathematical Pattern Recognition 3
NSCI 524 Advanced Overview of Neurosciences 4
NSCI 531 Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology 4
NSCI 532 Systems and Behavioral Neurobiology 3
PSYC 506 Learning and Cognition 4
PSYC 510 Visual Cognition 4
PSYC 540 Cognitive Neuroscience 4
PSYC 544 Psychophysiology 4
PSYC 545 Neuropsychology 4
PSYC 547 Functional Neuroanatomy 4
PSYC 551 Decision Neuroscience 4
PSYC 555 Introduction to Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging 4
Biological Area

Choose 1-2 courses (4 units).

BIOLOGICAL AREA units
BISC 424 Brain Architecture 4
BISC 461 Seminar in Molecular and Computational Biology 2, max 4
BISC 462 Seminar in Neurobiology 2, max 4
BISC 481 Structural Bioinformatics: From Atoms to Cells 4
BISC 490x Directed Research 2-4, max 8
Psychology Area

Choose one (4 units).

PSYCHOLOGY AREA units
PSYC 301L Cognitive Processes 4
PSYC 304L Sensation and Perception 4
PSYC 326 Behavioral Neuroscience 4
PSYC 420 Animal Behavior 4
PSYC 424 Neuropsychology 4
PSYC 425 Functional Imaging of the Human Brain 4
PSYC 438 Behavioral Genetics 4
Math Electives

Choose one Math course (4 units) from the list below OR choose one additional course from the areas listed above not already counting for the major.

Math Electives units
MATH 225 Linear Algebra and Linear Differential Equations 4
MATH 226 Calculus III 4
MATH 245 Mathematics of Physics and Engineering I 4

Minor in Neuroscience

Co-coordinators: Sarah Bottjer, Ph.D., and Irving Biederman, Ph.D.

Undergraduate Advisers: Eva Hinojoza, hinojoza@dornsife.usc.edu; Briana Weiland, bweiland@dornsife.usc.edu

Grade Requirements

A grade of C- or higher is required to count toward minor requirements.

Core Requirements (20 units) Units
PSYC 274L* Statistics 4
BISC 421** Neurobiology 4
NEUR 408** Systems Neuroscience: From Synapses to Perception 4
PSYC 440*** Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience 4
Electives A 300- or 400-level course from the elective list for majors 4
*An equivalent course may be substituted with permission

**Prerequisite: BISC 220 or BISC 221

***Prerequisite: PSYC 100

Recommended but not required: CHEM 103Lx (or CHEM 105La) plus MATH 125

Students who have not already taken the prerequisites (BISC 220/BISC 221 and PSYC 100) will need to take a total of 28 units to satisfy the requirements of a minor in neuroscience. Thus, the range of units will vary from 20 to 28 depending on a student’s background.

Courses of Instruction

Neuroscience (NEUR)

The terms indicated are expected but are not guaranteed. For the courses offered during any given term, consult the Schedule of Classes.

NEUR 390 Special Problems (1–4) Supervised, individual studies. No more than one registration permitted. Enrollment by petition only.

NEUR 408 Systems Neuroscience: From Synapses to Perception (4, Sp) (Enroll in BISC 408)

NEUR 426 Principles of Neural Development (4, Sp) (Enroll in BISC 426)

NEUR 440 Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience (4) (Enroll in PSYC 440)

NEUR 490x Directed Research (1–8, max 12, FaSpSm) Individual research and readings. Not available for graduate credit.

NEUR 493x Neuroscience Honors Seminar (1, max 4, FaSp) Students attend lectures of distinguished neuroscientists visiting USC and give short, chalk-talk presentations summarizing the lecture. The presentations are critiqued by the students. Not available for graduate credit. Prerequisite: BISC 220L or BISC 221L; recommended preparation: BISC 421.

NEUR 494x Honors Thesis (2, FaSp) Not available for graduate credit. Programmatic approval.

NEUR 533 Cognitive Neuroscience (4, Sp) (Enroll in PSYC 540)

NEUR 534L Computational Neuroengineering (3) (Enroll in BME 575L)

NEUR 535 Brain Theory and Artificial Intelligence (3) (Enroll in CSCI 564)

NEUR 542 Hearing and Communication Neuroscience (4, Sp) (Enroll in BISC 521)