University of Southern California
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Hedco Neurosciences Building 120
(213) 740-6090
FAX: (213) 740-5687

Director: Norberto Grzywacz, Ph.D.

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

Bachelor of Arts in Neuroscience

Coordinator: William O. McClure

Undergraduate Advisor: Joon Kim,

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

Core RequirementsUnits
BISC 220LGeneral Biology: Cell Biology and Physiology4
BISC 421Neurobiology4
PSYC 100Introduction to Psychology4
PSYC 274*Statistics I 4
PSYC 326Behavioral Neuroscience4

*An equivalent course may be substituted.

Three courses from each of the following lists are required.

cellular, molecular and systems (CMS)Units
ANTH 306Primate Social Behavior4
ANTH 308Origins and Evolution of Human Behavior4
ANTH 406Theory and Method in Biological Anthropology4
BISC 307LGeneral Physiology4
BISC 320LMolecular Biology4
BISC 325Genetics4
BISC 330LBiochemistry4
BISC 411Cell Biology4
BISC 450LPrinciples of Immunology4
BISC 480Developmental Biology4
GERO 310Physiology of Aging4
GERO 414Neurobiology of Aging4
HP 320Biological and Behavioral Basis of Disease4
NEUR 524Advanced Neurosciences I4
PSYC 547Functional Neuroanatomy4
PSYC 548LFunctional Neuroanatomy Lab2
PT 529Life Span Motor Control4
PT 534LNeuroanatomy4
PT 569Fundamentals of Neuroscience4

Behavior and Cognition (BC)Units
ANTH 373Magic, Witchcraft and Healing4
CSCI 460Introduction to Artificial Intelligence3
GERO 320Psychology of Adult Development4
GERO 415Neuroaffective Disorders of Aging4
HP 300Theoretical Principles of Health Behavior4
LING 301Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology4
LING 302Introduction to Syntax and Semantics4
LING 375Sociolinguistics4
NEUR 531Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology4
NEUR 532Systems and Behavioral Neurobiology3
PHIL 462Philosophy of Mind4
PHIL 465Philosophy of Language4
PSYC 540Cognitive Neuroscience4
PSYCAny course except those listed in CMS above4
SOCI 303Sociology of Human Development4
SOCI 305Sociology of Childhood4

Honors Program in Neuroscience

An honors program is available to outstanding students already pursuing a B.A. degree in Neuroscience. This program offers students an opportunity to participate in undergraduate research, experience in writing an honors thesis summarizing the completed research and experience in an honors seminar. Honors students must register for NEUR 490x Directed Research, or an equivalent course in another department. NEUR 490x can replace one of the courses from either of the two lists above. Honors students are also required to take one semester of NEUR 494x or an equivalent course in addition to fulfilling all the requirements for the B.A. degree. Approval from the program in neuro­science is required before credit will be given for either of these two research-related courses in another department. The student 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 in Neuroscience with Honors.

Minor in Neuroscience

Coordinator: William O. McClure, Ph.D.

The neuroscience minor is designed to acquaint students with a broad range of the problems and opportunities available in the study of the brain and the mind. The minor requires a core course, normally BISC 230, which will provide beginning knowledge of the biological aspects of brain function. In addition, four upper division courses (16 units) are required. These courses will be chosen in consultation with the advisors of the minor, and must constitute a logical area of study of some aspect of the neurosciences.

Appropriate departments include but are not limited to Anthropology, Computer Science, Gerontology, Linguistics, Philosophy and Psychology. At least one course must include a research component. Directed Research may be used to satisfy the requirement of one of the upper division courses.

Research in appropriate laboratories is encouraged but not required for completion of the minor. A grade of no less than B must be earned in each of the courses used to satisfy the neuroscience minor.

Application forms may be obtained from College Academic Services, CAS 100, or from the Neuroscience Program, Hedco Neurosciences Building 120.

Master of Science in Neuroscience

Coordinator: Norberto Grzywacz, Ph.D.

Enrollment of graduate students as master's degree candidates is not encouraged and is reserved for special, terminal circumstances. To satisfy the requirements for the M.S. degree the student must take all the course work required of Ph.D. students for a minimum of 24 units. Completion of the degree requires the submission of a short, formal paper of original research that is approved by three members of the neuroscience graduate program faculty. Students must also satisfy residency and other requirements of the Graduate School.

Doctor of Philosophy in Neuroscience

Coordinator: Norberto Grzywacz, Ph.D.

Application deadline: January 1

Breadth of interests and training are major features of the graduate program in neuroscience. Wide and varied skills in many research areas characterize the faculty of the program. Close contact between faculty and students is considered of major importance in this highly interdisciplinary field.

Training is given in several areas of specialization: behavioral and systems neuroscience, cellular and molecular neurobiology, cognitive neuroscience, computational neuroscience, neuroengineering and neuroscience of aging and development.

Applicants should normally have defined an interest in one or two specializations. A final choice of the specialization will be made during the first year.

Admission Requirements
A baccalaureate degree in a field relevant to the student's graduate goals is required.

Appropriate fields would include neuroscience, biology, chemistry, computer science, linguistics, psychology and many areas of engineering. Undergraduate study should provide evidence of proficiency in mathematics, including statistics. Students planning to enter the specialization in computational and mathematical neuroscience should have taken course work in calculus and, where possible, linear algebra and computer programming. Applicants who are accepted with minor deficiencies are expected to correct these during the first year.

Applications require forms from both the university and the program. These may be obtained from: Coordinator, Graduate Program in Neuroscience, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-2520.

Degree Requirements
These degrees are awarded under the jurisdiction of the Graduate School. Refer to the Requirements for Graduation section and the Graduate School section of the catalogue for general regulations. All courses applied toward the degrees must be courses accepted by the Graduate School.

Advisory Committee
The student will be advised during the first year by the Graduate Affairs Committee. As soon as the student has selected a specialization, an Advisory Committee of appropriate faculty will be appointed. This committee will be chaired by the thesis advisor, when chosen. The purpose of the Advisory Committee is to help the student in the selection of courses and research; to monitor the student's progress; to insure preparation for the qualifying examination; and to administer that examination.

Course Requirements
A minimum of 60 units is required, consisting of formal courses, seminars and research credits. At least 24 of the 60 units are to be formal graduate course work (lecture or seminar courses). During the first year the student is expected to complete the core courses in neuroscience (NEUR 524), one key course, NEUR 538 Neuroscience Ethics and Professionalization, and two semesters of NEUR 539. Other courses in the area of specialization may also be taken in the first year and will be taken in subsequent years.

Core Course: NEUR 524 Advanced Overview of Neuroscience (4 units), will be taken by all students in the fall of their first year to provide an integrated multilevel view of neuro­science. To take the core course, students should have mastered the material currently taught in BISC 421. (Students will be expected to review a detailed syllabus and reading list for BISC 421 to identify their level of knowledge prior to their arrival at USC and will receive advice at Orientation on whether to take BISC 421 or read recommended material to remedy their deficiencies.)

Key Courses: All students will be required to complement their thesis-directed studies with a "breadth with depth" requirement by taking three key courses, one each from three of the four tracks listed below. Each key course will be for 3 or 4 units. (At least one of these courses will serve to advance thesis-related study as well.)

Cellular, Molecular and Developmental Neuroscience Track
NEUR 531Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology4
BISC 426Principles of Neural Development4

Cognitive Neuroscience Track
PSYC 540Cognitive Neuroscience4

Computational Neuroscience and Neuroengineering Track
BME 575LComputational Neuroengineering3
NEUR 535Brain Theory and Artificial Intelligence3

Systems and Behavioral Neuroscience Track
NEUR 532Systems and Behavioral Neurobiology3

All students are required to take NEUR 538 Neuroscience Ethics and Professionalization (1 unit).

It is required that all neuroscience Ph.D. students demonstrate competence in statistics in fulfillment of their Ph.D. requirements.

Qualifying Examination
The qualifying examination concentrates on the student's ability to demonstrate a grasp of the major area of interest chosen and its relation to other areas of training offered in the program. The examination is partly written and partly oral and is designed to test the student's ability to meet the demands of the profession.

An acceptable dissertation based on completion of an original investigation is required. The candidate must defend an approved draft of the dissertation in an oral examination.

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

NEUR 490x Directed Research (2-4, max 8, FaSpSm) Individual research and readings. Not available for graduate credit.

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

NEUR 524 Advanced Overview of Neuro­science (4, Fa) Study of the nervous system at multiple levels through the analysis of four themes: motor control; emotion, motivation, and decision-making; memory and learning; and vision. Open only to graduate students. Prerequisite: BISC 421.

NEUR 531 Molecular and Cellular Neuro­biology (4, Fa) Introduces fundamental principles of advanced molecular and cellular neurobiology including proteins and nucleic acids, cell biology of neurons and glia, synaptic transmission and neuronal signaling. Open only to graduate students.

NEUR 532 Systems and Behavioral Neuro­biology (3, Fa) Systems and behavioral neurobiology: hierarchical mechanisms controlling behavior, experimental techniques; perceptual (visual, auditory, somatosensory) systems; sensorimotor systems; motivated behavior; learning, memory and adaptation. Open only to graduate students. Prerequisite: NEUR 524.

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 538 Neuroscience Ethics and Professionalization (1, Fa) Exposes students to ethical issues in scientific research, especially for neuroscience; scientific integrity and professional roles for the academician and neuroscientist. Open only to graduate students.

NEUR 539 Seminar in Neurobiology (1, max 4, FaSp) (Duplicates credit in former BISC 539.)

NEUR 599 Special Topics (2-4, max 8) Special topics providing background for instruction and research in neuroscience through lectures, discussions, assigned readings, and student presentations.

NEUR 790 Research (1-12, FaSpSm) Research leading to the doctorate. Maximum units which may be applied to the degree to be determined by the department. Graded CR/NC. Open only to neuroscience graduate students.

NEUR 794abcdz Doctoral Dissertation (2-2-2-2-0) Credit on acceptance of dissertation. Graded IP/CR/NC. Open only to neuroscience graduate students.