Study the brain and nervous system to uncover why humans behave the way we do. Be a part of learning more about neurological disorders and the treatments that can help those experiencing them. From neurological and psychiatric disorders to opioid use and obesity, our students study a broad range of neuroscience topics in chemistry, biology, psychology, education, and more.

Why Study Neuroscience at Juniata? 

Learn from experts in many fields: Juniata’s neuroscience program integrates the study of psychology, chemistry, biology, computer science, economics, education, and philosophy. Some courses are team-taught by professors from several of these areas of expertise, which helps you identify your specific interests in neuroscience.

Develop a specialization: As you move through your neuroscience coursework and learning opportunities, you can specialize in one area of neuroscience. Options include molecular/cellular neuroscience, cognitive/behavioral neuroscience, systems neuroscience, or other fields.

Gain experience: Conduct research in neuroscience. You can study a variety of topics about the brain and nervous system, from risky decision making to Alzheimer’s disease. When studying neuroscience, you’ll answer questions using thought processes from many disciplines—analyzing everything the chemicals in the brain to a person’s behavior—and understand how many fields of study intersect.

Required Courses

 

Neuroscience Core

 

NEU-120 Fundamentals Undergraduate Neuroscience

This course explores the many subfields of neuroscience, such as behavioral neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, neurophysiology, and molecular neuroscience. Students work with faculty partners to lead a discussion on a paper one week, followed by a research seminar given by the paper's author the second week. The course culminates in capstone projects by senior Neuroscience POEs.

1 Credit


NEU-4XX Capstone in Neuroscience


 

Biology Core

 

BI-101 General Biology I

General Biology I is the first course in the Biology POE core curriculum. This course will be structured around four primary case studies on the opioid crisis, climate change, environmental toxicology and the evolution of speed in animals. The cases will outline foundational concepts in molecular biology and evolution.

4 Credits


BI-102 General Biology II

General Biology II is the second course in the Biology POE core curriculum. In the first four weeks of this course, each lab section will work through basic lab skill development. After that, students will deploy those skills to answer a specific open-ended research question that is part of their instructor's area of expertise.

4 CreditsPrerequisite: BI-101 or BI-105


 

Chemistry Core

 

CH-142 Integrated Chemistry Principles I

An introduction to the principles of chemistry, this course begins a two semester sequence that integrates information from all aspects of chemistry while focusing on the core principles of the relationships between energy, the structure of atoms and molecules, and atomic and molecular properties and reactivity. Topics include energy, reactions, atomic structure, elemental properties, bonding, and molecular properties.

3 CreditsNCorequisite CH143


CH-143 Integrated Chem Principles I Lab

This semester will focus on learning good laboratory practices, primarily through the quantitative analysis of compounds. The quantitative analysis of materials and an understanding of reproducibility and bias are relevant to many fields, including medical analysis or the analysis of contaminants in the environment. This course will also teach you how to keep an excellent laboratory notebook, identify safety hazards in the lab, and complete data analysis and graphing in Excel. All of these tools will serve you well in a variety of careers.

1 CreditsN, QSCH142 is a corequisite of this course. A lab fee is associated with this course.


CH-144 Integrated Chemistry Principles II

An introduction to the principles of chemistry, this course completes a two semester sequence that integrates information from all aspects of chemistry while focusing on the core principles of the relationships between energy, the structure of atoms and molecules, and atomic and molecular properties and reactivity. Topics include thermodynamics, equilibrium reactions, acid/base and redox reactions, kinetics and nuclear reactions.

3 CreditsNPrerequisite: CH-142


CH-145 Integrated Chemistry Principles II Lab

This semester will focus on learning good laboratory practices, primarily through the quantitative analysis of compounds. The quantitative analysis of materials and an understanding of reproducibility and bias are relevant to many fields, including medical analysis or the analysis of contaminants in the environment. This course will also teach you how to keep an excellent laboratory notebook, identify safety hazards in the lab, and complete data analysis and graphing in Excel. All of these tools will serve you well in a variety of careers.

1 CreditN, QSPrerequisite: CH-143. A lab fee is associated with this course.


CH-232 Organic Chemistry I

Students enrolled in CH-242 will become familiar with the fundamental concepts and nomenclature needed to understand and communicate organic chemistry. The course is furtherdesigned to teach the structure-function relationships that exist across many classes of organic and bio-organic systems, and therefore provide a foundation for further study in chemistry, biochemistry, biology, and medicine.

3 CreditsNPrerequisite: CH-144; Corequisite: CH-233.


 

Psychology Core

 

PY-101 Introduction to Psychology

An overview of the content and methodology in the field. Topics such as the history of psychology, physiological psychology, learning and memory, perception, motivation, child development, personality and social foundations are considered

3 CreditsS 


PY-238 Biopsychology

Focuses on neurobiology and neuroanatomy as they relate to sensory processes, motivation, reinforcement, learning, and memory.

3 CreditsS, NPrerequisites: PY101 or BI105 or permission.


 

Statistics Core

 

BI-305 Biostatistics

This course deals centrally with quantitative and statistical methodology in the biological sciences. It includes experimental design and the conventions of generating, analyzing, interpreting and presenting biological data. Counts as a math course for graduate and professional school requirements.

4 CreditsN, QS, CTGESPrerequisites: BI106 or ESS100

 

OR

 

MA-220 Introduction to Probability & Statistics

An introduction to the basic ideas and techniques of probability theory and to selected topics in statistics, such as sampling theory, confidence intervals, and linear regression.

4 CreditsN, QS, CTGESPrerequisite: MA130


 

Integrated Core

 

PY-270 Cognitive Neuroscience

Focuses on the neural mechanisms of mental processes including sensation and perception, attention, memory, reasoning, and decision making. Topics include basic neuroanatomy, functional imaging techniques, and evidence from neurotypical and clinical populations. 

3 CreditsS, NPrerequisites: PY101.


BI-450 Neurobiology

Neurobiology is a lecture course that addresses concepts ranging from the molecular biology of ion channels to signal integration and behavior. This course is experimentally based and will focus on the biophysics, chemistry, and mechanisms of signal production and integration in the nervous system. Particular attention will be paid to sensory systems and memory consolidation. In addition to lecture exams, students will gain valuable experience in scientific writing through the preparation of a review paper on a neurobiological topic of their choosing.

3 CreditsNPrerequisites: BI207 or PY238 or permission.


CH-312 Biochemistry

The fourth semester of the introductory Chemistry series, this course pulls content from chemistry, biology, mathematics, and history to provide an integrated view of biochemistry. Topics include the use of thermodynamics, equilibrium, non-covalent interactions, kinetics, separations, biomolecular structure, and genetics to probe and explain biological phenomenon.

3 CreditsNPrerequisites: Take BI-102 (or have instructor's permission) and CH-232.


 

 

Electives

Take at least two courses, one from each core area.

 

Cognitive/Behavioral

PY-203 Abnormal Psychology

A brief consideration is given to the historical approaches to " mental illness, " followed by a consideration of present day classification, diagnostic measures, and therapy. Emphasis throughout is upon experimental data as applied to the various disorders.

3 CreditsSPrerequisite: PY101.


PY-303 Learning & Conditioning

Explores the issue of how we are changed by experience, using primarily a behaviorist perspective, applied to animal and human data. Both theory and applied applications of theory will be considered.

3 CreditsSPrerequisite: PY101.


PY-304 Cognitive Psychology

Explores an array of issues in human memory, primarily from a cognitive/information processing point of view. Major emphasis is on using research data to formulate answers to both theoretical and applied questions. 

3 CreditsSPrerequisite: PY101.


PY-321 Health Psychology

Course will examine empirical findings from disciplines of psychology, medicine, and public health. Course topics include research methods, stress and social support, health behavior and primary prevention, management of chronic/terminal illnesses, gender and cultural issues in health, and psychoneuroimmunology. An underlying theme will be to dispel health-related myths and fads that are so prevalent in the popular media.

3 CreditsSPrerequisites: PY101.


PY-350 Developmental Psychology

This course is designed to integrate core topics in the discipline of developmental psychology with current key issues in society. Consequently, students will have the opportunity to analyze scientific literature and make connections to current, everyday life issues. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to explore developmental theory and its connection to public policy, known as " best practices " in parenting and education and consider developmental theory's influence on current trends in our broader society.

3 CreditsSPrerequisites: PY101 or ED120 or ED130.


ED-312 Language and the Brain

Provides an overview of research-based models of language acquisition, both typical and atypical in children. Topics include theories of language acquisition, neurological bases of speech and language, cognitive, perceptual and motor bases of early language and speech,social and communicative bases of early language and speech, language learning and teaching, relationship of language to literacy acquisition, language differences in diverse learners.

3 CreditsSPrerequisites: ED120, ED121.


PY-340 Research in Psychology

Allows students to become involved in an ongoing research program. Students will be required to read primary literature from the specific field of investigation and become involved in execution of an ongoing experiment. Students will be expected to perform the activities relevant to the experiment, assist in the analysis of the data, and write an APA style paper based on the results of the experiment. 

2 CreditsSPrerequisites: PY101 and permission. Repeatable up to 3 times.


 

Systems

BI-310 Physiology

A combined laboratory and lecture course which examines the function of cells, tissues, organs, and systems. Physical, Mathematical, chemical, and anatomical concepts are integrated to gain a comprehensive appreciation of the dynamics of living organisms. Students are introduced to the use of physiological instrumentation, experimental design, collection and statistical analysis of data, and preparation of scientific manuscripts. Laboratory experiments amplify and complement the lectures.

4 CreditsN 


BI-380 Biology Research Methods

Offered in multiple sections by faculty members in the Biology department for students interested in learning to conduct meaningful and responsible research. Students enroll in a section aligned with their research interest to generate novel data, while mastering the important components of research common to each of the diverse areas of Biology.

4 CreditsN, CW, CTGESPrerequisites: BI105 and BI122 and sophomore, junior, senior standing and permission of the instructor.


BIN-400  Bioinformatics Fundamentals

Bioinformatics is the science of collecting and analyzing complex biological data. It is an interdisciplinary field that develops and applies methods and software tools for understanding biological data. 

4 CreditsN,CTGESPre-req: BI-105, BI-106, BI-121, BI-122, CH-142, CH-143, CH-242, CH-243 


BI-489 Biology Research

Individual research projects directed by faculty members based on proposals submitted in BI 389, Biology Research Seminar. Attendance at a departmental journal club is expected. Presentation at a professional meeting is encouraged. May be repeated for up to 15 credits. 

1-6 CreditsNPrerequisite: Permission of the instructor.


 

Molecular

BI-316 Molecular & Cellular Biology

A comprehensive approach to the study of cells, with emphasis on molecular techniques and understanding the primary literature. Analysis of the cell at the molecular level emphasizes a unity in the principles by which cells function.

3 CreditsNPrerequisites: BI207 and CH342


BI-318 Developmental Biology

This course offers comprehensive investigation of the concepts and mechanisms of development, including ganetogenesis, fertilization, pattern formation and organogenesis. The course examines classical and molecular approaches examining problems of development. Students are expected to present research from current literature in the field.

3 CreditsNPrerequisites: BI207


CH-247 Bioanalytical Chemistry

Exploration of experimental techniques and topics that are pertinent to the careful analytical evaluation of biologically relevant chemistry.

1 CreditN, QSPrerequisites: Take BI-101 (or have instructor's permission) and CH-232. Note: A special lab fee is assessed.


CH-418 Advanced Biochemistry

Advanced Biochemistry is the third semester of the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) curriculum for Biochemistry POEs, expanding the content of the previous two semesters. Stressing techniques and instrumentation, the course is comprised of student-led learning modules, which are created around the primary literature with the help of the instructor. Topics may include metabolism, systems biology, or genomics.

3 CreditsNPrerequisite CH342.


CH-494 Chemistry Research

Individual research projects directed by faculty members

1-4 CreditsNPrerequisite: Permission of the instructor.


 

 

Student Opportunities 

Research: Study neuroscience in many research contexts. One Juniata biology professor researches the behavior of crawfish and another studies the impacts of healthy behaviors on lifespans by examining C. elegans, a tiny worm. Juniata psychologists study risky decision making and mating preferences in humans. Here, you can contribute to research on these topics, or investigate a topic of your own choosing.

Present Your Findings: Juniata's neuroscience students and faculty have presented research at national and international conferences organized by the American Society for Cell Biology, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the Genetics Society of America, Psychonomics, and the Northeastern Evolutionary Psychology Society. Students can also present at Liberal Arts Symposium, Juniata's on-campus research and scholarship event.  

Our Recent Graduates

Many students studying neuroscience decide to pursue graduate degrees or attend medical school after graduating from Juniata. Others secure careers in industry, often doing work that includes running clinical trials for pharmaceuticals.