The desire to understand human and animal behavior in terms of nervous system structure and function is long standing. Historically, this task has been approached from a variety of disciplines including medicine, biology, psychology, philosophy and physiology. The field of neuroscience emerged as an interdisciplinary approach, combining techniques and perspectives from these disciplines as well as emerging fields such as computation and cognitive science to yield new insights into the workings of the nervous system and behavior. The minor in neuroscience is designed to allow students with any major to pursue interests in behavior and the nervous system across disciplines. Students should consult with any member of the advisory committee in order to declare the minor.


Haverford Advisor

Rebecca Compton, Professor of Psychology (Haverford)

Advisory Committee

  • Peter D. Brodfuehrer, Professor of Biology (Bryn Mawr) and Bi-college program coordinator
  • Karen F. Greif, Professor of Biology (Bryn Mawr)
  • Leslie Rescorla, Professor of Psychology (Bryn Mawr)
  • Earl Thomas, Professor of Psychology (Bryn Mawr)
  • Anjali Thapar, Professor of Psychology (Bryn Mawr)


  1. HC Psych 217 (Biological Psychology) or BMC Psych 218 (Behavioral Neuroscience) or BMC Bio 202 (Introduction to Neuroscience).
  2. Five credits from the following lists, with these constraints:
    1. The five credits must sample from three different disciplines.
    2. At least three of the five credits must be from List A (neuroscience courses).
    3. At least one of the credits must be at the 300-level or higher.
    4. One of the five credits may come from supervised senior research in neuroscience.
    5. No more than two of the six minor credits may count towards the student’s major.


List A: (Neuroscience courses)

* denotes half-credit course

BIOL B244 Behavioral Endocrinology
BIOL B304 Cell and Molecular Neurobiology
BIOL B321 Neuroethology
BIOL B322 From Channels to Behavior
BIOL B364 Developmental Neurobiology
BIOL B401 Supervised Research in Neural & Behavioral Sciences
*BIOL H309 Molecular Neurobiology
*BIOL H330 Laboratory in Neural and Behavioral Science
*BIOL H350 Pattern Formation in the Nervous System
*BIOL H357 Topics in Protein Science
BIOL H403 Senior Research Tutorial in Protein Folding and Design
BIOL H409 Senior Research Tutorial in Molecular Neurobiology

PSYC B323 Advanced Topics in Cognitive Neuroscience
PSYC B355 Neurobiology of Anxiety
PSYC B395 Psychopharmacology
PSYC B401 Supervised Research in Neural and Behavioral Sciences
PSYC H260 Cognitive Neuroscience
*PSYC H317 Laboratory in Behavioral Neuroscience
PSYC H318 Neurobiology of Disease
*PSYC H360 Laboratory in Cognitive Neuroscience
PSYC H370 Neuroscience of Mental Illness
PSYC H394 Senior Research Tutorial in Biological Psychology
PSYC H395 Senior Research Tutorial in Cognitive Neuroscience

List B: (Allied disciplines)

BIOL B250 Computational Models in the Sciences
*BIOL H302 Cell Architecture
*BIOL H306 Inter and Intra Cellular Communication
*BIOL H312 Development and Evolution

CMSC B250 Computational Models in the Sciences
CMSC B325 Computational Linguistics
CMSC B361 Emergence
CMSC B361 Cognitive Science
CMSC B372 Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
CMSC B376 Developmental Robotics

LING B101 Introduction to Linguistics
LING H113 Introduction to Syntax
LING H114 Introduction to Semantics
LING H115 Phonetics and Phonology

PHIL B244 Philosophy and Cognitive Science
PHIL B319 Philosophy of Mind
PHIL H102 Rational Animals
PHIL H106 Philosophy of Consciousness
PHIL H110 Mind and World
PHIL H112 Mind, Myth, and Memory
PHIL H251 Philosophy of Mind
PHIL H351 Topics in Philosophy of Mind

PSYC B201 Learning Theory and Behavior
PSYC B212 Human Cognition
PSYC B350 Developmental Cognitive Disorders
PSYC B351 Developmental Psychopathology
PSYC H213 Memory and Cognition
PSYC H220 Psychology of Time
PSYC H238 Psychology of Language
PSYC H316 Embodied Cognition

Learning Goals

  1. Gain a basic understanding of the organization of the nervous system and its relation to categories of behavior such as motor control, sensation and perception, motivational states, and higher cognition.
    Method of achieving this goal: Gateway course to the minor (HC Psychology 217, BMC Psychology 218, or Bryn Mawr Biology 202)
  2. Gain an appreciation of and fluency with the many levels at which the nervous system can be studied, including molecular, cellular, systems, behavioral and cognitive neuroscience levels.
    Method of achieving this goal: Three courses from List A, which includes offerings from all of these areas of neuroscience.
  3. Gain an appreciation of the interdisciplinary nature of neuroscience and the allied disciplines that inform the study of mind, brain, and behavior.
    Method of achieving this goal: Requirement that at least three academic disciplines be represented among the six minor courses. A typical neuroscience minor takes relevant courses in biology, psychology, and at least one allied discipline from amongst computer science, linguistics, and philosophy of mind.
  4. Learn to closely examine and critically evaluate primary research on specialized, advanced neuroscience topics.
    Method of achieving this goal: Requirement that at least one of the six minor courses must be at the 300-level. Senior thesis research on a neuroscience topic can fulfill this requirement.