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Undergraduate Course Catalog 2015-2016

College of Life Sciences and Agriculture


Neuroscience and Behavior (NSB)


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Professor: Robert C. Drugan, Thomas L. Foxall, Robert G. Mair, Stacia A. Sower, Winsor H. Watson III
Associate Professor: Brett M. Gibson, Jill A. McGaughy, William Wren Stine
Assistant Professor: Sandra M. Rehan, Robert S. Ross
Lecturer: Leslie J. Curren

The major in neuroscience and behavior (NSB) offers an interdisciplinary approach to human and non-human behavior, focusing on the evolution and adaptiveness of certain behaviors, as well as their underlying neural mechanisms. Students who have always been fascinated by how the brain functions will be well served by this major, as will those who love wild animals and wish to better understand their behavior. The B.S. in neuroscience and behavior is based on a solid foundation in biology and chemistry with some physics and statistics (foundation courses). These are followed by three of the following core courses: Animal Behavior, Drugs and Behavior, Genetics, Neurobiology and Behavior, and Psychobiology. Then students can pick four more electives focusing on an area of interest.

NSB students are encouraged to take advantage of research experiences in the laboratories of the psychology and biology faculty in the program. This provides valuable experience with cutting-edge equipment and techniques. Some students may share aspects of a larger project whereas others may be relatively independent and design their own project under supervision. In either case, important skills are gained by the discipline of gathering data, analyzing and interpreting it, and presenting it to a broader audience.

The curriculum provides most of the requirements and recommended courses for students seeking admission to graduate school and to professional schools in medicine and veterinary medicine. Students who might choose not to go on for advanced degrees are well prepared for employment as skilled technicians in research laboratories or, if their interests are in animal behavior, as field research assistants or animal trainers. With additional courses in education, the B.S. in NSB also qualifies graduates to teach at the elementary, junior high, and high school levels.

Faculty participating in the NSB major combine a love of teaching and student mentoring with a passion for research. All NSB faculty have active research programs and encourage student participation. Research facilities that students can use include the aviary, the confocal imaging center, the Hubbard Center for Genomic Studies, and the many marine, freshwater, and estuarine laboratories associated with UNH programs. Students can also take summer courses at the Shoals Marine Laboratory.

Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and Behavior
Students majoring in NSB are required to take foundation courses in basic science, core courses (choice of three from a list of five), and four electives from an extensive list of courses, including some offered by other departments including biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology, and natural resources. Finally, a capstone experience is required. This may be independent research, an advanced seminar, or other special student activity. It is meant to integrate prior experience and take the student to a new level in an area of special interest.

NSB Foundation courses
First-year Introductory Seminar (1 credit)
Introductory Biology (2 semesters)
Introductory Chemistry (2 semesters)
Organic Chemistry

Core courses
Choose three of five, which include Animal Behavior, Psychobiology, Neurobiology and Behavior, Genetics, and Drugs and Behavior.

Four NSB major electives

2-8 credits

Students interested in the neuroscience and behavior major can contact the Department of Biological Sciences, (603) 862-3205.

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