Integrative Neuroscience

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Program Components

The BS major in Integrative Neuroscience offers the student a firm basis in biology, psychology and chemistry, along with courses in a variety of other disciplines. The program provides the breadth and depth necessary for the interdisciplinary study of the biological bases of behavior. The program does not offer a minor. See our website for more information about the major requirements, research, honors and careers.

Students interested in declaring their major in Integrative Neuroscience should go to the Integrative Neuroscience Academic Advising Office (Science 4, Room 175) to meet with an academic advisor, review degree requirements and discuss course planning before submitting the declaration of major form. Students can also schedule an appointment with an advisor through Starfish. No specific coursework is required in order to declare the major, but in order to remain in the major, minimum grade requirements in core and elective courses must be met. Students accepting scholarships that require immediate declaration of major should meet with the academic advisor when they arrive on campus.

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Harpur College Requirements

Harpur College students must complete the following requirements in addition to those listed for the major:

  • 126 credits
  • 90 liberal arts and sciences credits
  • Minimum of 46 upper-level credits
  • Completion of the Harpur College writing requirement (4 to 5 courses as described in the All-College Writing section of the Harpur College Undergraduate Information section of the Bulletin. Maximum of one C/J course and two W courses may be transferred).
  • Minimum of 44 credits in residence in Harpur College
  • 2.0 or higher GPA

Harpur College requirements are described in detail in the Requirements for Graduation section of the Harpur College Undergraduate Information section of the Bulletin.

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Integrative Neuroscience Requirements

  • CORE COURSES: The following 14 core courses are required (if CHEM 111 is taken, the total is 12; if CHEM 107 and 108 are taken, the total is 13): PSYC 111, PSYC 243, PSYC 344, PSYC 362, BIOL 113, 114 and 115, BIOL 375 or PSYC 327, General Chemistry, CHEM 231 and 332 and an approved Integrative Neuroscience Seminar (PSYC 473 or BIOL 480/483 — see "Integrative Neuroscience Seminar Requirement" below)
  • MATH/CHEM/PHYS ELECTIVES: Minimum 6-credit hours of electives in chemistry, math and physics selected from CHEM 221, 335, 434, MATH 224* and 225, MATH 226 and 227, 323, CS 140, 240, PHYS 121 OR 131, PHYS 122 or 132
    • *If students do not place into MATH 224, then MATH 223 and, if needed, MATH 108 are also required
  • RELATED SUBJECTS ELECTIVES: Minimum 4-credit hours of electives in related subjects selected from ANTH 111, 168, 242, 243, 244, 248, 333, 334, 335, 336, 337, 338, 428, BIOL 105, CLAS 121, CS 100, 105, 110, GEOG 422, HIST 230, 238, PHIL 121, 122, 148, 423 and SOC 251
  • TYPE A BIOLOGY ELECTIVES: Minimum 4-credit hours or electives selected from BCHM 401, 403, 425, 426, BIOL 304, 311, 313, 314, 318, 319, 326, 329, 401, 402, 403, 405, 421, 425, 426, 427, 428. Independent study (BIOL 297/495/496/497/498) with biology faculty in the area of Biochemical, Cell and Molecular Biology (BCMB) can count toward biology Type A pending approval through the advising office. An additional approved 2 credit BIOL 480 or 4 credit BIOL 483 seminar with biology faculty in the area of Biochemical, Cell and Molecular Biology (BCMB) can also count toward biology Type A with advisor's approval
  • TYPE B BIOLOGY ELECTIVES: Minimum 4-credit hours or electives selected from BIOL 351, 352, 355, 366, 371, 373, 378, 379, 437, 450, 451, 452, 454, 456, 471, 472, 475, 476. (Only two credits of BIOL 451 can count towards the major.) Independent study (BIOL 297/495/496/497/498) with biology faculty in the area of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior (EEB) can count toward biology Type B with advisor's approval. An additional approved 2 credit BIOL 480 or 4 credit BIOL 483 seminar with biology faculty in the area of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior (EEB) can also count toward biology Type B pending approval through the advising office.
  • The following courses could count as Biology Type A or B: BIOL 251, 252, 324, 330, 332, 340, 347, 430, 435, 441, BE 340
  • PSYCHOLOGY ELECTIVES: Minimum 6-credit hours or electives selected from PSYC 220, 223, 330, 350, 351, 352, 355, 356, 357, 358, 359, 360, 363, 385, 406, or an additional approved 4 credit 473 seminar (only IN-approved seminars will fulfill this requirement). Independent study (PSYC 397/493/494/499) with psychology faculty can count toward psychology electives.
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Additional Requirements and Important Notes

  • General Chemistry: Students can complete the general chemistry sequence in one of three ways:
    • Option A: CHEM 104, 105 and 106
    • Option B: CHEM 107 and 108
    • Option C: CHEM 111
  • Laboratory Requirement: Among the electives, three courses (2- to 4-credit hours each) at the 200-level or above must be taken that are either laboratory courses or courses that contain a weekly laboratory or field experience. Organic Chemistry Laboratory (CHEM 335), as well as laboratory courses in the biology and psychology electives, meets this requirement. See academic advisor for a list of approved lab courses.
  • Upper-Level Requirement: At least 16-credit hours of the elective courses for the major must be taken at the 300-level or above.
  • Integrative Neuroscience Seminar Requirement: The Integrative Neuroscience Seminar may be fulfilled by taking an approved 4-credit psychology or biology seminar or 2 two-credit biology seminars that cover a neuroscience-related area. These are offered each semester in both biology and psychology. A list of approved seminars is made available prior to advanced registration each semester. If a student petitions through the Integrative Neuroscience Academic Advising office and receives approval in writing, an additional Integrative Neuroscience seminar (approved PSYC 473 or approved BIOL 480/483) can count toward the elective requirements, either the biology Type A, biology Type B or psychology elective category.
  • Pass/Fail: No courses for the major may be taken Pass/Fail, other than PSYC 397 Independent Study.
  • Minimum Grade: Students must earn a C or higher in PSYC 111 and PSYC 243 and a C- or higher in all other core courses in order to remain in the major. A passing grade (D or better) is required for all other courses in the major (with the exception of PSYC 397, which must be taken Pass/Fail).
  • A Single Course May Fulfill Multiple Requirements: Some courses may fulfill multiple elective requirements. For example, PSYC 363 satisfies one course for the laboratory requirement, four credits for the upper-level requirement and four credits for the psychology electives category. However, no courses can count toward both the core and the elective requirements.
  • Students must take at least eight courses in the major, including five upper-level courses, in residence at Binghamton University. The residency requirement includes the following courses: PSYC 344 Research Methods, PSYC 362 Behavioral Neuroscience, the required upper-level Integrative Neuroscience seminar (from among the list of approved seminars, updated every semester), one laboratory course and either PSYC 327 Evolution and Behavior or BIOL 375 Animal Behavior. Three additional courses of the student’s choosing are also required to be taken at Binghamton University.
  • A student cannot receive credit for both BIOL 375 and PSYC 327.
  • Due to significant overlap in course requirements, it is not possible to double-major in Integrative Neuroscience and Psychology, Integrative Neuroscience and Biology, or Integrative Neuroscience and Biochemistry.
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Independent Study Courses (credit varies; requires advisor’s approval)

  • PSYC 397. Independent Study
  • PSYC 493. Assessment, Intervention and Evaluation II
  • PSYC 494. Assessment, Intervention and Evaluation III
  • PSYC 499. Advanced Independent Study (Honors)
  • BIOL 297. Research Experience in Biology
  • BIOL 495. Laboratory or Field Internship
  • BIOL 496. Independent Study
  • BIOL 497. Independent Field or Laboratory Research
  • BIOL 498. Continuing Independent Field or Laboratory Research

If a student petitions through the Integrative Neuroscience Academic Advising office and receives approval in writing, up to eight credits of independent research may substitute for eight hours of upper-level elective credit under either the biology Type A, biology Type B or psychology elective category. Only independent study with an integrative neuroscience faculty member can count as a lab elective, and it can only count as one of the three lab electives required by the major. Independent research experience is recommended for students planning graduate studies.

Some coursework may require interaction with non-human animals as noted in the course descriptions. In addition, Independent Study may also involve work with animals, depending on the research projects of particular faculty members.

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Honors Program in Integrative Neuroscience

Outstanding students in integrative neuroscience are encouraged to participate in the honors program. Participation requires the preparation of an honors thesis that consists of a proposal, data collection, written analysis and an oral defense of the final thesis. Successful completion of the honors program results in graduation with distinguished independent work in integrative neuroscience.

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Prerequisites and Requirements

To gain acceptance to the honors program in integrative neuroscience, a student must:

  • Have declared integrative neuroscience as a major
  • Have achieved at least junior standing
  • Have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 and a minimum GPA of 3.3 in those courses taken toward the major and
  • Be accepted by a supervising faculty member whose research is in the field of integrative neuroscience
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Appeals

Any student who fails to meet one or more of the requirements listed above may petition the director of the integrative neuroscience program for a waiver of a particular requirement. No waiver will be granted without the written support of the supervising faculty member. Such appeals must be requested before the thesis project is begun.

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Formation of Honors Committee

Prior to the end of the seventh semester, a student must form an honors committee, consisting of three faculty members: the student’s supervising faculty member (who acts as chair) and two other faculty members. These additional faculty members should be chosen in consultation with the supervising faculty member. When appropriate, faculty members from other universities may be appointed.

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Written Research Proposal

During the semester prior to the semester in which the honors project is to be completed, the student must submit a written research proposal to the members of the honors committee at least two weeks before a scheduled meeting. At this meeting, the honors committee must assess the practicality of the proposal and the candidate’s ability to do the work. Approval of the proposal by the honors committee is required before acceptance into the honors program and before initiation of the honors research (preliminary work only may be completed prior to the submission of the proposal). A copy of the approved proposal signed by all members of the committee, an unofficial transcript or copy of the DegreeWorks, and a completed Honors Program Application Form, available from the advising office (Science 4, Room 175), must be filed with the advising office no later than the end of the semester prior to receiving honors.

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Academic Credit for Honors Work

Honors work per se carries no academic credit. Students doing honors thesis work should register for four credits of PSYC 499, either as two credits each semester or four credits in the semester the degree award is expected. A student who drops out of the honors program, or who fails to meet the thesis deadlines, still receives a grade for his or her research activities, but would receive a Pass/Fail grade for PSYC 397 rather than a letter grade for PSYC 499.

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Honors Thesis

A well-edited draft of the honors thesis must be given to the members of the honors committee at least two weeks before the defense, which must take place before the examination period of the semester in which the student wishes to receive honors. An honors thesis should follow the format of a scientific paper. The thesis should include background information and the rationale for the proposed work, a detailed description of the methods and results, and a discussion of the results in the context of the relevant scientific literature.

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Defense of the Thesis

A defense of the honors thesis is conducted in the presence of the committee and any other interested parties. The student is responsible for notifying the director of the time and place of the defense. The defense consists of a brief (15 to 20 minute) presentation of the research, followed by questions from the committee.

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Procedures for Final Certification

Determination of the student’s receipt of the distinguished independent work in integrative neuroscience designation resides solely with the student’s honors committee, assuming the student has met all the requirements described above. Such certification must be conveyed to the advising office (Science 4, Room 175) by the supervising faculty member so that timely notification of the designation may be transmitted to the dean’s office and the registrar’s office. A copy of the final honors thesis, signed by all members of the honors committee, must be filed with the advising office to certify completion of the honors program.