May 10 2010
Interested in Neuroscience? Join the program today by logging on to your My Charleston page and declaring a Minor using the Program of Study Management tool.
What is Neuroscience?
Neuroscience is the study of the nervous system and its role in organisms. These roles include basic functions such as how organisms obtain information about the environment (sensory systems) and act on this information (motor systems and behavior). However, the nervous system is also involved in more complex phenomenon such as speech, emotions, thought, and decision making. Neuroscientists employ a vast array of techniques to better understand nervous system function, using animal models (both vertebrates and invertebrates) to identify basic principles that are conserved from the most simple organisms to humans.
In addition to basic neural function, Neuroscience is also concerned with how the nervous system is altered through disease (such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s), damage (such as spinal cord injury and brain trauma), or self-administration (drugs and alcohol). Neuroscientists are especially interested in how to repair, reverse, or prevent unwanted alterations to the nervous system.
The wide scope of neuroscience research encompasses multiple levels of biological organization (molecular, cellular, and systems) and many scientific disciplines including biology, psychology and physics as well as chemistry, computer science, engineering, anthropology, hearing and speech sciences, kinesiology, and philosophy.
The Neuroscience Minor
The Interdisciplinary Minor in Neuroscience is intended to give highly motivated students an opportunity to pursue an academic program in neuroscience. The Minor reflects the interdisciplinary nature of neuroscience as the curriculum includes courses from Biology and Psychology as well as Physics, Computer Science, Chemistry, Discovery Informatics, Physiology, and Anthropology. The design of the Minor encourages students to consider neuroscience questions from different perspectives. Interactions between students, as well as faculty, from different departments foster and enrich the experience of those pursuing the Minor and emulates the field of neuroscience.
Students pursuing the Minor are required to take courses that provide a basic neuroscience background (molecular, cellular, and systems) as well as courses that broaden the students’ knowledge in neuroscience-related fields. Minors are also required to complete a Bachelor’s Essay in Neuroscience based on a year-long neuroscience research project conducted in faculty labs at either the College of Charleston or the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). In their senior year, students are required to take the capstone Seminar in Neuroscience course offered in the Spring semester.
At the completion of the Minor, students will have gained:
- an understanding of molecular, cellular, and systems neuroscience.
- an appreciation for the multidisciplinary and comparative nature of the field of neuroscience.
- experience conducting neuroscience research.
- professional communication skills (in both verbal and written form) for presenting scientific data.