University of Portland Bulletin 2018-2019

Neuroscience Minor

Jacqueline Van Hoomissen, biology, advisor

Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary area of study that brings together courses in psychology, biology, and philosophy in seeking to understand how the brain and nervous system acquire, process, and integrate information from the environment, how this information brings about complex behaviors of the organism, and how this impacts our understanding of the nature of the human person.

Learning Outcomes for Neuroscience Minors

  1. The student will be able to describe the basic anatomy and physiology of the nervous system, and application to and limitations in explaining the implications of neuroscience in higher functions such as learning, emotions, sexual behavior, memory, language, mental illness, and conceptions of freedom, consciousness and moral responsibility.
  2. The student will be able to describe neuroscience phenomena at the molecular, cellular, systems and behavioral levels. This may include how external influences such as emotional experience, pre- and post-natal environment, and drug abuse alter the function and development of the nervous system.
  3. The student will be able to critically evaluate the implications of neuroscience for the nature of the human person.


Required prerequisite courses — 6 hours: PSY 101 (General Psychology) and BIO 205 (Foundations of Biology) or BIO 207 (Introductory Cell Biology and Genetics).

  1. Required introductory course — 3 hours: PSY 310 (Behavioral Neuroscience).
  2. Elective courses — 6 hours from the following courses: PSY 315 (Evolutionary Psychology), PSY 330 (Cognition), PSY 340 (Sensation and Perception), PSY 380 (Abnormal Psychology), PSY 430 (Psychology of Language), BIO 305 (Human Anatomy and Physiology 1), BIO 306 (Human Anatomy and Physiology 2), BIO 347 (Animal Behavior).
  3. Required supporting course — 3 hours: PHL 332 (Metaphysics: Philosophy of Mind).
  4. Required summative course — 3 hours: BIO 342 (Neurobiology).

Note: In fulfillment of the minor, students must take at least 12 of the required 15 hours of upper division coursework outside their designated major. Students and advisors should note that only 3 hours can overlap between a major and minor. Typically, psychology majors would take 6 hours of biology electives and biology majors would take 6 hours of psychology electives. All students would take PHL 332.