Core Faculty: Rae Silver (Chair), Kara Pham (Departmental Representative), Peter Balsam, Elizabeth Bauer, Maria de la Paz Fernandez, John Glendinning, Russell Romeo, Alex White

The Barnard Neuroscience and Behavior (NSB) Department, founded in July 2019, offers a “new curriculum” to all students who entered in Fall 2019 and thereafter. Students who entered in Fall 2018 had options that were determined individually by the courses they have taken and their interests. Students who entered in Fall 2017 or earlier follow the “old curriculum” established under the rubric of the Neuroscience Program.


The New Curriculum

All NSB majors must take a few courses that provide foundational knowledge and laboratory training. For other courses, NSB majors have multiple options. Reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of our discipline, students can select courses offered in other departments either at Barnard or Columbia. The new NSB curriculum requires the completion of 13 courses (4 introductory courses, 4 core courses, 3 elective courses, a year-long research seminar counting as 2 courses) and a senior thesis.

Four Introductory Courses
BIOL BC1502Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology
2 introductory courses (1 lect, 1 lect+lab) from any cognate discipline (Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Physics, or Psychology)
Four Core Courses
NSBV BC2002Statistics and Experimental Design
NSBV BC2001Laboratory in Neuroscience
Senior Research Seminar
NSBV BC3593Senior Research Seminar: Neuroscience and Behavior
NSBV BC3594Senior Research Seminar: Neuroscience and Behavior
Three Elective Courses

Students have the option of selecting the elective courses in one suggested track – cognitive/behavioral, computational, or molecular. Approved electives are listed on the department webpage. One elective course must be a 3000-level seminar.


The Old Curriculum

To elect the NSB major under the old curriculum, a student must have earned:

  • an average grade of B- or better in BIOL BC1500+1501 & 1502+1503
  • an average grade of B- or better in CHEM BC2001 & 3230+3328
  • B- or better in PSYC BC1001

NSB majors are required to complete a senior thesis and the courses listed below.

(a) Molecular & Cellular Neuroscience (BIOL BC3362) and Systems & Behavioral Neuroscience (PSYC BC2119) (one with lab)

(b) one statistics course (e.g., Statics, PSYCH BC BC1101)

(c) two elective courses (approved electives are listed on the department webpage)

(d) Senior Research Seminar: Neuroscience and Behavior (NSBV BC3593 and NSBV BC3594)

Majors must choose one of two areas of concentration: Behavioral or Cellular. The Behavioral concentration places greater emphasis on behavioral and systems neuroscience. The Cellular concentration places greater emphasis on cellular and molecular neuroscience. Students who chose the Behavioral concentration must take (a) Psychology of Learning (Lec+lab, PSYCH BC2106 & 2107) and (b) Animal Behavior (BIOL BC2280). Required courses for the Cellular concentration are: (a) Mendelian & Molecular Genetics (BIOL BC2100), (b) Cell Biology (BIOL BC3310), and (c) one lab (see list on the department page).

Fall 2021

NSBV BC2001Laboratory in Neuroscience
NSBV BC3376Psychobiology of Infant Development
NSBV BC3381Visual Neuroscience: From the Eyeball to the Mind's Eye
NSBV BC3387Topics in Neuroethics
NSBV BC3593Senior Research Seminar: Neuroscience and Behavior

Spring 2021

Semester-long Courses
NSBV BC2001Laboratory in Neuroscience
NSBV BC3405The Neuroscience of Trauma: Theory, Research and Treatment
NSBV BC3594Senior Research Seminar: Neuroscience and Behavior
Intense Courses - Spring A
Intense Courses - Spring B
NSBV BC3398Psychobiology of Sleep

Summer 2021

Intense Courses - Summer A
NSBV BC2154Hormones and Behavior
NSBV BC3392Psychobiology of Stress

Past Courses

(Courses not offered in 2020-2021 academic year)
NSBV BC3367Transformative Landmarks in Neuroscience
NSBV BC3383Neuropharmacology and Behavior
NSBV BC3394Neurobiology of Social Behaviors