New academic minor in neuroscience begins in fall

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - Lycoming College will introduce a new interdisciplinary minor in neuroscience beginning in fall 2013.

The neuroscience minor is designed for students in any major who are interested in theory and research on the mind, brain and nervous system. Two required courses, Neurobiology and Biological Psychology, provide students with an interdisciplinary approach to the fundamental structure and function of the brain that includes laboratory experiences across the breadth of current neuroscience research.

The two core courses train students to access, read and critically analyze primary neuroscience literature, develop hypotheses, design and carry out experiments, analyze data, present the results and engage in discussion of ethical issues related to neuroscience research.

The four elective courses allow students to explore interdisciplinary developments in biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, philosophy, physics, psychology and sociology that enrich and extend the understanding of the brain and of human thought and behavior.

"This was spurred by a confluence of faculty working together in similar areas," said Dr. Mary Morrison, assistant professor of biology. "The minor brings together faculty from psychology, biology, philosophy and sociology. This is the ultimate embrace of the liberal arts ideal."

Dr. Rebecca Gilbertson, assistant professor of psychology, stressed that this interdisciplinary approach is unique in that the philosophy department is included.

"We're creating the interface to encourage the students," Gilbertson said. "We're rewarding students by giving them a more concrete experience."

Morrison said that graduates with a minor in neuroscience will be better prepared for graduate and medical school, teaching, as well as conducting neuroscience, clinical psychology and behavioral research.

Lycoming College is a four-year, residential liberal arts and sciences school dedicated to the undergraduate education of 1,400 students. Its rigorous academic program, vibrant residential community and supportive faculty foster successful student outcomes. Lycoming offers 36 academic majors and is recognized as a Tier 1 institution by U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1812 and located near the banks of the Susquehanna River in Williamsport, Pa., Lycoming is one of the 50 oldest colleges in the nation. For more information, visit www.lycoming.edu.