The Self-Advisor for the Neuroscience Major

We at the University of Scranton provide you with the opportunity to build a relationship with your academic advisor for the purpose of gaining assistance in planning your educational career, in learning the skills needed for academic success, and learning how to access the variety of resources and services available at the University of Scranton. You are assigned a faculty advisor beginning your sophomore year; the faculty advisors can help, encourage, and guide you to define and develop realistic goals and educational/career plans. If you find it necessary to change your academic advisor, follow the instructions outlined below.

However, as a student it is important that you take charge of your own education. Remember, one of our goals here at the University is to give you the skills and motivation to take charge of your educational, professional, and personal development.  Advising is an educational process that, by intention and design, facilitates your understanding of the purpose and meaning of higher education, and fosters your intellectual and personal development towards academic success and lifelong learning.
Remember that advisors give "advice", which you may or may not choose to follow. Advisors will not and cannot force you to do anything.

A valuable resource for helping you is the University's Advising Website.

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Specific information for Neuroscience Freshmen

As freshmen, your advising will be handled by the CAS Advising Center. Most of the useful information will come from them, as well as from your Freshman Seminar class in the Fall semester. However, feel free to study this document so that you can plan your four-year undergraduate career ahead of time.

Try to make sure you get your Biology 141 and 142 (and their corresponding laboratories) and Neur 110 (fall semester) and Neur 111 (spring semester) completed within your first year of study.

At the end of your first year you will receive a survey where you can give your top three choices for your advisor from the Neuroscience faculty. Most get their first choice and this faculty person will advisce you for the remaining time at Scranton.

Specific notes on different areas of your CAPP report

A. Areas required of all majors on campus

 1. Social/Behavioral Science (3 credits, 1 course)

Register for these courses that have a (S) designation. Neuroscience majors cannot use Psychology courses to fill this area since it is part of your Major. You need to take other (S) designated courses. Typical courses include Soc 110 or CJ110, . SJLA students take INTD 110J and one other course approved for Social/Behavioral Science.

2. Humanities (12 credits, 4 courses)

Register for these courses that have a (C_). These courses are CA (Art, Music, Theater), CF (Foreign Language), CH (History), or CL (Literature) . You must register for six credits (2 courses) in any one of the CF, CH or CL areas. You should get the six additional credits (2 more courses) from any of the other remaining areas, but you cannot take more than three from Art / Music / Theatre area (CA)

For example:

  • if you take three CL (or 3 CF or 3 CA) courses, only two of these count towards your Humanities credits. Your third one will be unused or will count towards your free electives.
  • you cannot take two CA courses and have both of them count towards your Humanities
  • some Theater courses count as CA and some count as CL. If you really want to take two theater courses, make sure one of them is CL (such as THTR 110 or 211).
  • if you are taking a foreign language minor or double major, some of these courses can count towards the Humanities requirements. Some foreign language courses are designated CF, and some are CL. So if you take some foreign language courses for your minor that are CF and others that are CL, then technically, you can fulfill all your Humanities requirements with language courses. Any remaining language courses that you take to compete your major/minor count as Free Electives.

3. Theology/Philosophy (15 credits, 5 courses)

There are four required courses: T/RS 121 & 122 (Theology I and II), PHIL 120 (Intro to Philosophy), and PHIL 210 (Ethics). The fifth course should be selected among the courses that have a (P) designation (it could either be a Philosophy or a Theology course). Make sure that the course that you select has a (P) designation in front of it.

4. Cultural Diversity and Writing Intensive Courses (2 courses each)

These courses have a (D) or (W/EPW) designation. You do NOT have to take separate courses to fulfill these requirements - courses may satisfy other program requirements. For example, Neur 330 (Neuroscience Research Methods) fulfills both your Neuroscience major requirement and your Writing Intensive requirement. Select biology, humanities, social/behavioral, or free elective courses that have either a (D) or (W/EPW) designation to fulfill these requirements

Note that you need to make sure you have completed your writing composition course by end of fall sophomore semester to meet requirement of NEUR330. This means you need to take Writing Composition class or if in SJLA need to take PHIL217J The Trivium in Fall of sophomore semester. NEUR330 is a writing intensive course and you need the first semester of writing composition completed before taking the course.

5 . Free electives (12 credits, 4 courses)

You can use these to take ANY academic course that you want. These courses CAN count towards your minor as well, but they CANNOT count towards your major. You cannot take PHED activity courses (see #7 below), but the PHED academic courses like PHED 160 (Coaching) or PHED 202 ( Sports Administration) can count toward the free electives.

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B. Areas required of neuroscience majors

 1. The Neuroscience Major (39 credits)

  • The General Biology I and II courses (BIOL 141, 141L, 142, and 142L) take up 9 of these credits.  Note that EP Digital and Public Speaking requirements are fulfilled by taking BIOL 141L and 142L.
  • The following courses are required: NEUR110, NEUR111 (usually taken in first year), Neur 231 &231L, Neur 330, Neur 358, and Neur493
  • You will need to complete FOUR Neuroscience elective courses counting to 13 credits; at least ONE should have a BIOL/NEUR prefix, ONE should have a PSYC prefix, and the other two could be any BIO/NEUR/PSYC
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2. Cognates (31 credits)

What is a cognate, anyway? The word derives from "co" (meaning "together") and "gnatus" (or "natus", meaning "birth"). A cognate is a course that is intellectually related to (or "born with") your discipline due to common skill sets or thought processes. For the biological sciences, the cognates are mathematics, physics, and chemistry.

Many of these cognates are required for post-graduate study. The Medical College Admissions Tests (MCATs) include questions on all cognate areas, and medical / graduate schools often require that you have these cognate credits prior to admission. Therefore, these cognate requirements serve a practical purpose as well.

Occasionally, students will transfer cognate credits from other institutions (such as students who study abroad, or students who take summer classes at local universities). When these courses transfer, they may end up a credit short (for example, if an Organic Chem lab is only worth 1 credit at the home institution, and our Chem 233L is 1.5 credits). So you will be short 0.5 credits in your cognate. If this happens, you must obtain a waiver from the department chair, allowing you to waive the 0.5 or 1 credit for graduation.

For the Neuroscience major, the following cognates are required:

a. Chemistry:

  • General and Analytical Chemistry I and II, and the labs (CHEM 112, 112L, 113, and 113L; 9 credits total)

Note: Chem 112/113 - that is, the courses actually run over an entire year. Therefore, when you select a section for the Fall semester (for 112), you are automatically registered for the same section in the subsequent Spring semester. So if you do NOT plan to take the second course in the sequence in that subsequent semester (i.e. 113), you must drop the course from your course schedule.
Unless you have a very good reason for doing so (see the Chemistry Department Chair), you will not be allowed to switch sections from one semester to another.

b. Math: MATH 114 (Calculus, 4 credits) is required. Prerequisite for MATH114 is MATH 103 (4 credits) or Math Placement PT score 0f 14 or higher.

The rules for earning credits for the mathematics cognate are a bit complicated.

  • you MUST have at least 3 academic credits (take an actual course) in MATH 114 or higher
  • you may waive courses by taking placement exams. We offer placement exams for MATH 103 (and, if you are very advanced, MATH 114). Waivers do not earn you academic credit. They just allow you to take higher courses in which the waived course was a prerequisite.
  • you CANNOT transfer credit for MATH 103 from other institutions or from AP. You can only use this to waive prerequisites
  • you CAN transfer credit for MATH 114 from other institutions

So, there are a number of possible scenarios:

i. You do not have any math credit when you start at the University . If this is the case, take MATH 103, then MATH 114. This fulfills your cognate requirements.

ii. You have MATH 103 advanced placement but no MATH 114. In this case, you fulfill the MATH 103 prerequisite and can take MATH 114. You only earn actual course credit for MATH 114 to fulfill your cognate requirements.

iii. if you take and pass the advanced placement test for Math 114, you are still required to take any 3 or 4 credit mathematics course at the level of Math 114 and above

iv. You have MATH 114 credit (most likely through another school). In this case, you can transfer the CREDITS for MATH 114 requirement, and this filfills the mathematics requirement for the major

c. Electives 18 credits from CHEM, COMP. SCI., MATH, OR PHYS. These courses must be courses that a major in that field would be take.

Electives can be used to gain classroom experience in areas of career interest. For those interested in medical careers usually CHEM 231 Organic Chemistry I & CHEM231L, CHEM232 Organic Chemistry II & CHEM232L, PHYS120 & PHYS120L, PHYS121 & PHYS121L along with CHEM350 BIochemistry I & CHEM351 Biolchemistry II are taken.

If interested in combining Math with your Neuroscience major you might take 2-3 MATH courses after MATH114. Similar for CHEM, PHYS, or COMP.SCI.


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Errors on your CAPP report:

If there are any errors in your CAPP report, or if you need to reallocate courses on your CAPP:

  • Print out a copy of your most current CAPP (you can use WebCAPP to do this) and see your academic advisor.
  • If the advisor agrees that corrections must made, he or she will circle the error, write in the correction, sign the CAPP form and forward a copy to the CAS Dean’s Office.
  • The CAS Dean’s Office staff will review the CAPP and if there is an error, the Registrar’s staff will be asked to make the correction.
  • After the correction has been made in the Registrar’s Office, the Registrar will notify the CAS Dean’s office that the correction has been made.
  • At that point, the CAS Dean’s Office staff will send a corrected copy of the CAPP to the CAS student and his or her faculty advisor. The student can also check the UIS Web CAPP to see if the error has been corrected.

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Changing your academic advisor

If you find it necessary to change your academic advisor, it is possible to do so. However, we recommend that you carefully consider your decision. Remember that our faculty are often carrying full advising loads, and adding advisees to one faculty member cuts down the amount of time that the faculty member can devote to other advisees. So please make sure that your decision to switch advisors benefits both parties.

Here is the procedure:

  • the student should meet with the faculty member that is being requested as an advisor and find out if the faculty member is willing or able to take the student on as an advisee.
  • if the faculty member is willing and able to take the student on as an advisee, the faculty member needs to use department letterhead to write a note to the CAS Associate Dean requesting the change. The student’s “old” advisor’s name should be included along with the student’s Royal ID number.
  • if the request is approved by the CAS Dean’s Office, the change of advisors will be made by the Registrar and the Registrar will notify the “old” advisor to have the advising file sent to the “new” advisor. The "new" advisor will also have access to the student's records through UIS, and will also have the student's registration PINs, etc.
  • once you have done so, please be a "good advisee" by scheduling meetings with your new advisor in a timely fashion (and with ample time before registration deadlines), keeping your appointments, keeping on top of your academic record, knowing the deadlines, etc.

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