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 July 2017 or earlier follow the “old curriculum” established under the rubric of the Neuroscience Program.
Declaring a NSB Major
To declare a NSB major you should first select one of the NSB faculty members to be your major advisor. Next, you have to fill the form generated by the Barnard College Registrar, which the NSB chair has to sign.
FAQ about the Major and NSB Courses
You should first select one of the NSB faculty members to be your major advisor and then fill out the Major Declaration Form (also available through the Registrar's Office). You will need to indicate the name of your current advisor and have the form signed by the NSB Chair.
Any faculty member in the NSB program can serve as your advisor. You should pick somebody whose area of interest overlaps with yours and/or somebody with whom you feel comfortable. Make sure you confirm that she/he is accepting new advisees at this time. You should realize that selecting an advisor is an important decision, but not a momentous one. You can always change your advisor, and you are welcome to consult with other faculty members.
Several courses in the Departments of Psychology and Biological Science at Columbia can be used to fulfill NSB major requirements. The list of Overlapping CU Courses can be found here.
• Q: How do I sign up for introductory Biology courses? A: There are several introductory courses offered by the Biology Department here at Barnard. Please visit the Department's website for course descriptions and information on signing up for lectures and labs.
• Q: How do I sign up for upper-level Biology courses? A: All upper-level Biology labs are limited to 16 students. When you register for one of these labs, you will automatically be put on the wait-list. Seniors will be taken off the wait-list first, followed by juniors. Please note that if you receive a seat in a lab, you must attend the first lab. If you are absent from this lab meeting, you will be dropped from the course and your seat will be filled by another student.
• Q: I didn't get into my preferred upper-level Biology lab? What do I do now? A: If you do not get into your first choice lab course you may sign-up for a spot on the wait-list. L courses now have a wait-list function as explained on the Registrar website.
This is a question we receive a lot: "I am a sophomore following the new NSB major curriculum. Are PSYC BC1101 Statistics or Columbia’s STAT UN1101 Introduction to Statistics an acceptable swap for NSB Statistics & Research Design in the new curriculum, or is this only applicable for the old curriculum?"
Answer: PSYC BC1101 Statistics or Columbia’s STAT UN1101 Introduction to Statistics or NSB Statistics & Research Design all meet the requirement. NSB Statistics & Research Design course emphasizes experimental design and places less emphasis on statistics than BC1101 or UN1101. NSB Statistics & Research Design is more relevant to thinking about how to understand brain and behavior and is the course introduced in the new NSB curriculum.