• Semester Offered: Fall
  • Credits: 3
  • Course URL: Canvas


General Biology 119:115-116

Knowledge of the basic principles of chemistry and physics is important to success in this course. This 200 level course is aimed at sophomores and juniors who plan on majoring in Cell Biology and Neuroscience. However, students who take this as their first biology course at Rutgers often struggle. This includes many transfer students plus some freshmen and sophomores with AP credit for General Biology.

Course Description

This course is an intensive and demanding survey of neurobiology, intended for students who plan to major in CBN. It is the prerequisite for upper-level undergraduate courses in neurobiology and is required for students majoring in Cell Biology & Neuroscience.

Other students with a strong background in the Biological Sciences may register for this course but are advised to take Essentials of Cell Biology & Neuroscience (01:146:295) instead. This course may be used to fulfill the elective requirements of the Biological Sciences major.

The primary focus of this course is on the mammalian nervous system. The first module introduces the basics of nerve cells and nervous systems. It covers electrical and chemical properties of nerve cells and applies physics and chemistry principles to explain the molecular basis of signal generation within and between nerve cells.

The second module surveys the neural systems, with an emphasis on sensory processing and motor control. Molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying sensory detection, transduction, transmission, and processing will be covered for hearing, vision, touch, pain, smell, taste and motor control.

The third module includes a brief introduction to neuroembryology, neural circuitry formation/pruning/maintenance, and higher cognitive processes such as language, emotions, addiction, and sleep/wake regulation. This module emphasizes molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying nervous system development and higher brain functions.

Course Syllabus 

Fall 2024 Syllabus

Course Satisfies Departmental Learning Goal(s)


1. Master factual and conceptual knowledge in cell biology and neuroscience that will provide a solid foundation for success in advanced training and professional careers.

2. Develop an ability to summarize, integrate and organize information.

3. Use scientific reasoning to evaluate the potential for current research and new discoveries to improve our understanding of cell biology and neuroscience and its relevance to human health and to our society.

Course URL

The course makes use of Canvas, which is a password protected site that is used to post lecture notes, grades and supplementary information.

Course Format

In-person lectures (twice per week) and optional weekly Zoom Q&A sessions. See course syllabus for lecture and Zoom review session time.

Exams, Assignments, and Grading Policy

80% of the final grade is based on the average of the three non-cumulative module examinations. Exams 1 and 2 are given during regular class periods. Exam 3 is given during the final exam period per Rutgers final exam schedule. All exams will be given online via Canvas in class (in-person).

20% of the final grade is based on scheduled weekly online quizzes that test your knowledge in preparation for the exam.

Course Materials

Optional recommended textbook for this course: Neuroscience 7th edition; Purves et al, Sinauer Press

ISBN: 9780197616246

Additional course materials, including study guides and practices questions, are available in course Canvas site.

Course Closed?

If this course is closed, please use the appropriate form to add your name to the wait list at Wait List Sign Up. If you have any questions, please contact the Division of Life Science - Office of Undergraduate Instruction at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , access the OUGI Virtual Front Desk or visit the undergraduate instruction office at Nelson Labs B112, Busch Campus.


Dr. Shu Chan Hsu
D410 Nelson Labs
Busch Campus
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

** All information is subject to change at the discretion of the course coordinator.