FSU - Biological Science

Department of Biological Science

at Florida State University

Track in Physiology and Neuroscience

Physiology is the study of functional processes, such as gas exchange, water and ion balance, and muscle contraction, at all levels of biological organization from the cellular/molecular to tissues and organs. Physiologists typically utilize physical-chemical tools and techniques to probe these functional processes. Neuroscience is the study of the physiology, chemistry, and structure of excitable cells such as neurons, muscle cells, and receptor cells. Neuroscientists investigate a wide array of processes, including membrane biochemistry and membrane biophysics, neuroendocrine regulation of physiological processes, the detection of external stimuli by receptor cells, the coding of information as electrical events in the nervous system, the analysis and integration of information by neural circuits and the neuronal basis of behavioral processes.

Students following this academic track often pursue careers in medicine or research and expect to have competitive entry into professional or graduate schools; such as a veterinarian, physician, nurse, professor, scientific researcher, dentist, pharmacist, or other fields that explore the workings of the body and brain.

Elective Courses:
  • PCB 3134 Cell Structure and Function (3)
  • PCB 4843 Fundamentals of Neuroscience (3)
  • PCB 3743 Vertebrate Physiology (3)
  • PCB 4701 Human Physiology (3)
  • PCB 4024 Molecular Biology (3)
  • ZOO 4513 Animal Behavior (4)
  • PCB 4024L Molecular Biology Lab (1)

Recommended Electives outside the department (these do not count towards the Biological Science degree)
  • BCH 4053 General Biochemistry I (3)
  • EXP 3203L Animal Sensory Processes Lab (1)
  • BCH 4053L General Biochemistry Lab (3)
  • EXP 3422 Conditioning and Learning (3)
  • BCH 4054 General Biochemistry II (3)
  • EXP 3422 Conditioning and Learning Lab (1)
  • EXP 3202 Sensation and Perception (3)
  • PSB 2000 Introduction to Brain and Behavior
  • EXP 3202L Sensation and Perception Lab (1)
  • EXP 3203 Animal Sensory Processes (3)
  • PSB 4240 Biological Basis of Brain Dysfunction (3)
  • PSB 3004 Physiological Psychology (3) & Lab (1)

Opportunities for Research & Hands-on Experience:

Students are strongly encouraged to gain experience in research through sponsoring faculty and their labs. You can become involved in research in these labs and at local research facilities in three ways:

  • Directed Individual Study (BSC 4900) Research or other individual study for credit:
    Available to students with a GPA of 3.0 in courses that apply to the major. Search faculty pages here for appropriate mentors
  • Honors in the Major (BSC 4970):
    A two-semester independent research experience for qualified students. Available to students with a GPA of 3.2
  • Volunteering or internships:
    Volunteering is a great way to find out if a topic interests you and gain experience even if you can't make a semester-long commitment (though some students do volunteer long-term). Internships provide experience outside of academic labs. For a list of volunteer and internship opportunities read the Department of Biological Sciences Undergraduate Research Opportunities page


We have a wide range of facilities to enhance your studies and research experience. Physiologists and neuroscientists have specialized equipment in their laboratories and have access to a variety of shared research facilities including the scanning and transmission electron microscope laboratory, the Analytical Biochemistry Lab, the Genomics Sequencing Core, the Monoclonal Antibody facility, and the Psychobiology Microcomputer facility. The staff of the Laboratory Animal Resources (LAR) maintains vertebrate animals. Some faculty members also conduct research at the FSU Marine Laboratory, located on the Gulf of Mexico


Contact: For details, see the Advising Office or find an appropriate faculty member.
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