Behavioral Neuroscience Major

Behavioral neuroscience sits at the intersection of psychology and biology and studies the biological mechanisms of how the brain senses and perceives the environment, stores and retrieves memories, generates emotions, controls behavior, and produces consciousness. The major in behavioral neuroscience is excellent preparation for advanced degrees and careers in the health professions; behavioral, cognitive or affective neuroscience; experimental psychology; clinical neuropsychology; pharmacology and related areas.

The interdisciplinary major in Behavioral Neuroscience has 5 main learning objectives:

  1. To provide foundational knowledge in Behavioral Neuroscience and related fields (e.g., Psychology, Biology, and Chemistry).
    This is accomplished with introductory course work in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, and complementary foundational coursework in the Departments of Biology and Chemistry and Biochemistry.
  2. To build skills in statistical analysis and research methods required to conduct and understand behavioral neuroscience research.
    All students will complete courses in Statistics and Research Methods, as well as a number of lab courses, to develop these skills. In advanced courses, students will read and analyze primary research articles and engage in scientific writing. Students may also participate in faculty-led or independent research projects.
  3. To develop effective communication skills orally and in writing.
    Students will write lab and research reports in required courses across disciplines, and will refine oral and written communication in advanced courses, seminars, and/or research experiences.
  4. To produce ethically responsible students.
    Students will complete ethical training as part of Research Methods and Supervised Research covering topics essential to understand responsible research conduct and professionalism.
  5. To develop students’ abilities to synthesize knowledge by thinking critically and independently.
    Students will use the foundational knowledge acquired in introductory courses to make connections across fields, as they critically analyze and present research in advanced courses, seminars, and/or research experiences.

For a 63-credit major in Behavioral Neuroscience, students complete the following:

BIOL 1171
General Biology I
and General Biology I Lab
BIOL 1172
General Biology II
and General Biology II Lab
BIOL 2262Human Physiology4
or BIOL 1107 Human Anatomy and Physiology I
or BIOL 3315 Anatomy: Form and Function
CHEM 1171
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I Lab
CHEM 1172
General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry II Lab
CHEM 2271
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry I Lab
CHEM 2272
Organic Chemistry II
and Organic Chemistry II Lab
PSYC 1010General Psychology3
PSYC 1610Behavioral Neuroscience3
PSYC 2810Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences4
PSYC 2820Research Methods in Psychology4
Select six elective courses in biology and psychology from the following: 118
Human Anatomy and Physiology II
General Biology III
Fundamentals of Neurobiology
Biochemistry I
Biochemistry II
Cell Biology
Developmental Biology
Molecular Biology
Human Neuropsychology
Cognitive Psychology
Learning and Applied Behavior Analysis
Sensation and Perception
Drugs, Brain and Behavior
Special Topics (Shell) (with an emphasis in behavioral neuroscience)
Cognitive Neuroscience
Hormones and Behavior
Pharmacology and Mental Disorders
Supervised Research: Behavioral Neuroscience 2
PSYC 3980Psychology Teaching Practicum3
Independent Research: Behavioral Neuroscience 2
Select one Capstone Experience from the following:3
Senior Seminar: Current Issues in Behavioral Neuroscience
Neuroanatomy and Behavior
Senior Seminar in Neuroscience of Human Memory
Special Topics: Senior Seminar (with an emphasis in behavioral neuroscience)
Total Credits66