Have you ever wondered what makes people act the way they do?

In neuroscience and behavior you'll use a blend of social, natural, mathematical and life sciences to address the intriguing and difficult issues related to behavior and experience. This interdisciplinary program combines aspects of psychology and biology to dig deeper into the biological bases of behavior, conscious experience and the relationship between physical and mental health.

Our students go on to rewarding careers in a variety of research and clinical settings — and, with guidance from our expert faculty, many prepare for advanced work in biology, psychology, or for medical, dental or veterinary school.
Program Requirements

9 Core Courses:

  • BIOL 113 General Biology
  • PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychological Science
  • CHEM 111 Introductory Chemistry: Inorganic
  • or CHEM 113 Principles of Chemistry
  • MATH 118 Introductory Statistics
  • or MATH 227 Biostatistical Design and Analysis
    or MATH 229 Regression Methods
  • PSYC 201 Biological Psychology
  • PSYC 203 Research Methods in Psychology
  • PHIL 237 Philosophy of Mind*
  • NB347 Seminar in Neuroscience and Behavior

*The pre-requisite for PHIL 237 is waived for Neuroscience and Behavior majors.

Any 1 course from the Psychology Department's Basic Process area:

  • PSYC 243 Cognitive Psychology
  • PSYC 244 Drugs and Behavior
  • PSYC 245 Learning and Conditioning
  • PSYC 247 Perception

Majors select one of two concentrations to add to the core:

(A) Neurobiology Track

  • CHEM 112 Introductory Chemistry: Organic
  • or CHEM 224 Organic Chemistry I
  • BIOL 225 Cell Biology
  • BIOL 334 Neurobiology
  • BIOL 337 Molecular Biology
  • An additional 200-level or higher biology course.

(B) Cognitive and Behavioral Track

  • BIOL 342 Topics in Behavioral Biology
  • PSYC 301 Research in Biopsychology
  • or PSYC 303 Research in Cognitive Processes
  • A 200-level or higher biology course
  • Two additional courses from the neuroscience list. Courses cannot double-count for both the core sequence and Neuroscience list.

Neuroscience List

  • PSYC 231 Abnormal Psychology
  • PSYC 232 Health Psychology
  • PSYC 243 Cognitive Psychology
  • PSYC 244 Drugs and Behavior
  • PSYC 245 Learning and Conditioning
  • PSYC 247 Perception
  • PSYC 301 Research in Biopsychology
  • PSYC 303 Research in Cognitive Processes
  • MATH 227 Biostatistical Design and Analysis
  • MATH 229 Regression Methods
  • CS 112 Introduction to Programming
  • IT 225 Health Informatics
  • BIOL 222 Animal Physiology
  • BIOL 225 Cell Biology
  • BIOL 231 Anatomy and Physiology I
  • BIOL 246 Fundamentals of Exercise and Health
  • BIOL 334 Neurobiology
  • BIOL 335 Developmental Biology
  • BIOL 336 Genetics
  • CHEM 112 Introductory Chemistry: Organic
  • or CHEM 224 Organic Chemistry I
  • CHEM 223 Introduction to Biochemistry
  • NUTR 111 Fundamentals of Nutrition Science
  • or NUTR 112 Introduction to Nutrition Science
  • PHIL 136 Philosophy of Human Nature
  • PHIL 238 Ways of Knowing
  • SOCI 241 Health, Illness, and Society

Independent Learning in Neuroscience and Behavior

Neuroscience and Behavior majors have three options for completing the eight-credit Independent Learning degree requirement. They should make arrangements for any of these options with their advisor before the end of the Junior year. First, they can do research projects: two semesters of PSYC 350 Independent Study, two semesters of BIOL 350 Independent Laboratory Research, or one semester of each. Second, they can do internships: two semesters of PSYC 380 Fieldwork in a Psychological Setting, or two semesters of BIOL 370 Internship. Third, they can seek departmental approval to do a research project and a thesis: one semester of PSYC 350 or PSYC 380 followed by either PSYC 355 Thesis or PSYC 381 Writing a Psychological Thesis, or one semester of BIOL 350 or BIOL 370 followed by BIOL 355 Thesis. Note that although a thesis can be proposed after the first semester of PSYC 380, students must still complete the second semester of that course (which can be done concurrently with PSYC 355 or PSYC 381) to earn credit for it.

Customize Your Program

Neuroscience and Behavior majors take a required group of core courses and then select one of two tracks, either Neurobiology or Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience. Students may also combine their study in neuroscience and behavior with other disciplines through the selection of dual majors or complementary minors.

You'll work closely with a faculty advisor to tailor your program of study to your interests and career goals. Students planning to attend medical, dental, or veterinary school should work with the health professions advisor as early as possible to ensure you select the right courses to meet entrance requirements right from the start. 

Internships and Research

Neuroscience and Behavior majors have exciting opportunities for direct collaboration with faculty and mentoring in research, internships, or both.

    Bruce Gray
    • D. Bruce Gray
    • Associate Professor, Biology
    • Phone: 617-521-2663
    • Office: S256
    Rachel Galli
    • Rachel Galli
    • Associate Professor of Psychology and Co-Coordinator of the Neuroscience and Behavior Major
    • Phone: 617-521-2607
    • Office: S171
    Amanda Carey
    • Amanda Carey
    • Assistant Professor
    • Phone: 617-521-2619
    • Office: S170
How to Apply
So you know that Simmons is a great place to be, you've learned about our programs, maybe even come for a visit...now you're ready to apply! Let's get started.