Skip to this page's content

Home » Undergraduate College » Admission » Psychology » Majors & Minors » Major in Neuroscience and Behavior

Major in Neuroscience and Behavior

Major in Neuroscience and Behavior

Students interested in both biology and psychology may wish to choose the interdisciplinary major in neuroscience and behavior. Neuroscience and behavior draws from the social, natural, mathematical, and life sciences to address intriguing and difficult issues related to behavior and experience. This fast-growing field is yielding exciting new discoveries regarding the biological bases of behavior, conscious experience, and the relationship between physical and mental health. Completion of the major prepares students to work in a variety of research and clinical settings and, with judicious selections of electives, serves as an excellent preparation for advanced work in biology, psychology, or for medical, dental, or veterinary school.

For further information about the program in neuroscience and behavior, contact Professor Rachel Galli, Department of Psychology, or Professor Bruce Gray, Department of Biology. Students planning to attend medical, dental, or veterinary school should contact the health professions advisor as early as possible to be sure to incorporate the courses required for admission to these professional schools.

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.

9 Core Courses:

  • BIOL113 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*
    *PHIL prerequisite waived for Neuroscience majors
  • NB347 Seminar in Neuroscience and Behavior

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

(A) Neurobiology Track

  • CHEM 112 Introductory Chemistry: Organic
    or CHEM 114 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 Analyis
  • 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 114 Organic Chemistry
  • 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

This all-College independent learning requirement (eight semester hours) is usually met in the senior year in either the biology department through BIOL 350 Independent Laboratory Research or BIOL 370 Internship or in the psychology department through PSYC 350 Independent Study in Neuroscience and Behavior or PSYC 380 Fieldwork in a Psychological Setting. Arrangements should be made with the student's Neuroscience and behavior advisor before the end of the junior year.

Suggested Sequence of Neuroscience and Behavior Courses:

First Year

  • PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychological Science
  • BIOL 113 General Biology
  • CHEM 111 Introductory Chemistry: Inorganic
    or CHEM 113 Principles of Chemistry

Sophomore Year

  • MATH 118 Introductory Statistics
  • PSYC 201 Biological Psychology
  • PSYC 203 Research Methods in Psychology
  • Plus required and elective courses for selected track

Junior Year

  • PHIL 237 Philosophy of Mind
  • One course from the basic process category in psychology:
    • PSYC 243 Cognitive Psychology
    • PSYC 244 Drugs and Behavior
    • PSYC 245 Learning and Conditioning
    • PSYC 247 Perception
  • Plus required and elective courses for selected track

Senior Year

  • NB 347 Seminar in Neuroscience and Behavior
  • College Independent Learning requirement