Neuroscience and Behavior

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.

Student looking into a microscope in a lab

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

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.

Majors must complete nine core courses plus five track-specific courses spread throughout their four years.

9 Core Courses

BIOL 113 General Biology 4
OR
BIOL 115 Advanced General Biology 4
 
PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychological Science 4
 
CHEM 111 Introduction to Chemistry: Inorganic 4
OR
CHEM 113 Principles of Chemistry 4
OR
CHEM 115 Advanced General Chemistry 4
 
MATH 118 Introductory Statistics 4
OR
MATH 227 Intermediate Statistics: Design & Analysis 4
OR
MATH 229 Regression Models 4
 
PSYC 201 Biological Psychology 4
PSYC 203 Research Methods in Psychology 4
One additional 200-level or higher Biology course
PHIL 237 Philosophy of Mind 4
NB 347 Seminar in Neuroscience 4

MATH 227, MATH 229: if a student places out of MATH 118

CHEM 111, CHEM 113, CHEM 115: see note**

PHIL 237: PHIL prerequisite waived for Neuroscience and Behavior majors

NB 347: Capstone

5 Courses for the Neurobiology track:

CHEM 112 Introduction to Chemistry: Organic 4
OR
CHEM 224 Organic Chemistry I 4
 
BIOL 225 Cell Biology 4
BIOL 334 Neurobiology 4
BIOL 337 Molecular Biology 4
 
BIOL 350 Independent Laboratory Research 4
OR
BIOL 370 Internship 0

BIOL 370: 4 credits

BIOL 334, BIOL 337: Please note these courses are offered every other year. Take care to plan course sequence accordingly.

CHEM 112, CHEM 224: see note**

5 Courses for the Cognitive Behavioral track:

BIOL 342 Behavioral Biology 4

One Psychology course chosen from the Basic Processes

PSYC 243 Cognitive Psychology 4
PSYC 244 Drugs and Behavior 4
PSYC 245 Learning and Conditioning 4
PSYC 247 Sensation and Perception 4

One Upper Level Research course

PSYC 301 Research in Biopsychology 4
PSYC 303 Research in Cognitive Processes 4
PSYC 304 Research in Personality 4

Two additional courses from the Neuroscience List (see below).

Courses cannot double-count for both this requirement and other core/track requirements.

Neuroscience List

PSYC 231 Abnormal Psychology 4
PSYC 232 Health Psychology 4
PSYC 243 Cognitive Psychology 4
PSYC 244 Drugs and Behavior 4
PSYC 245 Learning and Conditioning 4
PSYC 247 Sensation and Perception 4
PSYC 301 Research in Biopsychology 4
PSYC 303 Research in Cognitive Processes 4
MATH 227 Intermediate Statistics: Design & Analysis 4
MATH 229 Regression Models 4
CS 112 Introduction to Computer Science 4
IT 225 Health Informatics 4
BIOL 222 Animal Physiology 4
BIOL 225 Cell Biology 4
BIOL 231 Anatomy and Physiology I 4
BIOL 246 Foundations of Exercise and Health 4
BIOL 334 Neurobiology 4
BIOL 335 Developmental Biology 4
BIOL 336 Genetics 4
 
CHEM 112 Introduction to Chemistry: Organic 4
OR
CHEM 224 Organic Chemistry I 4
 
CHEM 223 Introduction to Biochemistry 4
CHEM 225 Organic Chemistry II 4
 
NUTR 111 Fundamentals of Nutrition Science 4
OR
NUTR 112 Introduction to Nutrition Science 4
 
PHIL 136 Philosophy of Human Nature 4
SOCI 241 Health, Illness & Society 4

Independent Learning in Neuroscience and Behavior

Independent learning experiences enrich a student’s education in Neuroscience & Behavior and can distinguish a student’s qualifications when applying for employment and admission to graduate school. Students in the Neurobiology track are required to complete at least one semester of BIOL 350 Independent Laboratory Research or BIOL 370 Internship. However, Neuroscience & Behavior majors in both tracks are strongly encouraged to speak with their advisors about integrating one or more of the following into their plan of study:

BIOL 350 Independent Laboratory Research 4
BIOL 370 Internship 0
BIOL 355 Thesis 4
PSYC 350 Independent Study 4
PSYC 380 Fieldwork in a Psychological Setting 0
PSYC 355 Thesis 8
PSYC 381 Thesis in Psychology 4

BIOL 350, BIOL 370: the two-semester 8-credit sequence

PSYC 380: a two-semester 8-credit course. Must apply in spring before senior year.

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.

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.

Offered As
  • Major
School/Department
Apply NowVisitRequest Info

Our Faculty

Rachel Galli photo

Rachel Galli

  • Associate Professor of Psychology and Co-Coordinator of the Neuroscience and Behavior Major