Behavioral Neuroscience (Major)

Psychology Department

Pamela O'Brien, Dean, School of Arts, Sciences and Business
Maria Mouratidis, Psy.D., Chair
Sean Coyne, Ph.D.
Natasha Tonge, Ph.D.

Degrees offered



Main Campus

Women's College

The Behavioral Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary Major designed to serve those Women's College students interested in the biological basis of behavior with primary emphasis on brain-behavior relationships. The Program of Study provides a core of Biology, Chemistry, Psychology, and Neuroscience courses. Students explore neurobiology and the neural correlates of behavior, sensation and perception, cognition, animal behavior, genetics, and development grounded in the disciplines of Psychology and Biology. Emphasis is placed on biological and psychological research techniques. In her junior or senior year, the student will integrate the two areas in her practicum, a field experience designed to fit each student's specific interest.

The Behavioral Neuroscience Major prepares the student for masters or doctoral graduate work in the growing field of neuroscience or immediate entry into a career as a research technician. The addition of two semesters of physics provides excellent preparation for medical school, veterinary school, or graduate school. Behavioral Neuroscience is not eligible to be considered as a Double Major or a Minor if taken in conjunction with the Biology Major or Minor. Those students interested in medical or veterinary school are provided with further specialized advising to prepare them for competitive admissions to such programs.

Behavioral Neuroscience Majors are required to earn a minimum of a C grade in all required courses for their major. Due to the need for carefully scripted movement through the prerequisites and laboratory courses, students with an interest in this Program should contact the Department Chair in their first year to facilitate graduation in four years.

Program of Study

Required Courses (Credits)

       BIO-111 Fundamentals of Biology (4)
       BIO-230 Unity and Diversity of Life (4)
       BIO-239 Genetics (4) 
       BIO-341 Vertebrate Anatomy (4) 
       BIO-413 Neurobiology (4)
       PSY-101 Introductory Psychology (4)
       PSY-210 Research Methods I (4)
       PSY-325 Learning and Motivation (4)
       PSY-340 Quantitative Methods (4)
       PSY-212 Cognition (3)
       PSY-220 Introduction to Neuroscience (3)
       PSY-223 Biopsychology (3)
       PSY-323 Sensation and Perception (4)
       PSY-461 Practicum (4) OR
       PSY-463 Independent Research Consisting of a Data Collection Project (3)
       CHM-110 General Chemistry I (4)
       CHM-111 General Chemistry II (4)
       CHM-210 Organic Chemistry I (4)
       MAT-110 Discrete Mathematics (3)
       MAT-215 Basic Statistics (3)
       MAT-243 Linear Algebra (3)
       PHY-101 General Physics (4)

       Students interested in medical school should take Organic Chemistry II, Physics 102, and Calculus I and II.

       It is important that students confer closely with her advisor to facilitate graduation in four years. 
       See BiologyChemistry, and Psychology Departmental sections for course descriptions.

Four-year Plan

Below is a sample Program of Study for the Behavioral Neuroscience Major. Students should select courses with the assistance of a faculty advisor.

Fall   Spring  
First year      
NDMU-100 Perspectives on Education 3 General education/electives 6
PSY-101 Introduction to Psychology 4 BIO-239 Genetics 4
BIO-111 Fund of Biology 4 CHM-111 General Chemistry II 4
CHM-110 General Chemistry I 4 MAT-215 3
[15 credits]   [17 credits]  
Second year      
PSY-210 Research Methods 4 PSY-340 Quantitative Methods 4
BIO-230 Unity & Diversity of Life 4 PSY-325 Learning & Motivation 4
CHM-210 Organic Chemistry I 4 PSY-223 Biopsychology 3
PHL-201 Introduction to Philosophy 3 PHY-101 General Physics 3
PSY-212 Cognition 3
[18 credits]   [14 credits]  
Third year      
BIO-341 Vertebrate Anatomy 4
MAT-110 Discrete Mathematics 4
PSY-220 Introduction to Neuroscience 3 PSY-323 Sensation & Perception 4
BIO-413 Neurobiology 4 PSY-461 Practicum OR PSY-463 Independent Research 4
General education/electives 3 General Education/Electives 3
[18 credits]   [15 credits]  
Fourth year      
MAT-243 Linear Algebra 3
General education/electives 9 General education/electives 12
[15 credits] [15 credits]  


Careful attention to course sequencing is required since courses are offered on rotating years and to ensure that prerequisites are taken.