Curriculum & Courses

The behavioral neuroscience major prepares students for graduate studies in healthcare professions, as well as master's and doctoral programs in research fields such as neuroscience, neurobiology, biopsychology or biology. Eventual careers in nonprofits, social policy, science writing, big data or artificial intelligence are all possible.

Requirements for a Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Neuroscience

The following table summarizes all requirements for a Bachelor of Science in behavioral neuroscience. To see the description of a particular course, click on its title. For one possible breakdown of the mathematics major by semester, see the Plan of Study below.

 Requirements   Credits 
 Courses for Major* 25
      BIO/BIOL 105. Biological Science I
      BIO/BIOL 106. Biological Science II
      BIO/BIOL 350. Neurobiology
      PSYC 201. Psychological Research: Methods & Statistics I
      PSYC 202. Psychological Research: Methods & Statistics II
      PSYC 343. Physiological Psychology
      BNS 401. Behavioral Neuroscience Seminar
 Behavioral Neuroscience (BNS) Electives** 18
    Students must choose at least one course and no more than three courses from each of the three groups below, for a total of 18 credits. All courses are three credits.
      Cellular Mechanisms (at least one course):
          BIO 291. Genetics
          BIO 292. Cell Biology
          BIO/BIOL 472. Immunology
          BIO 494. Genomics
      Evolutionary Developmental Biology (at least one course):
          PSYC 315. Animal Behavior
          BIO/BIOL 362. Animal Development
          BIO 390. Evolution
      Behavior and Mental Processes (at least one course):
          PSYC 215. Maladaptive Behavior
          PSYC 316. Human Sexuality
          PSYC 330. Health Psychology
          PSYC 421. Sensation and Perception
          PSYC 422. Cognition

 Quantitative Reasoning 3-4 
      MATH 151. Calculus I or any higher-numbered MATH course  
 Foreign Language  3
      One course at the 202 level or above** 3
 General Education Requirements 37
The General Education curriculum, a 37-hour program to help students appreciate a liberal arts education, includes required specific courses as well as selected courses from various distributions. For details, go to General Education Curriculum.
 General Electives   33-34
 Total  120

* Students working towards a major in behavioral neuroscience are strongly encouraged to take at least one semester of general chemistry with laboratory (CHEM 101 & CHML 101 and/or CHEM 102 & CHML 102).

** With the approval of the director of the Behavioral Neuroscience program, students may fulfill one elective in the major with a mentored research project for which they receive PSYC 48x or BIO 318/319/418/419 credit totaling at least three credit hours. The focus of this research project must be relevant to the field of behavioral neuroscience.

Plan of Study for a Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Neuroscience

This is a suggested four-year plan of study for a bahavioral neuroscience major. Changes in sequencing may be desirable. All modifications should be made in consultation with the student's academic adviser.

To see the title of a course in the plan of study below, simply pass the cursor over the course's number. To see the description for a course, click on its number.

 Fall Semester  Credits   Spring Semester  Credits 
PSYC 101 3 PSYC 102 3
BIO/BIOL 105 4 BIO/BIOL 106 4
ENG 101 3 ENG 102 3
SBU 101 2 SBU 102 1
SF/THEO 101 3 Foreign Language 202* 3
Total 15 Total 14
 Fall Semester  Credits  Spring Semester  Credits
PSYC 201 4 PSYC 202 4
PSYC 343 3 BIO 291 3
PSYC 215 3 PSYC 330 3
BNS Elective 3 General Education Requirements 6
General Elective

Total 16 Total 16
 Fall Semester  Credits  Spring Semester  Credits
BIO 390 3 BIO/BIOL 350 3
MATH 145 3 PSYC 422
General Education Requirements 6 General Education Requirements  6
General Elective 3 General Elective 3
Total 15 Total 15
 Fall Semester  Credits  Spring Semester  Credits
BNS 401 3 BIO 292 3
General Education Requirements 6 General Electives 12
General Electives 6
Total 15 Total 15

* The School of Arts and Sciences requires all majors to complete a foreign language course at the 202 level or higher. Students not prepared to begin at this level will need to take additional courses in the language, which count as general electives.