Course Catalog

Interdisciplinary Major in Neuroscience and Behavior


Rachel Galli, Coordinator and Associate Professor of Psychology
manda Carey, Associate Professor of Psychology
Eric Luth, Co-coordinator and Assistant Professor of Biology

The joint major in Neuroscience and Behavior is ideal for students interested in both psychology and biology. Drawing from the social, natural, mathematical, and life sciences, this major addresses intriguing issues related to behavior and experience. It is a fast-growing field that has yielded exciting new discoveries about nervous system function and dysfunction, the biological bases of behavior, conscious experience, and the relationship between physical and mental health. The major offers two tracks enabling students to focus on either neurobiology or cognition and behavior. Completion of the major prepares students to work in a variety of research and clinical settings and, with guided selection of electives, serves as an excellent preparation for advanced study in a range of fields. Students planning to attend medical, dental, or veterinary school should contact the Health Professions advisor as early as possible to identify other courses required for admission to those professional programs. The major is jointly administered by the departments of Psychology and Biology. Classes taken pass/fail are accepted for Neuroscience and Behavior requirements, however, a course taken pass/fail may not transfer to other majors.

Learning Objectives

Theory and Content: Students will demonstrate knowledge of the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, and empirical findings in the study of mind, brain, and nervous system function as it relates to behavior and mental processes.

Research Methods: Students will demonstrate skill in statistical analysis, hypothesis generation, ethical research design, and the interpretation of experimental data. Students will gain experience in conducting scientific research and working as an effective member of a team investigating important empirical questions.

Communication Skills: Students will be able to integrate knowledge, think critically, and clearly communicate concepts and defend conclusions orally and in writing to diverse audiences: lay public, students, and meetings of neuroscience professionals.

Professional development: Students will develop plans for implementing their neuroscience knowledge, skills, and values in a variety of occupational pursuits.


Neuroscience and Behavior majors interested in attaining honors are encouraged to explore the options offered by the departments of psychology and biology and review the possibilities with their academic advisor before the end of their junior year.