The program begins with the fundamental concepts of both the natural and social sciences. Students then explore the intersection of these two areas through specialized courses, electives, and additional study emphasizing a particular subject.

Behavioral Biology and Neuroscience

Many students ask about the similarities and differences between the Behavioral Biology Program and the Neuroscience Program. The neuroscience major is similar to the behavioral biology major in that it is also an interdepartmental program. Students majoring in neuroscience can concentrate in one of three areas of specialization: cellular and molecular, systems, or cognitive neuroscience. The systems neuroscience concentration is the one that most closely resembles the behavioral biology major. Many of the courses required for systems neuroscience majors are also required of behavioral biology majors. Behavioral biology majors can explore many aspects of the biology of behavior, not only the mechanisms of behavior, but also evolutionary, ecological, and social aspects of behavior. Therefore, the behavioral biology major remains independent from the neuroscience major, despite some overlaps. Furthermore, the behavioral biology major has fairly liberal course requirements so that students can explore more choices in their education.

Learning Goals

By the completion of their course of study, behavioral biology majors are expected to:

  • Be able to understand and apply principles of data analysis using statistical methods
  • Obtain a basic understanding of animal behavior
  • Obtain a basic understanding of neural systems that mediate behavior
  • Obtain a basic understanding of human behavior in the context of both the biological and social sciences
  • Develop basic competence in scientific communication, oral and written
  • Explore and prepare for careers, including those in basic science and medical/veterinary fields