Behavioral Neuroscience

Division of Science and Mathematics

Behavioral neuroscience is a multidisciplinary science that encompasses a wide variety of scientific pursuits. The field is unified around the common goal of investigating and understanding the biological basis of behavior and cognition. Centre's behavioral neuroscience curriculum includes a strong emphasis in psychology and biology with additional courses in chemistry and mathematics. Those students interested in the cellular mechanisms of behavior are encouraged to take courses in biochemistry and molecular biology to complement their major requirements. This multidisciplinary approach provides students with a broad foundation for understanding how behavior and thought processes are governed by neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and psychopharmacology. The course work and research experiences behavioral neuroscience majors undertake include, but are not limited to, the following topics; human and animal behavior, brain-behavior interactions, nerve cell structure and function, chemical neurotransmission, the mechanisms of sensation and perception, and the neurological and behavioral effects of both therapeutic and recreational drugs. Overall students learn how fundamental concepts and principles in these areas are related to behavior. Centre students that earn a behavioral neuroscience degree often pursue careers that require quantitative and analytical thinking and expertise in understanding human and animal behavior. They also are well prepared to pursue advanced graduate and/or professional training in neuroscience, psychology, human and/or veterinary medicine, pharmaceutical science, and animal research.


Karin Gill (chair), Melissa Burns-Cusato, Genevieve Bell, Brian Cusato, Aaron Godlaski, KatieAnn Skogsberg

Student Representatives

Cameron Coulter, Joan George

Recommendations for Students Planning to Major in BNS

Students contemplating a major in behavioral neuroscience (BNS) should take PSY 110 and BIO 110 in their first year. MAT 130 should be completed no later than the fall term of the sophomore year, and PSY 205 and BNS 210 should be taken during the fall and spring semesters of the sophomore year, respectively. BNS 295 and CHE 131 (or for qualified student, CHE 135) should be completed no later than spring of the sophomore year. Prospective BNS majors with specific graduate/professional school aspirations should consult with a member of the BNS faculty early in their academic career to determine the most appropriate course selection and scheduling options. Students interested in maximizing their professional school preparations should complete additional coursework beyond what is required in the categories above. In some cases, classes not included in these categories (e.g. BIO 350 and BIO 385) may be appropriate choices for students that have completed the necessary prerequisites. It is also recommended that BNS majors with professional school aspirations contact the appropriate pre-health career advisor sometime during their first year on campus. Access the health professions advisory committee's website for more details.

Behavioral Neuroscience Courses

Course Descriptions