Behavioral Neuroscience/Animal Learning

Our program is designed to train students broadly in experimental psychology in addition to their behavioral neuroscience specialization. While courses are an important part of training, students should expect to engage in laboratory research throughout their master's and doctoral program. Successful degree candidates typically have broad training in the biological sciences as undergraduates.

During the first year, students take two quantitative courses, core courses, and two-part Topics course. The first part consists of a closely-supervised research project designed to teach a variety of research techniques and skills. The second part consists of an interdepartmental seminar involving faculty and graduate students who are interested in behavioral or cognitive neuroscience. In the second year, students complete their core courses and finish their MS thesis research. The doctoral preliminary examinations are taken in the third year, after which students begin their doctoral dissertation research. Throughout their training, students are expected to take biological science courses outside the Psychology Department.

Curriculum

Required courses (credit hours)

  • PSYCH 803 Physiological Psychology (3)
  • PSYCH 812 Perception (3)
  • PSYCH 810 Learning (3)
  • PSYCH 814 Advanced Cognitive Psychology (3)
  • PSYCH 802 Quantitative Methods (3)
  • PSYCH 805 Experimental Design (3)
  • PSYCH 956 Multivariate Statistics (3)
  • PSYCH 968 Seminar in Professional Problems

Graduate students are encouraged to take advantage of other elective courses within the department as part of their program of study. In addition, possibilities for courses outside of the department exist and a partial list of courses is listed below.

Biological Science Course Possibilities

  • Organic Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry
  • Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates
  • Embryology
  • Physiological Adaptation of Animals
  • Human Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Evolution
  • Endocrinology
  • Evolution of Animal Behavior
  • Measuring Behavior of Insects
  • Insect Physiology
  • Insect Behavior
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Veterinary Physiology I and II
  • Bioinstrumentation Laboratory
  • Neuroscience

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