Biopsychology Program

Faculty: see Biology and Psychology.

Biopsychology is an interdisciplinary program which applies the perspectives and techniques of both biology and psychology to the study of the brain and behavior. Biopsychologists are interested in how the interactions of brain, body, and environment contribute to animal (including human) behavior. Biopsychologists study the structure and function of the nervous system, the development and evolution of neural and behavioral systems, and interactions among behavior, environment, physiology, and heredity.

This program is ideal for those students with interests in the biological and psychological sciences. A concentration in biopsychology can prepare students for graduate study in either biology or psychology, particularly in the neurosciences.

Requirements for Concentration: 13 units; all students must take:

Biology 151 The Evolution of Biological Diversity (1)

Biology 152 The Cellular Basis of Life (1)

Psychology 105 or 106 Introduction to Psychology (1)

Psychology 214 Principles of Physiological Psychology (1)

Biopsychology 201 Models and Systems in Biopsychology (1)

Psychology 270 Statistics and Experimental Design (1)

Psychology 278 Methods and Issues in Physiological Psychology (1)

Biopsychology 301 Seminar in Biopsychology (1)

After consultation with the major adviser, five other courses should be chosen from the following list. Three of these courses should be at the 300-level. Of these three courses at the 300-level, at least one should be from the biology department and one from the psychology department.

Approved Courses


Psychology 211 Perception and Action (1)

Psychology 212 Principles of Learning and Behavior (1)

Psychology 215 Knowledge and Cognition (1)

Psychology 273 Methods and Issues in Learning and Behavior (1)

Biology 226 Animal Structures and Diversity (1)

Biology 228 Animal Physiology (1)

Biology 232 Developmental Biology (1)

Biology 238 Principles of Genetics (1)

Biology 272 Biochemistry (1)

Entry into particular 300-level courses may be constrained by prerequisites: see course descriptions for the individual courses listed under Biology and Psychology.

Psychology 342 Physiological Psychology (1)

Psychology 345 Gender and Psychology (1)

Psychology 355 Comparative Psychology (1)

Psychology 378 States of Consciousness (1)

Biology 316 Neurobiology (1)

Biology 323 Cell Biology (1)

Biology 324 Molecular Biology (1)

Biology 340 Animal Behavior (1)

Biology 350 Evolutionary Biology (1)

Senior Year Requirement: Biopsychology 301. Students who wish to be considered for departmental honors must complete Biology 298, Psychology 298, or Biopsychology 399.

Recommendations: Students are strongly recommended to complete Chemistry 108-109 and 244-245 and would benefit greatly from coursework in mathematics, physics, and computer science. Students are advised to take in their freshman year: Biology 151, Biology 152, and Psychology 105.

Advisers: Mr. Bean, Ms. Christensen, Mr. Clark, Mr. Cynx, Ms. Gray, Mr.Hemmes, Mr. Long, Mr. Straus, Ms. Susman, Mr. Suter.

Course Offerings

See biology and psychology.

201. Models and Systems in Biopsychology (1)

A multidisciplinary approach to the methods, issues, empirical findings and literature of biopsychology. The course explores selected topics from a variety of theoretical and empirical models, from behavioral, evolutionary, social/environmental, physiological and cellular/molecular levels of analysis. The ways in which the different methods of analysis inform each other are a focus of the course. Biopsychology faculty.

Prerequisites: Biology 151, Biology 152, Psychology 105, and Psychology 214.

Three 50-minute periods, one 4-hour laboratory.

301. Seminar in Biopsychology (1)

Explorations in the primary literature of topics to be selected annually. Biopsychology faculty.

Prerequisite: by permission of instructor.

399. Senior Independent Work (1/2 or 1)

By permission of the adviser and the instructor who will supervise the work. Library, field, or laboratory projects. The biology and psychology departments.