Behavioral Neuroscience Minor

Students studying brain waves

Neuroscience is the study of brain anatomy and physiology, as well as the relationship between the brain and overt behavior, cognitive processes, and emotional experiences, among others. Behavioral neuroscience is a subdiscipline within the general field and is directed toward understanding the neural components that support human behavior, both normal and abnormal.

Neuroscience generally focuses on the study of the nervous system, whereas behavioral neuroscience is concerned with how neural components result in behavior.

Program Overview


Behavioral Neuroscience minor provides an opportunity for the in-depth exploration of the field of behavioral neuroscience to better prepare students for future study and careers in the natural and social sciences. Although advanced knowledge of the structure and function of the brain would augment the coursework in many majors (e.g., speech pathology and audiology, nursing, criminal justice, and biology), it is not always possible to offer sufficient coursework within any of these majors to provide the level of training that a minor in behavioral neuroscience could provide. Thus, students with similar interests from various disciplines can collaborate on projects, broaden their perspectives, and increase their knowledge in this growing field, opening doors to careers that students would have otherwise not known about nor have been qualified to pursue.

Program Coordinator:

Elizabeth Shobe

Elizabeth Shobe, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology


Students will be required to complete 24 credit hours, divided into three levels of study: basic principles, advanced topics and electives. This flexibility reflects the dynamic nature of the behavioral neuroscience field.

Central to the minor are basic principles and advanced topics. The courses covering basic principles are intended to provide students with a foundation in cellular and systems components of the brain. Introductory courses in related fields (i.e., biology and psychology) are required to enhance students’ understanding of behavioral neuroscience concepts. The advanced topics requirement is intended to foster additional student-faculty research and to give students an opportunity to apply the basic principles through the analysis of existing research in behavioral neuroscience and the participation in research in this exciting area.

Research and practicum experiences offered by other programs (e.g., CMDS, BIOL, CRIM) can be counted toward advanced topics provided the content has a neuroscience emphasis, contingent on receiving prior approval from the BHNS coordinator. Electives are the third area of study and allow students to make the minor specific to their goals and interests. Students can merge knowledge accumulated in their disciplines with knowledge from completed behavioral neuroscience courses.





These Foundation credits do not count toward the credit total for the minor but must be completed for the minor to be awarded. 

  1. PSYC 1100 Introduction to Psychology
  2. BIOL 1200/1205 Cells and Molecules/Cells and Molecules Lab

These courses serve as prerequisites for many of the courses below.


Curriculum Worksheet


Required Coursework (24 credits)

  • BIOL/PSYC 2525 Foundations of Neuroscience (4 credits)
  • Advanced Topics (8 credits)

Choose two from the following

BIOL/PHYS 3030 Biomedical Physics
BIOL 3360 Neurobiology
BIOL 4240 Developmental Neurobiology
CSCI 3800/4800 Special Project in Computer Science/Information Systems 
PSYC 3300 Neurons and Networks
PSYC 3355 Clinical Neuropsychology
PSYC 3535 STEM Education: Neuroscience
PSYC 3634 Seminar in Neuroscience 
PSYC 3636 Human Memory
PSYC 3648 The Criminal Brain
PSYC 3708 Research in Applied Neuroscience
PSYC 3718 Research in Neuroscience
PSYC 3900 Field Placement in Psychology**
PSYC 4805 Special Project in Cognitive Neuroscience/Neuropsychology
PSYC 4825 Project for Program Distinction**
PSYC 4895 PSYC: SIRE Project**
BIOL 4899 BIOL: SIRE Project**

  • Electives * (8 credits)

Choose two:

BIOL 2150 Principles of Physiology
BIOL 3110 Animal Behavior
CSCI 4463 Artificial Intelligence
CSCI 4510 Topics in Computer Science
GIS 3319 Addictions
GIS 3633 States of Consciousness
GIS 4614 Human Behavioral Genetics
GIS 4644 Mindfulness, Self, and Reality
GIS 4664 Perspectives on Memory in Film
GNM 2209 Intelligent Machines/Human Beings
GNM 2216 Medical Technology
GNM 2248 Artificial Intelligence in Society
GNM 3105 Psychopharmacology
GSS 2351 Herbal Psychopharmacology 
GSS 3114 The Dynamic Brain
PSYC 2215 Cognitive Psychology
PSYC 2700 Neuroscience Research Practicum
PSYC 3332 Perception
PSYC 3331 Physiological Psychology
PSYC 3652 Buddhist Psychology

  • One additional Advanced Topics Course or Elective (4 credits)

*Additional Advanced Topics courses may be used as electives.
**Must have a neuroscience emphasis and prior approval from the minor coordinator.




Behavioral Neuroscience Minor Faculty

Mark Berg

Mark Berg

Ph.D. (University of Canterbury [New Zealand]), Associate Professor of Psychology: perceptual category learning, experimental analysis of behavior, history of psychology, motivation, industrial/organizational psychology
John Bulevich

John Bulevich

Ph.D. (Washington University), Associate Professor of Psychology: cognitive control and long term memory, aging and metacognition
Vincent Cicirello

Vincent Cicirello

Ph.D. (Carnegie Mellon University), Professor of Computer Science and Information Systems: artificial intelligence, multi-agent systems, operations research, machine learning, software engineering, information assurance, biologically-inspired computing techniques
Joshua Duntley

Joshua Duntley

Ph.D. (University of Texas), Associate Professor of Criminal Justice: evolutionary psychology, forensic psychology, homicide, stalking, victim defenses, human mating, statistics
Jessica Fleck

Jessica Fleck

Ph.D. (Temple University), Professor of Psychology: brain, behavior and cognition, research in problem-solving, creativity, working memory, schizophrenia
Christine Gayda-Chelder

Christine Gayda-Chelder

Ph.D. (Drexel University), Associate Professor of Psychology: health psychology, clinical neuropsychology, traumatic brain injury, early detection of dementia, caregiver burden
Tim A. Haresign

Tim A. Haresign

Ph.D. (University of Connecticut at Storrs), Associate Professor of Biology: neuroscience, animal behavior, bioacoustics, evolutionary psychology, cognitive science, issues of diversity
Nathaniel Hartman

Nathaniel Hartman

Ph.D. (Wesleyan University), Associate Professor of Biology: neuroscience, stem cells, developmental biology, anatomy, physiology
Rodger L. Jackson

Rodger L. Jackson

Ph.D. (Michigan State University), Professor of Philosophy: Ethical theory, applied ethics, pragmatism, history of philosophy
Fang Liu

Fang Liu

Ph.D. (University of Pennsylvania), Associate Professor of Physics: biomedical and health physics, positron emission tomography (PET), surgical probe, biophysics
Jennifer Lyke

Jennifer Lyke

Ph.D. (Temple University), Professor of Psychology: counseling psychology, research methods, abnormal psychology, eating disorders, advanced statistics, states of consciousness
Elizabeth Shobe

Elizabeth Shobe

Ph.D. (University of Toledo), Professor of Psychology: cognition, learning theories, experimental psychology, statistical methods, evolution and behavior
Marcello Spinella

Marcello Spinella

Ph.D. (City University of New York), Professor of Psychology: physiological psychol¬ogy, clinical neuropsychology, psychometrics, psychopharmacology, herbal medicines, executive functions, addiction, aging and mental health
John White

John White

Ph.D. (North Texas State University), Professor of Psychology: sex crimes, violent crimes, police psychology, forensic psychology, criminal profiling
Melissa Zwick

Melissa Zwick

Ph.D. (University of Kentucky), Assistant Professor of Biology: neurobiology, human anatomy, vertebrate physiology, toxicology, science education

Admission to the Minor

The Behavioral Neuroscience Minor is open to students of all majors. Interested students should inform their preceptor of their interest and be sure to complete the Declaration of Major/Minor Form, available through Academic Advising to officially declare the minor. The declaration formmust be signed by the minor coordinator.

Because of the varied nature of the coursework, many of the above courses can be applied toward either cognate or at-some-distance requirements, depending on the student’s academic major and specific course selections within the minor. Much of the minor’s coursework would be considered as cognates for students with majors in Natural Sciences and Mathemati cs or Social and Behavioral Sciences, whereas most courses would be considered at-some-distance for majorsin Arts and Humanities, Business, and Health Sciences. Many of the elective courses in the minor are general studies courses that can be used to meet these requirements. Students should consult with their preceptor and the minor coordinator to determine exactly how courses in the minor will be applied. The decision about where minor courses fit in a student’s academic plan is usually made by the student’s preceptor on behalf of the program in which the student majors. Planning early, particularly in programs with highly structured requirements, can help students complete the minor without taking additional coursework beyond the 128 credits required for graduation.

Career Opportunities

Completing a minor in Behavioral Neuroscience would increase one’s success in applying to graduate programs such as:

  • Medicine,
  • Neuroscience programs
  • Biology
  • Clinical neuropsychology
  • Forensic psychology,
  • Criminal justice
  • Law
  • Physical and occupational therapy

Specialized training in the study of the brain would also be an asset for students entering into or completing professional programs, such as nursing and speech audiology and pathology, in which an advanced understanding of the brain’s structure and function would assist students in applying interventions aimed at rehabilitation.

In addition, training in neuroscience will help prepare students to work in applied laboratory settings that utilize neuroscience techniques and related approaches. Because neuroscience has become an integral component of many fields, the minor will serve as a complement to many undergraduate programs that prepare students to enter directly into service and applied professions, such as education, social work, and law enforcement.


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