B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience Overview

Behavioral Neuroscience is a new major in Psychology at the University of Kansas.  The concentration in behavioral neuroscience is designed for students with a focused interest in the biological bases of behavior and thought. The concentration is well suited for students who are contemplating professional or mainly research careers in medicine, pharmacology, veterinarian medicine, animal science, neurology, neurobiology, and neuroscience.  It is also suitable as a degree for those headed into other health-related fields or graduate school in other areas of psychology. As a behavioral neuroscience major, you will take courses in many different departments because, as you explore the neural basis of behavior and prepare to enter the neuroscience research field, you will need to acquire knowledge in the realms of chemistry, biology, psychology, statistics, and even computer science.

What is Neuroscience? [PDF]

Please review our Behavioral Neuroscience B.S. Handout [PDF] for specific details on program focus, admission requirements, recommended course schedule and advising information.

For additional information and advising for the BS Major please contact:

Dr. Evangelia G. Chrysikou
Director, BS Major in Behavioral Neuroscience
lilachrysikou@ku.edu

Admission to the Major

Behavioral Neuroscience Major Admission Criteria

Application Term

Students should apply to the major during the semester in which major admission criteria will be completed; normally no later than 60 hours, or for transfer students, normally during the initial term at KU. Application to this major after completion of 60 hours, or the initial KU term for transfer students, will likely delay graduation.

Courses Required

Orientation Seminar in Psychology. Satisfied by:
PSYC 102Orientation Seminar in Psychology1
General Psychology. Satisfied by:
PSYC 104General Psychology3
or PSYC 105 General Psychology, Honors
Research Methods in Psychology or Statistics in Psychological Research. Satisfied by one of the following:3
Research Methods in Psychology
Research Methods in Psychology, Honors
Statistics in Psychological Research
Statistics in Psychological Research, Honors
Core Psychology Course. Satisfied by one of the following:3
Behavioral Neuroscience
Behavior Neuroscience, Honors
Cognitive Neuroscience
Clinical Neuroscience
Clinical Neuroscience, Honors

Admission GPA

A minimum 3.0 GPA is required in all courses listed above that have been completed at the time of application to the major. University Course Repeat Policy will apply.

Requirements for the B.S. Degree

B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience

Humanities (24 hrs.)

Written Communication - Core Skill and Critical Inquiry

Composition (0)
Satisfied by one of the following. Requirement must be completed during initial term of admission at KU.
Composition
ACT English score of 27 or above or SAT English score of 600 or above
AP English Literature & Composition score of 3 or above
Equivalent transfer course
Critical Reading and Writing (0)
Satisfied by one of the following. Requirement must be completed within the first academic year at KU.
Critical Reading and Writing
Freshman Honors English
AP English Literature & Composition score of 4 or above
Equivalent transfer course
Sophomore Reading and Writing II (0)
Satisfied by one of the following:
Topics in Reading and Writing: _____
Freshman-Sophomore Honors Proseminar: _____
Introduction to Fiction
Introduction to Poetry
Introduction to the Drama
AP English Literature & Composition score of 5 or above
Equivalent transfer course

Argument and Reason

Satisfied by one of the following:3
Speaker-Audience Communication
Reason and Argument
Equivalent course

Western Civilization - Exploration of One's Own and Diverse Cultures

Advising Alert: Requires sophomore-level standing. Courses at other universities may have the same title but may not meet this requirement.

Satisfied by:
HUM 204Western Civilization I3
or HUM 114 Western Civilization I Honors
HUM 205Western Civilization II3
or HUM 115 Western Civilization II Honors

Humanities - Understanding the Human Condition

Satisfied by completing 2 courses (6 hrs.) in any of the following categories: historical studies (requirement code HT), literature and the arts (requirement code HL), philosophy and religion (requirement code HR) and humanities (requirement code H). Approved courses may be searched for availability through the Kyou portal.

Natural Science (14 hrs. minimum)

Satisfied by completing 2 of the following 4 sequences AND an extension of 1 sequence (1 additional advanced course), or an approved alternative (14 hrs. minimum).14
Biology:
Principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology
   and Principles of Organismal Biology
Chemistry:
General Chemistry I
   and General Chemistry II
Physics:
College Physics I
   and College Physics II
Biological Anthropology:
Fundamentals of Physical Anthropology
Human Variation and Evolution
Human Evolution
Human Adaptation
Anthropological Genetics
Human Behavioral Genetics

Mathematics (14 hrs. minimum)

Satisfied by completing a total of 4 mathematics courses totaling at least 14 hours, of which at least 6 hours must be calculus or calculus based. The 8 hours of calculus can be satisfied by taking at least one calculus I course (MATH 115 or 125) and one calculus II course (MATH 116 or 126). The remaining four to six hours of mathematics can be satisfied by taking a minimum of two additional math courses at any level (excluding MATH 002).14

Computing (6 hrs. minimum)

Satisfied by:6
Introduction to Computing: _____
An additional course
The second 3 hours could either be a second semester of EECS 138 (focused on a second programming language) or be from an additional approved course that provides an opportunity to gain computing experience. This second course could be PSYC 480 or PSYC 481 if this Independent Study requires independent, original application of the student’s computing skills such as computer simulation of cognitive processes, or experience with computationally complex neuroscience techniques, such as brain imaging and mapping, or physiological data collection and analysis. (3)

The second 3 hours could either be a second semester of EECS 138 (focused on a second programming language) or be from an additional approved course that provides an opportunity to gain computing experience. This second course could be PSYC 480 or PSYC 481 if this Independent Study requires independent, original application of the student’s computing skills such as computer simulation of cognitive processes, or experience with computationally complex neuroscience techniques, such as brain imaging and mapping, or physiological data collection and analysis.

Behavioral Neuroscience Major Course Requirements

Behavioral Neuroscience Prerequisite or Co-Requisite Knowledge (10)
Majors must complete courses as specified in each of the following areas. These hours do not contribute to the minimum number of hours required for the major.
Orientation Seminar in Psychology. Satisfied by:
PSYC 102Orientation Seminar in Psychology1
General Psychology. Satisfied by:
PSYC 104General Psychology3
or PSYC 105 General Psychology, Honors
College Algebra or Pre-Calculus. Satisfied by:
MATH 101College Algebra (or equivalent)3
or MATH 104 Precalculus Mathematics
Introductory Biology Course. Satisfied by
BIOL 100Principles of Biology3
or BIOL 150 Principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology
Behavioral Neuroscience Core Knowledge and Skills (28)
Majors must complete coursework in each of the following 4 areas:
Behavioral Neuroscience Courses (6 hours minimum). Satisfied by one of the following:6
Behavioral Neuroscience
Behavior Neuroscience, Honors
Cognitive Neuroscience
Clinical Neuroscience
Clinical Neuroscience, Honors
Laboratory Courses (9 hours minimum). Satisfied by the following:
PSYC 200Research Methods in Psychology3
or PSYC 201 Research Methods in Psychology, Honors
PSYC 625Experimental Psychology: Methods in Psychophysiology and Neuroscience6
Quantitative Courses (9 hours minimum). Satisfied by one of the following:9
Statistics in Psychological Research
Statistics in Psychological Research, Honors
Intermediate Statistics in Psychological Research
Statistical Methods in Behavioral and Social Science Research I
Anova and Other Factorial Designs
Applied Nonparametric Statistical Methods
Factor Analysis
Test Theory
Multivariate Analysis
Multilevel Modeling I
Categorical Data Analysis
Structural Equation Modeling I
Applied Research Experience (4 hours minimum). Satisfied by one of the following:4
Laboratory/Field Work in Human Biology
Honors in Psychology
Independent Study
Research Practicum
Elective Courses in Psychology or Other Disciplines (12)
Majors must complete 12 hours minimum (other electives may be accepted with permission of the B.S. director) Satisfied by:12
Introduction to Cognitive Science
Cognitive Psychology
Human Behavioral Genetics
Sensation and Perception
Developmental Psychopathology
Evolutionary Psychology
Health Psychology
Clinical Psychology
Behavioral Pharmacology
Mental Health and Aging
Drugs and Behavior
The Psychology of Aging
Neurolinguistics I

Behavioral Neuroscience Major Hours & GPA

While completing all required courses, majors must also meet each of the following hour and grade-point average minimum standards:

Major Hours
Satisfied by 40 hours of major courses.

Major Hours in Residence
Satisfied by a minimum of 15 hours of KU resident credit in the major. 

Major Junior/Senior Hours

Satisfied by 28 hours of junior/senior level major coursework.

Major Junior/Senior (300+) Graduation GPA
Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.

Below is a sample 4-year plan for students pursuing the BS in Behavioral Neuroscience. To view the list of courses approved to fulfill KU Core Goals, please visit the KU Core website

Freshman
FallHoursSpringHours
Goal 2.2 Oral Communication3ENGL 102 (Goal 2.1 Written Communication, 2 Crs Required, BS Writing 2)3
ENGL 101 (Goal 2.1 Written Communication, 2 Crs Required, BS Writing 1)3CHEM 130 (Goal 3 Natural Science, BS Requirement)25
MATH 101 (Goal 1.2 Quantitative Literacy, BS Math Requirement)3MATH 125 (BS Math Requirement)4
BS Humanities Course (BS Humanities Requirement)13PSYC 200 (Major Requirement)63
PSYC 102 (Major Requirement)61 
PSYC 104 (Goal 3 Social Science, Major Requirement)63 
 16 15
Sophomore
FallHoursSpringHours
ENGL 203, 209, 210, or 211 (Goal 1.1 Critical Thinking, Goal 2.1 Written Communication, or Goal 3 Humanities, BS Requirement)3COMS 130 or PHIL 148 (BS Requirement)3
HUM 204 (Goal 4.2 Global Culture, Goal 1.1 Critical Thinking, or Goal 2.2 Written Communication, BS Requirement))3HUM 205 (Goal 4.2 Global Awareness or Goal 1.1 Critical Thinking, BS Requirement)3
BIOL 150 (Goal 3 Natural Science, BS Requirement)24BIOL 152 (Goal 3 Natural Science, Degree Requirement)24
BS Humanities Course 300+ (BS Humanities Requirement)13MATH Elective (BS Math Requirement)3
MATH 126 (BS Math Requirement)4PSYC 210 (Major Requirement)63
 17 16
Junior
FallHoursSpringHours
CHEM 135 (Goal 3 Natural Science, BS Requirement)25Additional Computing Course (BS Requirement)33
EECS 138 (BS Requirement)3Behavioral Neuroscience Course 300+ (Major Requirement)43
Natural Science Extension Course (BS Requirement)23Quantitative Course 300+ (Major Requirement)43
Behavioral Neuroscience Course 300+ (Major Requirement)43Applied Research Experience 300+ (Major Requirement)51-3
 PSYC Elective 300+ (Major Requirement)4
 14 14-16
Senior
FallHoursSpringHours
Goal 4.1 US Diversity 300+3Goal 5 Social Responsibility & Ethics 300+3
PSYC 625 (Goal 6 Integration & Creativity, Major Requirement)6PSYC Elective 300+ (Major Requirement)43
Quantitative Course 300+ (Major Requirement)44PSYC Elective 300+ (Major Requirement)43
Applied Research Experience 300+ (Major Requirement)51-3Elective 300+ (Total Hours)3
PSYC Elective 300+ (Major Requirement)43 
 17-19 12
Total Hours: 121-125
1

Satisfied by completing 2 courses (6 hrs.) in any of the following categories: historical studies (requirement code HT), literature and the arts (requirement code HL), philosophy and religion (requirement code HR) and humanities (requirement code H). 

2

The Natural Science requirement is satisfied by completing 2 of the 4 available sequences (see the Degree Requirements tab) AND an extension of 1 sequence (1 additional advanced course), or an approved alternative (14 hrs. minimum).

3

Could either be a second semester of EECS 138 (focused on a second programming language) or be from an additional approved course that provides an opportunity to gain computing experience.

4

Refer to the Degree Requirements tab for a list of courses that can fulfill this major requirement.

5

Students are required to complete 4 hours minimum towards the Applied Research Experience.  Refer to the Degree Requirements tab for a list of courses that can fulfill this major requirement.

6

The Psychology department requires completion of admission criteria in order to be admitted to the major. Review admission requirements here

Please note:

All students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences are required to complete 120 total hours of which 45 hours must be at the Jr/Sr (300+) level.

The same course cannot be used to fulfill more than one KU Core Goal.

Departmental Honors

Students may inquire about departmental honors as soon as they are admitted to the undergraduate major. The department website has details. Participation usually begins in the senior year. A 3.25 grade-point average overall and a 3.5 grade-point average in psychology courses are required. Students follow individualized courses of study arranged through the director. Students who complete PSYC 460, individual research, and a paper under the direction of an instructor may graduate with departmental honors.