Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Neuroscience
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.
For additional information and advising for the BS Major please contact:
Dr. Michael Vitevitch
Director, BS Major in Behavioral Neuroscience
Admission to KU
All students applying for admission must send high school and college transcripts to the Office of Admissions. Unless they are college transfer students with at least 24 hours of credit, prospective students must send ACT or SAT scores to the Office of Admissions. Prospective first-year students should be aware that KU has qualified admission requirements that all new first-year students must meet to be admitted. Consult the Office of Admissions for application deadlines and specific admission requirements.
Visit the International Support Services for information about international admissions.
Students considering transferring to KU may see how their college-level course work will transfer on the Office of Admissions website.
Admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Admission to the College is a different process from admission to a major field. Some CLAS departments have admission requirements. See individual department/program sections for departmental admission requirements.
Requirements for the B.S. Degree
B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience
Humanities (24 hrs.)
Written Communication - Core Skill and Critical Inquiry
|Satisfied by one of the following. Requirement must be completed during initial term of admission at KU.|
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|
|Satisfied by one of the following. Requirement must be completed within the first academic year at KU.|
|Critical Reading and Writing|
|Honors Introduction to English|
AP English Literature & Composition score of 4 or above
Equivalent transfer course
|Sophomore Reading and Writing II|
|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|
|Reason and Argument|
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.
|HUM 204||Western Civilization I||3|
|or HUM 114||Western Civilization I Honors|
|HUM 205||Western Civilization II||3|
|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|
|Principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology|
and Principles of Organismal Biology
and Introductory Biology Lab for STEM Majors
|General Chemistry I|
and General Chemistry II
|College Physics I|
and College Physics II
or ANTH 345
|Introduction to Human Evolutionary Biology|
|Human Variation and Evolution|
or ANTH 341
or ANTH 350
or ANTH 442
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)
|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|
|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 102||Orientation Seminar in Psychology||1|
|General Psychology. Satisfied by:|
|PSYC 104||General Psychology||3|
|or PSYC 105||General Psychology, Honors|
|College Algebra or Pre-Calculus. Satisfied by:|
|MATH 101||College Algebra: _____ (or equivalent)||3|
|or MATH 104||Precalculus Mathematics|
|Introductory Biology Course. Satisfied by|
|BIOL 100||Principles of Biology||3|
|or BIOL 150||Principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology|
|Behavioral Neuroscience Core Knowledge and Skills|
|Majors must complete coursework in each of the following 4 areas:|
|Behavioral Neuroscience Courses (6 hours minimum). Satisfied by one of the following:||6|
or PSYC 371
|Behavior Neuroscience, Honors|
or PSYC 381
|Clinical Neuroscience, Honors|
|Laboratory Courses (9 hours minimum). Satisfied by the following:|
|PSYC 200||Research Methods in Psychology||3|
|or PSYC 201||Research Methods in Psychology, Honors|
|PSYC 625||Experimental Psychology: Methods in Psychophysiology and Neuroscience||6|
|Quantitative Courses (9 hours minimum). Satisfied by one of the following:||9|
|Statistics in Psychological Research|
or PSYC 211
|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|
|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|
|Elective Courses in Psychology or Other Disciplines|
|Majors must complete 12 hours minimum (other electives may be accepted with permission of the B.S. director) Satisfied by:||12|
|The Psychology of Aging|
|Introduction to Cognitive Science|
or PSYC 318
|Sensation and Perception|
|Drugs and Behavior|
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:
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.
|ENGL 101 (Goal 2.1 Written Communication, 2 Crs Required, BS Writing 1)||3||ENGL 102 (Goal 2.1 Written Communication, 2 Crs Required, BS Writing 2)||3|
|MATH 101 (Goal 1.2 Quantitative Literacy, BS Math Requirement)||3||BIOL 150, CHEM 130, PHSX 114, or ANTH 150 (Please check with an advisor before choosing ANTH 150; BIOL 100 or BIOL 150 is required for the major; Goal 3N)2||3-5|
|BS Humanities Course (BS Humanities Requirement)1||3||BIOL 150, CHEM 130, PHSX 114, or ANTH 150 (Please check with an advisor before choosing ANTH 150; BIOL 100 or BIOL 150 is required for the major)2||3-5|
|PSYC 102 (Major Requirement)6||1||PSYC 200 (Major Requirement)6||3|
|PSYC 104 (Goal 3 Social Science, Major Requirement)6||3||Elective Course||4|
|COMS 130 (Goal 2.2 Argument & Reason)||3|
|MATH 125 or 115||3-4||MATH 116 or 126 (Goal 1.2)||3-4|
|BIOL 152, CHEM 135, or PHSX 115 (or ANTH 300+ (Check with an advisor before choosing an ANTH course))2||3-5||PSYC 210 (Major Requirement)6||3|
|BIOL 152, CHEM 135, or PHSX 115 (or ANTH 300+ (Check with an advisor before choosing an ANTH course))2||3-5||Behavioral Neuroscience Elective 300+ (PSYC 318 recommended)||3|
|ENGL 203, 209, 210, or 211 (Goal 3 Humanities, BS Requirement)||3||Natural Science Extension Course (BS Requirement)2||3-4|
|Elective Course||3||BS Humanities Course 300+ ( BS Humanities Requirement)1||3|
|PSYC 370, 371, 375, 380, or 381 (Major Requirement)||3||PSYC 370, 371, 375, 380, or 381 (Major Requirement)||3|
|EECS 138 (BS Requirement)||3||Behavioral Neuroscience Elective Course 300+ (Major Requirement)4||3|
|Behavioral Neuroscience Quantitative Course (Major Requirement)||3-4||Quantitative Course (Major Requirement)||3-4|
|Goal 4.1 US Diversity 300+||3||Applied Research Experience 300+ (Major Requirement)5||2|
|Applied Research Experience 300+ (Major Requirement)5||2||Goal 5 Social Responsibility & Ethics 300+||3|
|PSYC 625 (Goal 6 Integration & Creativity, Major Requirement)||6||Behavioral Neuroscience Elective 300+ (Major Requirement)4||3|
|HUM 204 (Goal 1.1 Critical Thinking, BS Requirement)||3||HUM 205 (Goal 4.2 Global Awareness, BS Requirement)||3|
|Behavioral Neuroscience Elective Course 300+ (Major Requirement)4||3||MATH Elective (BS Math Requirement)||3|
|Elective Course||3||Additional Computing Course (BS Requirement)3||3|
|Elective 300+ (Total Hours)||3|
|Total Hours 120-133|
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).
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).
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.
Refer to the Degree Requirements tab for a list of courses that can fulfill this major requirement.
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.
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. However, overlap of a KU Core course with a major or degree-specific requirement is allowed. Overlapping is recommended to allow more opportunities to explore other majors and/or minors.
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 3.5 grade-point average in psychology courses is 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.