Undergraduate

Behavioral Neuroscience

The Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Neuroscience at St. Edward’s prepares you to enter a frontier that is exploding with important discoveries in how the brain influences human behavior. New and better treatment approaches for mental illness, and neurobiological conditions such as autism and Parkinson’s disease, are the result of groundbreaking research in this field.

Our Behavioral Neuroscience program encourages experiential learning through professional research and field internships. Faculty and students benefit from new state-of-the-art research facilities that feature high-tech observation, biofeedback and behavioral labs that give you more complex research opportunities than do most undergraduate programs. What’s more, you’ll learn from professors who are experts in their fields and have earned numerous national, regional and local awards for teaching and research excellence.

Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Neuroscience

Overview:

As a BS in Behavioral Neuroscience major, you’ll explore brain circuitry and systems that underlie what we feel, how we reason and who or what we remember. You’ll study neurobiology — including genetic influences, molecular structures and neural processes — and learn how these functions connect to human behaviors, both normal and abnormal. You’ll examine the profound impact that brain function can have on such behaviors as addictions, obsessive tendencies and other psychopathologies.

Rigorous coursework in the natural sciences, with a heavy focus on lab and research experience, is the hallmark of the Behavioral Neuroscience degree. You’ll conduct collaborative biobehavioral studies in multiple disciplines and work side-by-side with acclaimed faculty members in the field. In addition to your core curriculum, you’ll take classes in molecular biology, genetics, physiology and neuroscience. You’ll also explore such issues as chemical dependency, animal behavior, and learning and cognition.

Career opportunities are abundant in the rapidly growing field of behavioral neuroscience. Graduates may serve on a research team for a teaching university or pharmaceutical company, although advanced degrees are typically required to lead research initiatives. Other career options include working in veterinary medicine or animal science, conducting research for a health department or government agency, or joining the health and medical professions, particularly in neurology or psychiatry. To increase employment opportunities, graduates may pursue advanced degrees in neuroscience. Close interaction with faculty at St. Edward’s — and time spent in classes, labs, advising sessions and field work — allows you to learn more about options for careers and graduate studies.

Degree Plan:

For detailed descriptions and timing of courses, please see the Undergraduate Bulletin (course catalog).

I. FOUNDATION COURSES (21 CREDIT HOURS):
• Rhetoric and Composition I and II*
• College Mathematics
• Computational Skills
• Oral Communication
• Modern Language

II. CULTURAL FOUNDATIONS (18 CREDIT HOURS):
• Literature and Human Experience
• Understanding and Appreciating Arts
• American Experience
• American Dilemmas*
• History and Evolution of Global Processes
• Contemporary World Issues

III. MISSION COURSES (15 CREDIT HOURS):
• The Human Experience
• Ethics*
• Religious Studies/Philosophy
• Science in Perspective
• Science in Depth

IV. MAJOR CORE COURSES (28 CREDIT HOURS):
• General Psychology
• Statistics
• Adolescent Psychology or Child Development
• Theories of Personality
• Social Psychology
• Research Methods
• Abnormal Psychology
• History and Systems of Psychology
• Research and Field Experience in Psychology
Electives
Choose 9 hours minimum of electives

V. PSYCHOLOGY CONCENTRATION COURSES (13 CREDIT HOURS):
• Chemical Dependency Issues
• Behavioral Neuroscience with Lab
• Learning and Cognition
• Topics in Psychology: Animal Behavior (BIOL 3341)

VI. NATURAL SCIENCES CONCENTRATION COURSES (22 CREDIT HOURS):
• General Biology: Cells and Organ Systems Lab
• General Biology: Genes, Organisms and Populations Lab
• General Chemistry, Lab
• Molecular Biology
• Physiology, Lab
• Neuroscience (with instructor approval) or Neuroscience and Mental Illness

VI. CAPSTONE COURSE (3 CREDIT HOURS)

VII. GRADUATION CERTIFICATION:
You must register for this course in your graduating term to be certified for graduation.

* These courses are prerequisites for Capstone.

Internships

Behavioral Neuroscience majors complete internships each year with prominent mental health organizations, school districts, businesses and nonprofits — locally and throughout the United States. Internships are excellent opportunities to learn new skills, explore your passions, and collaborate and network with professionals. An internship experience is an outstanding addition to your résumé and can give you a distinct advantage for graduate school or your career path in behavioral neuroscience.

Research

At St. Edward’s, you’ll have multiple opportunities to conduct professional-level behavioral neuroscience research typically reserved for graduate students at larger universities. Performing scientific research will enhance your résumé, build your confidence and skills, and prepare you for graduate studies and your chosen profession.

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