Behavioral Neuroscience


Richard H. Melloni Jr., PhD
Professor, Psychology, and Program Director

M. Jade Zee, Assistant Teaching Professor and Associate Director
203 Mugar Life Sciences Building

The behavioral neuroscience major is an interdepartmental program for undergraduates, supported by neuroscience faculty across the College of Science. The field of neuroscience focuses on brain mechanisms and how they give rise to behavioral functions in humans and animals. Behavioral neuroscience combines the disciplines of biology and psychology with a strong background in basic physical sciences and mathematics. The goal is to achieve an understanding of the anatomy and physiology of nerve cells, chemical transmission, neural circuits, fundamental biological processes such as inheritance and development, and then to see how these biological events give rise to normal and pathological behavior. The primary objective of the neuroscience major is to draw together faculty and students who are interested in this interdisciplinary topic and to provide undergraduates with an education in the field. This major also seeks to prepare students for advancement to graduate programs in the field of neuroscience or in biology or psychology programs with an emphasis in neurobiology. An additional objective of this major is to prepare its students for admission to medical school or other health profession programs. Finally, the goal of the curriculum is to prepare students for employment in clinical settings or in allied fields such as the biotech industry.

Note: Due to overlap in course content, double majoring in behavioral neuroscience with any of the following majors is not permitted: psychology, biology, cell and molecular biology, or biochemistry. Since the behavioral neuroscience major is already an interdisciplinary program of study, combined or independent majors with behavioral neuroscience are not permitted.

Academic Progression Standards

After four semesters in the major, students must have a GPA of at least 2.000 in all science and math courses and have completed at least six of the following courses:

Complete five of the following:
BIOL 1107
and BIOL 1108
Foundations of Biology
and Lab for BIOL 1107
BIOL 2299Inquiries in Biological Sciences4
MATH 1251Calculus and Differential Equations for Biology 14
CHEM 1211
and CHEM 1212
General Chemistry 1
and Lab for CHEM 1211
CHEM 1214
and CHEM 1215
General Chemistry 2
and Lab for CHEM 1214
BIOL 2301
and BIOL 2302
Genetics and Molecular Biology
and Lab for BIOL 2301
PSYC 2320Statistics in Psychological Research4
Complete one of the following:
PSYC 3458Biological Psychology4
BIOL 3405Neurobiology4

Students who transfer into the behavioral neuroscience major will be allowed two semesters after entering the major to meet the minimum standards for their class. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.000 to remain in this program. Students who fail to meet the above standards will be placed on probation. Two consecutive semesters on probation will result in dismissal from the major.

Behavioral Neuroscience Minor

The behavioral neuroscience minor consists of five courses requiring a minimum of 20 semester hours of study. Students are required to take one intermediate-level survey course and four behavioral neuroscience core courses, two from each of the parent departments of the discipline (i.e., psychology and biology). All students regardless of their major, including those majoring in psychology and biology, may minor in behavioral neuroscience.

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Behavioral Neuroscience Courses

BNSC 1000. Behavioral Neuroscience at Northeastern. 1 Hour.

Introduces first-year and new transfer students to the major and the field of behavioral neuroscience and to the professional and academic resources available to students at Northeastern University. Acquaints students with their faculty, advisors, and fellow students; provides an initial orientation to undergraduate research, cooperative education, study abroad, and other experiential learning options; familiarizes students with academic support resources and leadership opportunities; provides grounding in the culture and values of the university community —in short, familiarizes students with all skills needed to become a successful university student. Prereq. Behavioral neuroscience majors only.