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Concentration in Behavioral Neuroscience


The Behavioral Neuroscience Concentration (BNC) within Psychology provides interdisciplinary training for students preparing for academic or professional careers in neuroscience-related areas. The concentration brings together students with similar interests in a set of core courses, offers mentored research experience in faculty laboratories, opportunities for student research presentations and participation in the Psychology Honors program. The neuroscience concentration is a particularly good option for students who plan to do graduate study in neuroscience or neuroscience-related fields or attend medical school for neurology, neurosurgery, or psychiatry specialties.

Because of the large number of required courses, and the Honors Research component, it is very important that interested students meet with Psychology advisers to obtain detailed information on the program and declare the Concentration as early in their college career as possible (no later than the start of their Sophomore year). The Psychology Advising Office will provide a Flyer on the program that includes a checklist on which to maintain an ongoing record of your performance in the required coursework.

The BNC Director and Adviser is Dr. Glenn Schaffe

Click here for the BNC Template for Coursework.
Click here for the BNC Faculty List


BNC Structure and Requirements

The Concentration has three, equally important components: Stem Courses (Levels 1 and 2), Neuroscience Electives, and mentored Honors Research.

STEM Courses, (Level I):

These courses provide an initial assessment of the student’s ability to complete basic STEM courses in the curriculum with a grade point level that suggests they will be able to deal, satisfactorily, with upper level courses in the concentration.

Admission to the program requires completion of the following courses with minimum Major GPA of 3.5 and Overall GPA of 3.0.

    • PSYCH 10000: Introduction to Psychology [3 cr.]
    • PSYCH 22400: Neuroscience [3 cr.]
    • MATH 15000: Calculus [4 cr.]
    • PSYCH 24800: Statistical Methods in Psychology [4 cr.]
    • CHEM 10200: General Chemistry I [4 cr.]
    • CHEM 10400/10600: General Chemistry II / General Chemistry Laboratory [4 cr. / 3 cr.]
    • BIOL 10000: Principles of Biology I [4.5 cr.]
    • BIOL 10200: Principles of Biology II [4.5 cr.]

After satisfactory completion of Level I courses, students should consider declaring the BNC under the Psychology Major with an advisor at Hunter North, Room 611. This will ensure the student's subplan code is correct and therefore reflects the requirements on the transcript and DegreeWorks. (Note: this is extremely important for students who plan to or receive financial aid assistance).


STEM Courses, (Level II):

Courses in this level provide a bridge to Level III (Neuroscience Electives)

    • BIOL 20300: Molecular Biology and Genetics [4.5 cr.]
    • CHEM 22200: Organic Chemistry Lecture [4 cr.]
    • PSYCH 25000: Experimental Psychology: General [4 cr.]

After satisfactory completion of Level II courses, students should obtain an appointment with the BNC adviser to discuss arrangements for selecting a laboratory within which to carry out their Honors Research.


Level III (Neuroscience Electives):

A list of eligible electives is provided below. 12 credits of coursework are required, 3 of which must come from Biology, and 3 of which must be a Neuroscience Seminar (a course featuring student presentations of research papers). Biology and Psychology courses meeting that definition are indicated.

    • PSYCH 30100: Sensation & Perception [3 cr.]
    • PSYCH 30900: Behavioral Neuroendocrinology [3 cr.]
    • PSYCH 31600: Cognitive Neuroscience ▒Seminar▒ [3 cr.]
    • PSYCH 32700: Motivation and Emotion [3 cr.]
    • PSYCH 36900: Behavioral Pharmacology [3 cr.]
    • PSYCH 38200: Current Topics in Biopsychology ▒Seminar▒ [3 cr.]
    • BIOL 37000: Physiology of the Nervous System [4 cr.]
    • BIOL 37600: Endocrinology [3 cr.]
    • BIOL 38000: Molecular Neurobiology [3 cr.]
    • BIOL 47100: Special Topics in Biology ▒Seminar▒ [3 cr.]


Honors Research

This is a critical component of the Concentration both because it involves training in research ethics, writing and presentation and because your research mentor is an import reference in applications for postgraduate study. The mentor will usually be a Hunter college faculty member, but research mentors at other institutions may be acceptable with the approval of the BNC adviser.  Students will carry out this work while enrolled in PSYCH 39600 and 39800, (Prof. S. Golub, Adviser, Ph.D.).

Approval of the mentor is based on a 2-3-page summary of the research project and the student's role in the project. The summary must be signed by both the student and mentor, then submitted to the BNC Adviser for approval.  A list of approved Faculty laboratories in Psychology and Biology is available from the Psych Advisers' office or by clicking here.


  1. For Biology Majors, a comparable Concentration in Neurobiology is offered by the Dept. of Biological Sciences.
  2. The current BNC Director is Professor Glenn Schafe.
  3. Permission to enroll in upper level Biology courses is required by both the BNC Advisor as well as the Department of Biological Sciences.
  4. The Student is encouraged to contact the Program Director, Dr. Zeigler, upon completion of Level II.
  5. Honors courses do not count towards the 12 BNC elective credits.