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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 after successful completion of classes listed in Level 1. The program's major template includes a checklist that should be used to maintain an ongoing record of your performance in the required coursework.

The BNC requires students obtain and maintain a 3.5 major GPA and a 3.0 overall GPA. These GPA indexes are required both to declare and remain in the program. 


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


BNC Structure and Requirements

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. To declare the BNC, students must complete the 100-level classes in addition to obtaining as well as maintaining overall and major GPAs of 3.0 and 3.5, respectively. 

100-Level Classes [30 Credits]

    • PSYCH 10000: Introduction to Psychology [3 cr.]
    • PSYCH 1_____: Additional 100-level class [3 cr.]
    • MATH 15000: Calculus [4 cr.]
    • CHEM 10200: General Chemistry I [4 cr.]
    • CHEM 10400: General Chemistry II [4 cr.]
    • CHEM 10600: General Chemistry Laboratory [3 cr.]
    • BIOL 10000: Principles of Biology I [4.5 cr.] - Spring only
    • BIOL 10200: Principles of Biology II [4.5 cr.] - Fall only


200-Level Classes [25.5 Credits]

    • PSYCH 22400: Neuroscience (Biopsychology Content Area) [3 cr.]
    • PSYCH 2____: (Cognitive/Developmental Content Area) [3 cr.]
    • PSYCH 2____: (Social/Clinical/Health Content Area) [3 cr.]
    • PSYCH 24800: Statistical Methods in Psychology [4 cr.]
    • PSYCH 25000: Experimental Psychology: General [4 cr.]
    • BIOL 20300: Molecular Biology and Genetics [4.5 cr.] - Spring only
    • CHEM 22200: Organic Chemistry Lecture [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.


Neuroscience Electives [12 credits]

A list of eligible electives is provided below. 12 credits of coursework are required, including:
Two 300-level PSYCH courses with neuroscience content,
300-level BIOL or PSYCH seminar with neuroscience content, and
300-level BIOL course with neuroscience content.

300-Level Psychology Classes [6 credits]

  • PSYCH 30100: Sensation and Perception [3 cr.]
  • PSYCH 30900: Behavioral Neuroendocrinology [3 cr.]
  • PSYCH 32700: Motivation and Emotion [3 cr.]
  • PSYCH 36900: Behavioral Pharmacology [3 cr.]

Seminar Class [3 credits]

  • PSYCH 31600: Cognitive Neuroscience [3 cr.]
  • PSYCH 38200: Current Topics in Biopsychology [3 cr.]
  • BIOL 47100: Special Topics [3 cr.]

300-Level Biology Class [3-4 credits]

Permission to take upper-level biology courses must be obtained first from the BNC advisor and then from the Biology Department.

  • BIOL 37000: Neurophysiology [4 cr.] - Spring only
  • BIOL 37600: Endocrinology [3 cr.] - Spring only
  • BIOL 38000: Molecular Neurobiology [3 cr.] - Fall Only


Honors Research [6 Credits]

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. Jennifer Ford, Ph.D.).

  • PSYCH 39600: Honors Research I
  • PSYCH 39800: Honors Research II


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 Nesha Burghardt.
  3. Permission to enroll in upper level Biology courses is required by the Dept. of Biological Sciences.
  4. Honors courses do not count towards the 12 BNC elective credits.