Biological and Behavioral Processes

This realm of the curriculum provides courses for those interested in brain/mind issues, evolutionary or comparative issues, and clinical issues for which there is an animal model. The topics include:

  • Animal and human learning
  • Comparative aspects of cognition
  • Neuroscience and neuropsychology
  • Intellectual disability, and
  • Emotional and motivational bases of behavior

In conjunction with courses in biology and chemistry, a focus in this area can provide significant training in neuroanatomy and behavioral neuroscience. Many of the courses grouped in this area count toward the Neuroscience minor. Aspects of this area can also provide an essential background for field observational or laboratory studies of humans and animals as they learn and think.

Finally, the area offers connections between animal work and human clinical, medical and behavioral problems through upper-level courses such as Clinical Neuroscience, Evolutionary Trends in Cognition, Cognitive Neuroscience, Neuropsychology of Aging (with an optional interdisciplinary lab) and Psychopharmacology.

Courses include PSYC 210*, 216*, 218*, 220*, 263 and 267.

Cognitive Studies

Cognitive studies examines different approaches to questions concerning:

  • The nature of mind
  • The representation of knowledge
  • The acquisition, comprehension, and production of language
  • The development of learning and intelligence, and
  • The assessment of “goodness of fit” between purportedly similar systems (e.g., the computer and the mind).

Within psychology, this area encompasses topics such as:

  • Memory
  • Attention
  • Language
  • Thinking and reasoning
  • Problem-solving
  • Cognitive development
  • Conceptual representation
  • Human learning, and
  • Intelligence.

These topics form a foundation for students interested in how people take in information and how they think and communicate about the world and themselves. Many of the courses grouped in this area count toward the Cognitive Science minor. Students interested in these topics are also urged to explore relevant courses in philosophy, linguistics, computer science, and education.

Courses include PSYC 220*, MUSC 227*, CGSC/PSYC 232*, PSYC 234*, CGSC 236, and PSYC 238.

Social Behavior, Development, Personality, and Clinical Psychology

This area includes topics such as:

  • Personality
  • Social interaction
  • Social cognition
  • Psychopathology
  • Counseling, and 
  • Social and personality development.

In addition, courses in this area address cultural and gender differences. Students interested in this area are urged to consider related courses in philosophy, political science, education, and sociology/anthropology.

Courses include PSYC 244, 246, 248, 250, 251, 252*, 254, 256*, 258*, and 260*.


* Designates courses with a laboratory. Those labs can contribute to the fulfillment of the 4 credit Laboratory requirement for a Psychology major.