Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

The undergraduate major in cognitive and behavioral neuroscience provides an intensive course of study focused on brain-behavior relationships, ranging from genetic to whole brain contributions to mental processes. This B.S. program prepares highly-motivated undergraduates for graduate study, and, eventually, professional careers in the neurosciences or related fields (e.g., medicine).

Because the CBN program is a four-year major, freshman enter Villanova as declared CBN majors. Therefore, prospective-students interested in the CBN program should select this program when applying to the university. Interested students who have already entered Villanova may appeal directly to the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences for special admission into the major.

Completion of the Major
The CBN major requires 12 courses (37-41 credits, depending on the elective courses taken).  In addition, majors complete a general science requirement consisting of 7 courses (28-29 credits). 

Required Courses

CBN students must complete the following eight courses.

  • Methodology
    • PSY 2000  – Introductory Statistics (3 credits)
    • PSY 2050  – Research Methods in Psychology (3 credits)
  • Required content courses
    • PSY 4200 – Biopsychology (3 credits)
    • PSY 4500 – Cognitive Psychology (3 credits)
    • BIO 3351 - Genetics (4 credits)
    • CBN 4000 - Cellular & Behavioral Neuroscience (3 credits) - offered in the fall only
    • CBN 4100 - Cognitive Neuroscience (3 credits) - offered in the spring only
    • CBN 5000 - Advanced Laboratory in Cognitive & Behavioral Neuroscience (3 credits; Capstone Course) - offered in the spring only

Elective Courses

CBN students are required to take four elective courses. Although the electives are organized into four categories, there is no requirement to use this organization when selecting electives. Students can choose to concentrate in a particular area by taking electives from one category or they can sample broadly across any or all categories.

  • Category 1 – Behavioral/Psychological Science
    • PSY 3200  – Human Development (3 credits)
    • PSY 3300  – Perception (3 credits)
    • PSY 3500  – Personality (3 credits)
    • PSY 3600  -- Social Psychology (3 credits)
    • PSY 3700  - Abnormal Psychology (3 credits)
    • PSY 3800  – Clinical Psychology (3 credits)
    • PSY 2900  – Special Topics (if approved by CBN Program) (3 credits)
    • PSY 4600  -- Animal Learning & Cognition (3 credits)
    • BIO 3015 – Animal Behavior (4 credits, includes lab)
  • Category 2 -- Biological/Life Science
    • BIO 4205 – Cell Biology (4 credits)  (prerequisites -- CHM 2211/2201 & CHM 2212/2202: Organic Chemistry I & II/Labs)
    • BIO 4251 – Comparative Endocrinology (3 credits; BIO 4252, 1-credit lab is optional)  (prerequisite --  BIO 3055: Animal Physiology)
    • BIO 4305 – Evolution (4 credits)
    • BIO 4505 – Molecular Biology (4 credits)  (prerequisite – CHM 2212: Organic Chemistry II)
    • BIO 4605 – Neurobiology (4 credits)  (prerequisite – BIO 3055: Animal Physiology)
    • BIO 4950 - Advanced Topics in Biology (if approved by CBN Program) (3 credits; typically has a 3000-level BIO course as a prerequisite)
      • Already pre-approved as CBN elective:  “Sex, Brains & Behavior”
    • CHM 4611 – Survey of Biochemistry (3 credits; CHM 4601, 1-credit lab is optional)  (prerequisite – CHM 2212: Organic Chemistry II)
    • CHM 4621 - Biochemistry I (3 credits; prerequisite CHM 2211; recommended for Chemistry and Biochemistry majors)
  • Category 3 -- Cognitive Science
    • CSC 4500 – Artificial Intelligence (3 credits)  (prerequisite – CSC 2053: Algorithms & Data Structures III)
    • CSC 4510 – Machine Learning (3 credits)  (prerequisites – CSC 1051: Algorithms & Data Structures I)
    • PHI 4610 – Philosophy of Mind (3 credits)
    • CGS 5900 – Cognitive Science Seminar (3 credits)
  • Category 4 -- Special Topics & Research
    • CBN 2900 - Topics in Cognitive and Behavior Neuroscience (3 credits)
    • CBN 5900 - Independent Research (3 credits)
    • HON 6000/HON 6002 - Honors Thesis (requires topic approval) (6 credits)
       

General Science Requirements

CBN students must complete the following seven courses and labs.

o   General Biology I & II - BIO 2105 & BIO 2106 (8 credits)
o   General Chemistry I & II/Lab- CHM 1151/1103 & CHM 1152/1104 (10 credits)
o   General Psychology – PSY 1000 (3 credits)
o  Mathematics – Either of the following options:       

  • MAT 1312 - BioCalculus (4 credits) & MAT 1314 - Modeling for Life Sciences (3 credits) - Recommended Sequence
  • MAT 1500 & 1505 - Calculus (8 credits)

 

Sample Curriculum Sequence for students who are not pre-med

Sample Curriculum Sequence for students who are pre-med

If you are interested in other pre-health professions, please contact your CBN advisor and/or the Health Professions Advising office.