Combining coursework in biology, neurobiology and psychology, our interdisciplinary Biopsychology AOC is designed for students who are interested in studying whole organisms and learning how behavior, physiology, sensory systems, learning, cognition and communication develop and interact in humans and other animals.
Biopsychology sits at the interface of Biology and Psychology. It uses principles of evolution, genetics, physiology, neurobiology, and endocrinology to explain behavior, cognition, learning, perception, memory, attention, emotion, motivation, mental disorders, and other areas of the psychology of whole organisms. Hence, students in this area integrate information from these areas of study. Common paths for students who graduate in biopsychology include animal training, veterinary school, graduate school in biology or psychology, zoo or aquarium technicians or managers, animal lab technicians, or medical school.
Typically, a student concentrating in Biopsychology emphasizes biology or psychology but takes a significant number of courses in the second discipline. The AOC requires 12 courses and activities. While some of these are specific courses, students also have the flexibility to make choices based on their needs. Course choices should provide the student with the skill sets most relevant for doing their own research work in their area of interest, typically animal behavior and cognition, sensation and perception, neuroscience, &/or neuroendocrinology.
Students work with Biopsychology faculty to determine their specific course of study.
The requirements are: (1) Foundations of Biology I or II (I preferred if whole animal-oriented, II preferred if neuro-oriented), (2) Introductory Psychology (animal, endocrine, or neuro-oriented preferred), (3) Biological Psychology, (4) Statistics (ask for direction based on your path), (5) Research Methods in an appropriate area (psychology, biology), (6) a lab course in an appropriate area (likely with your probable thesis sponsor), (7) an internship/REU/activity (on- or off-campus) in a relevant area, (8) one (or more) intermediate elective (Cognitive Psychology, Behavioral Endocrinology, Neurobiology), (9-11) 3 more advanced/intermediate electives (whole-animal-oriented examples: Comparative Cognition, Animal Behavior, Goldfish Learning Lab, Invertebrate Zoology, Wellbeing of Humans and Other Animals courses; neuro-oriented examples: Cognitive Neuroscience, Neurobiology, Psychobiology of Sport and Exercise, Lab in Comparative Brain Connectivity), and (12) a thesis-oriented seminar or tutorial.
Best Friends Animal Hospital, Sarasota, Florida
Bradenton Veterinary Medicine, Bradenton, Florida
Senior Clinical System Analyst
Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami