Psychobiology Minor

Psychobiology, the study of human and animal biology and behavior, is an interdisciplinary minor offered at Worcester State consisting of 6-7 classes (18-24 credits), with significant course contributions from the Biology and Psychology Departments. The Psychobiology minor allows students to explore the links between mind, body, and behavior, learning from accomplished faculty with expertise in the areas of neuroscience, animal behavior, human perception, cognition, and learning along with other specialties within psychology and biology.
Introductory courses include both Biology and Psychology, grounding students in the basics of both disciplines. Advanced courses provide an in-depth understanding of the nervous system, evolutionary biology, cellular physiology, and sensation and perception. Students will have the opportunity for hands-on learning to put course concepts into action.
All students are eligible to pursue the Psychobiology minor by following either the General Track or one of two specialized tracks: Biology Major Track or Psychology Major Track. These tracks are specialized to assure that students who major in Biology and Psychology receive an appropriate breadth of experiences within the field of Psychobiology to complement their chosen major.

Requirements for a Psychobiology Minor

General Track

(Available to all majors except Biology and Psychology)

Core(11 credits)
PS-101General Psychology3
BI-116Animal Biology4
PB-200Introduction to Psychobiology4
Electives(10-11 credits)
Students must select ONE course from Group A, ONE course from Group B, and ONE course from Group C:10-11
Group A (200-level)
Sensation and Perception
Human Biology
Group B (300-level Psychology)
Psychology of Learning
Brain and Behavior
Group C (300-level Biology w/lab)
Comparative Neurobiology
Animal Behavior
Capstone(2 credits)
PB-400Capstone in Psychobiology2
Total Credits23-24

Biology Major Track (Only available to Biology majors)

Core/Foundation(16 credits)
PS-101General Psychology3
PB-200Introduction to Psychobiology4
PS-280Sensation and Perception3
PS-325Psychology of Learning3
PS-230Brain and Behavior3
Capstone(2 credits)
PB-400Capstone in Psychobiology2
Total Credits18

Psychology Major Track (Only available to Psychology majors)

Core/Foundation(20 credits)
BI-116Animal Biology4
PB-200Introduction to Psychobiology4
BI-200Human Biology4
BI-315Comparative Neurobiology4
BI-360Animal Behavior4
Capstone(2 credits)
PB-400Capstone in Psychobiology2
Total Credits22

Note: Completing this minor also satisfies the LASC requirements of HBSP, NSP w/ Lab (2x), and the capstone requirement.

  1. Students will demonstrate a working knowledge of the following core content areas, as they specifically pertain to the relationship between biological and psychological functioning in human and non-human animals: cellular and molecular neurobiology, evolution, sensory and motor systems, learning and memory, mental disorders, and social behavior
  2. Students will use and evaluate contemporary theories to explain and make novel predictions regarding the relationship between biological and psychological functioning.
  3. Students will integrate core concepts from biological and psychological approaches to explain the bidirectional interaction between biological and psychological functioning, including articulating the relationship between structure and function, as well as similarities and differences across human and non-human animals.
  4. Students will conduct basic psychobiology research, use scientific reasoning to interpret claims, justify methodological decisions, and utilize proper laboratory protocols.
  5. Students will demonstrate effective communication of scientific information through clear and concise written communication and oral presentations for various audiences.
  6. Students will collaborate successfully on group activities
  7. Students will conduct themselves respectfully toward others in the context of scientific discussions and debates.
  8. Students will demonstrate self-reflection through the incorporation of feedback from educators and peers
  9. Students will describe, explain, and practice ethical standards and integrity within the discipline of psychobiology.
  10. Students will discuss historical and contemporary examples of the impact of psychobiological research on society.