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Curriculum and Career Guides

Psychology and BCN majors develop both general and technical skills applicable to a wide range of careers. For example, interpersonal skills may be equally useful whether working as a clinical psychologist, a corporate recruiter, or a rehabilitation worker. Many concentrators go on to graduate or professional school. Since Psychology draws from the biological and social sciences, students should consider blending psychology course work with related fields such as Anthropology, Sociology, Statistics, Biology, Urban Planning, Women's Studies, Program in the Environment, Education, and Social Work.  The guides below can help you with course selection and assist in preparing you for your dream career.

New: Evolution and Behavior Curriculum Guide

Introducing Evolution & Behavior Curriculum Guide

The Evolution & Behavior Curriculum Guide is not a major, minor or subplan; it is a list of recommended courses for students intending to pursue graduate school or careers related to bio-evolutionary psychology, bioanthropology, animal behavior, veterinary medicine, evolutionary medicine, natural resources or wildlife biology. 

Why study evolution? 

Understanding how evolution shapes our minds and brains is critical for understanding human and non-human animal behavior. Similar to behavioral neuroscientists who study non-human animals to understand the mechanisms of behavior, we use non-human animals (mostly in their natural habitats) to understand the evolution of behavior.

New Gateway Course: PSYCH 235 Introduction to Evolution & Behavior

PSYCH 235 provides a strong foundation in evolutionary theory, with a focus on how these principles affect behavior.  While this course leans strongly on foundations established by the field of animal behavior, it also focuses heavily on human examples. This course examines the evolutionary origins and biological bases of crucial behaviors of interest to psychologists, including social relationships, kinship, sexual behavior, communication, aggression, foraging, cooperation, and culture. Additionally, the course covers topics relevant to human evolution, brain evolution, and neural systems evolution that complement existing coursework in the department.

PSYCH 235 will be a prerequisite for several biopsychology courses focusing on evolution and behavior that will be offered in the future. It will also serve as an alternative or recommended prerequisite to other classes that include evolutionary components.

PSYCH 235 will count as part of Gateway group III for BCN majors (one of PSYCH 235, 250, 270, 280, 290, or 291) and Breadth Group I for Psych majors (one of PSYCH 235, 220, or 240).

Course Registration Considerations

Students who have received credit for PSYCH 330 with the topic “Evolution and Behavior" or PSYCH 335 “Evolution and Animal Behavior” CANNOT earn credit for PSYCH 235. Subsequently, these courses may be substituted as a pre-req for courses that require PSYCH 235 as an enforced pre-req. If you wish to register for a course with a PSYCH 235/335 preq but have taken PSYCH 330 “Evolution and Behavior", you will need to contact the Psych SAA Office for an override into an OPEN seat into the course. Please note that PSYCH 335 will no longer be offered, and students interested in the Evolution & Behavior courses who have not already taken PSYCH 335 should take PSYCH 235. 

Psychology Dept. Evolution & Behavior Courses 

Course Number

Course Title

Enforced Preq

Fulfills Requirement

PSYCH 235

Intro to Evolution and Behavior

Psych 111

BCN: Gateway III 

Psych: Breadth Group I

PSYCH 338

Primate Behavior

235 or Anthrbio 201

300 level advanced/upper-level course

PSYCH 363

Human Cognitive Evolution

235 or 335

300 level advanced/upper-level course

PSYCH 364

Biopsychology of Sports (will be taught as PSYCH 430-001 in Fall 2021)

235 or 335

300 level advanced/upper-level course

PSYCH 365

Advanced Animal Behavior

235 or 335

300 level advanced/upper-level course

PSYCH 366

Field Biology and Behavioral Methods (will be taught as PSYCH 402-001 in Fall 2021)

235 or 335 & Stats 250

Methods lab

PSYCH 432

Advanced Topics in Evolutionary and Comparative Psychology

235 or 335

400 level advanced/upper-level course

PSYCH 461

Animal Cognition

235 or 335

400 level advanced/upper-level course

PSYCH 462

Primate Communication and Language

235 or 335 & one of 363, 364, or 365

400 level advanced/upper-level course

PSYCH 464

Mammalian Social Behavior

235 or 335 & 365

400 level advanced/upper-level course

PSYCH 465

Evolution and Human Nature

235 or 335

400 level advanced/upper-level course

PSYCH 468

Evolutionary Endocrinology

235, 335, 337 or EEB 492

400 level advanced/upper-level course

PSYCH 469

Advanced Primate Behavior

235 or 338

400 level advanced/upper-level course

Other advanced/upper-level courses* students interested in this track might enjoy include:

  • PSYCH 332 - Biopsychology of Rhythms and Behavior (Pre-req: PSYCH 230 or 240 or 235 or 335 or 345)
  • PSYCH 337 - Hormones and Behavior (Pre-req: PSYCH 230 or 235 or 335)  
  • PSYCH 339 - Biopsychology of Cooperation (Pre-req: PSYCH 230 or 235 or 335)
  • PSYCH 385 - Sex and Survival (PSYCH 280 pre-req) (*Note: this COGNATE for BCN; and a 300-level elective for Psych)
  • PSYCH 430 - Topics in Biopsychology (Pre-req: PSYCH 230 or 235 or 335)  
  • PSYCH 434 - Neuroscience of Fear & Anxiety (Pre-req: PSYCH 230 & one of PSYCH 235, 330, 332, 333, 334, 335, 336, 337, 338, or 339)
  • PSYCH 436 - Sleep: Brain and Behavior, From Flies to Humans (Pre-req: PSYCH 230 or 235 or 335)
  • PSYCH 439 - The Developing Brain (Pre-req: Psych 230)
  • PSYCH 446 - Altruism (Pre-req: PSYCH 240)

See the curriculum guide linked below for other course options outside of the Psychology Dept.