One of the Psychology Department’s newest MA programs, the Behavioral Neuroscience MA program, was initiated in 2009. The mission of this program is to allow promising Masters graduate students to engage in intensive, research-based study within the quickly expanding field of Behavioral Neuroscience. The program is designed to enhance students’ chances of being admitted into highly-competitive doctoral training programs in Behavioral Neuroscience and other Neuroscience-related fields, and to increase chances of employment within the private sector as Research Assistants/Associates trained in Neuroscience and Neuroscience-related fields. Students matriculated into this program also contribute to Neuroscience-related research within the Psychology department and help facilitate interactions between the diverse Neuroscience laboratories from various Departments (e.g., Psychology, Biology, Computer Science, Chemistry/Biochemistry and Anthropology) across the campus.
The curriculum provides a rigorous overview of neuroscience, including four foundational courses: Molecular Neuroscience (PSYCH 709.1), Systems Neuroscience (PSYCH 709.2), Cognitive Neuroscience (PSYCH 709.3), and Behavioral Neuroscience (PSYCH 709.4). A two-semester quantitative methods sequence provides strong training in quantitative and pragmatic aspects of research (PSYCH 704.1 & 704.2). Students learn about neuroscience as a profession in both coursework and research activities: Ethics in Psychology (PSYCH 771.1), Scientific Talks/Colloquium (PSYCH 772.2), Thesis Seminar (scientific writing and communication, PSYCH 772.3). Flexible electives (9 credits) allow students to pursue non-traditional careers in neuroscience, for example, combining neuroscience and law, neuroscience and education, etc.
Integral to this MA program is a required research thesis serving as the culmination of a minimum of one year of research conducted in the lab of a faculty mentor. The thesis is evaluated by a three-person faculty committee. Students are also required to give an oral presentation on the thesis to this faculty committee.
The Learning Goals for MABN Students
- Master core and quantitative courses in behavioral neuroscience at a graduate level
- Conduct behavioral neuroscience research at the level of independent investigator
- Communicate information about behavioral neuroscience at a level adequate for teaching of the discipline
The purpose of this program is to allow promising Masters graduate students to engage in intensive, research-based study within the field of Behavioral Neuroscience.
The Goals of the Program
1) To provide graduates of the program with enhanced chances of being admitted into highly-competitive Doctoral Training Programs in Behavioral Neuroscience and other Neuroscience-related fields.
2) To enhance the chances that graduates of the program will gain employment within the private sector as Research Assistants/Associates trained in the growing field of Neuroscience and Neuroscience-related fields.
Kerstin Unger, M.A. Program Director