Behavioral and Biological Sciences

The study of Behavioral and Biological Sciences investigates the intersections between biochemistry, psychology, genetics, neurobiology, behavior, immunology and anthropology. Students choosing the Bachelor of Arts, or Bachelor of Science, in Behavioral and Biological Sciences will learn the foundations of both biological and psychological sciences as they apply to the study of human and animal behavior, as well as ethical considerations and implications of research. The student experience will include a selection of lectures and laboratory courses to develop foundational understanding, hands-on experimental understanding and critical thinking skills. Students trained in these areas will be prepared for business and research positions, for pursuing advanced degrees in medical school, pharmacy or graduate programs and will contribute in the following areas:

  • Health and wellness, making a direct and significant impact in areas in which citizens have received “poor marks.”
  • Health and the environment, indirectly, by working in research and within industry to change manufacturing processes and improve products.
  •  Leadership in business, industry and politics.
  •  K-12 education through service learning and outreach.  

Please visit the Behavioral and Biological Sciences webpage for more information.

In addition to the major requirements, students must complete all CASL Degree Requirements.

Prerequisites to the Major

Not counted in the minimum 37 credit hours required for the major.

PSYC 101Introduction to Psychology3
BIOL 130Intro Org and Environ Biology4
BIOL 140Intro Molec & Cellular Biology4
CHEM 134General Chemistry IA4
CHEM 136General Chemistry IIA4
CHEM 225Organic Chemistry I3
CHEM 226Organic Chemistry II3
Total Credit Hours25

Major Requirements

 Minimum 37 credits hours required depending on selection of courses.

Select one of the following:
Principles of Biochemistry
Biochemistry I
and Biochemistry II
Select one of the following:
Cell Biology
General Genetics
Molecular Biology
Select one of the following:
Introduction to Neurobiology
Cognitive Neuroscience
and Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory
Select one of the following:
Biological Anthropology and Human Evolution
Beyond Race: Understanding Human Variation
The Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
Medical Anthropology
Population Genetics & Evolutn
Behavior and Evolution
Behavioral Ecology
Animal Behavior
Animal Learning and Cognition
Primatology Field Course
Select one of the following:
Human Physiology
Physiological Psychology
Select two of the following:
Cognitive Psychology
Psychology of Language
Cognitive Neuroscience
Learning and Memory
Sensation and Perception
Applied Cognitive Psychology
Select one of the following:
Nutrition and Health
Principles of Epidemiology
Health Psychology
Select one of the following:
Ethics in Research
Medical Ethics
Select one of the following:
Prin of Stat and Exper Design
Biostatistics I
Experimental Psychology
Bio and Beh Science Capstone
Physiology of Excitable Cells
Neurobiology of Brain Disorders
Total Credit Hours37-46

NOTE: At least 18 of the 37 credit hours for the major must be elected at UM-Dearborn.  

Recommended Electives:

 ANTH 415 Nutrition and Health , BIOL 304 Ecology , BIOL 410 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Health Care: Research and Treatment , HHS 435 Obesity and the Lifecourse , PSYC 300 Life-Span Developmental Psych , PSYC 320 Social Psychology , PSYC 440 Abnormal Psychology , PSYC 442 Child Psychopathology , PSYC 446 Human Sexual Behavior , PSYC 470 Advanced Physiological Psych , PSYC 473 Clinical Neuropsychology , PSYC 474 Animal Learning and Cognition

Honors Designation in Behavioral and Biological Sciences

In order to be considered for Honors designation, a student must complete and submit an honors application (attached) to the BBS Program committee Director via his/her/their advisor no later than the end of the term prior to graduation.

Honors in BBS will be earned by meeting all of the following criteria:

  • cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher in BBS major courses
  • cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher in all university courses
  • completion of a minimum of 6 six credit hours of Independent/Directed Research (BBS 498,499), spread over 2 or more years, under the supervision of one principal investigator, who will serve as thesis advisor. This research must have a BBS program (broadly defined) focus.
  • Completion of a thesis-like document that thoroughly describes the background, experimental design, methodology and discussion of data generated in the context of the scientific literature.
  • Presentation of the research thesis before a committee of three faculty: the thesis advisor, two full time Faculty from the BBS program committee or one BBS faculty member and one external member of the student’s choosing. The defense should be held a minimum of 2 weeks prior to the final-exams week of the semester in which the student is graduating.  The committee must be provided with a draft of the thesis one week prior to the defense OR Presentation of the research in a public forum (e.g. scientific meeting, College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters (CASL) Research Day, Department of Natural Sciences Poster Day).

Learning Goals

  1. Explain how molecular and genetic processes contribute to behavior.
  2. Explain how environmental and socio-cognitive experiences contribute to behavior.
  3. Describe the causes orpossible causes of behaviora ldisease or illness, and provide scientific rationale for the pharmacological and socio-cognitive treatment of illness and disease.
  4. Read, interpret, and critique the literature in biology and behavioral science. a) Communicate in written and spoken formats about scientific principles and findings. b) Interpret and design appropriate experiments and apply principles of data analysis using statistical methods.
  5. Understand professional and ethical responsibilities.