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A lab assistant analyzing brain scans represents the Brain and Cognitive Sciences major at Curry College

Graphic of a brainThe study of the brain and behavior is both a momentous and rapidly growing field. The Brain and Cognitive Sciences major gives students the opportunity to integrate neuroscience, psychology, cognitive science, and neuropsychology as a way to understand the brain, cognitive functioning, and behavior. Students will learn about the neurological foundations of attention, perception, memory, thinking, learning, language, social behavior, and mental disorders, and will allow them the opportunity to study and learn about the structure and function of heathy brains, as well as brain diseases and disorders. In addition, students will learn about neurodiversity and its implications.

Students who major in the Brain and Cognitive Sciences will achieve the crucial first steps along various career paths, including those involving neurological disorders research, working as lab assistants and data analysts. Additionally, students who choose this major will also acquire the necessary foundations to succeed in graduate programs in neuropsychology, biological psychology, and psychology.

Courses You'll Love

Brain and Behavior
Cognitive Psychology
Drugs and Behavior
Human Development
Independent Research
Neuropsychology of Learning Differences
Stress, Coping, and Adaptation

Related Opportunities

Required Courses

Students must complete each of the following courses:

Course #
Title Credits
PSY 1030 Introduction to Psychology 3
MATH 1150 Statistics I * 3
MATH 2150 Statistics II 3
BIOL 1065 A Introduction to Molecules and
Cells ** A
BIOL 1065 Lab A Lab Molecules and Cells A 0
CS 1000 Introduction to Computer Science 3
PSY 2050 BC Research Methods in Psychology C 4
PSY 2050 Lab BC Research Methods in Psychology Lab C 0
PSY 3130 Brain and Behavior 3
PSY 3135 Cognitive Psychology 3
PSY 3500 Senior Seminar 3

* Fulfills the GenEd Quantitative requirement.
** Fulfills the GenEd Breath Science (QLE) requirement.
AB - Lectures and Labs must be taken during the same semester.
C - Prerequisites: PSY 1030 & MATH 1150

Foundational Courses

Students must complete a total of 9 credits at the 2000-level and 9 credits at the 3000-level (or 4000-level), not counting the required courses above. Of these credits, 9 must come from the foundational courses below (i.e., three credits, or one course, from each foundation):

Biological Psychology/
Course #
Title Credits
PSY 2070 Motivation 3
PSY 2330 Drugs and Behavior 3
PSY 3200 Stress, Coping, and Adaptation 3
PSY 3350 Health Psychology 3


Course #
Title Credits
PSY 2200 Behavior Disorders in Children 3
PSY 2300 Abnormal Psychology 3
PSY 3020 Psychological Testing 3
PSY 3150 Neuropsychology of Learning Differences 3


Social Psychology 
Course #
Title Credits
PSY 1400 Child Development 3
PSY 2400 Human Development 3
PSY 2800 Social Psychology 3

Elective Courses

  • At least one 2000-level course must be taken in Biology, Computer Science, or Management Information Systems
  • Three courses at the 2000 level in PSY/BIOL/CS/MIS*
  • Three courses at the 3000 (or 4000) level in PSY or BIOL

Psychology Course Electives:
Prerequisites: *PSY 1030/**PSY 2XXX

PSY 1400 Child Development*
PSY 2100 Adolescent Psychology*
PSY 2070 Motivation*
PSY 2130 Introduction to Clinical and Counseling Psychology*
PSY 2200 Behavior Disorders in Children*
PSY 2300 Abnormal PSY*
PSY 2330 Drugs and Behavior*  
PSY 2400 Human Development*  
PSY 2800 Social Psychology*  
PSY 3020 Psychological Tests**
PSY 3100 PSY of Learning**
PSY 3120 Counseling Theory**
PSY 3150 Neuropsychology of Learning Differences**
PSY 3200 Stress, Coping and Adaptation**
PSY 3350 Health Psychology**
PSY 4000 Independent Research (3 – 6 Credits)

Biology Course Electives:

BIOL 2030 Human Disease
Prerequisites: BIOL 1055 & 1065 or BIOL 1075/1175 & 1085/1185, or permission of instructor.
BIOL 2050 Animal Behavior
Prerequisite: any BIOL or SCI course or permission of instructor.
BIOL 2100 Genetics
Prerequisite: BIOL 1055 and 1065, and CHEM 1020/1120 or permission of instructor.
BIOL 2300 Bioinformatics
BIOL 3030 Cell Biology
Prerequisites: BIOL 1065, 2100, plus, CHEM 1020/1120, or permission of instructor.

Computer Science Course Electives:

CS 1100 - Computer Architecture and Organization
MIS 2050 - Data Mining, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

GPA Requirements

Students majoring in the Cognitive and Brain Sciences within the Psychology Department will be required to retake any pre-/ co-requisite, elective, or required course offered by the Psychology Department if they earn below a grade of C- (70%). Students are allowed to waive this policy for their first two grades below a C-. The third grade below a C- and any subsequent grades below a C- will have to be retaken. Although students are not required to maintain a GPA of 2.50 to be a Brain and Cognitive Sciences major, students who receive a cumulative GPA of less than 2.50 will be required to meet with the Academic Success Coordinator and commit to a specified plan for the following full semester to improve their grades.

Just a few of the many career options for students graduating with a degree in Brain and Cognitive Sciences include:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Behavioral Medicine
  • Data Analysis
  • Lab Assistant
  • Neurological Disorders Research
  • Neuropsychology
  • Pharmaceutical Research/Sales
  • School Counseling
  • Science/Technology Policy

To qualify for Brain and Cognitive Sciences Internship, the following criteria must be met:

  1. Possess a GPA of 2.50 or greater
  2. Be a Junior or Senior in standing
  3. Meet with Internship Coordinator

Note: Only three credits of internship learning may be credited toward the 3000-level requirement

  1. Knowledge Base in Brain and Cognitive Sciences: Students should demonstrate fundamental knowledge of:
    1. Major concepts and theoretical perspectives on the brain and cognitive sciences.
    2. Historical trends in brain and cognitive research.
    3. Empirical findings of relevant studies on the brain and cognition.
    4. The molecular and cellular basis in which the brain relates to human cognition and behavior.

  2. Scientific Inquiry and Critical Thinking: Students should:
    1. Develop the skills for scientific reasoning and problem solving by using effective research methods
    2. Expand and strengthen their abilities to think critically about scientific data in the field of brain and cognitive sciences.
    3. Learn basic concepts in collection, analysis, and interpretation of behavioral and brain data using appropriate methods from the cognitive and brain sciences.
    4. Demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate problems by assembling, synthesizing, and examining information from a variety of sources.

  3. Ethical and Social Responsibility in a Diverse World: Students should:
    1. Demonstrate the development of professional, ethical, and social responsibility in a diverse world.
    2. Demonstrate how the brain and cognitive sciences can be applied to various real-world problems and provide examples of how it is impacted by individual difference variables such as health, mental health, age, gender, and ethnicity.
    3. Be able to take and defend a position on ethical issues within the discipline.

  4. Communication: Students should:
    1. Demonstrate effective communication of scientific information in writing, oral, and interpersonal formats brain and cognitive sciences.
    2. Write a logical scientific argument, present information using a scientific approach, engage in discussions regarding cognitive and brain concepts, explain the ideas of others, and express their ideas with clarity.

  5. Professional Development: Students should:
    1. Demonstrate a capability and commitment to continuous scientific learning and critical thinking, effective self-reflection, project management skills, teamwork skills, and career preparation.
Psychology Lab at Curry College

Psychology Laboratory

The Psychology Department has and maintains a Psychology Laboratory. The Lab is equipped with instrumentation, including an EEG machine and brain-imaging software, and other programs for studying topics related to human neuropsychology and psychophysiology such as brain electrical activity, cardiovascular function, and a variety of other phenomena.

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Curry College students receive their Psychology Honor Society certificates

Psychology Honor Society

Psi Chi is an international honor society whose purpose is to encourage, stimulate, and maintain excellence in scholarship of the individual members in all fields, to advance the science of psychology.

Curry College Psychology Club members at an involvement fair

Psychology Club

The Psychology Club brings together students who are interested in psychology and want to apply and increase their own knowledge and understanding of the psychology field.

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Study Abroad

Along with institutional partnerships, you can create your own Study Abroad opportunity, or go global with our own faculty members as part of our Short-term, Faculty-led Courses.

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First-Year Experience

Making the transition to college can be a little confusing and lot of fun. Your First-Year Experience at Curry College helps smooth out the bumps and puts you on the path to success.

A Curry College faculty member interacts with students in the classroom

Gen Ed

At the heart of Curry College's undergraduate curriculum is our General Education (Gen Ed) Program. Gen Ed is based on our belief in the power and potential of the liberal arts.

Life-Changing Opportunities Await

Start with a foundation in the liberal arts. Add attentive faculty and countless opportunities to learn by doing. That’s what you’ll get with a bachelor’s degree from Curry. Learn what’s waiting for you today.