Behavioural neuroscience

Department: Psychology Faculty: Science Campus: St. John's
Honours available: Yes Co-op available: Yes Length: Four years
University Calendar: Behavioural neuroscience
Prospective students: Fill out our student inquiry form to receive updates from Memorial.  

Behavioural neuroscience is the general study of the relations between the structure and activity of the brain and its function in generating integrated adaptive behavioural responses. Memorial’s neuroscience program has strong links to the Faculty of Medicine, located on the same campus in St. John’s.

Behavioural neuroscience at Memorial

Through course work and hands-on research experiences, behavioural neuroscience students learn the science behind their degree. A variety of topics are covered including spatial and temporal cognition, effects of hormones on behaviour and animal models of psychological disorders. Because behavioural neuroscience is a multi-disciplinary field, you will also take a variety of different sciences as part of their degree.

In addition to the B.Sc. major and honours options in behavioural neuroscience, joint programs are offered in:

  • biology/behavioural neuroscience (B.Sc. honours)
  • human biosciences/behavioural neuroscience (B.Sc. honours)

The Department of Psychology offers a co-operative education option available to behavioural neuroscience majors. Co-op students complete three work terms, which consist of full-time paid employment.

Admission to the co-op option is competitive for a limited number of places.

Admission requirements

New Memorial students

Intake: Fall, winter or spring semesters
Application deadline: Applications are considered on a rolling basis. Students are encouraged to apply by: March 1 for fall admission, Oct. 1 for winter admission and Feb. 1 for spring admission

You may apply for admission into the Faculty of Science by indicating bachelor of science as your program choice on the undergraduate application for admission.

Direct entry into the Faculty of Science from high school is subject to meeting the general admission requirements for Memorial University, including appropriate high school courses in mathematics and a laboratory science.

You cannot choose behavioural neuroscience as your major at the time of application.

Sample first year

Admission into the behavioural neuroscience major requires the completion of university level courses. Wondering what courses you should take in your first year? Check out a sample program of suggested courses you need to complete before applying for the behavioural neuroscience major.

Admission to the major for current students

Intake: Fall semester only
Application deadline: June 1 via departmental application (details below)

Entry into the behavioural neuroscience major is based on academic standing. Admission is competitive and selective. Meeting the minimum criteria does not guarantee admission to the program.

To be considered for admission to the behavioural neuroscience major, you must have completed a minimum of 24 credit hours (8 courses), including the following:

  • six credit hours in critical reading and writing (CRW) courses, including at least three credit hours in English
  • one Mathematics 1000, 1006 or Statistics 1500 or two of Mathematics 1090, 1050 or 1051 (or equivalent)
  • Psychology 1000 and 1001
  • six credit hours in elective courses (three elective courses if only Mathematics 1000 is completed) 

A minimum average of 65% in Psychology 1000 and 1001 and an overall average of 60% in psychology, CRW, and mathematics courses is required.

Students intending to major in behavioural neuroscience must submit a departmental online application form by June 1 to the Department of Psychology. Forms are usually submitted at the end of the second semester.

Sample courses beyond first year

PSYC 2520 - Introduction to Behavioural Neuroscience
PSYC 3250 - Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
PSYC 3820 - Research Techniques in Behavioural Neuroscience

Career opportunities

A bachelor of science degree, with a major in behavioural neuroscience, prepares students for a variety of careers including:

  • audiologist
  • clinical research assistant
  • health educator
  • medical doctor
  • neuropsychologist
  • occupational therapist
  • physiotherapist

Note: some of these careers may call for supplementary education or preparation in the form of graduate studies, experiential learning or professional courses and exams.