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Field of Study: Biopsychology

Introduction

Biopsychology programs teach people about the links between the human body and human psychology. This program may also be called psychobiology.

 

Overview

Biopsychology programs include topics such as:

  • Brain biology
  • Neurological biophysics
  • Memory storage and retrieval
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Biorhythms
  • Research methodology and statistics

Concentrations
In biopsychology programs, students may be able to specialize in:

  • Physiological psychology
  • Psychobiology

Schools
Many colleges and universities offer bachelor's degrees in biopsychology. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

Several universities offer graduate degrees in biopsychology. A master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master's degree.

 

College preparation

For this program, schools recommend that you know how to use a computer and the Internet.

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

  • Probability and Statistics
  • Psychology
  • Advanced Biology courses
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Advanced Chemistry courses
  • Physics

 

Undergraduate special

Some schools also require you to apply to the biopsychology major. Typically you must first complete courses in psychology, statistics, biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, and calculus.

 

Graduate admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and good test scores.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • Undergraduate degree in psychology, biology, or a physical or social science
  • Undergraduate course work in statistics

 

Typical course work

A bachelor's degree program in psychobiology typically requires that you study the following courses:

  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Anatomy and Physiology of the Brain
  • Animal Behavior
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Biopsychology
  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Experimental Psychology
  • General Biology
  • General Chemistry
  • Genetics
  • Learning and Cognition
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physiological Psychology
  • Biopsychology of Emotion
  • Psychology
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Research Methods
  • Statistics

If a bachelor's degree program in biopsychology is not available to you, you probably can fit the above course work into a major in general biology. With those additions, it will be good preparation for graduate school in biopsychology.

A master's degree program in biopsychology typically includes courses such as the following:

  • Behavioral Genetics
  • Cellular Neurophysiology
  • Developmental Neurobiology
  • Intermediate Statistics
  • Learning and Conditioning
  • Neuroanatomy
  • Professional Ethics
  • Research Design

A doctoral degree program in biopsychology typically includes more courses such as the above, plus courses on research methods and advanced statistics, such as the following:

  • Applied Regression Methods
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Research Methods in Biopsychology

In addition, graduate programs typically require the following:

  • Thesis (master's degree)
  • Preliminary exams (doctoral degree only)
  • Dissertation and dissertation defense (doctoral degree)

 

Things to know

Most people with a degree in biopsychology work as researchers and lab assistants. You can work for drug and chemical companies.

A bachelor's degree in biopsychology is considered good preparation for medical school. In addition, it is good preparation for further graduate study in neuroscience, clinical psychology, animal behavior, and biopsychology.

 

Similar fields of study

Careers you may qualify for

Natural Sciences Managers

 

Resources

American Psychological Association
http://www.apa.org
Click on "Education" or "Careers."

Schools that offer program

Click on the school name to see a list of their programs related to this field of study.

Augsburg College - Minneapolis, Located in Metro