Behavioral and Biological Sciences is an exciting area of study which investigates the intersections of behavior, genetics, genomics, neurobiology and anthropology.

Students choosing this major will learn the foundations of biological and psychological sciences as they apply to the study of human and animal behavior.  The student experience will include lectures, seminars and hands-on laboratory courses to develop foundational understanding, experimental techniques and critical thinking skills. In addition the importance of ethical considerations and implications of research on behavior and genes will be emphasized. Opportunities to participate in research with faculty, attend seminars and develop communication skills provide an exceptional educational experience at the intersection of this rapidly growing area of cutting edge research and treatment.

For further information about Behavioral & Biological Sciences, contact program director: Dr. Nitya Sethuraman.

Why Study Behavioral & Biological Sciences

A recent study called The Next Generation of Biomedical and Behavioral Sciences Researchers: Breaking Through by the National Academies and sponsored by the  U.S. National Institutes of Health and the Bloomberg Philanthropies highlights the need for research and training in the biomedical fields. The BBS program is designed to prepare future researchers, professionals and educators in this critical area. (DOI: Students trained in behavioral and biological sciences will be uniquely prepared to enter careers in research or business, to pursue graduate studies or enter professional training such as medical school.

Degree Requirements

Undergraduate Catalog: Overview and requirements for the BBS major.

Learn more about CASL Degree Requirements.

Program 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 or possible causes of behavioral disease 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.
    • Communicate in written and spoken formats about scientific principles and findings.
    • Interpret and design appropriate experiments and apply principles of data analysis using statistical methods.
  5. Understand professional and ethical responsibilities.

COVID-19 Update

Our laboratories will offer a combination of virtual experience, simulation and demonstration to provide as close to a true laboratory experience as possible.

Students taking Chemistry, Biology, Physics or Geology can expect a rigorous curriculum that will provide both lecture and laboratory experience yet maintain social distancing.

Making the Most of Your Major

There are opportunities to develop skills and connect with others interested in geological sciences beyond the classroom. Check out the Behavioral and Biological Sciences Major Map to get a more detailed, year-by-year view of how you can learn, engage, network and transform your community and prepare for life after graduation.

Get Involved

Join a professional organization. Present a research poster at Meeting of Minds or the CASL Research Showcase. Explore UM-Dearborn student organizations on VictorsLink.

Get Real World Experience

Internshipsresearch, and study abroad opportunities are available for students. Talk with your professors to learn more.

Plan for Life After Graduation

BBS students have opportunities to work or to further their education in graduate or professional schools. Career Services offers assistance with job searching, resumes, interviews, or graduate school applications.

"This multidisciplinary major creates a strong link between biology and psychology, allowing students, like me, to study how the brain relates to human behavior. This major, also, is perfect for students who are interested in the physical side of Psychology. By combining the study of biology and psychology, you learn about the relationship between our biological make-up and how we think, feel and act."

- Lena Rammouni, 2018 BBS Honors Scholar

Read more from Lena and her thoughts on the program.

I am Lena Rammouni, a junior here at the University of Michigan- Dearborn. As a first-generation college student, I was clueless about what major I wanted to focus my studies around. All I knew was that I wanted to pursue a career in medicine.

I started off as a Biochemistry major my freshman year. After my first semester and taking my pre-required courses, I realized I developed a newfound love for psychology. The human mind and its functions really took my breath-away and always had me pondering for more. This helped to influence my decision to minor in Psychology. However, I always wished that there was a major that combined both the biological and psychological concepts. After expressing my ideas to my counselor, she directed me towards a new major: Behavioral and Biological Sciences (Biopsychology).

Switching to this major was by far one of the best decisions I have ever done here at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. This multidisciplinary major creates a strong link between biology and psychology, allowing students, like me, to study how the brain relates to human behavior. This major, also, is perfect for students who are interested in the physical side of Psychology. By combining the study of biology and psychology, you learn about the relationship between our biological make-up and how we think, feel and act. For a pre-medical student, these fascinating subjects give you the knowledge needed to improve people's lives, whether it is treating mental illness or a variety of other psychological and physical problems. This major is not limited to only the pre-medicine track, it will prepare you to work in many different fields. I highly recommend this major to students that want more than a Biology or Psychology degree.


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