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Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience B.S. (PC34)

Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience (CBN) is a joint major between the Department of Cognitive Science and the Department of Psychology. 

The B.S. in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience will appeal to students who are broadly interested in understanding links between neural activity and perception (e.g., color vision, attention), basic behaviors (e.g., appetitive drives), and higher-level cognitive function (e.g., working memory and executive function) using multiple tools ranging from single-unit physiology to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG).

Lower-Division (LD) Requirements (36 units)

Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience (CBN) uses scientific tools and concepts: knowledge of formal systems such as logic or calculus, probability theory, computer science, chemistry, biology, physics, and statistics. Accordingly, students in upper-division (UD) courses must have an adequate background in these topics.

Lower-division (LD) courses for the major should be completed by the end of the sophomore year. These requirements will guarantee an adequate background for the topics of the upper-division (UD) CBN courses.

3 Natural Science Courses

  • COGS 17
  • Plus choose two of the following:
    • BILD 1, 2, 3, 10, 20, 26 (BILD 12 and 22 are NOT accepted)
    • CHEM 4*, 6A, 6B, 6C, 11*, 12, 13
    • PHYS 1A, 1B, 1C, 2A, 2B, 2C, 10, 11

*Only one of CHEM 4 or 11 can be taken for credit.

4 Formal Skills Courses

  • PSYC 70 or COGS 14A
  • MATH 10A or 20A*
  • MATH 10B or 20B*
  • MATH 10C or 20C*

* Preferred calculus courses critical for the success of students who plan to pursue mathematically intensive areas of CBN.

1 Computer Programming Course (choose one of the following)

  • COGS 18*
  • CSE 7*, 8A, 8B, 11, 12

* Preferred computer programming courses critical for the success of students who plan to pursue research careers in Cognitive Science or Psychology.

**The Psychology Department will accept CSS 1 to satisfy the computer programming requirement. Please send a Virtual Advising Center (VAC) message to have this exception applied to your degree audit.

1 Statistics Course (choose one of the following) - Statistics must be taken for a letter grade.

  • PSYC 60
  • COGS 14B

**The Psychology Department will accept MATH 11 to satisfy the statistics requirement. Please send a Virtual Advising Center (VAC) message to have this exception applied to your degree audit.

Note: All lower-division courses must be passed with a minimum grade of C- or P.

Research Requirements (8 units, 2 courses)

2 Research Courses (choose two of the following courses)

  • Research Lab Courses:^ 
    • PSYC 114, 115A, 115B, 116, 117, 118, 121, 140, 193L, 194ABC* 
    • COGS 102B, 102C, 118B, 119, 120, 121, 153, 165, 170, 189, 190ABCD*
  • Independent Research:** PSYC 199 or COGS 199

*Successful completion of either PSYC 194ABC or COGS 190 ABCD (Dept. Honors) fully satisfies the research requirement.

COGS 160 may be used for one lab if pre-approved by Psych advising prior to the start of the course.

By petition one of the following will be accepted for the major: BIPN 105, CHEM 143A, CHEM 143B, or CHEM 143C.

B.S. Research Paper (may be titled "Research Experience")

^Students who use at least one of the Research Lab courses from the list above, do not have to submit a B.S. Research paper to the Psychology Advising Office.

**Students who satisfy their research requirement using 8 units of PSYC 99 or PSYC 199 are required to submit a B.S. Research paper to the Psychology Advising Office to fully satisfy their B.S. major requirements. You can learn more about the B.S. Research Paper Guidelines on our website.

B.S. Research Paper section on your Degree Audit: must be manually cleared by a Psychology advisor; therefore, even if you are not required to write a B.S. Research paper, this section will not be marked complete until after one of the advisors reviews and approves your Degree and Diploma Application (DDA).

Upper-Division (UD) Requirements (48 units)

4 CBN Core Courses

  • COGS 107A
  • PSYC 102 or COGS 101A
  • PSYC 106 or COGS 107B
  • PSYC 108 or COGS 107C

6 CBN Courses (choose six of the following)

  • PSYC 116, 122, 123, 125, 132, 133, 144, 150, 159, 169, 170, 171, 179, 181, 189
  • COGS 115, 119, 154, 163, 164, 165, 169, 170, 171, 172, 174, 175, 176, 177, 178, 179, 180, 184
  • HDS 110

2 Elective Courses (choose two of the following)

  • PSYC 100, 101, 104, 105, 110–193
  • COGS 101B, 101C, 102A, 102B, 102C, 109–189

*Students are allowed to use one PSYC 195 and/or one AIP 197 toward the upper-division (UD) Elective requirement. Please send a Virtual Advising Center (VAC) message to have these courses applied to your degree audit.

Note: All upper-division courses numbered 100-193 must be taken for a letter grade and a minimum grade of C- is required for the course to count toward the CBN major.

Major Regulations

  • All upper-division courses numbered 100-193 must be taken for a letter grade and a minimum grade of C- is required for the course to count toward the major.
  • Courses taken Pass/No Pass cannot count toward the upper-division CBN major requirement.
  • Excluded from credit towards the major are graduate seminars (2XX).
  • A maximum of three upper-division psychology courses may be taken outside of UC San Diego (see Petitions).
  • A grade-point average of at least 2.0 in the upper-division major courses is required for graduation.

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