Behavioral Biology

Major only
The interaction between behavior and biology takes place in both directions. On the one hand, biology influences behavior. For example, psychopharmacology has demonstrated the importance of neurochemical substances in the brain, and sociobiology has emphasized the role of genetic factors in behavior. On the other hand, behavior also influences biology, as an individual’s perception of and reaction to life events can have substantial effects on hormonal and physiological functions. In recognizing both of these interactions, behavioral biology seeks to establish a greater understanding of them through its interdisciplinary organization.

Highlights of the Hopkins Program
The David S. Olton Behavioral Biology Program is an interdepartmental, interdivisional major for those wishing to study the natural and social sciences in relation to human and animal behavior. The program begins with the fundamental concepts of both the natural sciences and the social sciences, and then the interface between these two areas is explored through specialized courses and electives, and through additional study emphasizing a particular subject. Courses provide a broadly based, yet integrated education, focused in the field of behavioral biology.


Sample First Semester Schedule
  • Foundations of BBC, 200.141
  • Introductory Chemistry I, 030.101
  • Introductory Chemistry Lab I, 030.105
  • Calculus I, 110.106
  • Elective H or S course
  • Total 12-17 credits

Career Exploration

Skill Set

The “real world” skills you’ll develop with a major in Behavioral Biology:

  • Operating scientific equipment
  • Applying biological theories
  • Designing experiments and recording results
  • Applying scientific concepts to problems
  • Reasoning logically to evaluate the effects of phenomena
  • Attention to detail
  • Reporting results and conclusions orally and in writing
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