Animal Behavior

The goal of this program is to provide an integrated approach to understanding animal behavior. Program objectives include an understanding of behavior from psychological, physical, evolutionary, and biological approaches. The faculty of the Departments of Biology, Psychology, and Biological Anthropology and Anatomy provide the opportunity for concentrating on a topic which has become too diverse for one perspective or discipline.

Students fulfilling the requirements of the Concentration in Animal Behavior will receive a note on their official transcript certifying successful completion of the Area of Concentration.

Area Advisors

Area Advisors Area Faculty

Stephen Nowicki,

Alberts, C. Drea, S. Johnsen, Nowicki, Patek




  • CHEM 101DL Core Concepts in Chemistry OR
  • CHEM 110DL Honors Chemistry: Core Concepts in context OR
  • CHEM 21 General Chemistry Credit


  • CHEM201DL Organic Chemistry

NOTE: CHEM 210DL and CHEM 202L are recommended for pre-med, pre-vet, biochem and pharm students.


  • MATH 111L Laboratory Calculus I OR
  • MATH 121 Introductory Calculus I OR
  • MATH 21 Introductory Calculus I OR
  • BOTH MATH 105L/106L Laboratory Calculus and Functions I and II


  • STA 102 Introductory Biostatistics OR
  • STA 101 (Data Analysis/Statistical Inference) or above OR
  • STA 199L Intro to Data Science


  • PHYSICS 121L/141L General Physics I OR
  • PHYSICS 151L Introductory Mechanics OR
  • PHYSICS 161D Fundamentals of Physics I OR
  • PHYSICS 25 (AP credit)

NOTE: PHYSICS 122L/142L is recommended for pre-med, pre-vet, biochem and pharm students.

Biology Major Requirements (minimum 10 Courses)

The following courses are required for students pursuing both the B.S. and B.A. biology credentials.

Gateway Courses (2 or 1 courses)

The gateways are not sequenced and can be taken in either order.

  • BIOLOGY 201L Molecular Biology (prerequisite: Chem 101D or equivalent)
  • BIOLOGY 202L Genetics & Evolution


  • BIOLOGY 203L Molecular Biology, Genetics & Evolution (prerequisite: Biology AP 5 and Chem 101D or equivalent)

Biology Area Requirements

Select 1 course from EACH of the following three areas. Courses listed in more than one area may only be used to meet one area requirement.

  • 1 course - Organismal Diversity
  • 1 course - Biological Structure & Function
    • BIOLOGY 268D Mechanisms of Animal Behavior
    • BIOLOGY 321D Primate Sexuality
    • BIOLOGY 329D / 329L Principles of Animal Physiology
  • 1 course - Ecology
    • BIOLOGY 209D-2 Ecology for a Changing Planet
    • BIOLOGY 267 Behavioral Ecology and the Evolution of Animal Behavior

Electives (5 or 6 Courses)

At least 3 of the elective courses must be from the list below; one of the 3 must be a course listed in Biology.

Courses Courses
BIOLOGY 205 Marine Megafauna BIOLOGY 363S Animal Intelligence and the Social Brain
BIOLOGY 209D-2 Ecology for a Crowded Planet *if not used for ecololgy requirement above BIOLOGY 373LA Sensory Physiology and Behavior of Marine Animals
BIOLOGY 224/PSY 275 Fundamentals of Neuroscience (B) BIOLOGY 376A Marine Mammals
BIOLOGY 267 Behavioral Ecology *if not used for ecology requirement above BIOLOGY 490S / 590S Special Topics (as approved by concentration area advisor)

Bio 490S Sexual Selection, Spring 2022
BIOLOGY 268 Mechanisms of Animal Behavior *if not used for structure/function requirement above BIOLOGY 546(L)S Biology of Mammals
BIOLOGY 278LA Physiology of Marine Animals BIOLOGY 559S Foundations of Behavioral Ecology
BIOLOGY 293 / 493 Research Independent Study, as approved by area advisor EVANTH 246 Sociobiology
BIOLOGY 321D Primate Sexuality *if not used for structure/function requirement above EVANTH 344L Primate Field Biology
BIOLOGY 329D / 329L Principles of Animal Physiology *if not used for structure/function requirement above EVANTH 554L Methods in Primate Field Ecology


Lab Experience Requirement

Through your area menu and elective courses, you must take at least 2 full lab courses in addition to the gateway courses. Courses must be at the 200 level or above. A maximum of 1 independent study may count as a lab course.

Capstone Course Requirement

You must take at least 1 full 400-level or higher biology 'Capstone' course or other approved capstone course. Independent study can count towards this requirement if it is a second semester continuation.