Admissions to the Biology: Neurobiology B.S. have been suspended as of fall 2016; and will be discontinued fall 2019. If you have any questions, please contact the department.

The College of Letters & Science now offers a neurobiology major. Students already declared for the biology major with a Neurobiology option are allowed to continue in the program; they must complete the program no later than August 2019. 

Students who have declared the biology major with a Neurobiology option may cancel the major and declare the new neurobiology major, provided it does not extend their time to degree. Students should  consult with an advisor in the new neurobiology major to determine which program is best for them.  

Students may not double-major in any biology major option and the neurobiology major.

Core Requirements

Mathematics and Statistics

Select one of the following:5-10
Calculus with Algebra and Trigonometry I
and Calculus with Algebra and Trigonometry II
Calculus and Analytic Geometry 1
Select one of the following: 13-4
Calculus and Analytic Geometry 2
Introduction to Statistical Methods
Introductory Applied Statistics for the Life Sciences


General Chemistry
Select one of the following:5-10
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry II
Advanced General Chemistry
Chemical Principles I
and Chemical Principles II
Organic Chemistry
CHEM 343 Introductory Organic Chemistry3
CHEM 344 Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory2
CHEM 345 Intermediate Organic Chemistry3


1st semester Physics; select one of the following:4-5
General Physics
General Physics
General Physics
2nd semester Physics, select one of the following:4-5
General Physics
General Physics
General Physics

Introductory Biology

Select one of the following options: 110-16
Option A:
Introductory Biology
Introductory Biology
Option B:
Evolution, Ecology, and Genetics
Evolution, Ecology, and Genetics Laboratory
Cellular Biology
Cellular Biology Laboratory
Organismal Biology
Option C:
Animal Biology
Animal Biology Laboratory
General Botany
Foundational Course 2
Select one of the following:3
Evolution, Ecology, and Genetics
and Cellular Biology 3
Plant Breeding and Biotechnology
Principles of Genetics
General Genetics 2
Microbial Genetics & Molecular Machines
Introduction to Biochemistry
General Biochemistry II

Intermediate/Advanced Courses

Minimum of 13 credits required and must include one approved lab course. Approved lab courses are indicated by footnote.
Students must complete ZOOLOGY/​PSYCH  523 Neurobiology and  PSYCH 454 Behavioral Neuroscience.
In addition, select one course from category A. Select one course from category B. Select one course from categories C or D below. Additional courses can be taken from A–F to satisfy the lab and/or 31-credit requirement.

A. Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology

GENETICS 520 Neurogenetics2
NTP/​NEURODPT  610 Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience4
NTP/​NEURODPT/​ZOOLOGY  616 Lab Course in Neurobiology and Behavior 14
NTP/​NEURODPT  629 Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Memory3
ZOOLOGY 655 Modeling Neurodevelopmental Disease3
NTP 675 Special Topics (Molecular Mechanisms of Brain Damage)1-3
NTP 675 Special Topics (Reproductive Neuroencrinology)1-3
PSYCH 601 Current Topics in Psychology (Epigenetics & the Brain)3
PSYCH 601 Current Topics in Psychology (Neuropharmacology)3
ZOOLOGY 555 Laboratory in Developmental Biology 13
ZOOLOGY 604 Computer-based Gene and Disease/Disorder Research Lab 12
ZOOLOGY 625 Development of the Nervous System2

B. Systems Neurobiology

CS&D 210 Neural Basis of Communication3
CS&D 503 Neural Mechanisms of Speech, Hearing and Language3
ED PSYCH 326 Mind, Brain and Education3
KINES 531 Neural Control of Movement3
NTP/​NEURODPT/​PSYCH  611 Systems Neuroscience4
NTP/​ZOOLOGY  620 Neuroethology Seminar2
NTP/​NEURODPT  630 Neuronal Mechanisms for Sensation and Memory in Cerebral Cortex3
NTP/​MED PHYS  651 Methods for Neuroimaging Research 13
NTP 675 Special Topics (Functional Brain Imaging of Cognitive Disorders)1-3
NTP 675 Special Topics (Basic Sleep Mechanisms & Sleep Disorders)1-3
PSYCH 406 Psychology of Perception3-4
PSYCH 414 Cognitive Psychology3
PSYCH 504 Affective Neuroscience4
PSYCH 513 Hormones, Brain, and Behavior4
PSYCH 601 Current Topics in Psychology (Cognition & Emotion: Cognitive Affective Neuroscience)3
PSYCH 601 Current Topics in Psychology (Neural Basis of Cognitive Control)3
PSYCH 601 Current Topics in Psychology (Neuroeconomics)3

C. Ecology

AGRONOMY/​BOTANY/​SOIL SCI  370 Grassland Ecology3
AGRONOMY/​ENTOM/​F&W ECOL/​M&ENVTOX  632 Ecotoxicology: The Chemical Players1
AGRONOMY/​ENTOM/​F&W ECOL/​M&ENVTOX  633 Ecotoxicology: Impacts on Individuals1
AGRONOMY/​ENTOM/​F&W ECOL/​M&ENVTOX  634 Ecotoxicology: Impacts on Populations, Communities and Ecosystems1
BOTANY/​ZOOLOGY  450 Midwestern Ecological Issues: A Case Study Approach2
BOTANY/​F&W ECOL  455 The Vegetation of Wisconsin 14
BOTANY/​F&W ECOL/​ZOOLOGY  460 General Ecology 14
BOTANY/​ENTOM/​ZOOLOGY  473 Plant-Insect Interactions3
BOTANY/​ENVIR ST/​F&W ECOL/​ZOOLOGY  651 Conservation Biology3
ENTOM 450 Basic and Applied Insect Ecology3
ENTOM 451 Basic and Applied Insect Ecology Laboratory1
ENVIR ST/​ZOOLOGY  315 Limnology-Conservation of Aquatic Resources2
ENVIR ST/​LAND ARC  361 Wetlands Ecology3
F&W ECOL 379 Principles of Wildlife Management3
F&W ECOL 550 Forest Ecology3
F&W ECOL/​LAND ARC/​ZOOLOGY  565 Principles of Landscape Ecology2
F&W ECOL/​ZOOLOGY  660 Climate Change Ecology3
MICROBIO/​AN SCI/​BOTANY  335 The Microbiome of Plants, Animals, and Humans3
PL PATH 300 Introduction to Plant Pathology 14
PL PATH 315 Plant Microbiomes 14
ZOOLOGY 316 Laboratory for Limnology-Conservation of Aquatic Resources 12-3
ZOOLOGY 504 Modeling Animal Landscapes3-5
ZOOLOGY/​ENVIR ST  510 Ecology of Fishes3
ZOOLOGY/​ENVIR ST  511 Ecology of Fishes Lab 12

D. Evolution and Systematics

ANTHRO 302 Hominoid Evolution3
ANTHRO 304 Heredity, Environment and Human Populations3
ANTHRO/​BOTANY/​ZOOLOGY  410 Evolutionary Biology3
ANTHRO 411 The Evolution of the Genus, Homo3
ANTHRO 458 Primate Behavioral Ecology3
ANTHRO 603 Seminar in Evolutionary Theory3
ANTHRO 658 Ecological Models of Behavior3
BOTANY 400 Plant Systematics 14
BOTANY 401 Vascular Flora of Wisconsin 14
BOTANY 422 Plant Geography3
BOTANY 563 Phylogenetic Analysis of Molecular Data3
ENTOM/​GENETICS/​ZOOLOGY  624 Molecular Ecology3
ENVIR ST/​F&W ECOL/​ZOOLOGY  360 Extinction of Species3
GENETICS 468 General Genetics 23
GEOSCI/​ZOOLOGY  541 Paleobiology3
MICROBIO 450 Diversity, Ecology and Evolution of Microrrganisms3
PSYCH 449 Animal Behavior3
PSYCH 450 Primates and Us: Insights into Human Biology and Behavior3
PSYCH/​ZOOLOGY  550 Animal Communication and the Origins of Language3
ZOOLOGY 300 Invertebrate Biology and Evolution3
ZOOLOGY 301 Invertebrate Biology and Evolution Lab 12
ZOOLOGY 425 Behavioral Ecology3

E.  Applied Biology, Agriculture and Natural Resources

A A E/​AGRONOMY/​INTER-AG/​NUTR SCI  350 World Hunger and Malnutrition3
AGRONOMY 300 Cropping Systems3
AGRONOMY 302 Forage Management and Utilization3
AGRONOMY/​HORT  360 Genetically Modified Crops: Science, Regulation & Controversy2
AGRONOMY 377 Cropping Systems of the Tropics3
AGRONOMY/​HORT  501 Principles of Plant Breeding3
AMER IND/​ANTHRO/​BOTANY  474 Ethnobotany3-4
AN SCI/​DY SCI/​NUTR SCI  311 Comparative Animal Nutrition3
AN SCI/​DY SCI  313 Animal Feeds and Diet Formulation1
AN SCI/​DY SCI  320 Animal Health and Disease Management3
AN SCI/​DY SCI  361 Introduction to Animal and Veterinary Genetics2
AN SCI/​DY SCI  363 Principles of Animal Breeding2
AN SCI 503 Avian Physiology 13
AN SCI 512 Management for Avian Health 13
BIOCORE 587 Biological Interactions3
BIOLOGY/​GENETICS  522 Evolution Seminar Series-Undergraduate1
BOTANY 403 Field Collections and Identification1-4
DY SCI/​INTER-AG  471 Food Production Systems and Sustainability3
ENTOM 351 Principles of Economic Entomology3
ENTOM/​ZOOLOGY  371 Medical Entomology 13
ENTOM/​F&W ECOL  500 Insects in Forest Ecosystem Function and Management2
ENVIR ST/​POP HLTH  471 Introduction to Environmental Health3
ENVIR ST/​POP HLTH  502 Air Pollution and Human Health3
F&W ECOL 306 Terrestrial Vertebrates: Life History and Ecology 14
F&W ECOL/​HORT/​LAND ARC/​PL PATH  309 Diseases of Trees and Shrubs3
F&W ECOL 318 Principles of Wildlife Ecology3
F&W ECOL/​ZOOLOGY  335 Human/Animal Relationships: Biological and Philosophical Issues3
F&W ECOL 410 Principles of Silviculture3
F&W ECOL 415 Tree Physiology3
F&W ECOL/​SURG SCI  548 Diseases of Wildlife3
F&W ECOL 561 Wildlife Management Techniques 13
FOOD SCI/​MICROBIO  324 Food Microbiology Laboratory 12
FOOD SCI/​MICROBIO  325 Food Microbiology3
FOOD SCI 532 Integrated Food Manufacturing 14
GENETICS/​HORT  550 Molecular Approaches for Potential Crop Improvement3
HORT/​LAND ARC  263 Landscape Plants I 13
HORT 370 World Vegetable Crops3
HORT 372 Colloquium in Organic Agriculture1
HORT 376 Tropical Horticultural Systems1
HORT 378 Tropical Horticultural Systems International Field Study2
HORT/​PATH-BIO  500 Molecular Biology Techniques 13
M M & I 554 Emerging Infectious Diseases and Bioterrorism2
MICROBIO/​SOIL SCI  425 Environmental Microbiology3
NUTR SCI 332 Human Nutritional Needs3
PL PATH/​SOIL SCI  323 Soil Biology3
PL PATH 517 Plant Disease Resistance2-3
SOIL SCI 321 Soils and Environmental Chemistry3

F. Other Lab Courses

AGRONOMY/​BOTANY/​HORT  339 Plant Biotechnology: Principles and Techniques I 14
AGRONOMY/​BOTANY/​HORT  340 Plant Cell Culture and Genetic Engineering 14
ANATOMY 329 Human Anatomy-Kinesiology 12
AN SCI/​DY SCI  362 Veterinary Genetics2
AN SCI/​F&W ECOL/​ZOOLOGY  521 Birds of Southern Wisconsin 13
AN SCI/​DY SCI  434 Reproductive Physiology 13
ANAT&PHY 335 Physiology 15
ANAT&PHY 338 Human Anatomy Laboratory2
ANAT&PHY 435 Fundamentals of Human Physiology 15
BIOCORE 486 Organismal Biology Laboratory 12
BIOCHEM 551 Biochemical Methods 14
BMOLCHEM 504 Human Biochemistry Laboratory 13
BOTANY 300 Plant Anatomy 14
BOTANY 305 Plant Morphology and Evolution 14
BOTANY 330 Algae 13
BOTANY/​PL PATH  332 Fungi 14
BOTANY/​F&W ECOL  402 Dendrology 12
BOTANY 500 Plant Physiology 13-4
DY SCI 305 Lactation Physiology 13
ENTOM/​ZOOLOGY  302 Introduction to Entomology 14
ENTOM 331 Taxonomy of Mature Insects 14
KINES 314 Physiology of Exercise 14
GENETICS 545 Genetics Laboratory 12
GEOSCI/​ZOOLOGY  542 Invertebrate Paleontology3
MICROBIO 304 Biology of Microorganisms Laboratory 12
MICROBIO/​BIOLOGY  525 Advanced Biological Laboratory Practices: A Research Experience 12
MICROBIO 551 Capstone Research Project in Microbiology 12
PHM SCI 558 Laboratory Techniques in Pharmacology and Toxicology 12
PL PATH 558 Biology of Plant Pathogens 13
ZOOLOGY 430 Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates 15
ZOOLOGY 612 Comparative Physiology Laboratory 12


Undergradute Neurobiology Seminar
ZOOLOGY 500 Undergraduate Neurobiology Seminar1

Additional lab or Field Research

Select one of the following options:

  1. Take an additional lab or field instruction from categories A–E in the Intermediate/Advanced course lists.
  2. Complete a directed study in a biological science discipline.1
  3. Complete a thesis in biological science.1

Residence and Quality of Work

2.000 GPA in all major courses

2.000 GPA on 15 upper-level major credits, taken in residence 1

15 credits in the major, taken on the UW–Madison campus

Honors in the Major

Once students have declared the biology major, they may apply to pursue Honors in the Major. To apply, students must pick up an Honors form from either the L&S Honors Office at 1401 Observatory Drive or the Biology Major Office at 1550 Linden Drive.  A Senior Honors Thesis is required. Before enrolling in a Senior Honors Thesis course, the student must produce a two- to three-page, double-spaced thesis proposal that briefly introduces the biological problem and then describes the line of experimentation that is proposed for the thesis work. The student and faculty mentor must sign the proposal before it is submitted to the Biology Major Office.

Honors in the Major in Biology: Requirements1

To earn a B.A. or B.S. with Honors in the Major in Biology students must satisfy both the requirements for the major and the following additional requirements:

  • Earn a 3.300 overall university GPA
  • Earn a 3.300 GPA in the major/subject
  • Complete 13 credits of Foundation, and/or intermediate/advanced courses for Honors.
  • Complete an approved two-semester Senior Honors Thesis for a total of 6 credits.