The psychobiology major is an interdisciplinary program of study in the behavioral and biological sciences. It is designed for students interested in such fields as animal behavior, behavior genetics, cognitive or behavioral neuroscience, physiological psychology, psychopharmacology, neurobiology and developmental psychobiology.

A basic core of required courses will expose the student to the fundamental knowledge and methodological skills
peculiar to this broad area of study. Beyond these general requirements, the student may select courses of study which emphasizes either a behavioral or physiological concentration. Students who elect the psychobiology major may not elect a major or minor in either psychology or biology.

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Latest News

Calysta Kurz ’24

Psychobiology student Calysta Kurz ’24 presents poster at national conference

Calysta Kurz ’24 of Oconto, Wisconsin, joined Associate Professor of Psychology Julia Manor in attending the recent Comparative Cognition Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Kurz […]

Mica Rivera '21

Mica Rivera ’21 earns prestigious research fellowship from National Science Foundation

Mica Rivera ’21 of River Falls, Wisconsin, has received a prestigious award from the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program. The highly competitive award, […]

Photos, clockwise from top left: Chelsea Grahn Andrews, Rebecca Leuenberger and Kristine Kovack-Lesh

Kovack-Lesh, two alumnae contribute to article published in journal

Professor of Psychology Kristine A. Kovack-Lesh had an article published this summer with Ripon College alumnae and other collaborators. “Inconsistent flanker congruency effects across stimulus […]


Robin Forbes-Lorman

Forbes-Lorman, Robin

Associate Professor of Biology

Memuna Khan

Khan, Memuna

Professor of Biology, Chair of Biology Department

Kristine Kovack-Lesh

Kovack-Lesh, Kristine

Professor of Psychology

Julia Manor

Manor, Julia

Associate Professor of Psychology, Chair of Psychology Department and Director of Assessment


Ripon College faculty and professional staff are dedicated to helping you reach your goals, whatever they may be and however often they may change along the way. It’s part of our value statement to you.

As a student at Ripon, you will be assigned a faculty adviser based on your area(s) of interest. You will meet with your faculty adviser throughout your time as a student to discuss your current aspirations, plan your course schedule and plot a future trajectory. We also work collaboratively with Ripon College Career and Professional Development to help match your interests and skills to concrete goals and construct a plan for professional success offering personalized career counseling, off-campus learning opportunities and an online job board with potential to connect with local, national and international employers.

Advising at Ripon


Requirements for a Major in Psychobiology
Total Credits 33 credits in biology toward major
Prerequisites CHM 111 Organic Chemistry I, 112 Structure and Reactivity and MTH 120 Elementary Statistics or PSC 211 Research and Design Statistics
Core Courses The basic core of required courses includes BIO 122 Ecology, Evolution, and Diversity, BIO 123 Molecules, Cells, and Genes, PSC 110 General Psychology, PSC 211 Research Design and Statistics, 212 Research Design and Statistics, CHM 111 Organic Chemistry I, one or two credits of Independent Study or Internship and either (a) BIO 501 Departmental Seminar, 502 Departmental Seminar or (b) PSC 523 Research Seminar.
Elective Courses Beyond the core requirements, students are required to take at least four elective courses, two from each department listing below. At least one elective from each department must be at the 300 level.


Human Anatomy and Physiology I (BIO 211) OR Human Anatomy and Physiology II (BIO 312); Vertebrate Zoology (BIO 216); Genetics (BIO 219); Ecology (BIO 247); Evolution (BIO 259); Developmental Biology (BIO 329); Animal Behavior (BIO 341)


Introduction to Brain, Mind, & Behavior (PSC 180); Inside the Animal Mind (PSC 227); Infant Development (PSC 234); Child Development (PSC 235); Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood (PSC 242); Learning and Behavior (PSC 317); Behavioral Neuroscience (PSC 324); Sensation and Perception (PSC 328); Cognitive Processes (PSC 339)

Career Tracks

Psychobiology can lead to careers in medicine, psychology, biology, animal care-taking, research and teaching in university and clinical settings. Recent graduates also have entered graduate school programs in physical therapy, neurobiology and clinical psychology; and careers as doctors, counselors, researchers and teachers.

Job titles of recent graduates include veterinarian, medical support specialist, professor, instructor, medical doctor, doctor of osteopathic medicine, occupational therapist, social worker, animal trainer and zoologist.

Unique Opportunities

  • Students may participate in local and regional internship experiences. Coordinated by the psychology and biology faculty, past internships have included volunteer work at the Winnebago Mental Health Institute, supervised assistance to school psychologists, assistance in drug rehabilitation counseling, work with autistic children, and developing animal enrichment at the Menominee Park Zoo
  • The Infant Cognition Lab, under the direction of Dr. Kristine Kovack-Lesh since 2008, provides significant applied opportunities for students in Ripon's psychology department. Research focuses on developmental stages in young infants and children. Students work in the lab year-round and gain valuable hands-on-training in the field of psychology and learn how to effectively communicate a research question to an outside community member.