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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Robin Forbes-Lorman

Forbes-Lorman, Robin

Assistant Professor of Biology

[email protected]

Memuna Khan

Khan, Memuna

Associate Professor of Biology, Chair of Biology Department

[email protected]

Kristine Kovack-Lesh

Kovack-Lesh, Kristine

Professor of Psychology

[email protected]

headshot of Julia Manor

Meyers-Manor, Julia

Associate Professor of Psychology

[email protected]


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. Our collaboration with Student Support Services provides tutoring and additional academic and skill development, as well as tools to help with note-taking, exam preparation, goal-setting and time management. Likewise, Mentors in the Franzen Center provide in-depth, one-on-one or group mentoring for students about class projects and college-level writing, and can share problem-solving strategies to overcome academic obstacles.

Advising at Ripon

Off-Campus Study

Studying off-campus, whether internationally or domestically in the United States, is an experience bound to change your view of the world. In general, full-time students in good academic standing are eligible to apply for admission to off-campus programs.

Learn more about Off-Campus Study


The basic core of required courses includes: BIO 121, PSC 110, PSC 211, 212, CHM 111, CHM 112, one or two credits of Independent Study or Internship and either (a) BIO 501, 502 or (b)PSC 523.

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.


  • AP I (BIO 211) OR AP II (BIO 312)
  • Vertebrate Zoology (BIO 216)
  • Genetics (BIO 219)
  • Ecology (BIO 247)
  • Evolution (BIO 259)
  • Cell Biology (BIO 327)
  • Developmental Biology (BIO 329)
  • Animal Behavior (BIO 341)


  • 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)

Topics courses in either department may count as an elective for the Psychobiology major with approval of the co-

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.