• Overview
  • Faculty
  • Requirements
  • Advising
  • Career Tracks
  • Off-Campus Study
  • Unique Opportunities
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Course Schedule




The psychobiology major is a study in the behavioral and biological sciences. It is designed for those students who are interested in such fields as animal behavior, behavior genetics, cognitive 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 pertaining to this broad area of study. Beyond these general requirements, the student may select a course of study which emphasizes either a behavioral or physiological concentration.

Program Spotlight


headshot of Julia Manor

Julia Meyers-Manor

Associate Professor of Psychology

[email protected]
Kristine Kovack-Lesh

Kristine Kovack-Lesh

Professor of Psychology

[email protected]
Mark Kainz

Mark Kainz

Professor of Biology, Associate Dean for the Catalyst Curriculum and Assessment Coordinator, Patricia and Philip McCullough Class of 1969 Professor in Biology

[email protected]
Memuna Khan

Memuna Khan

Associate Professor of Biology, Chair of Biology Department

[email protected]


Requirements for a major in Psychobiology:The basic core of required courses includes BIO 121, BIO 219, PSC 110, PSC 211, 212, PSC 339, CHM 111, CHM 112, one or two credits of Independent Study or Internship and either (a) BIO 501 and BIO 502 or (b) PSC 523. Beyond the core requirements, students are required to take at least two elective courses, one from each department listings below:

Biology: A&P I (BIO 211), Invertebrate Zoology (BIO 215), Vertebrate Zoology (BIO 216), Ecology (BIO 247), A&P II (BIO 312), Cell Biology (BIO 327), Developmental Biology (BIO 329), Behavioral Ecology (BIO 339)

Psychology: Infant Development (PSC 234), Child Development (PSC 235), Adolescence (PSC 242), Physiological Psychology (PSC 324), Sensation and Perception (PSC 328), Cognitive Neuroscience (PSC 342)


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. Staff in the Office of Constituent Engagement and Career Services help to match your interests to concrete goals and construct a plan for success, offering support through three stages of career development – planning, exploration and search. 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. Mentors in the Collaborative Learning 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.

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.

Off-Campus Study

Whether you choose a program that is international or domestic, it is an experience bound to change your view of the world. Click to learn more about Off-Campus Study and Liberal Arts In Focus at Ripon College.

Financial aid continues for students who choose to participate in an approved study-abroad program, minimizing additional expenses.

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.