The College of New Jersey Logo

Apply     Visit     Give     |     Alumni     Parents     Offices     TCNJ Today     Three Bar Menu

Biopsychology Specialization

In the Biopsychology Specialization, students will explore how biological mechanisms relate to a wide range of topics:  sensation, cognition, sleep, motivation, emotion, addiction, and clinical disorders.  This specialization will expose students to the interface between biology and psychology (e.g., neuroscience, health psychology, psychopharmacology, psychoneuroimmunology, and genetics) and will prepare students for careers in these fields as well as in clinical psychology, medicine, or pharmaceuticals. Students will be offered hands-on research opportunities (with humans or rats), and specialized courses may include cognitive neuroscience, health psychology, clinical psychopharmacology, animal behavior, and behavioral pharmacology and drug abuse. Students in this specializations will develop credentials that facilitate challenging careers and graduate/professional studies.

Students completing the biopsychology specialization will receive preparation for careers in fields including clinical psychology, medicine, neuropsychological testing, and pharmaceuticals. This specialization also prepares students for graduate studies in medicine, neuroscience, health psychology, psychopharmacology, genetics, clinical psychology and psychoneuroimmunology. This specialization also prepares students for graduate studies in neuroscience, health psychology, psychopharmacology, genetics, clinical psychology and psychoneuroimmunology.

For more information about this specialization, contact the Biopsychology Coordinator, Dr. Andrew Leynes.

Biopsychology Handout

Faculty affiliated with the Biopsychology Specialization:

  • Dr. Andrew Leynes (Chair)
  • Dr. Margaret Martinetti

Biopsychology Courses Requirements

Methods Sequence (Taken in sequence):

  • PSY 101 – General Psychology
  • PSY 121 – Methods and Tools of Psychology
  • PSY 203 – Design and Statistical Analysis
  • PSY 299 – Research Seminar

Foundation Courses (Choose 3):

  • PSY 212 – Biopsychology
  • Either PSY 214 – Cognitive Psychology OR PSY 213 – Learning & Memory
  • Other Foundation Courses (Choose 1)
    • PSY 215 – Social Psychology
    • PSY 217 – Psychological Disorders (formerly Abnormal Psychology)
    • PSY 219 – Clinical Psychology
    • PSY 220 – Development across the Lifespan
    • PSY 267 – Organizational Psychology

*PSY 216 – Personality Theory and Research is no longer an active course. Students who took PSY 216 as a foundation course prior to Spring 2023 will still have the course count toward their major and toward the Counseling & Clinical Specialization, if applicable.


Specialized Courses (Choose 3):

The Biopsychology Specialization requires students to complete TWO specialized courses from the following options:

  • PSY 311 – Sensation and Perception
  • PSY 316 – Applied Behavior Analysis
  • PSY 340 – Health Psychology
  • PSY 342 – Clinical Psychopharmacology
  • PSY 343 – Behavioral Pharmacology of Drug Abuse
  • PSY 346 – Cognitive Neuroscience

In addition, any of the following options will also count towards this requirement if it has a Biopsychology focus:

  • PSY 390 – Laboratory Learning*
  • PSY 393 – Individual Study*
  • PSY 394 – Psychology Thesis 1*
  • PSY 397 – Instructional Internship*
  • PSY 399 – Internship*

The THIRD specialized course may be any 300 or 400-level course approved by the Psychology Department as a specialized course.

NOTE:  Only ONE specialized course may be an ELOPsy course (e.g., PSY 390, 393, etc.).

Psychology Option

  • One course (Recommended at 300-Level or 400-Level)

Senior Experience (Choose 1)

The Biopsychology Specialization requires students to complete a senior experience that is relevant to Biopsychology:

  • PSY 470 – Senior Topics Study Group
  • PSY 494 – Psychology Thesis 2
  • PSY 492 – Laboratory Learning*
  • PSY 493 – Senior Individual Study
  • PSY 487 – Senior Internship

[Please check PAWS for the semester offerings]

* Students may apply one of these courses as a Specialized courses.  Others may apply as a Psychology Option.

Additional Course Requirements

The Biopsychology specialization also requires courses in Biology and Philosophy:

  • BIO 201 – Foundations of Biological Inquiry


  • 1 additional Biology course selected from the following options:
    • BIO 211 – Cell Biology and Biochemistry
    • BIO 221 – Ecology and Field Biology
    • BIO 231 – Genetics

OR: A biology minor will fulfill Biology course requirements for biopsychology specialization

  • 1 Philosophy course selected from the following options:
    • PHL 100 – Introduction to Philosophy
    • PHL 120 – Introduction to Logic
    • PHL 205 – History of Modern Philosophy
    • PHL 255 – Biomedical Ethics
    • PHL 311 – Philosophy of Science
    • PHL 410 – Theory of Knowledge
    • PHL 421 – Philosophy of Language
    • PHL 422 – Philosophy of Mind

Experiential Learning Opportunities

Students interested in neuroscience and memory can see Dr. Leynes for research opportunities.  Dr. Leynes offers Individual study opportunities to several students each semester.  These students work with Dr. Leynes in his lab collecting brain activity from human subjects while participants complete various types of memory experiments.

Students interested in alcohol abuse, quantitative analyses of behavior, or pharmacology may enjoy working in the laboratory of Dr. Margaret Martinetti.  She and her Individual study students are conducting research examining physiology, behavior, and economic influences on alcohol consumption using laboratory rats as an animal model.

Biopsychology Careers

  • Research Firm Position
  • Neuroscientist
  • Drug Company Researcher
  • Government Consultant
  • Immunologist