Southwestern

Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

Animal Behavior

About the Program

Animal Behavior is an interdisciplinary major offered by the departments of Biology and Psychology. Because the Animal Behavior program is taught from both perspectives, students learn first-hand how two different disciplines can combine for a greater understanding of behavior.

Through coursework and independent research, students learn how to study behavior and address proximate questions of behavior in the laboratory under tightly controlled conditions. Students also learn how ethologists and behavioral ecologists study behavior in field-based experiments to address ultimate questions of behavior. 

With new faculty involved, the direction of the AB Program continues to evolve.  Still, our collective goals remain consistent and match with the University vision:

  • To provide an academically challenging interdisciplinary program that engages students’ minds in scientific inquiry;
  • To create opportunities for 1-on-1 collaborative research that often has a transformative influence on students’ lives and careers;
  • To expose students’ to the ethical and social issues surrounding the scientific study of animal behavior;
  • To foster greater communication between students and faculty;
  • To allow each AB student to present their capstone at a scientific meeting; and
  • To specifically mentor students in the skills necessary to succeed in professional schools.