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Indiana University Bloomington

Graduate Degrees in Animal Behavior

Faculty from the Departments of Biology, Psychological & Brain Sciences, Anthropology and other departments provide broad and intensive training in neuroscience, learning, development, ecology, and evolution. Focal research topics include mate choice and sexual behavior, parental behavior and development, migration and orientation, communication and learning and developmental plasticity. Program graduate students are encouraged to work in more than one laboratory, bringing to bear multiple techniques and conceptualizations on particular problems. Training requirements include courses in neuroscience, evolution, and learning/ development, plus special year-long topical seminars. The program invites eminent visiting scientists to participate in these seminars, give workshops, and interact with students and faculty.

Students must be admitted to a PhD program in the Department of Biology, the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, the Program in Neuroscience, or related disciplines (e.g., Medical Sciences, Anthropology, History and Philosophy of Science). See information on how to apply at the bottom of this page. After being accepted by IU, students should apply for membership into the Program in Animal Behavior by filling out our online form or by contacting CISAB directly. Once enrolled, students may obtain a PhD Minor in Animal Behavior and/or a PhD Area Certificate in Animal Behavior by completing the requirements below.

PhD Minor in Animal Behavior

At least FOUR courses taken from at least two different depart­ments/graduate programs, as specified below:

(1) ONE ABEH A501 Seminar in the Integrative Study of Animal Behavior
(2) ONE course from the following list, emphasizing mecha­nisms of behavior:

  • NEUS N500 Neural Science I
  • NEUS N501 Neural Science II
  • NEUS N550 Seminar in Sensorimotor Neuroplasticity
  • BIOL L560 Physiological Ecology
  • BIOL Z563 Comparative Neurobiology of Animal Behavior
  • PSY P526 Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
  • PSY P667 Neuropsychopharmacology

(3) ONE course from the following list, emphasizing evolution­ary perspectives:

  • ANTH B568 Evolution of Primate Social Behavior
  • ANTH B600 Evolutionary Theory of Anthropology
  • BIOL L567 Evolution
  • BIOL L573 Quantitative Genetics and Microevolution
  • BIOL L581 Behavioral Ecology
  • BIOL Z540 Population Genetics

(4) ONE additional course from above or from the list below:

  • BIOL L505 Evolution and Development
  • BIOL Z460 Ethology
  • BIOL Z466 Endocrinology
  • BIOL Z563 Comparative Neurobiology of Animal Behavior
  • COGS Q551 Brain and Cognition
  • COGS Q700 Theoretical Issues in Animal Cognition
  • MED P561 Comparative Animal Physiology
  • PSY P417 Animal Behavior
  • PSY P504 Learning and Motivation
  • PSY P527 Developmental Psychobiology
  • PSY P717 Evolutionary Bases of Learning

Area Certificate

The requirements for the Area Certificate in Animal Behavior include all of the requirements of the minor, plus the following:

  1. One additional ABEH A501 Seminar in the Integrative Study of Animal Behavior
  2. ABEH A502 Professional Ethics for the Bio-Behavioral Sci­ences or PSY P595 First-Year Research Seminar
  3. One additional course from 1-4 above.

Apply to IU

Prospective graduate students not currently enrolled at Indiana University must apply for admission to the university through the graduate program of their choice. An online application system is available through the University Graduate School; select "Admission and Financial Aid" from the menu on the graduate school page and follow the link for applying online. (Direct link:

Additional information about graduate applications is available from the primary degree-granting units associated with this training grant.