Cognitive and Behavioral Science
Why Study Cognitive and Behavioral Science?
Many students are drawn to the Cognitive and Behavioral Science (CBSC) major because of its multidisciplinary foundations, rich linkages to other sciences, and applications within diverse career paths. Our department has strong connections with the interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program on campus; CBSC and neuroscience majors work side by side in CBSC Department labs.
Our curriculum emphasizes research training because it provides students with durable skills that benefit any future professional path: critical thinking, teamwork, quantitative skills, data management and analysis, and problem solving.
The W&L CBSC curriculum encourages individualization of the major:
- Join a faculty member’s research team. The team experience provides a close-knit academic home on campus and allows you to spread your wings in a professional research context. Some lab members, especially those who are selected as W&L Summer Research Scholars, become credentialed in research by presenting the lab’s findings at a professional conference and/or earning authorship on a published article.
- Choose a capstone experience that fits your goals. Capstones allow students to synthesize and expand their knowledge base while exploring an avenue for applying it in the real world. Students may complete an independent senior research thesis, an applied science internship, or a community-based research project.
- Explore applications of psychological science through Community-Based Learning (CBL) courses. For instance, tailor-made applied science capstone placements allow students to explore diverse career paths and professional settings (e.g., Blue Ridge Court Services, Woods Creek Montessori School, Western State Hospital, Rockbridge Area Health Center, Thomas Jefferson Coalition for the Homeless). In a recent CBL Spring Term course, W&L students collaborated with members of the Eagle’s Nest Clubhouse, a local psychiatric rehabilitation center, to create a mural on their campus.