Cognitive and Behavioral Science

Degree Type Bachelor of Arts Bachelor of Science
Department Cognitive and Behavioral Science
Academic Division The College
Offerings Major
Our field lies at an intersection of sciences. Courses and research labs investigate all of the interacting functions — cognitive, affective, behavioral, physiological, social, developmental — that drive and define the human experience.

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.

Personalized Education

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 an advanced methods course that fits your interests. Design a study or intervention, test participants, analyze data, and create work that could be presented at a conference or submitted for publication.
  • Explore applications of psychological science through Community-Based Learning (CBL) courses. For instance, tailor-made internship 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 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.

Julie Woodzicka

Department Head

Sarah Wilson

Administrative Assistant


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Meet the Faculty

At W&L, students enjoy small classes and close relationships with professors who educate and nurture.