New Degree Program Request:
Proposal for Bachelor of Science – Behavioral Neuroscience Major – Undergraduate
Summary of the Changes:
The proposed degree is a Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Neuroscience. A B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience will offer STEM training and degrees in a highly sought after BOG area of strategic emphasis: physiological psychology/psychobiology (CIP 42.2706). Students will gain a broad understanding of psychological and biological principles and techniques, and will acquire a robust constellation of laboratory, research, technological, analytical, and other practical skills required for existing and emerging careers in STEM-related disciplines. Modern technological advances combined with an ever-increasing emphasis on multidisciplinary and collaborative science substantiates the need for programs that provide cross-training and experience. This degree will benefit Jacksonville and NE Florida as we enhance connections with regional medical and technological agencies and prepare a workforce that meets the demand for neurobehavioral knowledge and skills. Our curriculum will ensure that graduates are competitive for a range of employment markets, including medicine, pharmacology, bioengineering, health bioinformatics, government service (e.g., NIH, CDC), marketing, physical therapy, artificial intelligence, science journalism, and research & development. Students also will be prepared for graduate and professional programs that directly (e.g., Ph.D., M.D., M.S.) or indirectly (e.g., MBA, M.A./M.S., Psy.D., J.D.) pertain to neuroscience. We have included support letters from Mayo Clinic, Nemours Children's Hospital, and Florida Hospital.
The proposed B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience requires 120 credit hours. The program provides a broad education in neuroscience. No specific concentrations are planned at this time, but future tracks in the Behavioral Neuroscience degree could include partnerships with other departments such as Computer Science and Engineering to include concentrations or specializations in areas such as Brain-Computer Interfaces.
For years UNF students have been requesting a B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience. Last year we implemented a B.A. in Behavioral Neuroscience through Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS). Since then more than 80 students have inquired about the degree and 42 have declared the degree as their major. Unfortunately, a B.A. and an IDS CIP Code do not reflect the the degree's curriculum which consists almost entirely of science courses and laboratories. Our current IDS students have expressed concern that a B.A. does not accurately represent the scientific rigor of the degree. A B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience is needed and our students with the IDS BA major are planning to transfer to the B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience as soon as it becomes available.
We anticipate that the first two years of the program will not impact resources, as it capitalizes on courses already offered in Psychology and Biology programs. Indeed, we are currently offering the same curriculum as the IDS degree. After the first three years, the program will be better known and we anticipate that it may attract new students to UNF. Increased demand may necessitate additional sections of required courses, and thus resources for new faculty and GTA lines in Psychology and Biology may be requested. If additional resources do not become available, it might be necessary to limit enrollment.
The psychology department currently houses a Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy brain imaging lab that could be used by a new faculty hire, and there are potential collaborations at area hospitals that have brain imaging equipment such as MRI. These opportunities could attract a new faculty hire.
We have consulted Stephanie Race (Head of Research and Outreach) and Susan Massey (Head of Discovery Enhancement, and the library’s liaison to the Psychology Department) at UNF’s Thomas G. Carpenter Library. They inform us that the library has full access to most of the journals we will regularly use. Therefore, we are not requesting additional library resources.
(Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Neuroscience Proposal Attachment)