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Biopsychology
Courtney Jonsson '14

Student Scotlights:
Courtney Jonsson '14

Upon graduating from Monmouth College with degrees in both history and theatre, Courtney Jonsson was offered a position at West Virginia Public Theatre as a props designer... more

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Biopsychology

Students majoring in Biopsychology will learn to understand the biological mechanisms of behavior and psychological processes. The Biopsychology major will benefit students interested in pursuing a post-baccalaureate degree (M.S. or Ph.D.) in Biopsychology and related fields, students interested in health careers such as nursing, physical therapy and occupational therapy, and students interested in academic or professional careers requiring a solid foundation in science.

Our program provides intellectual and practical engagement though internships, participation in conferences, travel, and research opportunities. The Biopsychology major requires a minimum of 11 courses. Courses are divided into two categories: Core Courses with a Required Research Component and Electives.

Given the interdisciplinary nature of the major, no minor is offered. Many undergraduate programs will appear very similar. The benefit of studying Biopsychology at Monmouth College is personal attention. Our liberal arts preparation enhances communication skills, writing skills, leadership, and the ability to critically analyze information. Our program is very research intensive with ample opportunities for student-designed independent research.

Department Facilities and Equipment

The department has well-equipped laboratory facilities housed with other departments in our new Center for Science and Business building. This building opened in the Fall of 2013 and promotes interaction among what have been traditionally independent departments. The department has behavioral research and observation rooms along with an animal research facility.

Senior Research Component

Students are required to complete a research project during their senior year at Monmouth College. The topic is self-selected, and students receive guidance and feedback from the faculty and fellow students. While a research project is not required until the senior year, some students become interested in research at an earlier stage in their career, and that is also encouraged. The senior research project, whether taken through the Biology (440/450) or Psychology (PSYCH420) research track, must be related to biopsychology, as determined by the research mentor and/or the Biopsychology major coordinator.

Activities & Involvement

Psi Chi is the National Honor Society in Psychology, established in 1929. The chapter at Monmouth College has been active since 1972. Membership is offered to Biopsychology majors and Psychology majors and minors who meet minimum academic standards.  The Monmouth College chapter typically holds inductions of new members each Fall and Spring. Our Psi Chi chapter has been active in promoting the field of Biopsychology and Psychology, by sponsoring talks on campus, holding Movie Night discussions of films with psychological themes, and through fundraising efforts to defray the costs of conference attendance for students.

Psi Chi membership comes with many benefits. Besides being active in the local chapter events, Psi Chi members can compete for national and regional research grants and awards, and can submit their research for publication in Psi Chi's Journal of Undergraduate Research.
Monmouth Psi Chi members are very engaged in student involvement. Recently, members have held fun, student-generated activities such as fundraisers, food drives, and a senior prom.

Conferences & Publications

Monmouth College offers students opportunities to present research at three conferences per year: two undergraduate conferences and one professional conference. When possible, research is submitted for publication at conferences or in journals. All seniors are encouraged to present their research at ILLOWA and at the Tri-State Psychology Research Conference. Some students have also had research presented at MPA. ILLOWA is a regional undergraduate Psychology conference held annually and the second undergraduate conference is the Tri-State Psychology Research Conference which includes the states of Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin.

The MPA (Midwestern Psychological Association) is an annual professional conference held in Chicago. In addition to these conferences, students also present their research to the Monmouth College community at the annual Senior Science Poster Session, held near the end of Spring semester.

Career Opportunities

  • Animal Behaviorist
  • Government Consultant
  • Neurologist
  • Substance Abuse Counselor
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Nursing
  • Physical Therapist
  • Neuroscientist
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Professor
  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Child Psychologist
  • Drug Company Researcher

Recent Monmouth Biopsychology Graduates

Jessica Jones ’13
Clinical Research Associate
Illinois Cancer Care

Ashley Widdop Schurr ’09
Physical Therapist
Rock Valley Physical Therapy

Matthew Kornacki ’13
Behavioral Health Tech
Streamwood Behavioral Health

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