Skip to main content
McMaster University Menu Search

Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour (PNB)

Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour is the scientific study of brain and behaviour. It covers topics from perception (how we see objects, process speed, hear music); to cognition (how we think); to emotion and social behaviour (how we feel, how we interact with others); to psychopathology (how and why behaviours sometimes go wrong); to development and evolution (how organisms develop in various domains, the role of genetics in development, the role of environment), how the brain develops and how experience influences its development.

Areas of Research

  • Systems & Behavioural Neuroscience
  • Music Cognition
  • Cognition & Perception
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Evolution & Social Behaviour

PNB Degree Options

All Social Sciences students start off in Level I. At the end of first-year, students who meet the requirements outlined below may qualify for one of the following degree options in Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour:

  • Honours B.A.
    Level I Grade Point Average of at least 5.0 (C); a grade of at least 7.0 (B-) in PSYCH 1XX3 (completion of PSYCH 1X03 or 1F03 recommended in Level 1); credit in one of BIOLOGY 1A03, 1M03, 1P03, or Grade 12 Bio U; and credit in MATH 1A03, 1LS3 or MATH 1M03.

  • Honours B.A. Mental Health Specialization
    Level I Grade Point Average of at least 5.0 (C); PSYCH 1XX3 with a grade of at least 7.0 (B-), three units from BIOLOGY 1A03, 1M03, 1P03 or credit in Grade 12 Bio U, 3 units from MATH 1A03, 1LS3, 1M03.

  • Honours B.A. Music Cognition Specialization
    Level I Grade Point Average of at least 5.0 (C); PSYCH 1XX3 with a grade of at least 7.0 (B-); three units from BIOLOGY 1A03, 1M03, 1P03 or credit in Grade 12 Bio U, three units from MATH 1A03, 1LS3, 1M03, three units from MUSIC 1A03, 1AA3, PSYCH 1X03 or 1F03 must be completed by end of Level 2; but PSYCH 1X03 is recommended in Level 1. Entrance into MUSIC 1CC3 A/B requires Advanced Rudiments (or Grd. 2) from RCM (a grade of 80% or above, within last 2 years) or MUSIC 1C03 (at least 75%) or 65% or above on a qualifying music theory exam administered by the School of the Arts.
  • Combined Honours B.A. in PNB & Another Subject
    Level I Grade Point Average of at least 5.0 (C); a grade of at least 7.0 (B-) in PSYCH 1XX3 (completion of PSYCH 1X03 or 1F03 recommended in Level 1); credit in one of BIOLOGY 1A03, 1M03, 1P03, or Grade 12 Bio U; and credit in MATH 1A03, 1LS3 or MATH 1M03. Satisfaction of admission requirements for the Honours program in the other B.A. subject.

  • B.A.
    Level I Grade Point Average of at least 3.5 and a grade of at least 4.0 (C-) in PSYCH 1F03 or 1X03.

Please note that enrolment in the honours programs is limited, therefore possession of the published minimum requirements does not guarantee admission. For those interested in the honours programs, SBI4U and MHF4U or MCV4U are strongly recommended to be taken in Grade 12.

Minor

The Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour also offers the following Minor that can be taken alongside another degree program:

  • Minor in Psychology

PNB Program Details

Compare Psychology Programs

The study of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour can be completed at McMaster University through either the Faculty of Social Sciences or the Faculty of Science. The programs offered by the Faculty of Social Sciences (B.A. programs) are for students more interested in fields that focus on the psychological aspects of human behaviour.

The programs offered by the Faculty of Science (B.Sc.) are for students more interested in the natural sciences and in studying the link between the brain and behaviour.

An Honours B.A. in Social Psychology is for students more interested in individual traits and attitudes and social life. Students pursuing any one of these Honours B.A. or 3-year B.A. degrees may combine their studies with an Affiliated Certificate in Business Studies, Leadership and Management for the Not-for-Profit Sector, or Applied Behaviour Analysis (with an autism focus).

Compare the different degrees offered by the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour (PNB) and the Social Psychology program.

Comparison Chart

Build Your Skills

Program Highlights

  • The Introductory Psychology courses use a blended learning environment combining online learning technology with traditional face-to-face instruction.
  • McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind (MIMM) features the Live Interactive Virtual Environment (LIVE) Auditory Laboratory – a unique research-based performance theatre and testing centre to be housed in the Psychology Building.
  • The Mental Health Specialization was developed to meet the changing academic and career demands in the field of psychology, and to prepare our undergraduates for graduate and professional training in the area of mental health. Students in this program have one-on-one mentorship opportunities with an applied placement in Year 3, and a thesis in Year 4. Students graduate with a scientific background, extensive experience, and a full understanding of the evolution of mental health.
  • PNB students have the opportunity to engage in experiential learning and can gain individual research experience while earning course credits with: Independent Lab courses (available in Levels 2, 3, 4), Field Placement Practicum course (Level 3) and Thesis course (Level 4).

Skills

Graduates leave the program with strong writing, analytical, people and research skills. Other skills you will acquire during your time at McMaster include:

  • Analysis and interpretation of information and the ability to critically evaluate it
  • Written and spoken communication skills shown through written work, presentations and informed debate
  • IT skills demonstrated by the presentation of projects and thesis work and through training in research methods and analysis
  • Teamwork through project work carried out in groups
  • Problem solving skills developed by regular analysis of case studies and developing strategies to deal with key issues that arise
  • Decision making skills evident through evaluation of course, research and dissertation topic choices

Our graduates have been successful at finding interesting and rewarding careers in a range of fields in both the public and private sectors

Examples of career paths include:

  • Medicine
  • Neuroscience
  • Law
  • Speech
  • Hearing pathology
  • Clinical psychology
  • Forensics
  • Business
  • Teaching
  • Environmental and biomedical research

Book a Campus Tour