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Adaptive Brain and Behavior Minor

The Adaptive Brain and Behavior (ABB) minor will help students bridge learning between natural sciences, social science, and the humanities at the nexus of neurophysiology, behavior, and social environment. 

Regardless of the gateway courses selected by a student, he or she will have completed at least three Pathways Concept Outcomes (Natural Science, Social Science, and Identity and Equity in the United States) and both Integrative Concepts by the end of the ABB foundational phase.

Why do it?

In addition to meeting Pathways requirements, students completing the ABB minor benefit from having a multidisciplinary perspective on factors that impact health, wellbeing and resilience, and a deeper understanding of the neurobiological underpinnings of thoughts, beliefs, behaviors, and social influences.  


The 18-hour minor in Adaptive Brain and Behavior includes two 3-hour introductory gateway course, 3 hours of foundational courses, 6 hours of elective courses, and a 3-hour capstone course. 

For the courses attempted for this minor, students must have a GPA of 2.0 or better.

For a full overview of this minor's required courses and a list of elective options, consult the Registrar checksheet.

Who is it for?

This minor is valuable to any student interested in how the brain and related neurobiological systems influence individual development, as well as families, schools, communities, and other social-systemic factors. The ABB minor will be professionally relevant to students preparing for a wide variety of disciplines including, but not limited to, biomedical engineering, teaching, counseling, therapy, economics, medicine, and other allied health professions.  

See what our students are saying

"Integrative Health Practices transforms knowledge into action. The workshops help students learn body awareness and maintain healthy habits. This class provides strategies to implement mindfulness and meditation into your own life. Considering I’m pursuing a career in healthcare, it feels good to practice what I preach. In order to take care of others, we have to take care of ourselves first."
- Megan, Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise major

"I truly loved this class because it introduced me to an alternative way to deal with stress and focus everything on the present. I am still trying to incorporate mindfulness and meditation with everything I do in my everyday life and this class opened my mind up to a lot of mind body techniques. Dr. Komelski is a great professor who can truly help students understand more about mindfulness. I recommend every student take this class for it can benefit each person in the long run!" 
- Ashley, Human Development and Family Science major

"Out of all the classes I’ve taken in college, Integrative Health Practices has had the greatest impact on my day to day life. While the content of the material presented in the class is excellent, I believe its true value lies in the fact that it is an introduction. It gives students a taste of new ways to relate to the stresses of life, the people they interact with, and most importantly, their own selves, while at the same time providing a sampling of practices to help reinforce these new ways of being. It builds a foundation for mindfulness and opens a door into an aspect of the world that a lot of us take for granted. I wouldn’t be who I am today if I hadn’t taken this class, and for the fact that I did, I’m truly grateful."
- Ben, Economics major

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This minor is hosted by the Department of Human Development and Family Science in collaboration with numerous departments across Virginia Tech.

Pathways Concepts

Possible Core Concepts*
1a - Advanced/Applied Discourse
2 - Critical Thinking in the Humanities
3 - Reasoning in the Social Sciences
4 - Reasoning in the Natural Sciences 
7 - Critical Analysis of Identity and Equity in the United States
*Students are guaranteed to meet at least three of the core concepts listed

Integrative Concepts
Ethical Reasoning
Intercultural and Global Awareness