Biological Psychopathology (BP)

The Department of Psychology at the University of Minnesota has a unique emphasis on biological processes in its approach to the study of abnormal behavior. Its roots go back four decades to when a behavioral genetics training program led the nation in studying the behavioral genetics of human psychopathology. This Minnesotan approach to clinical problems was formally acknowledged and expanded with the creation of the Biological Psychopathology Training Program in 1995. Our goal is to produce psychologists who take a biological approach to the study of psychopathology within the conceptual framework provided by psychological science. Minnesota's faculty, distinguished for their contributions to the study of psychopathology from a biological perspective, are extraordinarily well suited to offer high-quality training in this important area of specialization.


The Biological Psychopathology training program is designed for students interested in biogenetic aspects of deviant behavior who do not wish to undertake formal specialty training in clinical psychology. As part of the program, you will be actively involved in psychopathology research throughout their graduate careers beginning with their first semester. Research training begins with an apprenticeship in program faculty laboratories, from which you are expected to acquire skills and interests leading to the development of their own research projects. During your second year, you will complete an independent research project with the guidance of an advisor. This project may be used to satisfy thesis requirements for a master's degree along the way to earning your PhD.

The core curriculum consists of courses and seminars in the biological and psychosocial bases of adult and child psychopathology and in psychophysiology and behavioral genetics. This curriculum is supplemented by courses in psychobiology offered through the Departments of Psychology and Child Development. You can elect to take additional courses in these departments as well as basic biological science courses in other departments, including those affiliated with the University of Minnesota Medical School.

The Biological Psychopathology program does not provide training in clinical assessment or intervention. Please see the Clinical Science and Psychopathology Research program for this training.


Colin DeYoung, Associate Professor
Jonathan Gewirtz, Professor
William G. Iacono, McKnight Professor
Robert Krueger, Hathaway Distinguished Professor
Shmuel Lissek, Assistant Professor
Monica Luciana, Associate Professor, Department Chair
Angus MacDonald, Associate Professor
Matthew McGue, Professor and Area Director

Affiliated Faculty

Marilyn Carroll, Professor
Scott Crow, M.D., Associate Professor
Daniel R. Hanson, M.D., PhD, Associate Professor
Dorothy Hatsukami, Professor
Jose V. Pardo, Professor
Scott Sponheim, Professor

Emeritus Professors

Thomas J. Bouchard, Professor
Irving I. Gottesman, Bernstein Professor in Adult Psychiatry, Senior Fellow in Psychology