More About the Major

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Introductory Courses (12 credits total)

All majors are encouraged to take Psychology 150, 200, and 211 as early as possible.  These courses serve as prerequisites for many of the Psychology upper-level courses.

Core Content Courses (12 credits total)

Students are required to take three Core Content courses in psychology. Students may choose from the following:

Psychology 229 (some sections are Service Learning)
Psychology 323
Psychology 326
Psychology 327

One of the following may count as a Core Content Course:

Neuroscience 270
Psychology 216
Psychology 345

Some of these upper-level courses are ‘standard’ as preparation for graduate study. Graduate study in Psychology is divided into these areas, and students may go on to take advanced degrees in most of these content areas. These courses are typically offered in all colleges and universities with strong psychology programs, and courses in these areas are often prerequisites for graduate courses. Students should consult with their advisor to select at least three of these courses. Core courses will typically enroll 20 students; some courses may be offered as Service-learning courses in which case they will enroll fewer students. The same course may satisfy multiple major requirements (e.g., satisfy both the Core Content and Service Learning, Community-based, or Independent Investigation requirement); however, this will not reduce the total number of credits required for the major. (Double dipping of this sort may allow students to take additional Research Practica courses or other upper-level courses.)

Advanced Research Methods in Psychology (4 credits)

Students will select at least one 300-level research methods course during their junior year. Each of these courses will involve students in a research project, generally in the research area of the faculty member who teaches the course.  The specific topic will change from term to term, but the course will always cover advanced methodological issues and students will develop skills in the methodology chosen (experimental, survey, observational, qualitative, etc.).  These will be small enrollment courses (capped at 10 students). We will normally offer four sections each year, two in the fall and two in the spring.

Psychology 200 and 211 are prerequisites for the Advanced Methods courses, and some sections may have content-area prerequisites (e.g., Neuroscience 270 is a prerequisite for 353). All faculty members in the department are qualified to teach at least one of these methods, and teaching of these courses will rotate among the Psychology faculty.

All Advanced Methods courses are writing intensive and will include paper drafts and revisions, and a more sustained focus on writing than is typically done in other classes. Students in these courses will write a research report in current APA style, and will be encouraged (and may be required) to submit the work for public presentation. These courses DO NOT satisfy the F2 general degree requirement.

Service Learning, Community-based, or Independent Investigation Courses (4 credits)

At least one course must be designated a community-based or independent investigation course. Some of these courses satisfy the College’s F11 (“Beyond the Gates”) requirement.  These courses will have limited enrollments, and we will normally offer four sections each year. Courses that satisfy this major requirement include service learning courses, Psychology internships, courses with substantial off-campus field work (e.g., Psychological Assessment 338), and Research Practica. 

Senior Seminar (4 credits)

Psychology majors are required to enroll in Senior Seminar during the senior year. Senior seminar is intended to be a capstone experience in Psychology, requiring both oral and written work. Currently, we offer two types of Senior Seminars, a research-focused and a topics-focused. Like the Advanced Methods courses, the research or topic of a senior seminar will overlap with faculty research interests and change from term to term. Student must take an Advanced Methods course prior to enrolling in Senior Seminar.

Additional Courses (8 credits)

In order to satisfy the 44 credits required of the Psychology major, students will need to take two additional courses in the major.  One of these courses may be a Topics in Psychology 105 course; however, only one 105 course may count towards the major.