Faculty  Majors  Courses  Honors
Psychology Department


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Effective for the Class of 2017 (students entering in fall 2013):

*Members of the Class of 2015 and 2016 who have not completed PS 217 before the start of the fall 2013 semester are strongly encouraged to pursue the new curriculum.

To complete a major, students must take a minimum of ten courses in psychology. Only two courses may be taken at other institutions. Included among the ten courses are the following required core: PS 101, PS 102, PS 202, and a Research Methods II course: PS 203 or one course from the following list: PS 225B, PS 304, PS 305B PS 314, PS 320H, PS 327.

PS 101 is not waived for AP or IB psychology credit.

In addition to the core courses, students must take three breadth elective courses, with at least one course from Group 1 and at least one course from Group 2.

Group 1:  Perception/Cognition/Neuroscience

PS 212A - Themes In Contemporary Psychology

PS 212B - Themes in Contemporary Psychology

PS 213 - Hormones and Behavior

PS 218 - Cognition

PS 219 - Health Psychology

PS 221 - Clinical Psychopharmacology 

PS 223 - Evolutionary Psychology

PS 225A - Perception

PS 225B - Perception

     (If PS 225B is taken to fulfill the Experimental Methods II requirement, another course must be chosen to fulfill the breadth requirement)

PS 231 - Neuropsychology

PS 232 - Introduction to Cognitive Science

NS 101 - Neuroscience: Mind and Behavior 

Group 2: Social/Developmental/Clinical/Applied

PS 204 - Educational Psychology 

PS 205 - Social Psychology 

PS 207 - Introduction to Child Development 

PS 208 - Adolescent Development 

PS 209 - Adult Development 

PS 210 - Personality 

PS 211 - Applied Psychology 

PS 212A - Themes In Contemporary Psychology 

PS 212B - Themes in Contemporary Psychology 

PS 214 - Abnormal Psychology 


For students prior to the Class of 2017 (students who entered before fall 2013):

*Members of the Class of 2015 and 2016 who have not completed PS 217 before the start of the fall 2013 semester are strongly encouraged to pursue the new curriculum.

To complete a major, students must take a minimum of 30 credits in psychology. Only 6 of these 30 credits (including 3 AP credits) required for the major may be taken at other institutions. Included among the 30 credits are the following required core: PS 101, PS 217, PS 306, and at least one course from three different clusters listed below (the three courses must total at least 10 credits):

Neuroscience: NS 101, PS 231   Social Developmental Psychology: PS 205, PS 207, PS 208   Perceptual/Cognitive Processes: PS 305A, PS 305B, PS 323, PS 324, PS 325   Personality/Abnormal Psychology: PS 210, PS 211, PS 308.

Of the 30 credits presented toward the major, these credits should include at least four courses at the 300 level. As they consider the choice of electives, students should consult the Psychology Department Web site and their advisors for information about potential pathways of interest through the major (Clinical, Developmental, Neuropsychology/Cognitive Neuroscience, Social/ Personality).

If a student has taken ED 200, PS 207 will not count toward the PS major (as either filling a cluster requirement or counting as elective credit) and the grade for PS 207, if taken, will not count toward the PS major GPA.

A maximum of 5 credits taken on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis may count toward the 30 credits required by the major, including PS 399 and PS 275. Only two 1-credit PS 275 Research Experiences may count toward the major, both of which must be taken S/U. None of the required core courses or any 300-level psychology course-except PS 399-fulfilling the major may be taken on an S/U basis.

The grade-point average for the thirty credits presented toward the major must meet the minimum requirement of 2.000. Of these credits, only one course may have been completed with a grade of D.

In conjunction with the relevant department, the Psychology Department offers a major in neuroscience.

WRITING REQUIREMENT IN THE MAJOR: Students fulfill the writing requirement in the psychology major by completing a minimum of two (2) writing enhanced (WE) courses and one writing intensive (WI) course within the major.

Upon completion of the major, psychology students should be able to:

Demonstrate competency in the various forms of writing within psychology, ranging from lab-based empirical reports to more conceptual papers and reviews. Appreciate the differences between scientific writing and other forms of writing. Demonstrate an ability to write in an effective and persuasive manner. Effectiveness includes the ability to: (a) develop and present clear and logical arguments, (b) use correct grammar, (c) sufficiently elaborate and defend points, including backing up assertions with appropriate evidence, (d) appropriately evaluate the audience and point of view from which a paper should be written (including providing sufficient context and definitions of content-specific terminology, (e) justify conclusions, and (f) integrate information from multiple sources. Differentiate between types of source materials (e.g., original research, academic summaries, popular press) and the role that each can/should play in different types of writing assignments. Demonstrate competency in writing in the style of the American Psychological Association, which includes technical, grammatical, and stylistic conventions.

Writing intensive (WI) course in the major (cannot substitute for the All College Requirement of one WI course): PS 306.

Writing enhanced (WE) courses in the major:

NS 101*

PS 205*

PS 207*

PS 208*

PS 210*

PS 211*

PS 213**

PS 224**

PS 231*

PS 308*

PS 313**

PS 316**

PS 321**

PS 324*

PS 341**

* Cluster courses

** Elective courses

Recommendations and Advice: Faculty urge psychology majors to complete PS 217 and PS 306 by the end of the junior year, as both are prerequisites for the senior thesis research experience (PS 375/376). Those students who discover relatively early in their program of study an interest in research, and those who have completed PS 306, are at a particular advantage when applying for external fellowship opportunities. The summer between the junior and senior year of study is an ideal time to seek this kind of opportunity. Faculty encourage students to distinguish between the minimum requirements for a major in psychology and the preparation necessary for graduate study in psychology. Those majors who plan to pursue graduate work in Ph.D. programs in psychology should seek significant research experience(s) beyond those experiences that are part of the minimum requirements for the major. Several opportunities for these kinds of extended research experiences are available to majors by way of advanced lab courses (e.g., PS 304, PS 320H), advanced statistics (PS 318H), independent research experiences (PS 371B), directed studies (PS 371A), summer collaborative research experiences, and thesis capstone projects (PS 375/PS 376H).

Psi Chi: Psi Chi is the national honor society in psychology, founded in 1929 for the purpose of encouraging scholarship and advancing the science of psychology. Eligibility requirements include declaration of a major in psychology, completion of at least four psychology courses (or three psychology courses and NS 101), a GPA of 3.500 or higher in psychology as of the start of fall semester of the senior year, and a GPA of 3.300 in all college courses.


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