About the Psychology Major

Professor Carrie Palmquist teaching a course in non-verbal communication. Professor Carrie Palmquist teaching a course in non-verbal communication.

Psychology is the scientific study of mind and behavior, including how biological, social, and cultural factors influence how people think, feel, and act. Research in psychology examines a range of different real-world issues, including sleep, memory, health, the legal system, stereotypes & prejudice, clinical disorders, athletic performance, and interpersonal relationships.  We look forward to sharing our passion for psychology with you.

If you are interested in psychology (as a major or non-major), you should start with Psychology 100, which is a requirement for virtually all other classes. You should then move on to take classes in one or more of the three general areas in psychology:  biological, cognitive/developmental, and social/personality/abnormal. Psychology majors are required to take at least one class in each of three areas: these classes can be taken in any order and are largely lecture-based (consisting of approximately 40 students). These classes also prepare students for more advanced coursework in seminars offered in specific areas (in their junior and senior years). Seminars are relatively small in size (15 to 18 students), and allow students to delve more deeply into particular subject areas of interest, such as music cognition, personality & political leadership, nonverbal communication, or theories of psychotherapy. In order to master the skills necessary to understand and conduct scientific research, psychology majors are also required to complete a class in statistics (offered in the psychology department or another department) by the end of sophomore year, and a course in research methods or a lab class on a topic in methods by the end of their junior year. Finally, students (both majors and nonmajors) may also take various electives, which require only the Psychology 100 course. These electives include Intergroup Dialogue on Race, Health Psychology, and Sport Psychology. The current psychology courses offered can be found on our courses webpage.