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Psychology

Psychology encompasses a range of phenomena and levels of analysis in pursuit of three goals: to deepen understanding of cognitive and neural mechanisms of sensation, perception, learning, and emotion; to probe the biological and evolutionary foundations of behavior; and to clarify the social perception and assessment of individuals and groups. Students pursuing the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science take foundation courses in the field’s major sub-disciplines, including perception, cognition, developmental, behavioral neuroscience, and social psychology.  Students also take a course in quantitative methods, and select from an array of seminars on specialized topics and laboratory courses that focus on research design and state-of-the-art techniques. Students pursuing a Bachelor of Science must complete a research methods course, a laboratory course, and four additional science courses related to the same intellectual theme as the elective courses. The concentration in Psychology prepares students for careers in research, teaching, clinical psychology, business, law, and education, among others.

The A.B. concentration requires 12 courses. The Sc.B. concentration additionally requires 1 laboratory course and 4 approved science courses, totaling to 17 required courses.

Common Core

The introductory course, “CLPS 0010 Mind, Brain, and Behavior," surveys the broad territory of the scientific study of the mind as uniquely represented by our department. The territory includes neural processes, perception, learning, memory, emotion, language, social development, social judgment, personality, and mental illness.  The course could be taken by students interested in the CLPS concentrations, as an introduction at the beginning of one's college career, or as an integration after having completed a number of specialized courses in a particular concentration.  AP or IB Psychology credit cannot be used as a substitute for CLPS 0010

Careers in Psychology and related fields requires familiarity with statistics.  Therefore, the Psychology concentration requires a course in Quantitative Methods (CLPS 0900).  CLPS 0900 is a prerequisite for most of the laboratory courses, so concentrators should plan to take this course by their fourth semester.  Students may substitute APMA 1660 or PHP 1501 with the approval of a concentration advisor.  The department does not grant concentration credit for AP Statistics, regardless of score.  

Another element in the Psychology concentration is a course on research methods.  Research Methods and Design (CLPS 1900 or  CLPS 1901) is the preferred course for fulfilling this requirement.  This course builds on the introductory statistics course and exposes students to a variety of topics in the psychological sciences: empirical methods (e.g., surveys, chronometry, eye tracking, brain imaging),  common designs (e.g., factorial experimental, correlational, longitudinal), research ethics, and best practices of literature review.  CLPS 1900/CLPS 1901 (or an approved alternative laboratory course; consult with the Psychology advisors for details) should be taken before the senior year.

Foundation courses

To provide students with a solid foundation of knowledge in their area of concentration, the Psychology concentration requires four foundation courses.  Students select one course from each of the following areas: Social/Personality, Perception/Cognition, Development, and Learning/Animal Behavior/Behavioral Neuroscience.  Acceptable courses are listed below.

Electives

Concentrators will select four additional courses that examine in greater depth topics of special interest to them.  The CLPS courses designed to count as electives will often have foundation courses as prerequisites and may include laboratory courses, or seminars.  At least two electives should be 1000-level. Students may choose up to two courses outside of CLPS as electives.  Electives should fit into a coherent intellectual theme, and should be chosen in consultation with your Psychology advisor.

Capstone

Concentrators will additionally take either an advanced seminar course or an independent research course (CLPS 1970, 1980) to serve as their capstone experience.  See the Psychology advisors for a list of approved seminars.

Additional requirements for Sc.B.

In line with university expectations, the Sc.B. requirements include a greater number of courses and especially science courses. The definition of “science” is flexible. Some of these courses will be outside of CLPS, but several CLPS courses might fit into a coherent package as well. In addition, the Sc.B. degree also requires a laboratory course (in addition to CLPS 1900/CLPS 1901 or its alternative) to provide these students with in-depth exposure to research methods in a particular area of the science of the mind.  Lists of approved laboratory courses can be obtained from the Psychology advisors.

Honors Requirement

The Honors Program in Psychology gives undergraduates a special opportunity to carry out a research project under the direction of a faculty member.  The program also provides the opportunity for outstanding senior concentrators to receive their undergraduate degree with Honors.  Participation in the program allows students to develop an understanding of research and acquire research skills and background.  

Candidates for Honors in Psychology must meet all of the requirements of the concentration as described above.  Candidates submit their application for the program in semester 7.  We encourage students to seek out a faculty mentor prior to semester 7 as well as complete certain course requirements before semester 7.  This includes completion of the statistics and laboratory requirements.   Please refer to the CLPS Honors Program page for detailed information about the specific requirements for the Honors program in Psychology. 

FOR DETAILED UPDATES, PLEASE REFER TO THE COGNITIVE, LINGUISTIC, AND PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCES (CLPS) UNDERGRADUATE PAGE.

Requirements for the A.B. degree

STANDARD PROGRAM FOR THE A.B. DEGREE 1
Common Core:
CLPS 0010Mind, Brain and Behavior: An Interdisciplinary Approach1
CLPS 0900Statistical Methods1
CLPS 1900Research Methods And Design ((or approved alternative))1
One approved course in Social/Personality:1
Social Psychology
Personality
The Psychology and Philosophy of Happiness
One approved course in Perception/Cognition:1
Human Cognition
Brain Damage and the Mind
Perception and Mind
One approved course in Development:1
Developmental Psychology
Children's Thinking: The Nature of Cognitive Development
Social and Moral Development
One approved course in Learning/Animal Behavior/Behavioral Neuroscience:1
Learning and Conditioning
Animal Behavior
Behavioral Neuroscience: Introduction to Biological Psychiatry
Four approved Electives related to Psychology4
Independent Study (CLPS 1970, CLPS 1980) or approved seminar1
Total Credits12

Requirements Specific for the Sc.B. degree

STANDARD PROGRAM FOR THE Sc.B. DEGREE 1
Common Core:
CLPS 0010Mind, Brain and Behavior: An Interdisciplinary Approach1
CLPS 0900Statistical Methods1
CLPS 1900Research Methods And Design ((or approved alternative))1
One approved course in Social/Personality:1
Social Psychology
Personality
The Psychology and Philosophy of Happiness
One approved course in Perception/Cognition:1
Human Cognition
Brain Damage and the Mind
Perception and Mind
One approved course in Development:1
Developmental Psychology
Children's Thinking: The Nature of Cognitive Development
Social and Moral Development
One approved course in Learning/Animal Behavior/Behavioral Neuroscience:1
Learning and Conditioning
Animal Behavior
Behavioral Neuroscience: Introduction to Biological Psychiatry
One additional Laboratory course1
Four approved Electives related to Psychology4
Independent Study (CLPS 1970 or CLPS 1980) or approved seminar1
Four Science courses4
Total Credits17