Psychology Program Description

The psychology department is a scholarly community committed to helping students increase their scientific understanding of human and animal behavior, use this understanding to help others, learn to conduct research, and prepare thoughtfully and systematically for their careers. To meet these commitments, the psychology department offers its students a broad curriculum, learning experiences and professional activities beyond the classroom, and high levels of student-faculty interaction and collaboration.

The psychology major helps students develop a detailed, integrated, and science-based understanding of behavior, including mental processes. Furthermore, the major promotes the application of this understanding to benefit human welfare.

The psychology major has four components:

  1. Students study the content of the major subdisciplines within psychology. Through studying these subdisciplines and their associated theories, research methodologies, and scientific findings, majors learn how behavior is affected by an individual’s genetic background, physical state, cognitive and socioemotional processes, and cultural environment.
  2. The content of psychology is based on science; therefore, majors begin to understand, evaluate, and apply research. They also have the opportunity to design and participate in research.
  3. Majors learn about psychological disorders and the clinical application of psychology. They develop the knowledge and skills to help others solve personal problems, develop professional opportunities, and lead richer, fuller lives.
  4. Majors identify their career goals, plan the appropriate career paths to achieve those goals, learn professional ethics, and acquire skills essential to their professional interests. Psychology majors develop the intellectual, interpersonal, and technical skills to obtain employment relevant to their degree or to pursue graduate studies.