The curriculum of the Department of Psychology is designed to acquaint students both with the contemporary facts of the discipline and with the scientific analysis of behavior and mental processes. These objectives are accomplished by exposure to basic questions that are asked by professionals in the discipline, by learning the basic principles of research methodology and statistics, and by reasonable mastery of the theories and data in specific areas of the discipline. Students with a particular interest in the brain should consider the Interdisciplinary Concentration in Neuroscience.
Students begin their study with Introductory Psychology, a broad survey of all areas of psychology, followed by 200-level courses in statistics/research methods and neuroscience. Students choose from advanced topical and laboratory courses in clinical, cognitive, developmental, neuroscience, and social psychology. These courses, along with a required upper-level course in research design, provide the foundation and depth for undertaking the Senior Project, in which students investigate a topic for a semester or a year, write a senior thesis, and give an oral presentation. Students with interests in clinical, counseling, school, or other areas of applied psychology can enroll in our Field Study course, which combines a seminar in psychological services with 8-10 hours per week in a field placement in one of several cooperating agencies and schools. Thus, the psychology concentrator will graduate with skill in the methods of studying the mind and behavior as well as an awareness of a broad range of content areas.
Students with an interest in autism or in teaching children with special needs have the opportunity to spend a semester of their junior year in a cooperative program at the New England Center for Children.