Courses of Study

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Chair, Professor Thane Pittman
Professors Martha Arterberry, Thane Pittman, and Edward Yeterian; Associate Professor Tarja Raag; Assistant Professors Jennifer Coane, Melissa Glenn, and Christopher Soto; Visiting Assistant Professors Joseph Atkins and Stephen Harrison

Students and faculty in the Psychology Department are engaged in the pursuit of new knowledge about the nature of cognition, emotion, motivation, and behavior. Our curriculum is designed to provide the information and skills needed to enable students to understand and join in on this quest for new knowledge. An extensive program of laboratory research provides the means for students and faculty to work together to explore interesting phenomena in cognition, culture, development, emotion, motivation, neuroscience, perception, personality, psychopathology, sensation, and social psychology. The concentration in neuroscience allows students to explore an interdisciplinary field combining the study of psychology and biology. More information on research in the various laboratories may be found on the department’s Web site,

Students who major in psychology will graduate knowing how to ask good questions and how to find and communicate the answers to those questions. These skills are useful in any field of endeavor, especially for graduate study in psychology or other professional programs such as law or medicine and as general preparation for entry into business, educational, nonprofit, or governmental work settings.

Because Psychology 214 and 215 impart skills that are crucial for the required advanced work in collaborative research, students must maintain minimum grades of C in these courses in order to continue in the major. These courses should be taken in the sophomore year. All requirements for the major must be met in conventionally graded courses.

Requirements for the Major in Psychology

Psychology 111, 214, 215, 420; at least two courses from 253, 254, 255 or 256, 258; at least two courses from 232, 233, 272; at least one seminar with an associated course in collaborative research; at least one other 300-level course.

One year of laboratory experience in the natural sciences is recommended for all majors.

Requirements for the Major in Psychology: Neuroscience

Psychology 111, 214, 215, 233, 374, 420; at least two courses from 232, 254, 272; at least two courses from 253, 255 or 256, 258; at least one seminar with an associated course in collaborative research. In addition, Biology 163, 164, 274 (with laboratory); at least one biology course from 225, 232, 276, 279, 312, 315, 357, 373, 374.

Honors in Psychology or Psychology: Neuroscience

Students who are invited by the department to participate in the honors program may submit a formal application near the end of the junior year. In addition to fulfilling the basic requirements for the psychology major, students must complete the honors research sequence (Psychology 483, 484). Upon vote of the department, the student will be awarded his or her degree “With Honors in Psychology” or “With Honors in Psychology: Neuroscience.”