Frequently Asked Questions
Is it possible to take Psychology courses off campus (e.g., summer school or study abroad)?”
Yes, we allow students to apply two 200-level courses (except PS 214 and 215) taken elsewhere to the Colby Psychology major. These courses can be the equivalent tocourses we offer, such as Social Psychology, or they may offer the opportunity to explore content that we do not offer. The Registrar has a form that you will complete for courses taken off campus during the summer, and the Department Chair (Martha Arterberry) will need to review the course description and sign the form. For courses taken while studying abroad, the approval process is accomplished using forms from the Office of Off Campus Study, and the department liaison for Study Abroad (Tarja Raag) will review the course description and sign the form.
“What can I do with a major in Psychology?”
Psychology majors enter a wide variety of professions including academic and clinical psychology, medicine, law, dentistry, optometry, teaching, marketing, human resources, and management in a range of corporate settings. Colby psychology majors are skilled at asking original, creative questions and in finding and communicating answers to those questions—abilities that are regarded highly by graduate schools and prospective employers. Colby psychology graduates are routinely admitted to excellent graduate and professional schools. For more details about where recent majors have headed after Colby, see the alumni sections of the Research Labs. You may also want to explore this web site about career options for psychology majors and this site for information on fully-funded Ph.D. programs.
“What is Psi Chi and how can I join?”
Psi Chi is the National Honorary Society in Psychology, and it was founded in 1929. Its purpose is to encourage, stimulate, and maintain excellence in scholarship and advancing the science of Psychology. Colby has had a chapter for over 30 years. You may be eligible to be a part of this society if meet the following criteria:
· Completed 12 semester hours in Psychology courses
· 3.25 GPA in your Psychology courses
· Top 35% of your class
· Declared major in Psychology
Each Spring semester, a call for nominations for membership is made and students who feel they meet the criteria submit their names. Keep an eye out for an email announcement in February.
“Why is the curriculum so research focused?”
We believe the best way to learn the science of psychology is by doing research. Behind all the facts that you have or will learn about human behavior, there is science. The research process also trains students to think critically, use quantitative tools to analyze data, evaluate evidence, write clearly and concisely, and consider alternative perspectives – all skills that are valued in a liberal arts education and by future employers. If you seek a career that involves working with people, you will find that many of your practices will have research behind them. Moreover, increasingly companies, educational institutions, and other business sectors are being asked to provide evidence supporting their work. Thus, you may end up doing research to justify your work even though you aren’t a researcher! As result of our curriculum, you will be prepared.
“If I am not interested in research, what options are there for me?”
We hope that you will try doing research before you decide it is not for you. Asking new questions and (maybe) finding the answers is a really exciting process, and some students are surprised by how much they like doing research once they try it, whether in a course or working in a faculty member’s lab. Regardless of whether you like conducting research or not, we encourage you to seek experiences in which you can apply your knowledge. The curriculum provides opportunities for students to become involved in the application of psychological knowledge through internships at local facilities or in off-campus placements in a wide variety of academic, professional, and corporate settings in the U.S. and abroad. The department encourages students to explore other cultures through study abroad as a good way of understanding the influence of culture on human psychology. See the Career Center’s website for more information about internships, including information on funding to support unpaid opportunities, and the Goldfarb Center‘s website for information about local volunteering opportunities.