6 Requirements for the Psychology Major

Prior to Moderation, students entering the College are required to complete the following:

  • Introduction to Psychological Science (PSY 141; a score of 5 on the AP Psychology exam may fulfill the requirement);
  • a sequence, generally beginning in the sophomore year, of PSY 201 and PSY 202 (Data and Analysis in Psychology I and II; these courses replace PSY 203/204, which fulfill the same requirement);
  • and at least two additional 200-level courses in psychology.

PSY 201 and (a) 200-level course(s) may be in-progress during the semester of Moderation.

In order to graduate in Psychology, students must complete:

  • a total of four 200-level courses in psychology (excluding PSY 201 and 202);
  • one four-credit course in biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, or physics (this excludes AP or IB classes, as well as Biostatistics, and courses listed primarily in Mind, Brain and Behavior);
  • two 300-level courses following Moderation (at least one of which must be completed before beginning the Senior Project; taking both during the Junior year is strongly encouraged);
  • the Psychology Junior/Senior Conference, a two-semester required colloquium in Junior II / Senior I to support student work in the Senior Project;
  • and the Senior Project.

No more than a single 300-level course may be taken per semester, and taking these 300-levels with two different faculty members is strongly encouraged. At least one 200-level course must be completed from each of the following course clusters:

  • Cluster A: Abnormal and Personality Psychology (course numbers in the 210s).
  • Cluster B: Developmental and Social Psychology (course numbers in the 220s).
  • Cluster C: Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience (course numbers in the 230s).

Although the Psychology Program is housed in the Division of Science, Mathematics, and Computing, students decide at the time of Moderation whether they will pursue their degree in Psychology from the Division of Science, Mathematics, and Computing (SM&C) or the Division of Social Studies (SSt). These divisional degrees are distinguished by two features:

  1. an SSt degree entails at least two courses in one or more related disciplines in the Social Studies Division and
  2. the Senior Project for an SM&C degree must have an empirical focus, in which the student analyzes data, or presents a detailed plan for doing so. The SSt Senior Project does not carry this requirement, though it may of course do this.

If students wish to change their major division after moderation, they will submit a petition to the Program. This petition may be submitted at any time before the Add/Drop deadline of the Senior I semester to the Senior Project advisor, who will convene and chair the Board. Students may not change divisions after the Add/Drop date of the Senior I semester. Failure to meet the requirements of the major Division project requirements will result in a substantial reduction in the Senior Project grade.

Students may submit written petitions to the Program faculty to request deviations from the requirements. Enrolling in a 300-level prior to moderation counts as such a deviation, and students who wish to do so should petition the Program.

Students who wish to count classes completed at other institutions toward the major must send a course syllabus (not just a description) with a note about what requirement they hope to fulfill to the Program Director. We strongly urge students to do this before enrolling in courses elsewhere.

All courses required for the major (including the non-Psychology SM&C course) must be taken for a letter grade (i.e., not P/D/F).