Ever wonder what motivates behavior?

Our students explore psychology from neurons to neuroses and apply their skills to real-life problems. You'll survey contemporary approaches to mental health and think critically about human behavior.

Because of its versatility, careers in psychology can be tailored specifically to your passions. Our students are highly valued in all fields, including development, research, human resources, clinical and counseling psychology, social work, hospital administration, law, public health and graduate studies.
Program Requirements

Every psychology major must complete thirty-six semester hours in psychology, as well as four hours in statistics.

The following five core courses are required:

  • PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychological Science
  • MATH 118 Introductory Statistics
    or MATH 227 Statistical Design and Analysis
    or MATH 229 Regression Models
  • PSYC 201 Biological Psychology
  • PSYC 203 Research Methods in Psychology
  • PSYC 345 History and Systems of Psychology

To ensure that students receive sufficient breadth across substantive areas, as well as some depth within at least one area, the department also requires that students successfully complete at least one course chosen from each of the following five areas:

Basic Processes

  • PSYC 243 Cognitive Psychology
  • PSYC 244 Drugs and Behavior
  • PSYC 245 Learning and Conditioning
  • PSYC 247 Perception

Social and Developmental

  • PSYC 235 Developmental Psychology
  • PSYC 236 Psychology of Adolescence
  • PSYC 239 Psychology of Aging
  • PSYC 248 Social Psychology

Clinical and Personality

  • PSYC 230 Theories of Personality
  • PSYC 231 Abnormal Psychology
  • PSYC 232 Health Psychology

Upper Level Theory and Application

  • PSYC 331 Seminar in Clinical Psychology
  • PSYC 335 Social and Emotional Development
  • PSYC 336 Childhood Psychopathology
  • PSYC 339 Psychology and the Law

Upper Level Research

  • PSYC 301 Research in Biopsychology
  • PSYC 303 Research in Cognitive Processes
  • PSYC 304 Research in Personality
  • PSYC 308 Research in Social Psychology

Prerequisites: PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychological Science is a prerequisite for all courses offered by the department except PSYC 220 The Psychology of Women for which the prerequisite is PSYC 101 or WGST 100 Introduction to Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies. Upper-level courses have additional prerequisites as detailed in the course descriptions. Most 300-level courses require instructor's consent to register.

Students who major or minor in psychology may use an AP Psychology test score of  4 or 5 to replace the PSYC 101 requirement.

Recommendations: Students considering a major in psychology are advised to take PSYC 101 during their first year and MATH 118 Introductory Statistics during their first year. Delaying MATH 118 past the first year could interfere with taking PSYC 203 Research Methods in Psychology in the second year as intended.

In general, the Department encourages flexible and individualized course planning both within and beyond the field of psychology. The chair or an advisor in the department can help with such program planning. The following examples serve as guides to planning an appropriate program.

  1. A student planning a career working with children, such as early childhood education, counseling, child guidance, or school psychology, should consider PSYC 235, 236, 335, and 336.
  2. A student planning a career in a medical or physiological research setting should consider PSYC 232, 243, 244, 247, and 301. Relevant courses in biology, chemistry, and computer science are also recommended.
  3. A student interested in a career in behavioral research, human factors, or computer-based instruction should consider PSYC 243, 245, 247, 248, and 303. Relevant areas of mathematics and/or computer science are also recommended.
  4. A student with career interests in the clinical and personality area should consider PSYC 230, 231, 232, 304, 331, and 336.
  5. A student planning a career in social service or human resources should consider PSYC 230, 231, 232, 248, 308, and 339.

Independent Learning in Psychology: Psychology majors typically fulfill the eight-credit Independent Learning degree requirement by taking PSYC 380 Fieldwork in a Psychological Setting (a two-semester eight-credit course) or two semesters of PSYC 350 Independent Study (for four credits each). Alternatively they can seek departmental approval to take one semester of PSYC 350 (for four credits) followed by either PSYC 355 Thesis (for four credits) or PSYC 381 Writing a Psychological Thesis (for four credits). In consultation with their advisors, Psychology majors also have the option of fulfilling their Independent Learning degree requirement in other departments or programs.

For further information about the program in neuroscience and behavior, contact Professor Rachel Galli in the Department of Psychology.

Students planning to attend medical school should contact the health professions adviser as early as possible to be sure to incorporate the courses required for admission to these professional schools.

Honors in Psychology:
The general requirements for attaining departmental honors are indicated in the Undergraduate Catalog under Academic Honors and Recognition Programs. To qualify for Honors in Psychology, a student must satisfactorily complete either PSYC 350 Independent Study or the first half of PSYC 380 Fieldwork in a Psychological Setting during the first semester of the senior year. The student must then propose a thesis to the Psychology Faculty. If the proposal is approved, and if the student's Psychology GPA is at least 3.5, the student may register for PSYC 355 Thesis or PSYC 381 Writing a Psychological Thesis in the second semester of the senior year. By earning a grade of A or A- in that course and successfully defending the thesis to the Psychology Faculty, the student will graduate with Honors in Psychology. Note that although a thesis can be proposed after the first semester of PSYC 380, students must still complete the second semester of that course (which can be done concurrently with PSYC 355 or PSYC 381) to earn credit for it.

Minor Requirements

The requirements of the Psychology Minor include PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychological Science, one course chosen from the Basic Processes area (see above), and three electives with the PSYC designation. Nursing students can count NURS 348 as one of the three electives. 

Customize Your Program

The Psychology Major combines exposure to scientific research, clinical methods, and statistical analysis to prepare our students for graduate studies and professions in a myriad of fields.

A Minor in Psychology is also available. Its requirements include PSYC 101, Introduction to Psychological Science, one course from the Basic Processes area (see Program Requirements above), and three electives in psychology (which can include NURS 348 Variances in Health Patterns of Clients with Psychiatric and Mental Illness).

Internships and Research

The size of our college allows meaningful interaction between students and faculty both in and out of class. Many students collaborate with faculty on research projects, sometimes even co-authoring papers and conference presentations. In addition, our robust internship program provides mentoring and real-world experience at local hospitals, schools, and other institutions.

    John Reeder
    • John Reeder
    • Associate Professor, Psychology
    • Phone: 617-521-2610
    • Office: S172
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    Amanda Carey
    • Amanda Carey
    • Assistant Professor
    • Phone: 617-521-2619
    • Office: S170
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    Greg Feldman
    Rachel Galli
    • Rachel Galli
    • Associate Professor of Psychology and Co-Coordinator of the Neuroscience and Behavior Major
    • Phone: 617-521-2607
    • Office: S171
    Sarah Martin
    • Sarah Martin
    • Associate Professor
    • Phone: 617-521-2603
    • Office: S166
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How to Apply
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