Dec 07, 2023
View Psychology Department website
Psychology is the scientific discipline dedicated to the study of mental experience and behavior. The goal of the psychology major is to develop students’ understanding of the theories, methods, and professions within psychological science. This general goal is translated into specific objectives that concern the understanding of scientific methodology, the current state of psychological knowledge, and the application of methodology and knowledge to real-world problems and events.
The psychology major consists of four components. First, a required core of foundation courses introduces students to themes, research, and communication and professional skills within psychology. This core includes required methodology courses in writing, statistics, and research design. Second, students take breadth courses that enhance their knowledge of concepts and methods in subdisciplines of psychology. The breadth courses include upper-level laboratory courses where students develop skills in the design, analysis, evaluation and communication of psychological research. Third, students expand their knowledge of psychology with an upper-level elective. Fourth, every psychology major must complete a St. Mary’s Project.
- Students will explain key concepts within diverse content areas of psychology.
- Students will design and execute an empirical project/methodology within psychology.
- Students will effectively analyze and interpret data.
- Students will review, evaluate, and integrate findings from the primary literature.
- Students will demonstrate effective written communication of ideas in psychology.
- Students will demonstrate effective oral communication of ideas in psychology.
- Students will develop a professional identity informed by skills, behaviors, and dispositions reflected in psychological science and practice that supports the transition from the psychology major into multiple contexts.
General College Requirements
General College Requirements (see “Curriculum ” section), including the following requirements to satisfy the major:
Foundation Courses (16 credit hours)
Breadth (20-22 credit hours)
- One course from each of the five breadth areas (Biological & Sensory Processes; Culture & Community; Development & Learning; Health & Counseling; Social & Cognitive Processes)
- At least two of five courses must be 200-level courses
- At least two of five courses must be 300-level courses in either of two formats:
- Lecture plus required laboratory section (5 credits)
- Laboratory seminar (4 credits)
Biological & Sensory Processes
Social & Cognitive Processes
Upper Level Elective (4-5 credit hours)
One 300- or 400-level course not used to satisfy the Breadth or Capstone requirement. PSYC 396 - Collaborative Research in Psychology satisfies this requirement. PSYC 397 /PSYC 497 Directed Research in Psychology satisfies this requirement (2 and 4 credit graded experiences only).
Capstone (8 credit hours)
Every psychology major must complete a St. Mary’s Project. This project may be in psychology or in another major discipline or study area. The Department website provides information about the SMP and mentor assignment process.
Minimum Grade and GPA Requirements
Students must earn a grade of C- or better, with a cumulative grade point average of 2.00, in courses used to satisfy the major. Courses taken for credit/no credit may not be used to satisfy requirements for the major.
Sequence of Study for 4-year students
The following sequence of courses is a typical model for fulfilling the requirements of the psychology major over four years:
- one or two 200-level breadth courses*
Sequence of Study for Transfer Students
The following sequence of courses is a typical model for fulfilling the requirements of the psychology major over two years. Junior transfer students must take PSYC 204 in their first semester in order to complete the major in two years; if PSYC 204 sections are full, email the instructor(s).