College Record 2021-2022


Psychology is the scientific and systematic study of behavior from a variety of perspectives. Through examination of the interaction among environmental and internal forces acting on human development and functioning, students gain a better appreciation of themselves and others. Courses are oriented to theoretical, research, and applied considerations. The introductory course surveys the major areas. Advanced courses and seminars provide more detailed examination of human behavior and development. Independent studies, Field Periods, and special courses facilitate the application of theoretical knowledge to practical concerns. Emphasis is placed on research methodology and formal communication skills consistent with the scientific basis of the field. Majors are encouraged to develop independent thought by participating in research projects and other investigatory work.

The psychology major allows considerable flexibility to develop a sequence of study that reflects the student’s personal interests, abilities, and plans for the future. By working closely with faculty advisers, other faculty members, and the experiential education office, students can effectively prepare for employment or for further education or training. The program provides a solid background for graduate study leading to careers in such applied areas as clinical, school, and counseling psychology, and teaching and research.

The concentration in Forensic psychology allows psychology majors opportunities to explore different aspects of psychology and the law. Among other topics, this concentration explores the issues involved in helping judges decide if a parent should have custody of a child or if a defendant is competent to stand trial. This concentration also allows students to examine the psychological reasons for the actions of criminals.

The concentration in mental health provides a foundation for students interested in advanced training in clinical and counseling psychology working with persons with mental disorders. In addition to core psychology courses, students study abnormal psychology and developmental psychopathology as well as taking introductory courses in psychotherapy and assessment. Students have field period experiences in a variety of mental health and related settings.