Goals for the Psychology Major
Overview of Goals: The psychology curriculum is designed to encourage students to view psychology and human behavior across multiple levels, using a variety of theoretical and empirical models. We offer our students a solid foundation in methodology, history, traditional, and non-traditional approaches, and we urge critical thinking.
Goal 1: Research training-Students will understand and apply basic research methods in psychology, including research design, data analysis, writing, and interpretation.
Goal 2: Integrating experiential and scientific knowledge-Students will be able to integrate hands-on work in communities and social service organizations with the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in psychology.
Goal 3: Diversity-Students will recognize, understand, and respect the complexity of sociocultural and international diversity.
Goal 4: Life-long learning-Students will develop an interest in life-long learning and an interest in psychological issues in all areas of their personal and professional lives.
Goal 5: Communication skills-Students will be able to effectively communicate about the complexities of psychological research.
Goal 6: Ethical considerations-Students will be able to weigh evidence, tolerate ambiguity, act ethically, and reflect other values that are underpinnings of psychology as a discipline.
Goal 7: Social responsibility-Students will recognize and understand the connection between their psychology training and social issues, and will use this knowledge in their efforts to improve the world in which we live.
Goal 8: Skepticism-Students will respect and use skeptical inquiry in interpreting, understanding, and applying psychological research.
Requirements for the Major
A major in psychology requires a minimum of 13 credits. Majors in psychology must meet the following requirements either through satisfactory completion of regular course work (normally at one of The Claremont Colleges) or through other means approved by the psychology faculty. Individual psychology major requirements (e.g., Intro, Stats, Research Methods, Developmental psychology, etc.) must be fulfilled by completing regular course work, and cannot be fulfilled via independent study; however, independent study courses can count as additional courses towards the number of courses required of the major. Furthermore, students should take all of their major requirements on a letter-grade basis.
The 13 requirements of the psychology major are below, with each requirement underlined.
- PSYC 010 PZ -Introduction to Psychology or the equivalent.
- PSYC 091 PZ -Psychological Statistics or the equivalent; normally completed by the end of the first semester of the sophomore year.
- PSYC 092 PZ -Research Methods + PSYC 092P PZ -Research Methods Practicum or the equivalent; normally completed by the end of the second semester of the sophomore year.
- A course focusing on diversity issues in psychology (DIV). The course may involve an examination of diversity in terms of culture, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities, or economic status. Examples include:
- PSYC 012 AF -Introduction to African American Psychology
- PSYC 117 PZ -Children and Families in South Asia
- PSYC 124 PZ -Psychology of Fatherhood
- PSYC 130 PZ -Stereotyping and Prejudice (taken with PSYC 130P)
- PSYC 153 PZ -The Socialization of Gender: A Developmental Perspective
- PSYC 188 AF -Seminar in African American Psychology
- PSYC 193 PZ -Global Mental Health
- Another course approved by your academic adviser
● One specialized research practicum course in psychology (PRA). This course is normally completed by the end of the junior year and must be completed by that time for honors candidates. Note: Introduction to Research Methods and Research Methods Practicum should be taken before enrolling in a specialized research practicum course. Examples include:
○ PSYC 111P PZ -Physiological Psychology Practicum (with PSYC 111)
○ PSYC 130P PZ -Stereotyping and Prejudice Practicum (with PSYC 130)
○ PSYC 151P PZ -Experimental Child Psychology Practicum (with PSYC 151)
○ PSYC 180P PZ -Study of Lives Practicum (with PSYC 180)
○ PSYC 184P PZ -Psychology of Food and Eating Practicum (with PSYC 184)
○ Another course approved by your academic adviser
One course in each of the following content areas within psychology:
- Biological psychology.
- Cognitive psychology.
- Community or clinical psychology.
- Developmental psychology.
- Social or personality psychology.
Some things to keep in mind as you plan your major:
Some things to keep in mind as you plan your major:
- The semester after taking Introduction to Psychology, students interested in majoring in psychology should take:
- PSYC 091 PZ -Psychological Statistics and one introductory course in a content area within psychology (see below).
- Or two courses that serve as an introduction to one of the content areas within psychology; examples are listed below:
- Students intending to major in psychology should take Psychological Statistics preferably before the start of the 2nd semester of their sophomore year. Students should then take PSYC 092 PZ -Research Methods + PSYC 092P PZ -Research Methods Practicum as soon as possible after taking PSYC 091 PZ -Psychological Statistics;
- PSYC 091 PZ -Psychological Statistics, PSYC 092 PZ -Research Methods and PSYC 092P PZ -Research Methods Practicum should be taken before taking a specialized research practicum course.
- Students hoping to enter the Psychology Honors Program as Seniors should be advised that they must take their required specialized research practicum course before the end of their Junior year; students planning to take a semester abroad should take this into account as they plan their major.