Psychology at Carleton provides a systematic approach to the study of behavior and experience. It examines processes of physiological functioning, human and animal learning, human and animal cognition, cognitive and social development, personality, social influence, and psychopathology, and treats particular topics (e.g., prejudice, real-life decision making, and psychopharmacology) that are representative of the diversity and complexity of psychology. It also strongly emphasizes the development of analytic and expressive skills that are the basis of investigation, evaluation, and communication in the field.
Psychology 110 is the basic introductory course in the department and is a prerequisite for all other courses in psychology. Only in exceptional circumstances (e.g., an advanced placement score of 4 or 5 or a higher level IB score of 6 or 7) will a student be allowed to enroll in an upper-level psychology course without having taken Psychology 110. Majors in the department generally enroll in mid-level courses in our three core areas:
Biological and Behavioral Processes Courses: 210, 216, 218, 220, 263, 267
Cognitive Studies Courses: PSYC 220, CGSC/PSYC 232, PSYC 234, CGSC 236, PSYC 238
Social Behavior, Development, and Personality Courses: 248, 250, 252, 254, 256, 258, 260
Majors are advised to plan their schedules carefully in light of the prerequisites listed for upper-level courses in each area and the schedule of course offerings. A major in psychology prepares students for graduate study toward an advanced research degree in psychology and for a variety of professional programs and careers in psychological and social service areas. It also serves those intending to pursue careers in law, medicine, education, and business.
Requirements for a Major
- The introductory course, PSYC 110 or an advanced placement score of 4 or 5 or a higher level IB exam score of 6 or 7, and successful completion of a mid-level course)
- the measurement and methods course and lab, PSYC 200 and PSYC 201 (to be taken during the sophomore or junior year)
- four courses from a list of core courses (courses numbered PSYC 210-267, MUSC 227) including:
- one from the Biological and Behavioral Processes group (PSYC 210, 216, 218, 220, 263, 267)
- one from the Cognitive Studies group (PSYC 220, 232, 234, 238, CGSC 236)
- one from the Social Behavior, Development and Personality group (PSYC 248, 250, 252, 254, 256, 258, 260)
- two upper-level courses (PSYC 318-384, CGSC 380, CGSC 385, CGSC 386) including:
- at least one seminar (courses numbered 360 to 386)
- two laboratory courses (PSYC 211, 217, 221, 233, 235, 239, 257, 259, 261)
- a capstone seminar, PSYC 399
- the integrative exercise PSYC 400
Particular courses in biology, education, linguistics, mathematics and computer science, economics, philosophy, and sociology-anthropology may also be recommended, depending on an individual's interests and plans.
For future planning purposes, majors graduating in 2017 should have taken capstone seminar PSYC 299/397,398,399 during the spring term of their junior year and will take PSYC 400 during the fall and winter terms of their senior year with their integrative exercise being completed during the fall and possibly winter term of their senior year depending on the nature of their comps. Those majors graduating in 2018 and in subsequent years will take the capstone seminar (PSYC 299 and PSYC 397/398/399) during the fall term of their senior year and their integrative exercise (comps) in PSYC 400 during the winter and spring terms of their senior year.
Other Courses Pertinent to Psychology
- CGSC 232 Cognitive Processes
- CGSC 236 Thinking, Reasoning, and Decision Making (not offered in 2016-17)
- CGSC 380 Seminar in Developmental Psychology: Cognitive Development During the Preschool Years (not offered in 2016-17)
- CGSC 386 Adolescent Cognitive Development: Developing an Identity and Life Plans (not offered in 2016-17)
- MUSC 227 Perception and Cognition of Music