Information for First-Year Students

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.

Carleton’s psychology department focuses on the following areas within the discipline:


How do I get started on a Psychology major?

The first step is to take PSYC110. Check out the web page on the Psychology Major for more information, and feel free to talk to any of the psychology professors.

Can I get credit toward the major for an Advanced Placement Psychology or International Baccalaureate Higher level course I took in high school?

If you received a 4 or 5 on the AP exam, or a score of 6 or 7 on the IB exam you can take a mid-level psychology course, and upon passing the mid-level course, 6 credits and exemption for the PSYC110 course will for your Advanced Placement Psychology course will be added to your transcript.

Can I S/CR/NC classes that count for the major?

No, you cannot S/CR/NC classes that count for the major.

How can I get connected to the Psychology Department in my first two years other than through course work?

  • Send a request to Pam Gaggioli and ask to be added to the Psyc Interest list.
  • Watch for announcements about Journal Club meetings that you are invited to attend.
  • Attend events listed on our events page.

Are there any off-campus programs specifically geared towards Psychology majors?

Professor Ken Abrams is the director for the Cross-Cultural Psychology program in Prague.

Who can I talk to if I’d like more information?

You can contact either of the Student Departmental Advisors or you can make an appointment to see any of the psychology faculty.

What will the Senior Comps involve?

The Comps process begins fall term of Senior year.

What courses can non-majors take?

PSYC 110–294 classes are open to all students. Many seminars are also open to non-majors but may require certain courses as prerequisites. Please review the course descriptions, and also talk to psychology faculty if you find a course that interests you but you are concerned about background.