Pitzer Advisers: M. Banerjee, H. Fairchild, A. Jones, J. Lewis, L. Light, D. Moore, N. Rodriguez, K. Thomas.
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
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 12 courses. 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:
- • Introduction to Psychology: Psychology 10 or the equivalent.
- • Psychological Statistics: Psychology 91 or the equivalent; normally completed Psychology 233
by the end of the second semester of the sophomore year.
- • Research Methods: Psychology 92 or equivalent; normally completed by the end of the second semester of the sophomore year.
- • History and Systems; Psychology 190 or equivalent; to be taken in the junior or
- One course in each of the following sub-domains within psychology:
- • Biological bases of behavior (Psychology 101 or equivalent)
- • Cognition.
- • Community/clinical psychology.
- • Developmental psychology.
- • Social psychology/personality.
- In addition to meeting these content domain requirements, the courses selected for the major must include:
- • One laboratory course in psychology (must be completed by the end of the spring semester of the junior year). Courses meeting this requirement are designated "laboratory course" in the course listings below.
- • A second laboratory course, an internship, or a research practicum course. Courses meeting these requirements are designated "laboratory course," "internship," or "research practicum" in the course listings below.
- • A course focusing on diversity issues in psychology. The course may involve an examination of diversity in terms of culture, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities, or economic status.
- • A seminar.
Combined Major: Students electing a combined major that includes Psychology in its title must complete all requirements for the psychology major but are only required to complete three additional courses, rather than five, in item 5 above. Thus
a combined major including psychology requires a minimum of 10 courses. Please consult with your adviser for full details.
Honors: During the spring semester of the junior year, the Psychology faculty may invite selected students to submit a research proposal for a senior thesis. Criteria for selection include an overall GPA of 3.5, a Claremont Colleges psychology courses GPA of 3.7 and successful completion of Psychology 91 and one laboratory course
in psychology prior to the end of the spring semester of the junior year. At the end of the fall semester, students in Psychology 112 will be expected to present pilot data to the psychology faculty and will be continued in the Honors Program only IF the quality of the data and presentation is acceptable. In addition, students must pass Psychology 112 with a B or better to receive a recommendation from the psychology faculty to continue. The student must then enroll in Psychology 191, Senior Thesis in Psychology in the spring semester of the senior year. Students engaged in senior thesis research are expected to be on campus during the entire senior year. Students who may be eligible for senior thesis research and who are interested in semester abroad experiences should plan to take these prior to the senior year. Students who complete an acceptable senior thesis may be considered for graduation with honors in psychology, provided that their academic performance continues to meet the aforementioned criteria. Students who participate in the
senior thesis program will present their research to students and faculty at the end of the year.
AP Credit: An AP score of 4 or 5 on the AP Psychology exam will be granted one elective course credit toward graduation, but will not be counted toward a psychology major requirement.
Students considering graduate work should consult with their advisers early in their academic careers about courses that are necessary or advisable in addition to the requirements for the major. It is strongly recommended that students considering graduate work engage in the ongoing research projects of faculty members in Psychology.
Joint BA/MA Accelerated Degree Program in Psychology
The accelerated degree program is designed to be completed in one year beyond the BA degree. Students in the program must enroll at Claremont Graduate University for at least 32 units. Ordinarily students in the accelerated program
will begin taking graduate courses in their Senior Year. CGU will grant up to 16 units of graduate credit (the equivalent of four full Pitzer courses) for advanced undergraduate course work at Pitzer College. To complete the accelerated MA
degree in one year, students must complete at least 8-units of graduate credit at CGU during their Senior year at Pitzer. Ordinarily this would include one core course and either 4-units of statistics or methodology courses. Specific requirements for this program can be obtained from a member of the psychology field group.