Major Requirements

Psychology

REQUIREMENTS

For either the B.A. or B.S. degree, students are required to take 11 courses in psychology and one in biology or neuroscience (BIOL 140 or BIOL 182L or NESC 120) and earn a grade of C- or better in each. Any student who must repeat a required course to attain the required grade of at least C- will be allowed only one opportunity to do so. Students should consult with their adviser to choose a set of courses that is consistent with the students' goals and that offers broad exposure to the discipline of psychology, as well as depth in one or more of the diverse sub-areas. Psychology majors are strongly encouraged to take cognate courses in the humanities, arts, and natural and social sciences that enhance topics and issues in psychology that interest them. Students are expected to arrange their course work according to the following system:

Foundation Courses: PSYC 101. Introduction to Psychology, PSYC 221L. Research Design and Analysis, PSYC 261. Brain and Behavior, and BIOL 140. Biological Systems, BIOL 182L. Evolution of Life, or NESC 120. Nervous Connections are required foundation courses. Students are advised to complete these courses by the end of their sophomore year, but must have taken PSYC 261 by the end of their junior year.

Core Courses: Students must complete three core courses, two of which must include a laboratory. The labs of PSYC 261 and PSYC 332 may be counted toward the lab requirement. (See the reference to laboratory courses under the section for advanced courses below.) The core course requirement is designed to provide students with a multifaceted perspective on human behavior. Thus, students are encouraged to sample courses from different sub-areas of psychology. Students may not count both PSYC 270 and PSYC 273 as core courses. The following core courses count for this requirement:

  • PSYC 226. Social Psychology*
  • PSYC 255. Cognitive Psychology*
  • PSYC 270. Clinical Psychology or PSYC 273. Abnormal Psychology

  • PSYC 293. Perception*
  • PSYC 295. Child Development*
  • * These courses are ordinarily offered with laboratories.

Advanced Courses: Students must complete three advanced courses that have as prerequisites core courses from the section immediately above. Students are required to select these courses from three different categories listed below (listed A through H). A course may appear in more than one category. The psychology prerequisites that apply to an advanced course within a specific category are in parentheses. The Writing Intensive Part II requirement is fulfilled by one of the following advanced courses in categories A through H below. The following advanced courses apply:

  • A. Neuroscience
    • PSYC 302. Behavioral Neuroscience (261)
    • PSYC 339. Developmental Psychopathology (261)
    • PSYC 364. Neuropsychopharmacology (261)
    • PSYC 365. Cognitive Neuroscience (261)
    • PSYC 392. Human Neuropsychology (261)
  • B. Social/Personality
    • PSYC 315. Development and Culture (226)
    • PSYC 324. Stereotyping, Prejudice, and Discrimination (226)
    • PSYC 346. Intergroup Relations (226)
    • PSYC 384. Cultural Psychology (226)
  • C. Cognition
    • PSYC 334. Current Issues in Cognition (255 or 293)
    • PSYC 365. Cognitive and Social Neuroscience (255)
    • PSYC 391. Psychology of Language (255)
    • PSYC 392. Human Neuropsychology (255)
  • D. Development
    • PSYC 315. Development and Culture (295)
    • PSYC 339. Developmental Psychopathology (295)
  • E. History
    • PSYC 314. History of Psychology (five courses in psychology)
  • F. Clinical
    • PSYC 339. Developmental Psychopathology (270 or 273)
    • PSYC 344. Evaluation and Treatment of Addictive Behavior (270 or 273)
    • PSYC 370. Psychotherapy (270 or 273)
  • G. Assessment
    • PSYC 332L. Psychological Assessment (221L and four other courses in psychology)
  • H. Perception
    • PSYC 334. Current Issues in Cognition (255 or 293)
    • PSYC 348. Focusing the Mind: Psychology of Attention (293)

Specialized/Electives: Students must complete one specialized course from the following options.

  • PSYC 206. Environmental Psychology and Sustainability

  • PSYC 218. Special Education

  • PSYC 236. Adolescent Psychology

  • PSYC 237. Health Psychology

  • PSYC 241. Interpersonal Relationships

  • PSYC 246. Community Psychology

  • PSYC 265. Drugs and Behavior

  • PSYC 275. Introduction to the Psychology of Human Sexuality

  • PSYC 294. Forensic Psychology

  • PSYC 297. Child Development and Public Policy

  • PSYC 310. Psychology of Gender Differences

  • PSYC 390. Research Internship

  • PSYC 399. Independent Study

  • PSYC 490. Research Assistantship

  • CPSC 352. Artificial Intelligence

  • ENGR 311. Electrophysiology of the Central Nervous System

  • HFPR 201. Health Fellows Program: Topics in Health Care

  • MUSC 248. Psychology of Music

  • MUSC 249. Music Therapy Principles and Practices

  • NESC 101. The Brain

From time to time new courses will be added or substituted for those in the above listings. Students should consult with the chair concerning courses taken at other institutions or other matters pertinent to requirements for the major.

Capstone/Senior Project: To fulfill the senior exercise requirement, students must complete a senior seminar (PSYC 401 or 402) or a senior thesis. In exceptional cases the chair may allow students to substitute for these options an internship in which they engage in research. Students who choose the internship option must secure written approval from the chair and the faculty internship supervisor before commencing this activity.

Senior seminar: Each senior seminar will adopt an integrative perspective to examine major issues in several different subdivisions of psychology. The purpose of the seminar is to give students the opportunity to discern common themes that give coherence to psychology. To be properly prepared, students should have completed the three core courses and most of the other requirements of the major.

Thesis: The senior thesis is a two-semester research project sponsored by a member of the Psychology Department. The senior thesis also entails enrolment in the two semester Senior Thesis Colloquium and a prospectus presentation during the fall and a poster presentation at the all-college science symposium in early May.

ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

Internships: The College's beautiful campus in a metropolitan setting offers the opportunity for testing cutting-edge theories and practices learned in the classroom. Trinity is only blocks from Connecticut's state court system, as well as city offices and health-care providers—such as Hartford Hospital and Connecticut Children's Center and the Institute of Living—ensuring rich ground for internships and independent study and research in walking distance of the College. For example, internships at the Institute of Living have involved the teaching and counseling of adolescents, involvement in a variety of research studies on different aspects of mental health and the testing of individuals with brain damage using fMRI. Classroom experience is also enhanced by collaboration with the community through the Community Learning Initiative, in courses such as Community Psychology, Child Development, Human Neuropsychology, Psychology of Aging and various first year and senior seminars.

Study away: The Psychology Department encourages its majors to study abroad. With careful planning, it should be possible for most students to study abroad, if they so choose. Students wishing to count psychology courses from an approved study-abroad site must get the approval of the chair of the Psychology Department. Typically, the department will allow up to two courses to be counted toward the major—one course from the core category and one course from the specialized category.

Research opportunities: Trinity undergraduates conduct research with faculty members in courses, course labs, independent studies, research assistantships, summer research, the Interdisciplinary Science Program (ISP — a First Year program), and senior theses. These research opportunities often result in joint conference presentations or publications with faculty. Research conducted during the school year is presented in the all-college science symposium poster session in early May. Summer research is presented in September.

Honors: Students with at least a B+ average in psychology, an overall grade point average of B or better, and six courses (of at least one credit each, taken at Trinity) toward the psychology major with a grade of A- or better (excluding PSYC 498-499) are eligible for a program in which they might earn the distinction of honors in psychology. To graduate with honors, students must enroll in PSYC 498-499 and earn a grade of A- or better. Students must also enroll in the two- semester Senior Thesis Colloquium (PSYC 491-492) and receive a grade of P. Honors students will present a preliminary account of their work during the fall semester and a summary of their thesis results during the spring semester to the Psychology Department. They must also present their work at the all-college science symposium poster session in early May. Honors students will present a summary of their thesis at a departmental meeting during the spring semester. Students who believe that they have attained eligibility for honors should consult with their adviser during the spring semester of their junior year to plan for enrollment in PSYC 498-499. The two course credits earned from this sequence fulfill the requirements for the senior exercise and the specialized course.