Major Requirements

​PSYC 391. Psychology of Language is an option in the C. Cognition and  H. Perception/Cognition catagories below


The psychology major, B.A. or B.S.—Students are required to take 11 semester courses in psychology and one in biology (either BIOL 140 or BIOL 182L) 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 student's 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. Students are expected to arrange their course work according to the following system:

  • PSYC 101. Introduction to Psychology, PSYC 221L. Research Design and Analysis, PSYC 261. Brain and Behavior, and either BIOL 140. Biological Systems or BIOL 182L. Evolution of Life 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 365. Cognitive Neuroscience (261)
      • PSYC 392. Human Neuropsychology (261)
      • PSYC 464. Neuropsychopharmacology (261)
    • B. Social/Personality
      • PSYC 324. Stereotyping, Prejudice, and Discrimination (226)
      • PSYC 328. Applied Social Psychology (226)
      • PSYC 340. Social Cognition (226)
      • PSYC 415. Development and Culture (226)
      • PSYC 426. Advanced Topics in Social Psychology: Cultural Psychology (226)
    • C. Cognition
      • PSYC 340. Social Cognition (255)
      • PSYC 365. Cognitive and Social Neuroscience (255)
      • PSYC 391. Psychology of Language
      • PSYC 392. Human Neuropsychology (255)
      • PSYC 434. Current Issues in Cognition (255 or 293)
      • PSYC 493. The Ecological Approach to Psychology (255 or 293)
    • D. Development
      • PSYC 339. Developmental Psychopathology (295)
      • PSYC 395. Cognitive and Social Development (295)
      • PSYC 415. Development and Culture (295)
    • E. History
      • PSYC 414. History of Psychology (five courses in psychology)
    • F. Clinical
      • PSYC 339. Developmental Psychopathology (270 or 273)
      • PSYC 442. Evaluation and Treatment of Addictive Behavior (270 or 273)
      • PSYC 471. Psychotherapy (270 or 273)
    • G. Assessment
      • PSYC 332L. Psychological Assessment (221L and four other courses in psychology)
    • H. Perception/Cognition
      • PSYC 391. Psychology of Language
      • PSYC 434. Current Issues in Cognition (255 or 293)
      • PSYC 493. The Ecological Approach to Psychology (255 or 293)
  • Students must complete one specialized course from among the following options.
    • PSYC 223. Intersecting Identities: The Asian American Experience
    • PSYC 236. Adolescent Psychology
    • PSYC 237. Health Psychology
    • PSYC 240. Parenting, Interpersonal Relations, and Mental Health
    • PSYC 246. Community Psychology
    • PSYC 265. Drugs and Behavior
    • PSYC 275. Introduction to the Psychology of Human Sexuality
    • PSYC 310. Psychology of Gender Differences
    • PSYC 390. Research Internship
    • PSYC 397. Psychology of Art
    • 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
    • NESC 101. The Brain
    • NESC 262. Introduction to Animal Behavior
    • PHIL 220. Introduction to Cognitive Science
    • PHIL 328. Freud
  • 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.

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.

Senior seminar—Each senior seminar will adopt an integrative perspective to examine major issues in several different subdivisions of psychology. For example, the seminar in developmental psychology will treat issues that touch on physiology, psychopathology, social psychology, memory, cognition, perception, and motivation. 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. Students must sign up for a senior seminar in the department's administrative office at an announced time during preregistration in the spring semester of their junior year.

Thesis—The senior thesis is a two-semester research project sponsored by a member of the Psychology Department.

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. 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.

Study Abroad—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.

Interdisciplinary computing major in psychology—See the Interdisciplinary Computing major section of the Bulletin. Students interested in the interdisciplinary computing major in psychology should contact Professor Mace, who will assist them in setting up a plan of study.

Interdisciplinary computing majors should take psychology courses with an explicit connection to computing. Six courses may be selected from the following set:

  • PSYC 221L. Research Design and Analysis
  • PSYC 255. Cognitive Psychology
  • PSYC 293. Perception
  • PSYC 332L. Psychological Assessment
  • PSYC 356. Cognitive Science
  • PSYC 434. Current Issues in Cognition
  • CPSC 352. Artificial Intelligence

Neuroscience major—Students interested in the neuroscience major should consult the relevant pages in the Bulletin.