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B.A. in Psychology

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  • Course description
    Scientific psychology analyzes the complex interactions between environmental and biological bases of behavior to study human and animal behavior. Students are trained in scientific methods and different theoretical perspectives in a variety of areas of psychology: physiological psychology, neuropsychology, sensation and perception, cognition, learning, child and adult development, social psychology, personality, health psychology, abnormal psychology, and animal behavior. In short, psychology analyzes the complex interactions between environmental and biological bases of behavior.

    Through acquiring a better understanding of behavior and scientific methods, psychology majors are well prepared to enter many fields. A major in psychology can lead to graduate study and a career in many areas of psychology, from experimental to clinical/counseling work, and psychology majors also pursue education and careers in law and medicine as well as work in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors.


    A major in psychology consists of nine course credits:
       * PSYC 100 – Introduction to Psychology
       * PSYC 215-Psychological Statistics or Math 216-Statistics
       * Five 200 level Courses.  At least one course must come from each of the A, B, & C clusters.  No more than one course can come from the D cluster.

    Cluster A
    PSYC 203-Psychology of Learning
    PSYC 204-Human Cognition
    PSYC 250-Physiological Psychology
    PSYC 252-Sensation and Perception
    PSYC 266-Animal Behavior

    Cluster B
    PSYC 207-Developmental Psychology
    PSYC 209-Social Psychology
    PSYC 210-Abnormal Psychology
    PSYC 212-Psychology of Emotion
    PSYC 228-Personality Psychology

    Cluster C
    PSYC 290- Applied Research Methods Seminar in Physiological Psychology
    PSYC 291- Applied Research Methods Seminar in Abnormal Psychology PSYC 292- Applied Research Methods Seminar in Sensation and Perception
    PSYC 293- Applied Research Methods Seminar in Learning
    PSYC 294- Applied Research Methods Seminar in Human Cognition
    PSYC 295- Applied Research Methods Seminar in Emotion
    PSYC 296- Applied Research Methods Seminar in Animal Behavior
    PSYC 297- Applied Research Methods Seminar in Developmental Psychology
    PSYC 298- Applied Research Methods Seminar in Personality
    PSYC 299- Applied Research Methods Seminar in Social Psychology

    Cluster D
    PSYC 232-Psychology of Women
    PSYC 233-Black Psychology
    PSYC 234-Sport Psychology
    Or additional psychology courses with departmental approval.

     * Two courses above the 200 level, at least one of which must be taken at Bucknell. Majors may use an independent research course (PSYC 329, PSYC 360, or one of the corresponding Capstones on behavioral research) to satisfy one of these requirements.


    Majors should complete PSYC 215 by the end of the sophomore year. All 200-level requirements, including the research methods seminar, should be completed by the end of the junior year.  The optimal scheduling of these courses should be determined in consultation with a member of the department, and is especially important for students who enter the major late, hope to study abroad, or have strong preferences among alternative courses.

    The department strongly encourages students to engage in independent research, done in close collaboration with a faculty member. Seniors, if academically eligible, often conduct senior honors projects and many others conduct independent studies. Many psychology majors study abroad for a semester and courses taken abroad usually transfer.

    Two minors are offered in psychology. The cognitive and perceptual sciences minor can be completed in one of two ways: 1) For students who take PSYC 100, the minor consists of PSYC 100, Statistics (PSYC 215 or equivalent), PSYC 204, PSYC 252, PSYC 292 or 294, and PSYC 318 or 352; 2) For students who do not take PSYC 100, the minor consists of Statistics (PSYC 215 or equivalent), PSYC 204, PSYC 252, PSYC 292 or 294, PSYC 318 and PSYC 352. With the approval of the department chair, a research project in cognition or perception (PSYC 329, PSYC 360, or one of the corresponding Capstones on behavior research) could be substituted for either PSYC 318 or PSYC 352 for those students who do not take PSYC 100.

    The neuropsychology minor requires six courses: PSYC 100, PSYC 204, PSYC 215 or equivalent, PSYC 250, PSYC 349, and one of PSYC 210, PSYC 212, PSYC 252, PSYC 305, PSYC 309, PSYC 318, PSYC 339, PSYC 343, or PSYC 352. With the approval of the department chair, independent research in neuropsychology (PSYC 329, PSYC 360, or one of the corresponding Capstones on behavior research) may be used to satisfy this last requirement.

    A program for honors in psychology must include PSYC 360 or the corresponding Capstone on behavioral research.

    Nonmajors are encouraged to discuss sequences of courses appropriate to their academic goals with any member of the department.

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