The Psychology Department offers a broad range of courses covering the variety of topics in psychology. After taking Psychology 100 (A First Course in Psychology), students choose from courses in such areas as social psychology, developmental psychology, child psychology, educational psychology, personality, abnormal and clinical psychology, cognitive psychology, experimental methods, neuroscience, language, and psychology of learning. By the junior year, students begin to take advanced seminars in their areas of interest and also to do independent field work and research one-on-one with faculty members. Class size is kept small, with no more than 45 students in the introductory course, around 20-25 students in the basic courses, and around 8-14 students in seminars. Many students do one or more independent projects for course credit in the form of independent fieldwork, research, or thesis.
The department emphasizes a "collegial" model of learning, in which students become active participators with faculty. Many students work on research with professors, both for course credit during the academic year or through paid research internships in the summer. Each year, several students co-author published papers and/or give presentations of their work at national and regional psychology conferences.
To provide students with practical experience, the department offers a number of internships that can be completed for independent study credit. Recently, students have worked in a center for autistic children, a battered women´s shelter, advertising agencies, biofeedback clinics, employee assistance programs, residential facilities for emotionally disturbed children, and on a suicide phone line. Others have run groups for shy teenagers at a local high school, worked in day care centers or elementary schools, and consulted at local businesses.
Students often combine psychology with other majors or minors such as biology, economics, mathematics, sociology, or political science. As a result, our majors go into a wide variety of fields. Many, either immediately after graduation or within a few years, enter some type of graduate program. Some of these students enroll in professional schools for medicine, dentistry, law, education, or nursing; other students enroll in business-related graduate programs for master´s degrees in business or health care administration. Many of our majors seek advanced degrees in clinical or counseling psychology or related fields such as social work and speech pathology. Several majors each year enter graduate programs leading to the doctorate in various areas of academic psychology.