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, educational psychology, personality, abnormal psychology, psychotherapy, cognitive psychology, statistics, experimental methods and neuroscience. 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.