Professors: Lisa Dierker, Jill G. Morawski; Scott Plous; John G. Seamon; Robert S. Steele; Ruth Striegel
Professors: Hilary Barth,
Departmental Advising Experts 2012-2013: Barbara Juhasz, Clara Wilkins
The Psychology Department offers introductory courses to provide a general overview of the entire field. Statistics and research methods courses familiarize students with research tools and techniques. The breadth requirement courses assure that students take an array of medium-level courses that provide an intensive exposure to the theories, practices, and results associated with important investigative areas.
Three new components have been added to the psychology major: (1) a cultural immersion experience in a culture other than one’s own, (2) a foreign language requirement, and (3) satisfaction of general education requirements. Additionally, the number of transfer courses that can be counted toward the major has been increased so that students are able to fulfill major course requirements while abroad. All of these are explained below in more detail.
Admission. Prospective majors are required to earn a B or better in two psychology courses taken at Wesleyan and declare psychology as their major not later than by the first week of classes in their junior year. (Transfer students declaring a major must receive a B or better in two psychology courses from their previous institution.) Satisfaction of the general education stage 1 is required for admission to the major. Please refer to the department's Web site for more detail.
Major requirements. Ten psychology credits are required to fulfill the major. Nine of the 10 credits needed for the major must be graded. (Introductory and statistic courses must be taken graded.)
Introductory psychology. These courses provide a broad overview of psychology. Either PSYC101 Psychological Science or PSYC105 Foundations of Contemporary Psychology is required. An AP course plus a Breadth Requirement course will also fulfill the introductory requirement.
Psychological statistics. These courses provide an introduction to data analysis in psychology. Either Statistics: An Activity-Based Approach (PSYC200), Psychological Statistics (PSYC201), or Applied Data Analysis (QAC 201) is required. Alternatively, this requirement can be fulfilled with one of the following approved courses from outside the department: MATH132, MATH232, ECON300, SOC 256/GOVT366, or BIOL320/E&ES320.
Research methods. These courses provide specific skills with which to evaluate and perform research. One course in methods of research is required. These courses are numbered PSYC202-219. Alternatively, this requirement can be fulfilled by taking one of the Advanced Research courses (PSYC380-399)but seats are more limited in these advanced courses.
Breadth requirement. Students must choose a minimum of one course from each of the three columns:
PSYC220 Cognitive Psychology
PSYC221 Human Memory
PSYC222 Sensation and Perception
PSYC228 Clinical Neuropsychology
PSYC239 Functional Anatomy of the Human Brain
PSYC240 Behavioral Neurobiology
PSYC247 Neuroscience Perspectives on Psychopathologies
PSYC230 Developmental Psychology
PSYC233 Adolescent Psychology
PSYC245 Psychological Measurement
PSYC258 Positive Psychology
PSYC259 Dicovering the Person
PSYC274 Cultural and Historical Perspectives on Psychological Disorders
PSYC260 Social Psychology
PSYC261 Cultural Psychology
PSYC263 Exploring Social Psychology
PSYC265 Culture in Psychology: An Introduction to Theory and Research
PSYC277 Psychology and the LawPSYC290 The Psychology of Gender
Specialized.These courses (PSYC300-399) aim to ensure that students study at least one subfield of psychology indepth. A student must take one specialized course that deepens the knowledge she or he gained in a breadth requirement course.
Electives. Any other courses, tutorials, or teaching apprenticeships offered by the department, or any courses approved by the chair, may also be counted toward completion of the requirements.
Foreign language requirement. Learning a language other than one’s own enhances an understanding of and engagement with persons from cultures not one’s own. Psychology majors are required to work toward achieving language proficiency in a second language. Specifically, two semesters of intermediate level (or, if the student chooses an “uncommonly taught language,” two semesters at any of the levels) of language study in a language of the student’s choice are required for completion of the major. A list of university foreign language courses can be found on the department's web site. Students for whom English is a second language or students who can demonstrate mastery of a foreign language at the intermediate level (by language placement test) may opt out of the language requirement.
Cultural immersion experience. Direct interaction with other cultures through study abroad facilitates an understanding of cultures not one’s own and of global issues. Psychology majors need to spend at least one semester engaged in a cultural immersion experience. Study abroad automatically fulfills the requirement. Students may petition the chair to fulfill the requirement with a cultural immersion experience within the U.S., with a summer program, or with other equivalent experience.
Honors thesis in psychology. By the beginning of their spring semester junior year, psychology majors who have earned at least a B+ average in all psychology courses and who have earned at least a B average in all nonpsychology courses may pursue honors in psychology by writing a thesis. Honors will be awarded only if both readers evaluate the thesis worthy of honors.High honors thesis in psychology. In addition to the above, psychology majors who have met the University’s General Education requirements may pursue high honors in psychology by writing a thesis. High honors will be awarded only if both readers evaluate the thesis as truly exceptional, i.e., worthy of high honors.
To evaluate eligibility, grades are needed for all courses, including transfer courses. Please refer to the department's Web site for the formula to calculate GPAs.
Transfer credits. Students may transfer up to three psychology credits from other departments or institutions (including AP psychology) or, if from study abroad, three psychology credits plus one credit from within the United States. These courses must be pre-approved by the chair. Even though a transfer credit may have been approved toward a university credit, it must also be specifically approved toward the psychology major. Transfer credits cannot be counted toward admission to the program unless you are a transfer student.
Teaching apprentice credits. No more than two teaching apprentice credits can be counted toward the major.
Tutorial credits. No more than four tutorial credits can be counted toward the major, or six including the senior thesis tutorials.
Advanced Placement and International Baccalaurate credit. Students who receive a score of 5 or 4 or an IB score of 6 or 7, and complete a full-credit breadth requirement course may receive 1.00 credit. This credit may fulfill the introductory requirement. An AP or IB credit may not be counted towards admission to the major. An AP credit will count as a transfer credit as well as the non-graded course.
Concentrations. The department has optional concentration programs within the major in cognitive science and in cultural psychology. See the department website for further details.
BA/MA degree program. The Psychology Department offers the BA/MA degree program. It is available only to Wesleyan psychology major students in their junior year. Please contact the department or visit the Office of Graduate Student Services’ Web site.