Jun 29, 2022  
Course Catalog 2020-2021 
Course Catalog 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Psychology Major

The major consists of a minimum of 10 full courses (or the equivalent) and a senior portfolio.

Students must earn minimum grades of C- or P for all courses that apply toward the major. 

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The major is organized to provide students both breadth and depth in their study and an opportunity for reflection in preparation for graduation.  To this end, students are required to take an introduction to Psychology or related fields as well as one introductory course in each of Psychology’s four core areas:  Clinical, Cognitive, Developmental, and Social.  All students take a two-semester sequence in statistics and research methods. Students must complete three upper-level Advanced Methods courses and Seminars.  We encourage interested students to substitute one full course (normally two semesters) of supervised research for one upper-level course.  In their final semester on campus, students enroll in a non-credit bearing course (PSYC 599 ) in which they prepare a written reflection and portfolio of their work and complete assessment tasks.

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Summary of Requirements

*Note: Students must complete an introductory course in each of Psychology’s four core areas: Clinical, Cognitive, Developmental, and Social.

Recommended Pathways

Recommended pathway: Students intending to major in Psychology should complete an introductory course (PSYC 100, COGS 101 or NSCI 201) in their first year. Because upper-level courses and many research experiences require statistics, we strongly urge prospective majors to finish Research Methods I (PSYC 200) and II (PSYC 300) by the second semester of their sophomore year. This is particularly important if they hope to study abroad during their junior year.  One of the strengths of the department is the many opportunities it offers for student research.  We strongly encourage students to pursue those opportunities, particularly if they are considering graduate work.  Those interested in pursuing a career in clinical psychology should speak to their advisor early and take additional coursework in neuroscience and statistics.  All majors should talk to their advisors and other members of the Department about the many opportunities available for fieldwork, research, and winter term internships.

Transfer of Credit

All transfer credit must be approved by the Department Chair. Students should obtain prior written approval from the Department Chair to ensure that courses taken at other institutions will count toward major requirements. At least 5 required courses must be completed at Oberlin and one required Advanced Methods course must be taken at Oberlin. It is the student’s responsibility to complete transfer of credit forms and submit them to the Office of the Registrar. Please note that PSYC 200  comprises statistics, research methods, and a lab in SPSS. Students wishing to transfer in a replacement for this course should consult carefully with their advisor.


The Department of Psychology’s honors program is described in detail on the Department’s Blackboard site. It typically requires three full semesters of work. Students planning to study abroad during their junior year should consult with their advisor during their sophomore year. Eligible Psychology majors will receive an invitation to pursue honors in fall of their junior year.

Psychology Major Courselists

Introductory Courses

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Note: Students who receive a 4 or 5 on the AP Psychology examination or a 6 or 7 on the IB Psychology examination will be exempt from the requirement to take PSYC 100 and will receive one full course at the 100 level toward major requirements and graduation.

Psychology Portfolio Requirement

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A portfolio is required of all students. The portfolio will be tailored to each student’s individual needs and post-graduate goals. Open to seniors during their last semester on campus.