Apr 12, 2024  
Course Catalog 2023-2024 
Course Catalog 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Psychology Major

The major consists of a minimum of 9.5 full courses (or the equivalent).

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

arrow View the catalog page for the psychology department.  

Majoring in psychology provides students with insight into human behavior and a strong background in scientific reasoning, quantitative skills, and writing skills. Students interested in going directly into careers after graduation have pursued work in many fields, including social services, education, program evaluation, and business. Those pursuing careers in counseling, law, social work, education, medicine, or in speech, physical, or occupational therapy will often need to complete graduate training. Careers in academics or clinical psychology typically require a PhD. A major in psychology provides excellent preparation for such fields as law, medicine, public health, data science, or human-computer interface design. Undergraduates interested in applied areas of psychology are encouraged to obtain field and research experience through Winter Term projects, internships, and summer jobs.

The major is organized to provide students both breadth and depth in their study and an opportunity for reflection in preparation for graduation. We encourage all students to engage in supervised research or internships to explore their interests, better understand how skills learned in the classroom apply in real-world settings, and foster their ability to collaborate on complex projects.

Note(s) on Requirements

Transfer of Credit Toward the Major

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 five required courses must be completed at Oberlin, including at least one advanced methods or seminar course. 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 Statistics software. Students wishing to transfer a replacement for this course should consult carefully with their advisor.

Note: AP/IB transfer credit received for PSYC 100 may count toward the psychology major.

Course of Study

Students intending to major in psychology should complete the introductory course in their first year. Because upper-level courses and many research experiences require statistics, we strongly urge prospective majors to finish PSYC 200  and 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.

Honors in Psychology

The Honors Program in Psychology 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.

Detailed Major Requirements

Psychology Major Course Lists

Core Courses

Return to the summary of requirements.

Note: Students must complete one intermediate course in each of psychology’s four core areas.

Psychology Portfolio Requirement

Return to the summary of requirements.

A portfolio is required of all students. The portfolio is developed during a module course that will be tailored to each student’s individual needs and post-graduate goals. Open to seniors during their last year on campus, it will typically be taken in the fall semester of the senior year.