Skip To Content
Psychology

Psychology Major

The psychology major is designed to provide depth in the subject matter of the discipline and flexibility according to students’ interests. Upon completion of the prescribed program for the major in psychology, the student should be able to understand and demonstrate: 

  1. Knowledge of theories and principles in the discipline, including those related to the African American experience and the experience of women
  2. The scientific method 
  3. How the theories and principles of psychology may be applied to individual, societal and global issues 
  4. Facility in communicative (oral, reading, writing and listening), research (quantitative and qualitative) and critical thinking skills 
  5. Ethical standards and practices within the discipline 
  6. Relevant applications of technology 
  7. Competencies required for entry into graduate or professional school, or for entry into the world of work

Class 2019 and Beyond

*Students in the Class of 2018 and below must follow the psychology curriculum described in the previous College Bulletin. For clarification and assistance, please consult a psychology advisor.

Download Psychology Info and Course Sequence Sheets

Required Courses (24 credit hours total)

  • PSY 150 Reading, Writing, & Critical Analysis (2 credits) 
  • PSY 201& 201 L Introduction to Psychological Sciences I (4 credits)
  • PSY 202 & 202 L Introduction to Psychological Sciences II (4 credits) 
  • PSY 217 & 217L Statistics in Psychology (4 credits) 
  • PSY 222 Pathways in Psychology (1 credit) 
  • PSY 295 & 295L Research Methods (4 credits) 
  • PSY 416 Data Science in Psychology (4 credits) or PSY 417 Statistics II (4 credits) or PSY 418 Theory of Psychometric Instruments (4 credits) 
  • PSY 480 Capstone Portfolio (1 credit) with capstone companion course

Psychology Electives (20 credit hours total)

Students must also take one course in: Race/Gender (4), Bases of Behavior (4), and Capstone (4), as well as two Sociocultural electives (8), as outlined below. If a Psychology elective course is also used to complete the Capstone requirement (e.g. PSY 416, 417 or PSY 418), then students are required to take a third course in one of the areas (Race and Gender, Bases of Behavior Lab Course, or Sociocultural) to ensure that 44 hours are earned in the major.

Race and Gender Psychology Courses (4 credit hours)

  • PSY 290 Psychology of Women (4 credits) 
  • PSY 205 Psychology of the Sexes (4 credits) 
  • PSY 330 Psychology of the African-American Experience (4 credits)
  • PSY 347 Psychology of Racism (4 credits)

Bases of Behavior Lab Courses (4 credit hours)

  • PSY 360 &360L Learning and Behavior (4 credits) 
  • PSY 365 &365L Sensory Neuroscience (4 credits) 
  • PSY 370 &370L Brain and Behavior (4 credits) 
  • PSY 375 & 375L Cognitive Psychology (4 credits) 
  • PSY 380: Research in Primate Behavior: The Green Monkeys of Barbados (4 credits) 

Sociocultural Courses (8 credit hours)

Minimum of any two the following courses: 

  • PSY 300 Educational Psychology (4 credits) (must take PSY 300 and not EDU taught in the Ed Dept) 
  • PSY 302-01 Child Psychology (4 credits) (must take the “01” section for PSY majors) 
  • PSY 304 Adolescent Psychology (4 credits) 
  • PSY 306 Developmental Psychology (4 credits) 
  • PSY 321 Personality Theory (4 credits) 
  • PSY 322 History and Systems of Psychology (4 credits) 
  • PSY 325 Community Psychology (4 credits) 
  • PSY 327 Abnormal Psychology (4 credits)
  • PSY 348: Positive Psychology (4 credits)
  • PSY 385 Industrial/Organizational Psychology (4 credits) 
  • PSY 391 Social Psychology (4 credits) 
  • PSY 402 Group Dynamics and Interpersonal Relations (4 credits) 
  • PSY 408 Theories and Techniques of Counseling (4 credits) (has additional prerequisites) 
  • PSY 420 Internships in Psychology (4 credits) (has additional prerequisites)
  • PSY 423 Health Psychology (4 credits) 

Capstone Companion Courses (4 credit hours)

One capstone companion course must be taken, which will host the signature capstone project.The final project will be submitted on the student’s SpelFolio in PSY 480 (1 credit; listed under Required Courses). 

If a Psychology elective course is also used to complete the Capstone requirement (e.g. PSY 416, 417 or PSY 418), then students are required to take a third course in one of the areas (Race and Gender, Bases of Behavior Lab Course, or Sociocultural) to ensure that 44 hours are earned in the major.

  • PSY 306 Developmental Psychology (4 credits) 
  • PSY 492 Honors Seminar & Thesis (4 credits) (if approved for this program) 
  • PSY 380: Research In Primate Behavior: The Green Monkeys of Barbados (4 credits) 
  • PSY 409 or 410 Research Seminar (4 credits) 
  • PSY 413 or 414 Independent Study (up to 4 credits)
  • PSY 416 Data Science in Psychology (4 credits) 
  • PSY 417 Statistics in Psychology II (4 credits) 
  • PSY 418 Theory of Psychometrics (4 credits) PSY 420 Internships in Psychology (4 credits)
  • PSY 423 Health Psychology (4 credits) 

Mental Health Concentration

The department of psychology has designed a field-intensive program in mental health to support majors not only in the acquisition of knowledge in coursework but also in the development of skills, field experience, and job development and placement. It is expected that this program will increase students’ competitiveness for relevant entry level job positions as well as for admission to graduate programs. Another purpose served by this program relates to Spelman’s commitment to community service.

Students entering the mental health delivery system early in internship and practicum experiences will learn about the various services and will develop skills that will enable them to be effective service providers for the community, even as undergraduates. The mental health sequence consists of concentration in psychology courses specifically relevant to the area.

Concentration in Neuroscience

Neuroscience is one of the fastest growing academic areas in the world because it uses an interdisciplinary approach to examine questions concerning the relationship of the brain with the mind and body. Fundamental questions examine how the brain functions in relation to normal behavior, and how malfunctions of the brain influence the behavior in the form of mental or physical disorders.

The department of psychology has designed a course of study than spans several disciplines, including psychology, neurobiology, chemistry, genetics, and mathematics. Students with a concentration in neuroscience will learn about the methods and techniques used to study the nervous system, and the remarkable relationship between the mind and body.

The concentration is ideal for anyone with an interest in such relationships, whether they plan to enter the world of work or plan to continue on to graduate school or medical school. While the course of study is intensive, students are exposed to a unique learning experience that will stimulate their minds from the diversity of approaches to problems that are best understood using an interdisciplinary approach.

Contact Us

Psychology Department
404-270-5623
Giles Hall

Additional Contact Info

College Bulletin