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Psychology Major

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The psychology major is designed to provide depth in the subject matter of the discipline and flexibility according to students’ interests.

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 Course Sequence (PDF)

Required Courses (24 hours)
• PSY 150 Reading, Writing, & Critical Analysis (2 credits)
• PSY 201, 201 Lab Introduction to Psychological Sciences I (4 credits) (or for Honor Students – PSY 203 and 1 additional Psychology elective)
• PSY 202, 202 Lab Introduction to Psychological Sciences II (4 credits)
• PSY 217, 217 Lab Statistics in Psychology (4 credits)
• PSY 222 Pathways in Psychology (1 credit)
• PSY 305, 305 Lab Research Methods (4 credits)
• PSY 418 Theory of Psychometric Instruments (4 credits) or PSY 417 Statistics II (4 credits) (may take either of these to satisfy capstone major requirement, but then must take an additional elective)
• PSY 480 Capstone Portfolio (1 credit) w/ capstone companion course.

Sociocultural Psychology Elective Credits (20 credit hours)*
Students must also take one course in each of the Race/ Gender, Bases of Behavior, and Capstone areas, as well as two Sociocultural electives, listed below. If PSY 417 or PSY 418 used for capstone companion course, students should take a third course in one of the areas (Race and Gender, Bases of Behavior Lab Course, or Sociocultural).

Race and Gender Psychology Courses
• PSY 206 Psychology of Women (4 credits)
• PSY 205 Psychology of the Sexes (4 credits)
• PSY 330 Psychology of the African-American Experience (4 credits)

Bases of Behavior Lab Courses
• PSY 360 - Learning and Behavior (4 credits)
• PSY 365 - Sensory Neuroscience (4 credits)
• PSY 370 - Brain and Behavior (4 credits)
• PSY 375 - Cognitive Psychology (4 credits)

Sociocultural Electives
Minimum of any two
• PSY 325 Community Psychology (4 credits)
• PSY 204 Educational Psychology (4 credits) (must take PSY 204 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 408 Theories and Techniques of Counseling (4 credits) (has additional prerequisites)
• PSY 321 Personality Theory (4 credits)
• PSY 423 Health Psychology (4 credits)
• PSY 327 Abnormal Psychology (4 credits)
• PSY 391 Social Psychology (4 credits)
• PSY 322 History and Systems of Psychology (4 credits)
• PSY 402 Group Dynamics and Interpersonal Relations (4 credits)
• PSY 385 Industrial/Organizational Psychology (4 credits)
• PSY 420 Mental Health Practicum (4 credits) (has additional prerequisites)
• PSY 412 Supervised Fieldwork (4 credits) (has additional prerequisites)

Capstone Companion Courses
One of these must be identified as the student’s capstone project host course. The final project will be submitted on the student’s SpelFolio in PSY 480.
• PSY 409 or 410 Research Seminar (4 credits)
• PSY 413 or 414 Independent Study (up to 4 credits)
• PSY 308/491/492 Honors Seminar & Thesis (4 credits each) (if approved for this program)
• PSY 417 Statistics in Psychology II (4 credits) (if taken as both requirement for major and capstone, additional elective required)
• PSY 418 Theory of Psychometrics (4 credits) (if taken as both requirement for major and capstone, additional elective required)

**Students may also take a Special Topics Course (4 credits), offered from time to time. (Different special topics courses may be counted as different things; e.g. sociocultural elective or lab course, determined on a case-by-case basis.)

All course selections should be made in consultation with the departmental advisor. All departmental required courses and at least two departmental elective courses must be taken on the Spelman College campus, unless special permission is granted by the department chair to do otherwise. Such permission, if granted, must be obtained in writing. Students who take an elective course for less than 4 hours’ credit must take an additional course to ensure a total of 44 hours in the major.

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 iVnterest 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.


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

Contact Us

Psychology Department
Giles Hall

Additional Contact Info

College Bulletin