Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Curriculum Overview

Psychologists study mind and behavior in both human and non-human animals. They test hypotheses and theories using systematic observations of behavior in experimental, field, computer modeling and self-report settings.

We believe that the best way to communicate this empirical approach is by participating in it, so students learn and apply psychological methods in our courses. Our curriculum addresses current psychological theories that apply to a wide range of phenomena, but it also shapes students to employ various approaches to the empirical analysis of such theories.During this process, students develop analytical, research, quantitative and communication skills. Our empirical orientation also leads students to participate in collaborative and independent research experiences under the mentorship of our faculty.

Questions about behavior can be addressed at multiple levels of complexity (e.g., neural, cognitive and contextual) and from multiple perspectives (e.g., learning, perceptual, developmental and social). Our curriculum embodies these multiple conceptual approaches,as reflected in diverse course offerings as well as our participation in the Biological Foundations of Behavior and Scientific and Philosophical Studies of Mind interdisciplinary programs.

A major in Psychology consists of 10 courses:

PSY 100, 230 and 489;

Five Area Studies courses. At least one course must be from each of the areas below.
(It may be possible to substitute a related, non-introductory course with permission of a student’s adviser).

Perception and Physiological Psychology
PSY 301. Sensation and Perception.
PSY 302. Biopsychology.
PSY 240. Neuroscience.

Development and Cognition
PSY 304. Developmental Psychology.
PSY 305. Cognitive Psychology.
PSY 370. Cognitive Development.
PSY 375. Cognitive Neuroscience.

Personality, Social and Psychopathology
PSY 307. Personality Psychology.
PSY 308. Psychopathology.
PSY 309. Social Psychology.
PSY 315. Cross-Cultural Psychology.

Evolution and Adaptation
PSY 306. Evolution of Mind and Intelligence.
PSY 310. Conditioning and Learning.
PSY 312 303. Embodied Cognition.

Two Collaborative Research courses (PSY 250, 360, 480, 481, 482, 483, 484, 485, 486, 487 and 488).

Joint Majors may be developed with several departments with permission of the respective department chairpersons. Students with a special interest in the Biological Foundations of Behavior may elect that major with a concentration in either animal behavior or neuroscience. Students with a special interest in the Scientific and Philosophical Studies of Mind may elect that major.

The writing requirement in the Psychology major is met by completion of the normal courses required to complete the major.

The requirement for a minor is any six courses in Psychology.

Majors in the Department of Psychology have studied abroad in the following programs in recent years: Danish Institute for Study Abroad at University of Copenhagen; Institute for Study Abroad at Butler University programs in England, Scotland, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand; IES programs. See the International Programs section of the Catalog for further information.