Majors & Minors
Requirements for Completion of the Major in Course
A course major must include at least 8 credits in Psychology. One additional credit is required in statistics as a prequisite for PSYC 025. Course requirements include the following:
- PSYC 001 - Introduction to Psychology (or equivalent)
- and four core courses (those with numbers in the 30s):
PSYC 025 Research Design and Analysis, is required of honors majors, as it is for course majors. We recommend it be taken by the fall of the junior year. Note that STAT 011 Statistical Methods (or equivalent, e.g., Econ 031) is a prerequisite for PSYC 025 (or may be taken concurrently).
Courses cross-listed in Psychology but taught by faculty outside the department do not count toward the minimum 8 credits for the major. CS001 Introduction to Cognitive Science may be counted in the minimum 8 courses required for the major when taught by a member of the psychology department.
A course minor in psychology consists of 5 courses:
All these courses must be taken at Swarthmore.
Students in the Course program must satisfy the college's comprehensive requirement in their majors. Students who meet the comprehensive requirement with a research practicum, senior research project, or clinical internship must take it for one-half credit or 1 full credit in their senior year, and must meet the eight course credits for the major in addition to receiving credit for the comprehensive requirement. In Psychology options for meeting the comprehensive requirement include:
1. By successfully completing the comprehensive project.
Complete a Research Practicum in psychology in the senior year: PSYC 102 Research Practicum in Cognition and Perception; PSYC 104 Research Practicum in Language and Mind; PSYC 107 Research Practicum in Social Behavior and Cultural Mind; PSYC 108 Research Practicum in School-Based Interventions; PSYC 109 Research Practicum in Clinical Psychology and PSYC 110 Research Practicum in Cognitive Neuroscience. Students may enroll in these practica to conduct original empirical research for either a full credit or, in some cases, one-half credit, and may take these courses before the senior year without meeting the comprehensive requirement. When taking these courses to meet the comprehensive requirement, the student will participate in the Senior Comprehensive Conference (see below).
Complete a Clinical Practicum (PSYC 090) in the spring semester of the senior year. Extensive advance planning is necessary. See PSYC 090 in the catalog.
Senior Research Project (Psyc 098): This option is available to all majors. With the approval of the faculty, students will select a topic of their choice in psychology, and will write a substantial paper on the topic based on library research-and possibly some original empirical research. The paper may constitute a significant extension of a paper or papers written by the student previously for psychology courses, or it may address a topic on which the student has not written before. Students will be encouraged, but not required, to select topics that span more than one content area in psychology. In addition to submitting their written reports, students will participate in the department's senior research poster session. Students will receive one-half course credit for satisfactory work on the Senior Research Project, and a letter grade will be assigned. Students should enroll in the course in the fall semester.
2. By successfully preparing a senior thesis.
Senior Thesis Program: Admission by application only. Enrollment in 2 credits of senior thesis (Psyc 096-097)(one each semester of the senior year) is required. We require that students wishing to prepare a senior thesis have averages at the high B level in psychology and overall. Application to the senior thesis program is usually made by the end of the junior year. Students with special majors (number 4, above) can satisfy the comprehensive requirement by writing a senior thesis or by completing a special comprehensive project. The list of faculty research interests included on the department's web page will help students identify the appropriate faculty member to consult when developing thesis plans. See http://www.swarthmore.edu/x11190.xml.