Two special majors involving psychology are frequently undertaken: (1) Neuroscience and (2) Psychology and Education. Students may, with approval, develop other special majors.
The special major in Neuroscience examines the biological basis of behavior. After completing basic work in psychology and biology, students take advanced courses on a variety of topics at the intersection of the two fields. Requirements.
For students graduating in 2012 and 2013, the Psychobiology Special Major is still an option in place of Neuroscience. Requirements.
Psychology and Education
This special major focuses on topics that bridge two closely related fields. Programs of study include courses such as developmental psychology, learning, cognitive psychology, psychology and language, and child clinical psychology as well as relevant courses in the Educational Studies Department. The special major culminates in a paper or thesis on a topic at the intersection of psychology and education. Some recent projects have focused on attention deficit disorder in African-American children, and children's understanding of scientific constructs.
A student wishing to undertake a special major in Psychology and Education will propose and justify an integrated program that includes 10-12 credits in the two disciplines. This program will include at least 5 credits in courses or seminars taught by the Department of Psychology, including at least 3 core areas (courses numbered in the 30s) and PSYC 025, Research Design and Analysis. EDUC 021 is also required. Students must complete either an integrated comprehensive project (PSYC 098 or EDUC 098 or a research practicum course) or a two-credit interdisciplinary thesis. Practice Teaching (EDUC 16) and the Curriculum seminar (EDUC 17) may not be included in the program.
Either a two-credit senior thesis or a comprehensive project suitable to the special major serve to satisfy the comprehensive requirement. Special majors may not undertake work on a thesis in a semester in which they are student teaching. These students must be sure to apply early and to begin thesis work as second semester juniors.