Department Requirements

This page covers the course requirements for a major and minor in psychology.

Requirements for the Psychology Major

The psychology major comprises ten courses. These are selected by students with their advisors and subject to departmental review. The major includes Psychology 1101, which is a prerequisite to further study in psychology, and Psychology 2510 and 2520.  These three core courses should be completed before the junior year when feasible.  The major also includes laboratory and advanced courses.  Students have the option of taking either (a) two laboratory courses numbered 2700-2799 and two advanced courses numbered 3000-3999, or (b) three laboratory courses numbered 2700-2799 and one advanced course numbered 3000-3999.  Note that Psychology 2750, or 2775, but not both, may count toward the two-course laboratory option.  No more than one course from among Psychology 3010, 3011, and 3013 may count toward the two-advanced-course option.  Similarly, no more than one course from among Psychology 3050, 3051, and 3055 may count toward the two-advanced-course option.  Students are encouraged to consider an indpendent study course on a library, laboratory, or field research project.  Independent study courses at any level count as electives, but do not count toward the laboratory requirement or the advanced-course requirement.  

Students who are considering a major in psychology are encouraged to enroll in Psychology 1101 during their first year at Bowdoin and to enroll in Psychology 2510 and 2520 during their second year. Students must take Psychology 2510 before 2520 and prior to any course numbered 2700 or above.  Psychology 2520 must be taken concurrently with or prior to any laboratory course numbered 2700-2799.  Psychology 2520 must be taken prior to courses 3000-3999.  If possible, students should begin their laboratory work no later than the fall of their junior year.  Those who plan to study away from campus for one or both semesters of their juniot year should complete at least one laboratory course before leaving for their off-campus experience and plan their courses so they can complete the major after returning to campus.  Students should speak with the chair of the department regarding their off-campus study plans and transfer of credit toward the major.  Laboratory or advanced courses taken elsewhere may be counted as electives but are not normally counted toward the laboratory or advanced course requirement. 

Requirements for the Psychology Minor

The psychology minor consists of six courses including Psychology 1101, Psychology 2510 and 2520, and one  laboratory course. 

A grade of C- or better must be earned in all courses counted toward the major or minor and for the courses to serve as prerequisites for other psychology courses, with the exception of Psychology 1101 in which a grade of CR, or C- or better, must be earned.