Department Requirements

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

Declared majors & minors: To view or print a copy of the Department Handbook, which contains information regarding the major/minor, independent study, honors projects, graduate school, etc.,

Department Handbook 2012-13 (PDF)

Advising Form 2012-13 (PDF)

Requirements for the Psychology Major

The psychology major includes a total of ten courses numbered 100 or above. These courses are selected by students with their advisors and are subject to departmental review. The ten courses include 101 Introduction to Psychology, 251, 252, three electives numbered 200 or above, two laboratory courses numbered 260-279(complted, if possible, before the senior year); and two advanced courses numbered 300-399. Note that the requirement of two laboratory courses may not be met by only taking 275 and 276. Similarly, the requirements of two advanced courses may not be met by only taking 320 and 321, or only two of the following four courses: 315, 316, 318, 319.

Independent study courses at any level count as electives, but do not count toward the required laboratory courses or the two advanced courses. A grade of C- or better must be earned in all courses counted toward the major. Majors are encouraged to consider an independent study course on a library, laboratory, or field research project during the senior year.

Students who are considering a major in psychology are encouraged to enroll in Psychology 101 during their first year at Bowdoin and to enroll in Psychology 251 and 252 during their second year. Psychology majors must take Psychology 251 before 252, and both before they take their laboratory courses, except for those labs that allow concurrent enrollment in 252. Those who plan to study away from campus for one or both semesters of their junior year should complete at least one laboratory course before leaving for their off-campus experience and should plan to enroll in two 300-level courses after returning to campus. Students should consult with the chair of the Department, Professor Lovett, and other members of the department in planning their off-campus study program and in seeking credit for courses toward the major; laboratory or 300-level courses taken elsewhere are not ordinarily counted toward the major.

Requirements for the Psychology Minor

The psychology minor consists of six courses numbered 100 or above, including Psychology 101, Psychology 251 and 252, and one psychology laboratory course numbered 260-279. A grade of C- or better must be earned in all courses counted toward the minor and for the courses to serve as prerequisites for other psychology courses, with the exception of Psychology 101 in which a grade of CR, or C- or better, must be earned.

Students who are interested in teaching as a career should consult with the Department of Education for courses to be included in their undergraduate program. Ordinarily, students of education will find much of relevance in Psychology 210, 216 and 321; these courses cover the topics usually included in educational psychology. In addition, prospective teachers may find Psychology 211, 212, 270, 317, and 320 compatible with their interests and helpful in their preparation for teaching.