Samuel P. Putnam, Department Chair
Donna M. Trout, Senior Department Coordinator

Professors: Samuel P. Putnam, Louisa M. Slowiaczek, Richmond R. Thompson (Neuroscience)
Associate Professor: Suzanne B. Lovett
Assistant Professors: Erika M. Nyhus (Neuroscience), Hannah E. Reese*, Zachary K. Rothschild†
Visiting Faculty: Andrew Christy, Kelly Parker-Guilbert, Leah C. Wilson (Neuroscience)

Students in the Department of Psychology may elect a major within the psychology program, or they may elect an interdisciplinary major in neuroscience, sponsored jointly by the Departments of Psychology and Biology (see Neuroscience, pages 104–105). The program in psychology examines contemporary perspectives on principles of human behavior in areas ranging from cognition, language, development, and behavioral neuroscience to interpersonal relations and psychopathology. Its approach emphasizes scientific methods of inquiry and analysis.

Requirements for the Major in Psychology

The psychology major comprises ten courses; these are selected by students with their advisors and are subject to departmental review.

Required courses:

  • The following three core courses should be completed before the junior year when feasible:
    • Psychology 1101, which is a prerequisite to further study in psychology
    • Psychology 2510
    • Psychology 2520
  • laboratory and advanced courses:
    • two of Psychology 2700–2799 and two of 3000–3999
  • Only one of Psychology 2750 or 2775 may be used to fulfill the major requirements.
  • Only one of Psychology 3010 or 3011 may be used to fulfill the major requirements.
  • Only one of Psychology 3050–3059 may be used to fulfill the major requirements.
  • Three additional elective courses chosen from topics-level courses (2000–2699).

Requirements for the Minor in Psychology

The psychology minor comprises six courses, including Psychology 1101, 2510, and 2520 and one laboratory course (2700–2799).

Additional Information

  • Students are encouraged to consider an independent study course on a library, laboratory, or field research project. Independent study courses do not count toward the core, laboratory, advanced course, or topics-level requirements for the major.
  • 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 higher. Psychology 2520 must be taken concurrently with or prior to any laboratory course (numbered 2700–2799). Psychology 2520 must be taken prior to advanced 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 junior year should complete at least one laboratory course before leaving for their off-campus experience and plan their courses so that 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.

Grade Requirements

To fulfill a major (or minor) requirement in psychology, a course must be taken for a standard letter grade and a grade of C- or better must be earned. There is one exception: Psychology 1101 may be taken with the Credit/D/Fail grading option, and it counts toward the major (or minor) if a grade of CR (Credit) is earned for the course.

Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate (AP/IB)

Students who receive a minimum score of four on the Psychology AP exam or a minimum score of five on the Psychology IB exam are considered to have met the prerequisite for courses requiring Psychology 1101. If students place out of Psychology 1101, ten psychology courses must still be completed for the major, and six for the minor.