Psychology Major

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:
PSYC 1101Introduction to Psychology (which is a prerequisite to further study in psychology)1
PSYC 2510Research Design in Psychology1
PSYC 2520Data Analysis1
Select two laboratory courses from Psychology 2700–2799. a2
Select two advanced courses from Psychology 3000–3999. b,c2
Select three additional elective courses chosen from topics-level courses (2000–2699).3

Psychology Minor

The psychology minor comprises six courses.

Required Courses
PSYC 1101Introduction to Psychology1
PSYC 2510Research Design in Psychology1
PSYC 2520Data Analysis1
Select three additional elective courses including one laboratory course (2700–2799).3

Additional Information and Department Policies

  • 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 PSYC 1101 Introduction to Psychology during their first year at Bowdoin, and to enroll in PSYC 2510 Research Design in Psychology and PSYC 2520 Data Analysis during their second year.
  • Students must take PSYC 2510 Research Design in Psychology before PSYC 2520 Data Analysis and prior to any course numbered 2700 or higher. PSYC 2520 Data Analysis must be taken concurrently with or prior to any laboratory course (numbered 2700–2799). PSYC 2520 Data Analysis 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: PSYC 1101 Introduction to Psychology 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 PSYC 1101 Introduction to Psychology. If students place out of PSYC 1101 Introduction to Psychology, ten psychology courses must still be completed for the major, and six for the minor. In order to receive credit for Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate work, students must have their scores officially reported to the Office of the Registrar by the end of their sophomore year at Bowdoin. 

This is an excerpt from the official Bowdoin College Catalogue and Academic Handbook. View the Catalogue