Psychology Curriculum

The program includes courses often listed as prerequisites for graduate schools in the discipline as well as an emphasis on critical thinking, clear speaking and writing, project management, data analysis, and fruitful collaboration.

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Area of Concentration Requirements

For an Area of Concentration in psychology, eight specific courses are required (listed below). In addition, at least two advanced-level courses in psychology and the Psychology Senior Seminar (two terms) are required to complete the Area of Concentration.

1) Introductory Psychology Seminar: a prerequisite for most other psychology courses; usually taken in fall of first year; we will accept an Intro Psych class from another college as a substitute IF there is a transcript on file at the registrar’s office showing a grade of B or better.
2) Introduction to Statistics: provides the knowledge necessary to understand the experimental literature in psychology and to conduct statistical tests of their own data; usually taken in the second year or fall of third year.
3) Research Methods: develops the skills necessary to design, execute, and report empirical research; usually taken in the spring of the third year.
4-7) Four of the six following second tier courses must be taken; most students have at least three of them completed by the end of the third year:

  • Behavioral Endocrinology
  • Biological Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Personality Psychology
  • Social Psychology

8) A laboratory course: Labs are taught in Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Social and Personality Psychology, Biological Psychology, and Neuroscience and Behavior; this must be a full semester or equivalent (i.e., two mods) activity; usually taken in the second or third year;

Plus

TWO Advanced-level Psychology classes and/or tutorials: these require at least one second tier class as a prerequisite, so they are usually taken in the spring of the second year or later; each must be full semester or equivalent (i.e., two mods) activity;

Plus

Psychology Senior Seminar: normally completed as part of the student’s final two contracts.

Joint Disciplinary AOC Requirements

The requirements for the “slash” AOC in psych are seven classes.

1) Introductory Psychology Seminar: a prerequisite for most other psychology courses;usually taken in fall of first year; we will accept an Intro Psych class from another college as a substitute IF there is a transcript on file at the registrar’s office showing a grade of B or better.

2) Introduction to Statistics: provides the knowledge necessary to understand the experimental literature in psychology and to conduct statistical tests of their own data; usually taken in the second year or fall of third year.

3) Research Methods: develops the skills necessary to design, execute, and report empirical research; usually taken in the spring of the third year.

4-6) Three of the six following second tier courses must be taken; most students have at least two of them completed by the end of the third year:

  • Behavioral Endocrinology
  • Biological Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Personality Psychology
  • Social Psychology

7) A “mini” laboratory course: (one mod credit) – See psych faculty for options; a full term lab will also fill this requirement; usually completed in the third of fourth year,

Plus:

ONE advanced-level Psychology course or tutorial: these require at least 1 second tier class as a
prerequisite, so they are usually taken in the spring of the second year or later; must be full semester or equivalent (i.e., 2 mods) activity.

Other Recommended Courses
In order to provide some breadth and perspective, psychology students are encouraged to take courses in other disciplines that will complement their programs. Recommended courses include those from the general areas of philosophy, mathematics, computer science, biology, physics, anthropology, sociology, political science and religion.

SAMPLE PATHWAYS TO COMPLETE AOC REQUIREMENTS

New College students must satisfy both the requirements of the Liberal Arts Curriculum (LAC), New College’s general education program, and the specific requirements for the Area of Concentration (AOC). With so many opportunities each term, the pathway below is provided as an example of how a student could complete the requirements for graduation. We’ve put some checkpoints in place so that you make the most of your time at New College. Each term you’ll meet with a faculty advisor to discuss courses, tutorials, internships, or other academic experiences. Schedule a meeting with your faculty advisor to discuss which courses satisfy the LAC and which satisfy the AOC. Each student completes a Provisional AOC Plan in the fifth contract to select an AOC, and each student submits a Thesis Prospectus/AOC Form in the sixth contract.

A Sample Four-Year Pathway for Psychology

YearFall Term January / ISPSpring Term
Year 1AOC 1 Intro Psych Seminar (= LAC 1: Soci Sci)ISP 1AOC #5 (from 2nd tier menu): for example, Cognitive Neuroscience
LAC Course 2 AOC 6: Intro to Statistics (= LAC 7: Soc Sci)
LAC Course 3Open/any class
Open/any classOpen/any class
Year 2AOC 4 (from 2nd tier menu): for example, Social PsychologyISP 2AOC9: Research Methods in Psychology
LAC Course 5AOC 10: (Advanced Elective #2): for example, Close Relationships
LAC Course 6Open/any class; perhaps arrange a pre-thesis tutorial on the topic of interest to get a jump on reading background literature
Open/any classOpen/any class
Year 3 AOC 7: (Lab Class): (Usually in area of thesis topic): for example, Lab in Brain Anatomy and ConnectivityISP 3AOC 9: Research Methods in Psychology
AOC #8: (Advanced Elective #1): (Usually in area of thesis topic): for example, Humans and Other Animals: Welfare and EmotionsAOC 10: (Advanced Elective #2): for example, Close Relationships
LAC Course 8Open/any class; perhaps arrange a pre-thesis tutorial on the topic of interest to get a jump on reading background literature
Open/any class; perhaps do an internshipOpen/any class
Year 4AOC 11: Psychology Senior SeminarAOC 12: Psychology Senior Seminar
Any other psych class student might want: for example, The Psychobiology of Sport and Exercise Any other psych class student might want, for example, Motivated Minds: Learning In and Out of the Classroom
Open/any classOpen/any class

A Sample Two-Year Pathway for Psychology

We assume an AA degree student enters with Intro Psychology and at least one of the 2nd tier classes (Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Social Psychology, Personality Psychology, Behavioral Endocrinology, or Biopsychology) already completed at the prior school and we can accept as transfer credits; many students will enter with additional credits that we can accept. Each case is reviewed by the faculty to determine which classes are comparable to our requirements.

YearFall Term January / ISPSpring Term
Year 3AOC #1: Intro to StatisticsISP 1AOC #5: Research Methods in Psychology
AOC #2 (from 2nd tier menu): for example, Social PsychologyAOC #6 (from 2nd tier menu): for example, Cognitive Psychology
AOC #3 (from 2nd tier menu): for example, Developmental PsychologyAOC #7: (Lab Class): (Usually in area of thesis topic): for example, Lab in Social and Personality Psychology
AOC #4: (Advanced Elective #1): (Usually in area of thesis topic) for example, Stigma and Prejudice Open/any class; perhaps arrange a pre-thesis tutorial on the topic of interest to get a jump on reading background literature
Year 4AOC #8: Psychology Senior SeminarISP 2AOC #10: Psychology Senior Seminar
AOC #9: (Advanced Elective #2): for example, Psychology of ReligionOpen/any class
Open/any classOpen/any class
Open/any classOpen/any class