Requirements for the Major
At Kenyon, psychology is taught as the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. The psychology curriculum provides an opportunity for majors and non-majors to examine diverse theoretical views and findings in such areas as physiological psychology, cognition, human development, perception, personality, social psychology, and abnormal psychology. At all levels of study, the department gives students the opportunity to pursue research and to become involved in the work of local educational and mental-health agencies that are affiliated with the Off-Campus Activities in Psychology Program (OAPP).
Students should begin with PSYC 100 Introduction to Psychology, the department's introductory course and a prerequisite for all of the other psychology courses. This course explores a variety of areas in which psychologists conduct research, including the biological foundations of behavior, sensory and perceptual processes, cognition, learning and memory, developmental psychology, personality and social psychology, psychological disorders, and variability in behavior related to culture. Students who have completed PSYC 100 (or who have taken psychology AP and earned a score of 5 on the exam) should next take PSYC 150, Introduction to Research Methods in Psychology. In this course students will learn the basics of research in the field. They will participate in research projects conducted across different areas of psychology, using techniques such as observation and interviewing, psychological tests and measures, physiological measures, and computerized tasks.
Students who elect to major in psychology will take statistics and an advanced research methods course along with at least one course in each of the following areas of psychology: biological bases of behavior; learning and cognition; developmental perspectives; clinical and health issues; and sociocultural perspectives. Finally, all majors enroll in a senior seminar, in which they collaborate with their peers and professor while developing expertise on a topic of their choice.
Requirements for the Major (Class of 2012)
Students in the Class of 2012 majoring in psychology must earn at least 5 units of credit in the Psychology Department. PSYC 101, PSYC 102, and PSYC 200 are required of majors, and majors are strongly advised to complete PSYC 200 by the end of their sophomore year. A grade of C- or better in PSYC 200 is required in order to declare a major in psychology.
Majors are required to have a balanced curriculum within the discipline that reflects coursework concerning the basic processes of behavior as well as behavior in context. To satisfy the basic-process requirement, 1 unit of work must be completed by earning at least .5 unit of credit in any two of the following categories: (1) learning and motivation; (2) sensation and perception; (3) comparative psychology; (4) physiological psychology or neuropsychology; and (5) psychology of language or cognition. The behavior-in-context requirement can be fulfilled by taking at least .5 unit of credit in any two of the following categories: (1) child development or adult development; (2) abnormal psychology; (3) personality; (4) social psychology; and (5) the psychology of women or cross-cultural psychology.
Further, students are expected to take one .5-unit course in research methods in the basic-process area (i.e., Research Methods in Biopsychology, Research Methods in Physiological Psychology, Research Methods in Cognitive Psychology, Research Methods in Learning and Motivation, or Research Methods in Sensation and Perception) as well as one .5-unit course involving research methods employing a contextual approach to behavior (i.e., Research Methods in Developmental Psychology, Research Methods in Social Psychology, Research Methods in Personality, Research Methods for Studying Gender, or Research Methods in Cross-Cultural Psychology).
The Senior Exercise for psychology majors consists of two portions. The first portion involves a standardized multiple-choice exam that evaluates the student's breadth of knowledge in psychology. The second portion requires that the student write a research proposal in some area of psychology.
Requirements for the Major (Class of 2013) Members of the class of 2013 can follow all of the old requirements, but they can make a choice with respect to several aspects of the new requirements:
- Methods: They can choose to substitute two semesters of small-group research for one of the upper-level research methods courses.
- They can elect to follow the new grouping of the intermediate courses or the old one.
- They can also elect to take the senior seminar and do the new version of the Senior Exercise. (The old version of the Senior Exercise will still be available to other students).
Requirements for the Major (Class of 2014)
- Methods: They will transition to the new plan unless they have already taken PSYC 200 in which case they will follow the procedures for the Class of 2013.
- They can elect to follow the new grouping of the intermediate courses or the old one.
- They are expected to take the senior seminar and do the new version of the Senior Exercise.
Requirements for the Major (Beginning Fall 2011/Class of 2015)
Students majoring in psychology must earn at least 5.5 units of credit in the Psychology Department.
The foundation courses required of students include PSYC 100, PSYC 150, and PSYC 200. Majors are strongly advised to complete PSYC 200 by the end of their sophomore year. A grade of C- in PSYC 150 and PSYC 200 is required to declare a major in psychology.
- PSYC 100 Introduction to Psychology
- PSYC 150 Introduction to Research Methods in Psychology
- PSYC 200 Statistical Analysis in Psychology
At the intermediate level, students are required to have a balanced curriculum within the discipline. Students take at least one course in each of the following general areas of psychology:
- PSYC 302 Comparative Psychology
- PSYC 305 Physiological Psychology
- PSYC 307 Sensation and Perception
- NEUR 112 Intro to Neuroscience
Cognitive Processes and Learning
- PSYC 301 Cognitive Psychology
- PSYC 303 Learning and Motivation
- PSYC 306 Psychology of Language
- PSYC 322 Adult Development
- PSYC 323 Child Development
- PSYC324 Educational Psychology
- PSYC 326 Theories of Personality
- PSYC 348 Adolescence
Clinical Issues and Health
- PSYC 304 Neuropsychology
- PSYC 321 Abnormal Psychology
- PSYC 330 Health Psychology
- PSYC 342 Clinical Psychology
- PSYC 347 Psychopharmacology
- PSYC 325 Social Psychology
- PSYC 327 Cross-Cultural Psychology
- PSYC 344 Human Sexual Behavior
- PSYC 346 Psychology of Women
Students are also expected to get more advanced research experience by either taking an upper-level research methods course or taking two semesters of advanced research in psychology with the same instructor.
Current Research Methods Courses
- PSYC 401 Research Methods: Biopsychology
- PSYC 402 Research Methods in Cognition
- PSYC 403 Research Methods in Learning and Motivation
- PSYC 405 Research Methods in Physiological Psychology
- PSYC 406 Research Methods in Sensation and Perception
- PSYC 421 Research Methods in Developmental Psychology
- PSYC 422 Research Methods in Personality
- PSYC 423 Research Methods in Social Psychology
- PSYC 424 Research Methods in Cross-Cultural Psychology
- PSYC 425 Research Methods to Study Gender
- PSYC 426 Research Methods using Qualitative Approaches
- PSYC 450 Advanced Research in Psychology
All students are expected to take a one-semester senior seminar in which they will focus on a topic of current research in psychology.
- PSYC 475 Psychology Senior Seminar
The psychology Senior Exercise will consist of a standardized test designed for undergraduate Psychology majors, to measure their knowledge of core concepts in the field. It will be administered to students in the fall of their senior year. Also, students will prepare a poster to communicate the results of the research they conducted during the senior seminar. The posters will be displayed during a student research day, when students must be available to discuss the contents of their poster. Students' posters and their poster presentations will be judged via rubrics filled out by three faculty members in the department (who did not teach the student in the senior seminar). The poster represents a unique assignment for which students will have done some background work during the senior seminar, and which they will complete independently during the spring semester.
Honors (for all class years)
Students who do excellent work are encouraged to apply to the department chair during the second semester of their junior year if they are interested in admission to the Honors Program. Participants complete a large-scale research project on an approved topic during their senior year. Each project is supervised by a single faculty member, but is also reviewed periodically by all members of the department prior to an oral examination by an outside examiner in the spring.