Pathways Through the Major/Minor
Are you eager to learn how the mind works and what factors guide human behavior? Are you captivated by questions like to what extent are we a product of “nature” versus “nurture”? How do biases develop? How do emotions and stress influence our physical health? How does culture affect our attitudes and sense of self? If so, a psychology major may be for you!
All students begin the psychology major with Introductory Psychology (Psych 105 or, at Haverford, Psych 100; note that a score of 5 on the AP exam waives the requirement for Psych 105 at Bryn Mawr). They then take Psych 205, Research Methods and Statistics, which provides students with a strong foundation of the methodological tools psychologists use to answer questions. After that, there are multiple pathways through a major or minor in psychology, depending on students’ interests. Students may complete either a Senior Thesis or Senior Seminar for their senior capstone experience. The thesis provides students with the opportunity to conduct a research study over the course of two semesters during their senior year, working closely with a faculty advisor. The senior seminar provides students with a one semester opportunity to deeply engage with current issues and research in the field of psychology. More information about senior thesis is available here:
Psychology Department Policies on Thesis (PDF)
Below, please see the psychology major/minor requirements and more information about what a path through the psychology department could look like for you!
Psychology Major Requirements (PDF)
Psychology majors complete 10 units of courses* plus one semester of Psychology Colloquium (formerly called Junior Brown Bag).
Prior to declaring a major in psychology, students should take Introductory Psychology (B105), B205 (Research Methods and Statistics) and, ideally, at least one other 200.
- Psychology 105 – Introductory Psychology**
- Psychology 205 – Experimental Methods and Statistics, with laboratory
- Two Half-Unit Research Method courses (“Lab Courses”).
—Students have a diverse array of Lab Courses to choose from, which are offered by faculty in their area of expertise.
—The Bryn Mawr psychology department offers Lab Courses in behavioral neuroscience, as well in clinical, cognitive, cultural, developmental, health, and social psychology.
—Bryn Mawr versions of these courses are writing intensive; taking two will satisfy the new Writing Requirement in the Major***
- Six Elective Psychology Courses at the 200 or 300 level (at least two must be at the 200 level and two at the 300 level)
—Students have a diverse array of upper-level classes to choose from, which are offered by faculty and visiting faculty in their areas of expertise.
- One Semester Psychology Colloquium (formerly called Junior Brown Bag)
The goals of Psychology Colloquium are to build community between students and faculty in the department, expose students to current research being conducted in the department and provide students with professional development skills. Students are encouraged to take Psychology Colloquium as soon as possible after they declare the psychology major and should have completed it prior to the spring semester of their junior year.
- Senior Capstone Requirement (One semester senior seminar or two semesters of senior research)
Students may choose to either complete a senior seminar, during which they will engage with cutting-edge topics in psychology (1 semester), or a senior thesis, during which they will conduct a year-long research project with a faculty advisor (2 semesters).
A student may minor in Psychology by taking PSYC 105 and PSYC 205 and any other four courses that meet the requirements of the major.
Declaring a Psychology Major/Minor
Students interested in declaring a psychology major or minor should email the following advising faculty based on their course year:
Class of 2023: Ariana Orvell
Class of 2024: Anjali Thapar and Laura Grafe
Class of 2025: Cora Mukerji and Heejung Park (Park on leave fall '22, available for advising spring '23)
Becoming an Alumna
Keep in touch with your alma mater! Update your information here to receive all the benefits of being a graduate of Bryn Mawr College.
Resources for Psychology Students in the Tri-Co Community
Bryn Mawr students have the opportunity to take advantage of courses offered at our neighboring institutions, Haverford College, Swarthmore College and the University of Pennsylvania. Click the links below to learn about their psychology departments.
- The Haverford College Psychology Department
- The Swarthmore Psychology Department
- The University of Pennsylvania Psychology Department
Combined Degree Programs of Interest to Psychology Majors
Bryn Mawr College offers several combined degree programs, two of which may be of particular interest to psychology majors include:
- The five-year A.B./M.S.S program with Bryn Mawr College School of Social Work and Social Research
- The 4+1 Master’s Programs at Boston University School of Public Health
Learn more about the opportunities and requirements of study abroad.