Major/Minor Info Session
Overview of the Psychology Major at Bryn Mawr
Students may complete a major or minor in Psychology. Along with the major, students also have the opportunity to pursue an area of further study such as a minor in Neuroscience, Child and Family Studies, or Health Studies.
The department offers the student a major program that allows a choice of courses from among a wide variety of fields in psychology: biological, clinical, cognitive, developmental, health, and social. In addition to the considerable breadth offered, the program encourages the student to focus on more specialized areas through advanced coursework, seminars and supervised research. Students have found that the major program provides a strong foundation for graduate work in psychology, and related fields such as, law, social work, medicine, public policy, business, education and data science.
The major requirements in Psychology are PSYC 105 (or a one-semester introductory psychology course taken elsewhere); PSYC 205; two half-credit 200-level laboratory courses (courses designated as PSYC 28X), six courses at the 200 and 300 level (at least two 200-level and two 300-level), one semester of Junior Brown Bag, and one Senior Requirement. Majors may elect to fulfill their Senior Requirement with PSYC 399 (Senior Seminar in Psychology) or by completing two semesters of supervised research (PSYC 398 or PSYC 401).
Major Writing Requirement: Majors should complete the writing requirement prior to the start of the senior year. The writing requirement can be met by completing two half-credit 200-level writing intensive laboratory courses or a full credit writing intensive course.
Majors may substitute advance placement credit (score of 5 on the Psychology Advanced Placement exam) for PSYC 105. In general, courses at the 200 level survey major content areas of psychological research. With the exception of PSYC 205, all 200-level courses require PSYC 105 or the permission of the instructor. Courses at the 300 level typically have a 200-level survey course as a prerequisite and offer either specialization within a content area or integration across areas. PSYC 398, 399, and 401 are senior capstone courses and are intended to provide psychology majors with an intensive and integrative culminating experience in psychology.
Majors are also required to attend a one-hour, weekly brown bag in the junior year for one semester. This requirement is designed to introduce students to faculty members' areas of research, to provide additional opportunities for student-faculty interactions, to build a sense of community, and to provide some opportunities for professional and self-development.
The selection of courses to meet the major requirements is made in consultation with the student's major adviser. Any continuing faculty member can serve as a major adviser. It is expected that the student will sample broadly among the diverse fields represented in the curriculum. Courses outside the department may be taken for major credit if they satisfy the above descriptions of 200-level and 300-level courses and are approved by the student’s major adviser. Students should contact their major adviser about major credit for a course outside the department before taking the course.
Haverford College Courses that Count toward the Major
Psychology courses offered at Haverford College may be substituted for the equivalent Bryn Mawr courses for purposes of the Bryn Mawr psychology major (the same is true for psychology courses offered at Swarthmore and the University of Pennsylvania). Specifically, PSYC 100 at Haverford may be substituted for PSYC 105. PSYC 200 at Haverford may be substituted for PSYC 205. Although the half-unit 300-level laboratory courses at Haverford maybe substituted for the half-unit 200-level laboratory courses at Bryn Mawr, the Haverford laboratory courses will not count towards the college-wide writing requirement in the major. For all other courses, a student should consult with her major advisor.
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.