Program Requirements and Opportunities

Published annually, the Course Catalog sets out the requirements of the academic programs--the majors, minors, and concentrations. Each Bryn Mawr student must declare a major before the end of the sophomore year. Students may also declare a minor or a concentration, but neither is required for the A.B. degree. Students must comply with the requirements published in the Course Catalog at the time when they declare the major, minor and/or concentration.

The Course Catalog also sets out the College requirements. Students must comply with the College requirements published at the time they enter Bryn Mawr College.

For more information, visit the Catalog Homepage to view the current content. To view Catalogs from previous academic years, visit the Catalog Archives page.

The Psychology department offers students a major program that allows choices of courses from among a wide variety of fields in psychology: behavioral neuroscience, clinical and counseling, cognitive, computational neuroscience, cultural, developmental, health, and social. In addition to the considerable breadth offered, the program encourages students to focus on more specialized areas, through advanced coursework, seminars, labs, and supervised research.  Bryn Mawr Psychology majors find that the major program provides a strong foundation for graduate study in all areas of psychology, as well as for graduate work in medicine, social work, law, business, public health, education, and other fields. Students majoring in psychology also can pair their major with a minor in Asian American Studies, Child and Family Studies, Data Science, Health Studies, or Neuroscience (among other minors offered at BMC). A student who wishes to become a Psychology major should fill in a Major Plan and get declared with their class year’s assigned major advisor prior to preregistration in the spring semester of their sophomore year.

Major Requirements

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 Psychology Colloquium, and one Senior Capstone Requirement. Majors may fulfill their Senior Capstone Requirement with PSYC 399 (Senior Seminar in Psychology) or by completing two semesters of senior thesis research (PSYC 400).

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 (courses designated as PSYC 28X).

Majors may substitute advance placement credit (score of 5 on the AP psychology exam), international baccalaureate credit (score of 6 or 7 on the IB psychology exam), or completing Introductory Psychology at an accredited college (achieving a merit grade, contact department chair for syllabi review) for PSYC 105. In general, courses at the 200 level survey major content areas of psychological research. All 200-level subject courses and PSYC 205 require a merit grade in PSYC 105 or the permission of the instructor. Half-credit 200-level laboratory courses (courses designated as PSYC 28X) require a merit grade in PSYC 205. Courses at the 300 level require a merit grade in PSYC 205 and typically a merit grade in a 200-level survey course as prerequisites and offer either specialization within a content area or integration across areas.  PSYC 398 and 400 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 one semester of a one-hour, weekly Psychology Colloquium series as soon as possible after they declare the major and prior to the conclusion of their junior year. Psychology Colloquium is offered every semester. This requirement is designed to introduce students to faculty members' areas of research, provide additional opportunities for student-faculty interactions, build a sense of community, and provide 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 and faculty in the department are assigned to different class years for advising. It is expected that the student will sample broadly among the diverse fields represented in the curriculum. Students should contact their major adviser about major credit for a course outside the department before taking the course.


Departmental honors (called Honors in Research in Psychology) are awarded on the merits of a report of research in the senior thesis (the design and execution; and the scholarship exhibited in the writing of a paper based on the research). To be considered for honors, students must have a grade point average in psychology of 3.7 or higher at the end of the fall semester of the senior year.

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.  One exception to note is the half-unit 300-level laboratory courses at Haverford do not count towards the Bryn Mawr college-wide writing requirement in the major. For all other courses, a student should consult with the major adviser.

Minor Requirements

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. Psychology minors are welcome to participate in Psychology Colloquium, but are not required to participate to complete the minor.

Minor in Asian American Studies

Students majoring in psychology can minor in Asian American Studies.  The minor comprises six courses that fulfill three requirements: at least 3 "Core Courses" in Asian American Studies (including Asian American Psychology), at least 1 course in Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies course, and 1 course in Transnational or Global Connections with Asia. Additional information for the minor is listed on the Asian American Studies website.

Minor in Child and Family Studies

Students majoring in psychology can minor in Child and Family Studies.  The minor comprises six courses: one gateway course (Developmental Psychology PSYC 206, Educational Psychology PSYC 203, Critical Issues in Education EDUC 200, or Study of Gender in Society (SOCL 201), plus five additional courses, at least two of which must be outside of the major department and at least one of which must be at the 300 level. Additional information for the minor is listed on the Child and Family Studies's website.

Minor in Data Science

Students majoring in psychology can minor in Data Science. The minor consists of one course in Data Analytic Approaches (such as PSYC 205), one course in Computing and Data Structures (DSCI 100, CMSC 110, or BIOL 115), plus four additional courses. Additional information for the minor is listed on the Data Science website.

Minor in Health Studies

Students majoring in Psychology can minor in Health Studies. The Bi-College Health Studies Multidisciplinary Minor, a collaboration between Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges, brings together students and faculty to explore the intertwined areas of health, disease, and social justice. We offer unparalleled training for students interested in confronting complex real-world health problems. Multidisciplinary in approach and collaborative in spirit, our curriculum embraces the social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities. Students learn how to think about health from a variety of disciplinary perspectives and with an appreciation of its many dimensions. Additional information is offered on the Bi-College Health Studies Multidisciplinary Minor website.

Minor in Neuroscience

Students majoring in psychology can minor in Neuroscience. The minor comprises six courses: one gateway course (Introduction to Neuroscience NEURH100, Behavioral Neuroscience PSYCB218 or PSYCH217, or Neurobiology BIOLB202), plus five additional courses. The five additional courses have these constraints: 1) Three of the five credits must come from the list of approved upper-level neuroscience courses, 2) Two of the five credits must come from the list of approved allied courses, 3) At least one of the credits must be at the 300-level or higher, 4) One of the five credits may come from supervised senior research in neuroscience, 5) No more than two of the six minor credits may come from institutions outside of the Bi-Co, 6) No more than two of the six minor credits may be double-counted towards a major. Additional information for the minor is listed on the Neuroscience Website.