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.
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, Data Science, 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, cross-cultural, 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.
Departmental honors (called Honors in Research in Psychology) are awarded on the merits of a report of research (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 3.6 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. Although the half-unit 300-level laboratory courses at Haverford may be 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.
Minor in Neuroscience
Students majoring in psychology can minor in Neuroscience. The minor comprises six courses: one gateway course (Behavioral Neuroscience BMC PSYC 218, Biological Psychology HC PSYC 217, or Introduction to Neuroscience BMC BIO 202), plus five additional courses. The five courses must sample from three different disciplines and at least one course must be at the 300-level or higher. Additional information for the minor is listed on the Psychology Department'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 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.