Psychology Major and Minor
Haverford’s Psychology program offers undergraduates interested in exploring human behavior a rigorous course of study, extensive research experience, and an academic community rich in collaboration.
In our vibrant classrooms and labs, students develop an understanding of the field’s theoretical concepts in addition to a facility with its scientific methodologies—and they bring both to bear in original, often cutting-edge, research.
Curriculum & Courses
With strengths in neuroscience, cognitive, cultural, social, and personality psychology, the Department is distinguished by faculty who are accomplished scholars as well as extraordinary teachers. On any given day, you will find faculty and students working side-by-side on primary research in areas that include cognitive neuroscience, music and time perception, the neurobiology of sex, identity development, friendships across cultures, and romantic relationship maintenance.
The psychology major contains a breadth requirement, a general research requirement, a discipline-specific research requirement, and a senior project, as described below:
- One semester of introductory psychology: PSYC H100 (Foundations of Psychology).
- PSYC H200 (Experimental Methods and Statistics), or Bryn Mawr PSYC B205.
- Six additional psychology courses beyond the introductory level, with at least one taken from each of the following groups:
- social and personality psychology
- biological psychology
One of these courses must be a full-credit 300-level course (i.e., a seminar).
- See the Psychology Student Guidebook on the departmental website for details on which classes fulfill each of these groups.
- Two half-credit laboratory courses, which should be completed by the end of the junior year.
- One of the following senior thesis options:
- two semesters of empirical senior research or
- a one semester non-empirical senior thesis and an additional psychology course beyond the introductory level.
We typically accept equivalent courses within the Tri-Co, with permission of the department, to fulfill major requirements. However, not all courses in other departments fit into the above designated areas. See the Psychology Student Guidebook for more information. As a general rule, no more than two courses taken outside of the Tri-Co may count toward the psychology major. This includes courses taken for a study abroad program. All courses taken outside of the Tri-Co for major credit must be submitted to the department for approval.
The research requirement of the major trains students to think scientifically about psychological questions and to understand empirical approaches to the discipline. In addition, students obtain hands-on training in conducting behavioral research and answering original research questions.
General Research Training
Students take one semester of Experimental Methods and Statistics (PSYC H200). In this lecture and lab course, students will learn the principles of statistics and research design. In lab sessions, students put the statistical techniques that they learn during lectures into practice by designing and conducting several different kinds of data collection and analyses. This course is equivalent to PSYC B205 at Bryn Mawr; either PSYC H200 or PSYC B205 will be offered in each semester. Either of these courses is a prerequisite for the following lab course requirement.
Discipline-Specific Research Training
- Lab courses: Majors are required to take two half-credit 300-level lab courses offered in specialized areas of the major. These courses must be taken in the Haverford Psychology Department and typically have PSYC H200 as a prerequisite.
- Senior Research: By the time psychology majors reach the senior year, they are well prepared to carry out their senior research requirement. If students choose the year-long original empirical project, they will be involved in all phases of the research process; from formulating the questions, designing the study, collecting and analyzing data, and presenting the research both orally and in writing. If students choose the one-semester non-empirical thesis, they will conduct an in-depth literature review of a given topic along with their own original synthesis and analysis of the issues.
The Haverford minor in psychology consists of six credits in psychology including:
- PSYC H100 (Foundations of Psychology), and
- Five additional psychology courses beyond the introductory level, with at least one from two of the following groups:
- social and personality psychology
- biological psychology
See the Guidebook for details on which classes fulfill the requirements for each of these groups. As a general rule, no more than two courses taken outside of the Tri-Co may count toward the psychology minor. This includes courses taken for a study abroad program. All courses taken outside of the Tri-Co for major credit must be submitted to the department for approval.
Associated Programs and Concentrations
Research & Outreach
Our programs are distinguished by the great range of learning opportunities in classrooms and labs.
Taveras researched oxytocin receptor density in the efferents of the paraventricular nucleus (PVN)
Prinz's senior thesis explored how parenting relates to well-being among college students.
In this video, Heaton describes the behavioral neuroscience research she has been working on over the past year with Assistant Professor Laura Been.
Equipped with a deep and rigorous understanding of human behavior, our students graduate prepared to enter a range of fields and to pursue graduate studies in psychology and other fields such as law, medicine, public health, education, and business.
Levine is applying her academic passions to professional work at the Depression & Clinical Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Kounios has turned his groundbreaking research on creative insight and the brain into a new book that explores how we come to those "aha! moments" of inspiration, and how we can have more of them.
Chaddock-Heyman, a research scientist at the Beckman Institute, had her work on the link between exercise and cognitive functioning featured in the New York Times.
Woloszczuk will be working for the next two years as a child welfare caseworker for Children’s Corps in New York City. The psychology major will be working with Forestdale, the only child welfare agency headquartered in Queens, N.Y.
Check out our other academic offerings: