Psychological and Brain Sciences Requirements
Requirements for the Psychology Major
Prerequisites: PSYC 1 and PSYC 10. Students must obtain a grade no lower than C in PSYC 1. Students who fail to obtain a C or better in PSYC 1 may still complete a major in Psychology in the event that they earn C or better in their next two Psychology courses. PSYC 10 may be taken concurrently with PSYC 1. As a course prerequisite to the major, PSYC 10 should be taken at or before the time of declaring the major; otherwise it must be taken in the first offering following sign-up for the major. Though we recommend against substituting, some other statistics courses are permitted as alternatives to PSYC 10, specifically: ECON 10, GOVT 10, MATH 10 and SOCY 10.
Requirements: The major requirements are as follows: The minimum major consists of one required course (PSYC 11) and seven electives. At least two of these seven electives must be numbered in the 20s, one 50 or higher, and another 60 or higher; the 60 or higher requirement constitutes the Culminating Experience requirement in Psychological and Brain Sciences. Of the two courses in the 20s, one must come from the set PSYC 22, PSYC 23, PSYC 24, or PSYC 25 and the other must come from the set PSYC 21, PSYC 26, or PSYC 28. Neither PSYC 88 nor PSYC 89 may be used to satisfy the 60 or above requirement. With prior approval, credit for up to two electives may be transferred from another institution, but credit for courses numbered 50 and above must be obtained at Dartmouth. Transfer of credits must be approved by the Chair of the Departmental Undergraduate Committee and by the Registrar prior to taking the course(s) (see detailed requirements and deadlines on the Department web page). On occasion, by advanced planning and approval only, one of the seven electives may be taken from other related departments. Certain graduate courses may be taken by qualified and advanced undergraduates if permission is obtained from the course instructor. Majors must be approved by the Chair of the Departmental Undergraduate Committee.
The course numbers have meaning. Courses numbered 10 and below do not carry major credit. Courses numbered in the 20s are introductions to particular sub-areas in psychology. Courses in the 40s, and 50s are more advanced than 20s level courses and generally have a narrower focus. Courses in the 60s are advanced laboratory courses. Courses in the 80s are upper level seminars.
The Department recommends that majors take more upper level (50, 60 and 80 level) courses than we require for the major.
The Modified Major
The Psychology major cannot be modified. Students who wish to have Psychology as the secondary part of a Modified Major (e.g., Biology Modified with Psychology) may do so, if the major forms a unified and coherent whole, as approved by the Chair of the Departmental Undergraduate Committee.
Requirements for the Minor
The Minor will consist of 6 courses: PSYC 1 (prerequisite) plus five additional courses numbered 11 or above. Two of the five must be numbered in the 50s or above. While two of the six may be transfers, transfers cannot count toward the 50 or above requirement. Minors must be approved by the Chair of the Departmental Undergraduate Committee.
Requirements for the Major and Minor in Neuroscience
See section ‘Neuroscience’ in this catalog for information regarding these interdepartmental major and minor programs.
Qualified students majoring in Psychological and Brain Sciences have the opportunity to participate in an Honors Program that provides individualized advanced instruction and research experience in psychology.
Individuals may apply for honors work as early as the spring term of their junior year, but not later than the end of the second week of fall term of their senior year. Eligibility for honors is a 3.30 average in the major and a 3.0 average overall. Students interested in doing honors work should consult the Department web page. The Psychological and Brain Sciences Department offers two fellowships for students who are interested in becoming involved in research projects: the Benjamin G. Benner ‘69 Undergraduate Research Support Fellowship, and the Lincoln Filene Undergraduate Fellowship in Human Relations. The fellowships are usually awarded to students to support research activities during a leave term that could serve as a foundation for honors research. Most often this is the summer preceding the student’s senior year. Information about the fellowships and the application process may be obtained from the Department office or web page.
An honors student must fulfill course requirements of the major and the following additional requirements.
Psychological and Brain Sciences Department Website
- The completion of an acceptable thesis based upon at least two terms of laboratory or field research that is carried out under the auspices of PSYC 89 and is under the supervision of a department faculty member. The Honors Thesis will entail an independent and individual project. Furthermore, the thesis project must be read and approved by the Thesis Committee.
- Honors students will present their research to departmental faculty and interested others during the latter part of the spring term of their senior year.
- By the last class day of the fifth week of the winter term preceding the completion of the thesis, all honors students must submit a prospectus of their thesis to their advisor and the Departmental Undergraduate Committee. The prospectus shall include a brief description of the rationale for the research, methods used, analyses to be employed and implications of the expected results.
Please check the Departmental website at http://www.dartmouth.edu/~psych/ for further information, including updated course offerings, Departmental Colloquia, and PDF versions of all checklists.