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Major Requirements

Psychology is a dynamic social science that systematically investigates human behavior and experience.  The faculty of the Department of Psychology at Merrimack College works to engage students in conversation and inquiry about the dynamics of human behavior.  In addition to developing a comprehensive understanding of classic and contemporary theory and research, we invite students to participate in the activities that define psychology as a discipline.  Through course work, research activities, and experience in the field, the student joins with the faculty in building a comprehensive and critical understanding of what it means to be human.

The student who completes a major in psychology will display competency in each of the following areas:

  • understanding of fundamental aspects of human behavior and experience,
  • analytic reading skills,
  • theoretical analysis and critical thinking skills,
  • oral communication skills,
  • statistical and methodological skills,
  • group interaction and collaborative skills,
  • information literacy and technology skills,
  • understanding of ethical issues in psychology,
  • appreciation of human diversity.

Students are encouraged to think holistically about their personal and career goals, and to develop an academic program that helps to move them toward those goals. Toward that end, a major or minor in psychology may be combined successfully with other programs in the liberal arts, education, science and engineering, or business administration. The knowledge, skills and abilities developed through the study of psychology at Merrimack College will provide the student with a solid foundation for pursuing graduate study and/or work opportunities in psychology and related disciplines.  More importantly, it will start the student on a path for pursuing meaningful lifelong learning.

Major Requirements

Satisfying the requirements for a major in psychology includes completion of a minimum of 42 credits in psychology and a cognate course in health sciences as follows.

Students majoring in psychology often pursue minors in other disciplines.  One common area is within Business and the requirements can be found by clicking here.

Cognate Requirement in Health Sciences

BIO 1106 - Human Biology

Foundational Courses

PSY 1000 - Introduction to Psychology

PSY 1100(w) - Psychological Inquiry and Methodology

PSY 2110 - Statistical Methods in Psychology

Two Laboratory Courses in Basic Psychological Processes

PSY 3120 - Cognitive Psychology

PSY 3150 - Behavioral Neuroscience

At Least One Course Related to Psychological Individuation

PSY 2300 - Developmental Psychology

PSY 2400 - Personality

PSY 3410 - Abnormal Psychology

At Least One Course Related to Social Relations

PSY 2200 - Social Psychology

PSY 2300 - Developmental Psychology

One of the Following Senior Capstone Sequences

PSY 4900 - Psychological Seminar

PSY 4910/PSY4015 - Senior Thesis Research I and II

PSY 4960/PSY 4965 - Field Experience: Adult Clinical Studies

PSY 4961/PSY 4966 - Field Experience: Ethnographic Analysis

Further Explorations in Psychology. To complete the required 42 credits in psychology, students may take a combination of additional core courses or upper level psychology electives listed below:

PSY 2270 - Group Dynamics

PSY 2280 - Organizational Psychology

PSY 2470 - Psychology of Trauma

PSY 2600 - Psychology of Happiness

PSY 3250 - Cultural Psychology

PSY 3340 - Developmental Psychopathology

PSY 3380 - Psychology of Aging

PSY 3450 - Biological Bases of Abnormal Behavior

PSY 4700 - Selected Topics of Psychology

PSY 4800 - Directed Study*

PSY 4810 - Directed Research*

*A maximum of four credits can be taken toward the completion of the major.