The Psychology Department offers two majors – a general major in psychology and a major in psychology with a concentration in neuroscience. Both majors have the same core curriculum: PS 111 (Introductory Psychology), PS 214 and 215 (Research Methods and Statistics I and II), and PS 420 Senior Integrative Seminar. Students must receive a C in PS 214 and 215 to continue in the major, and PS 215 must be completed no later than the junior year.
We have created two graphics to illustrate our curricula (click on the thumbnails below). You may also want to review the course catalogue, found on the Registrar’s website, for more detail about each course. Below, we also offer additional information about pathways for completing the psychology major, as well as other experiences you may want to seek as part of your study of psychology.
(1) take PS111: Introduction to Psychology in your first year (AP scores of 4 or 5 can substitute for PS111),
(2) take the PS214-215: Research Methods and Statistics 1 & 2 sequence in your sophomore year, and
(3) take an Advanced Seminar/Collaborative Research course pair in your junior year.
If you do that and take one or two 200-level content courses each year, you’ll have no problem finishing the major, spending a semester abroad in your junior year if you like, and having the time to take advantage of everything we have to offer in your senior year including one of the variety of independent study options in addition to the Senior Integrative Seminar.
It is possible to get a later start and still finish on time. Some students don’t take introductory psychology (PS111) until the first semester of their sophomore year. It is still possible for sophomores to get on the schedule described above by taking PS214 concurrently with PS111 (and taking PS215 in the spring of your sophomore year). With that schedule, you could still spend a semester abroad. If you don’t decide in time to take PS214 concurrently with PS111, you can take PS214 and 215 in your junior year and still fulfill all of the major requirements, but in that case you’ll have to stay on campus fall and spring of your junior year.
Two general examples of how to schedule your courses to complete the Psychology major are illustrated below. To work out your personal schedule to include your particular interests, meet with your advisor and also feel free to talk to any of the Psychology Department faculty about your questions and plans.
Early (Ideal) Start
First Year: PS111 fall or spring, 200-level content course in the second semester if you take PS111 in the fall
Sophomore: 1 or 2 200-level courses, PS214-215: Research Methods and Statistics 1 & 2
Junior: Advanced seminar/collaborative research course pair, and perhaps a 200-level course or another seminar
Senior: Senior Integrative Seminar in the fall or the spring; any remaining course requirements; independent study if interested
Sophomore: PS111, one or two 200-level content courses if possible (PS214 can be taken concurrently in fall with PS111, and in that case you’ll be on the early start schedule by your junior year)
Junior: PS214 (fall) and 215 (spring) if you haven’t already taken them; two 200-level courses; possible seminar course
Senior: Advanced Seminar/Collaborative Research course pair; Senior Integrative Seminar; any remaining minimum requirements
Students should treat deadlines as firm. Scheduling of exams, papers, and other assignments is done with careful consideration, attending to balancing material covered and the appropriateness of the evaluation at the time it is scheduled. Professors will make every effort to return graded exams, papers, and assignments in a timely fashion, and asking for an extension delays the return of graded work and feedback, thus disrupting the learning process.
Attendance, Absence and Deadline Policy: The department abides by the following policy as stated in the Colby College Catalogue: Students are expected to attend all of their classes and scheduled course events in any semester or January and are responsible for any work missed. Failure to attend can lead to a warning, grading penalties, and/or dismissal from the course with a failing grade. The department also adheres to the College’s Policies for Missed Class Time Due to Athletic Contests [link to this]. Students taking a course in the Psychology Department are expected to attend all meetings of that course. Absences in seminars and in courses involving student discussions, group projects, lab exercises and/or class activities are particularly problematic because such absences negatively affect other students in the course and detract from your overall learning experience. Only valid medical excuses, documented personal catastrophes (such as a death in the family), and religious observances (see below) will be accepted as reasons not to attend class, take an exam, or turn in a paper or other assignment as scheduled. If you are, for legitimate reasons, unable to take an exam or turn in a paper or assignment when it is scheduled, you should notify the professor in advance of the exam time or due date. Having a lot of work to do, several exams/papers in a few days, being generally unprepared, or having conflicting travel arrangements are not acceptable excuses. Professors will provide additional detail about class attendance policies and penalties, if appropriate, on the course syllabus.
Incomplete Grades. The mark of incomplete (I), indicating that a course was not completed, will be assigned only in the case of documented emergencies. The assignment of a mark of I is contingent on students making prior arrangements with their professor regarding completion of the course work by a certain date in accordance with policy specified in the Colby College Catalogue. Professors may consult with the department chair and/or the dean of students office (e.g., advising deans) prior to assigning an incomplete. Please note that a student with a mark of I (except in the case of illness or critical emergency) is not eligible for the Dean’s List.
Religious Observances. Practitioners of a religious tradition requiring time apart from the demands of the normal work schedule on a particular day (or days) should contact their professors in advance to make arrangements for academic events that conflict with a religious observance.
Academic Honesty: The department abides by the following college policy as stated in the Colby College Catalogue. Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are serious offenses. For the first offense, the instructor may dismiss the offender from the course with a mark of ‘F’ and will also report the case to the department chair and the dean of students, who may impose other or additional penalties, including suspension or expulsion…A second offense automatically leads to suspension or expulsion.
(revised October 2010)
Within the College as well as in other contexts, concerns about academic and research integrity are at the center of much debate. Therefore we, as a faculty, have decided to implement a general policy for exam taking in the department. Among the most important reasons behind these changes are our efforts to ensure the most equitable testing conditions for all students, to respond to calls from students to be more attentive to and preventative about cheating during exams, and to avoid instances of academic dishonesty. Accordingly, Psychology faculty members may implement one or more of the following procedures for all exams in our courses.
1. Students will be required to remain in the classroom for the duration of the exam. Should a student anticipate an issue with this requirement, they should speak with the professor about it prior to the exam so suitable arrangements may be made.
2. Students will be required to deposit all coats, hats, and other outerwear; books and notebooks; backpacks; and any other non-test-related materials at the front of the room during the exam. At their desk, student may have only the utensils needed to complete the test (e.g., pens, pencils, erasers). All other testing materials (e.g., answer sheets, exam booklets, additional sheets of paper) will be supplied by the professor.
3. Students will be asked either to secure their computers, tablets, handheld electronic devices (e.g., iPods), cell phones or other mobile devices in their backpacks/coats/pockets that are deposited in the front of the room, or to deposit their cell phones in a box or other secure space at the front of the room until the end of the exam.
(Created: September 2013)
Policies and Recommendations ::
The Department of Psychology encourages students to take advantage of the opportunity to study abroad, particularly for those students for whom it addresses specific educational goals. Students should speak with the OCS liaison and their academic advisor early in their sophomore year to begin investigation of appropriate program and course opportunities. Psychology courses taken abroad must be pre-approved by the department for transfer back to Colby. Courses at the 200-level taught at Colby and those not available here (if the content is of sufficient academic relevance) will be considered for credit toward the major. Neither Psych214 (Research Methods and Statistics) nor Psych215 (Research Methods and Statistics II) can be substituted through study abroad. You will also not be able to obtain credit comparable to the seminars with collaborative research. No more than two courses taken abroad may count toward the major. For purposes of completing the major, there is no preferred semester for off-campus study, but students should plan to complete the PS214/215 sequence at Colby in their sophomore year, and must do so no later than the end of their junior year.