2017-2018 University Catalogue 
    Jul 14, 2024  
2017-2018 University Catalogue [ARCHIVED CATALOG]



Professors Braaten, Keating (Chair), Kelly, S. Kraly, R. Shiner, Tierney
Associate Professors Conti, Hansen, D. Johnson, Martinez, Yoshino
Assistant Professors Cooley, Liu, Tomlinson
Visiting Assistant Professors Dyer, Seymour, Zhang
Lecturer Albert

Psychology is a scientific approach to the understanding of covert and overt human and animal behavior. It is concerned with such processes as learning, memory, thought, perception, motivation, psychopathology, and development, and their physiological and neurophysiological bases. Psychological principles are applied to the understanding of the behavior of individuals, groups, and societies, and to the solution of a wide range of practical human problems.

The Department of Psychology offers two courses that may be taken by students who want an introduction to some major concepts in the field but who are not planning to major in psychology: PSYC 109  and PSYC 150 . Passing PSYC 150  and PSYC 200  with a C– or better is expected for admission to the major. Students not meeting this expectation must consult with the department chairperson before continuing in the major.

The department offers a wide range of courses and advanced seminars for majors, covering most of the topical areas in the field. In consultation with their departmental advisers, majors are encouraged to select a variety of 200- and 300-level courses which assures breadth of exposure rather than specialization in only one area of interest. All majors, especially those planning graduate study in psychology, are urged to take more courses in the department than minimally required for the major.


Kevin Carlsmith Prize — in recognition of an outstanding senior interested in social, personality, or clinical psychology.

The Sarah Kulkofsky Award — established in memory of Sarah Kulkofsky ‘02, to be awarded each year to an outstanding senior interested in cognitive or developmental psychology.

The Phil R. Miller Prize — established in memory  of Lt. Phil R. Miller ‘41, who lost his life in the service of his country in World War II, and awarded to a junior or senior psychology major demonstrating unusual interest in and capacity for work in psychology.

The Service Award in Psychology — awarded by the department for outstanding contributions to the psychology department through exemplary leadership, service, and achievement.

Advanced Placement

Entering students who receive scores of 5 on the Advanced Placement examination in psychology are eligible to receive one psychology course credit toward graduation, which will be recorded as PSYC 150 - Introduction to Psychology .

Honors and High Honors

The requirements for achieving honors and high honors in psychology are as follows:


  1. Overall GPA of 3.30 or better
  2. Major GPA of 3.50 or better, calculated across all courses counting toward the major (including PSYC 499 ).
  3. A two-semester independent research project of high quality
  4. Satisfactory oral examination performance on the subject matter of the senior thesis and related fields.

High Honors

  1. Overall GPA of 3.50 or better
  2. Major GPA of 3.70 or better, calculated across all courses counting toward the major (including PSYC 499 ).
  3. A two-semester independent research project of very high quality
  4. An oral examination performance that demonstrates mastery of the senior thesis and related fields.

International Exam Transfer Credit

Transfer credit and/or placement appropriate to academic development of a student may be granted to incoming first year students who have achieved a score on an international exam (e.g., A-Levels, International Baccalaureate) that indicates a level of competence equivalent to the completion of a specific course in the department. Requests should be directed to the department chair. Any such credit may not be used to fulfill the university areas of inquiry requirement, but may count towards the major.

Related Major

Transfer Credit and Study Groups

Transfer of psychology credit from other institutions by students already matriculated at Colgate requires prior written permission from the registrar and the department. Normally, no more than one transfer course or one Colgate Study Group course may count toward the major/minor.

Colgate sponsors study-abroad programs in the natural sciences and mathematics at Cardiff University in Wales and at the University of Wollongong near Sydney in Australia. See Off-Campus Study .


Majors and Minors