A major in psychology provides training in the scientific analysis of human thought and behavior, their expression and their development. The Scripps program emphasizes understanding human actions and reactions—mental or psychological processes—through experiences such as observation, participation, and experimental investigation. Students are afforded opportunities to gain experience through field placement at nearby institutions and through collaboration with ongoing faculty research projects. Such projects include studies of human development over the life span from childhood through adolescence to old age; the role of culture in psychological development; and the influence of others on one’s thoughts, feelings, and/or behaviors.
An undergraduate psychology major at Scripps provides a solid foundation for advanced graduate training in clinical and research psychology. In addition, the major can be tailored to fit a variety of other career goals. These include careers in business and management, computer science, cognitive science, education, law, social work, and the health and medical fields.
Department Goals and Objectives
Upon completion of a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Psychology, students will broadly:
- Demonstrate knowledge of the theoretical frameworks and empirical evidence that form the core of the field, and methodological approaches for independent research, for at least 4 of the following areas taught in the Department. Note that all students take at least 1 course in basic processes and 1 course in social processes:
Developmental Psychology (Child, Adolescent, Adult)
Psychology and Law
Psychology of Aging
Psychology of Stereotyping/ Prejudice
Psychology of Women
Psychology of Work and Family
Research Methods & Statistics (Required for all majors)
Student Learning Outcomes
- SLO1: Students will describe critical importance of scientific approaches to human mental processes and behavior.
- SLO2: Students will describe core psychological theories and the evidence supporting them.
- SLO3: Students will demonstrate ability to design, perform, and evaluate research projects.
- SLO4: Students will identify and apply research ethics, both in terms of human participants' protection and in terms of scientific communication.
- SLO5: Students will form a written scientific argument in support of a scientific thesis by marshaling the available evidence, both for and against.
- SLO6: Students will relate psychology to contemporary issues, including those with relevance to women as individuals and as members of society.
- SLO7: Students will design, carry out, and report an independent research project.
- SLO8: Students will use computer software to conduct statistical analyses.
- SLO9: Students will write thesis-driven and evidence-based manuscripts in the style of the American Psychological Association.
- SLO10: Students will make public presentations, drawing on theory and evidence, in support of a scientifically informed theory/thesis in psychology.