- About Bard
- Campus Life
- News & Events
The Psychology Program offers all students the opportunity to learn how the unique perspectives and empirical methods of psychology can illuminate human thought and behavior. The language and analytical approaches of psychology have become a common basis for many professional endeavors, making students who concentrate in psychology well equipped for graduate study in this field, as well as in a variety of related career pursuits.
In brief, clinical psychology is both an applied discipline and a research-oriented science that pertains to the study of psychopathology (i.e., psychological disorders), personality, and treatment of psychopathology. Cognitive psychology seeks to understand how the human brain governs action, imagination, decision making, and communication. Developmental psychology involves the study of change (both growth and decline) over the life span, including changes in cognition, social interaction, and brain development. Neuroscience focuses on understanding the structure and function of the central and peripheral nervous systems as it investigates questions of brain and behavioral development, normal brain function, and disease processes. Finally, social psychology is the scientific study of people in their social contexts, emphasizing the empirical study of behavior and social thought, preferences, and feelings about oneself, one's social groups, and others.
Prior to Moderation in psychology, students entering the College in or after the fall semester of 2012 are required to complete the following courses with a grade of C or higher: Introduction to Psychological Science (Psychology 103), preferably in the first year (although a score of 5 on the AP Psychology exam fulfills the requirement); a sophomore sequence of Statistics for Psychology (Psychology 203) in the fall and Research Methods in Psychology (Psychology 204) in the spring; and at least two 200-level courses in psychology.
Psychology students must complete the following requirements to graduate: two additional 200-level courses in psychology; one course in biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, or physics; two 300-level courses following Moderation, at least one of which must be completed before beginning the Senior Project; and the Senior Project. At least one 200-level course must be completed from each of the following course clusters:
Cluster A: Personality Psychology (Psychology 245); Development and Psychopathology (Psychology 210); Adult Psychopathology (Psychology 264).
Cluster B: Developmental Psychology (Psychology 216); Social Psychology (Psychology 240).
Cluster C: Cognitive Psychology (Psychology 228); Neuroscience (Psychology 230).
Although the Psychology Program is housed in the Division of Science, Mathematics, and Computing, students decide at the time of Moderation whether they will pursue their degree in psychology from either the Division of Science, Mathematics, and Computing (SM&C) or the Division of Social Studies (SSt). These divisional degrees are distinguished by two features: a) an SSt degree entails at least two courses in one or more related disciplines in the Social Studies Division (see the Psychology Program website for particular courses that fulfill this requirement) and b) the Senior Project for an SM&C degree must have an empirical focus, in which the student collects and analyzes data, or presents a detailed plan for doing so. The SSt Senior Project does not carry this requirement, though it may of course do this. An SSt degree may be particularly suited for those intending to pursue law, social work, or education; and an SM&C degree may be particularly suited for students intending to pursue a research degree in psychology, medicine, or the natural sciences.
Requirements for students entering the College prior to fall 2012 can be found on the Psychology Program website.