Planning Your Major or Minor
Things to Note:
1. Note that the offering of PSY 131, Abnormal Psychology, and PSY 141, Fundamentals of Clinical and Counseling Theories, has been reversed compared to previous years. PSY 131 will be offered in the Spring, typically, and PSY 141 will be offered in the Fall.
2. On the updated course offerings on the department's web site, you'll see that PSY 131, Abnormal Psychology will be offered both semesters, Fall, 2014, and Spring, 2015. This will occur only next year.
3. PSY 141, Fundamentals of Clinical and Counseling Theories, is a junior/senior level course. Please do not plan or ask to take this course as a sophomore.
4. Psychology majors who are interested in going on to graduate school should plan to take PSY 117, as that is more often required.
5. PSY 115, Child Development, is offered in the Fall, and PSY 117, Lifespan Development, is offered in the Spring.
Before seeing your advisor, please prepare by doing the following:
1. Check the updated course offerings on the department's web site, and update or create your 4-year plan if you don't already have one. Use one of the 4-year plan templates in the navigation menu to the left.
2. Bring a checklist of major courses, with completed and planned courses noted. (See Major Requirements in the navigation menu on the home page.)
3. Select your courses in WebAdvisor (with days and times) and bring a list of those courses with you. Be sure to take into account your required major courses, course prerequisites, and general education course needs.
4. Be ready to discuss any plans for off-campus programs or other special needs—as in, do the research for this beforehand.
Suggested 4-year Program
The following is a general outline around which either the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree program in psychology may be organized. Programs for individual students may vary, however, so students should consult with their academic advisers regularly to plan or modify their programs.
Students must also fulfill the General Education requirements listed in the catalog and should consult with their advisors about how these can best be met.
First Year. General Psychology (PSY 001) should be taken during the first year because it is a prerequisite for all other psychology courses. In addition, Introduction to Statistics (MA 005) should also be taken. These two courses may be taken either semester. The remainder of one's courses taken during the first year should fulfill the General Education requirements. Note that taking a laboratory course in Chemistry or Physics for the B.S. degree will also fulfill the Physical Science General Education requirement.
Sophomore Year. If PSY 001 and MA 005, the prerequisites for Experimental Psychology (PSY 013), are completed by the end of the first year, the student is prepared to take Experimental Psychology in the Fall of his or her Sophomore year.
In addition, Child Development (PSY 115), Cultural Psychology (PSY 132), and Abnormal Psychology (PSY 131) are upper division, sophomore-level courses which may be taken concurrently with PSY 013. In the Spring semester, students should plan to take their first psychology laboratory course.
Students who are working on a B.S. degree should also complete some of the requirements from other disciplines like Computer Programming (CS 010), a Mathematics course (from those listed in the B.S. Requirements), or Natural Science courses (from those listed in the B.S. Requirements).
Junior Year. Students may be best served by planning an off-campus experience during one of the semesters of the Junior year. A number of the core courses in psychology should also be completed, especially by students who are planning graduate study in psychology.
These core courses include other lecture and laboratory courses that will help complete the major requirements: Cognitive Psychology (PSY 120), Behavioral Neuroscience (PSY 125), Theories of Social Psychology (PSY 122), Lifespan Development (PSY 117), Personality (PSY 140), and Fundamentals of Clinical and Counseling Psychology (PSY 141).
Senior Year. If a student has planned well, he or she is free to focus on the 3 capstone experiences during his or her Senior year: History & Systems (PSY 111), Practicum (PSY 196) and Research (PSY 197/198).
Throughout their career at Westmont, students are encouraged to broaden their education by taking courses in other, related disciplines (e.g., Communication Studies, Biology, Physics, Sociology) and deepen their education by doing research or taking tutorials in specialty areas.