Meet Your Major

As a psychology major, you’ll investigate human behavior, including what drives our actions.

Through Merrimack’s intensive curriculum, you’ll develop a comprehensive understanding of developmental processes, personality, social factors, psychological disorders and therapy. 

In the psychology program, you will:

  • Explore the biological foundations of behavior and experience
    • How people learn and develop.
    • How individuals perceive the world.
    • What prompts people to act the way that they do.
  • Discover what is considered normal behavior, what is not and evaluate therapeutic approaches for behavior outside the norm.
  • Analyze psychological data, with an emphasis on the logic, use and interpretation of inferential statistics.
  • Hone your analytic reading, theoretical analysis and critical-thinking skills.
  • Improve your statistical and methodological skills through hands-on research and laboratory experience.

Hands-On Learning

In our new, state-of-the-art space, you’ll take part in dynamic coursework and relevant research activities. Recent student research includes:

  • Neurophysiological recordings to study brain activity and sleep physiology.
  • Eye-tracking methodologies related to visual cognition and attention.
  • Aspects of the adult learning process.
  • Motivation and bias in a variety of contexts.

You may also choose to participate in our internship opportunities in trauma-focused interventions in youth and adult populations. 

Career Options

Upon successful completion of our program, you’ll be well-equipped to pursue graduate study or a career in psychology and related disciplines. Positions may include business manager, counselor, human resources director, psychologist, rehabilitation specialist and marketing manager. 

Graduates hold positions such as:

  • Postdoctoral researcher, Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Client services specialist, Harvard Business Publishing
  • Social worker, Brookhaven Hospice
  • Fulbright scholar, Nepal

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What You’ll Take

All psychology majors must take a minimum of 42 credits, 11 courses in psychology and a cognate course in biology (for a total minimum of 46 credits and 12 courses). 

Foundational Courses

PSY 1000 Introduction to Psychology
PSY 1100W Psychological Inquiry and Methodology
PSY 2110 Statistical Methods in Psychology

Cognate Requirement in Health Sciences*

BIO 1106 Human Biology

*You can also fulfill this requirement by taking either of the following two-course sequences:

BIO 1027 - Principles of Biology I AND BIO 1028 - Principles of Biology II OR

HSC 1122 - Anatomy and Physiology I with Integrated Lab AND HSC 1123 - Anatomy and Physiology II with Integrated Lab 

Note: only four of the credits from these courses count toward the requirement.

Two Laboratory Courses in Basic Psychological Processes

PSY 3120         Cognitive Psychology
PSY 3150 Behavioral Neuroscience

At Least One Course Related to Psychological Individuation

PSY 2300  Developmental Psychology
PSY 2400 Personality
PSY 3410 Abnormal Psychology

At Least One Course Related to Social Relations

PSY 2200            Social Psychology
PSY 2300 Developmental Psychology

One of the Following Senior Capstone Options

PSY 4900 Psychological Seminar
PSY 4910 AND
PSY 4915
Senior Thesis Research I AND
Senior Thesis Research II
PSY 4960 AND
PSY 4965
Field Experience in Psychology: Adult Clinical Studies AND
Field Experience in Psychology: Adult Clinical Studies

Electives

To complete the required 42 credits in psychology, you may take a combination of additional core courses, upper-level psychology electives, a maximum of four credits in Directed Study and/or Directed Research, and the second semester of a two-semester Senior Capstone Sequence.