The Major in Psychology

The psychology major consists of nine psychology courses, including an introductory course, a one-year statistics and research methods sequence, four core courses, one seminar, and one elective. These courses will provide students with a solid, corebased introduction to the discipline of psychology with some opportunities for choice. Students will be given enough breadth of the discipline to prepare them for graduate study or employment.

Students are required to satisfy the following requirements for the major in psychology:

All students must complete the following three courses:

Psychology 120 Introduction to Psychology
Psychology 211 Experimental Methods and Data Analysis I (grade of C or better required to advance to Psychology 212 and declare the major in psychology)
Psychology 212 Experimental Methods and Data Analysis II

Students must choose one course from each of the following required clusters:

Cluster A: Experimental-cognitive cluster (1 course)

Psychology 315 Cognitive Psychology
Psychology 320 Cognitive Neuroscience*
Psychology 325 Physiological Psychology*
Psychology 335 Conditioning, Learning and Behavior

*Note: Students may not take both Psychology 320 and Psychology 325 for credit.

Cluster B: Clinical-counseling cluster (1 course)

Psychology 362 Tests and Measurements
Psychology 363 Abnormal Psychology
Psychology 366 Counseling Psychology

Cluster C: Social-personality cluster (1 course)

Psychology 340 Social Psychology
Psychology 361 Personality Psychology

Cluster D: Developmental cluster (1 course)

Psychology 370 Infancy and Childhood
Psychology 371 Adolescence, Adulthood, and Aging

Students must choose one of the following seminar courses:

Psychology 375 Seminar in Social/Personality Psychology
Psychology 376 Seminar in Experimental/Cognitive Psychology
Psychology 377 Seminar in Developmental Psychology
Psychology 378 Seminar in Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Students must choose one elective course. This may be any psychology course that is above the 212 level, and chosen in consultation with the academic advisor. These include any of the courses listed in the clusters and seminars above. In addition, electives may be chosen from:

Psychology 218 Industrial/Organizational Psychology
Psychology 230 History, Theories, and Systems
Psychology 250 Animal Behavior
Psychology 251 Philosophy of Psychology
Psychology 275 Health Psychology
Psychology 345 Psychology of Women
Psychology 360 Humanistic Psychology
Psychology 372 Developmental Implications of Medical Technologies
Psychology 375 Seminar in Social/Personality Psychology
Psychology 376 Seminar in Experimental/Cognitive Psychology
Psychology 377 Seminar in Developmental Psychology
Psychology 378 Seminar in Industrial/Organizational Psychology
Psychology 381 Independent Study
Psychology 386 Field Study
Psychology 400-401 Honors*

*Note: Students enrolled in Psychology 400 are exempted from the seminar requirement.

The Interdepartmental Major

The six courses of Set I include the required courses Psychology 120 and 211-212. For the three remaining courses, students may take three 300-level courses or two 300-level and one 200-level course.

Graduate School and Careers

  1. Questions
  2. Planning
  3. Letters of Recommendation


What do people who graduate with an undergraduate degree in psychology do?

Please see the American Psychological Association booklet entitled "Careers for the Twenty-First Century" in the Secretary's office (room 228) for this information.

When should I begin thinking about graduate school?

The earlier the better! Your advisor will ask you about this the first time he or she meets you. Even it it's only in the back of your mind, speak up and avoid missing options. A catalog of graduate school programs is available to look at in the Secretary's office (room 228).

What if I don't think I'll be able to afford to go?

Most graduate schools provide at least partial funding. Some will pay full tuition plus a stipend to attract good graduate teaching and research assistants. Don't rule out graduate school simply because of finances. (NOTE: Most lending institutions will delay payback on your student loans until completion of your education).

How many years do you have to go to graduate school?

Going full time, most Master's degrees take 2 years to complete. The Doctoral degree (Ph.D., PsyD.) usually takes 4-5 years.

When should I take the GREs?

We usually recommend taking the general exam in your Junior year, if possible. This gives you time to re-take it if necessary The advanced GRE in Psychology (which is not required by every program) is best taken after you have had most of your upper level courses, but no later than Fall of your Senior year. You can get information regarding the GREs at the web site ( ) or at the Career Development Office (1305 Main Street).


See career opportunities for further information ...

Letters of Recommendation:

Most graduate school programs and employers place as much (sometimes more) emphasis on letters of recommendation as on any other part of the application materials. Therefore, it is important that you (1) choose your recommenders carefully and (2) encourage these people to write the best possible letters in support of your application. Concerning the first goal, potential recommenders include not only your psychology professors, but other professors from a related field, and a job supervisor or other professional persons with whom you have worked. When you approach the people from whom you want a letter, be sure to ask whether they feel they can write a strong letter of support on your behalf. Most people (including your professors) will be honest with you. If a person feels he/she cannot write a strong letter, discuss the reasons and perhaps reconsider your choices. A weak letter of recommendation is often worse than no letter at all!

The best way to accomplish the second goal is to provide the person with as much information on you as possible, including both personal as well as academic information. This will help the person to provide an accurate, concise and personal letter, and will also make the task much easier for him or her. Supply your recommenders with a well organized packet of information that includes the following:

  1. A copy of your most recent transcript.
  2. A stamped envelope addressed to the location where the letter is to be sent.
  3. A description of the graduate program or type of position to which you are applying, or if the letter is to go in a general file, indicate this. The recommender is then better able to highlight or emphasize particular features about you that might be especially relevant.
  4. The recommendation form, if a specific form is required. Don't forget to complete your part of the form, for example, your full name, the program or job for which you are applying, the degree, whether you are also applying for financial assistance, your signature, etc.
  5. The deadline for each letter of recommendation. Please recognize that recommendations are very time-consuming to write. Therefore, if possible, give the person writing your letter at least 2 to 3 weeks to do it.
  6. The basis of professor/student contact: describe formal courses (title, grade, other aspects of your special performance); honors research; independent study; informal contacts; work-study program; departmental assistant, etc.
  7. Academic achievements: Tell about your overall GPA, your cumulative grade-point in psychology, your major, your strengths and weaknesses, how your academic background has prepared you for what you are being recommended. Include anything "extra" or unique about your academic background--if you have any Board scores.
  8. Participation in psychology programs, conferences, Psi Chi, Psychology Club, etc.
  9. Non-academic background: Briefly describe extracurricular activities, jobs, hobbies, sports, community work, political or social involvements, overseas education, travel, etc.
  10. Pre-college background: Anything of note in your family or earlier life history?
  11. General goals for the future. What would you like to be doing with your life ten years from now?
  12. Anything else that you feel would strengthen your recommendation or would be of value to you.

Supplying the person writing the recommendation with the above information will make it very clear that you are approaching the task seriously and will also make a good impression.

To Waive or Not to Waive?

According to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, you must decide whether to waive or not waive the right to see your letters of recommendation. The principal advantage of the letters written under non-waiver is that you know exactly what has been written about you and can seek references from others if you don't like the ones you have. On the other hand, it is generally felt that confidential recommendations have more credibility with prospective employers and graduate schools. The choice is yours.

Academic Advising & Requirements

Each psychology major is assigned an advisor who is a member of the Department's academic faculty. Every effort is made to let students continue with the same advisor while majoring in Psychology here at Moravian. This makes it possible for students and advisors to get to know one another and facilitates close cooperation and long range planning. You are encouraged to consult your advisor at any time during the semester regarding any problems encountered. Other academic sources available throughout the semester include individual instructors, departmental chairs, student deans, academic deans and the counseling office located at 1305 Main St.

It is important that you stay in close contact with your advisor.

Do not wait until registration time to decide what to take or what alternatives to select if the courses you select are not available to you. These are matters which should be discussed and agreed upon before the possible pressures and confusion of the registration period.

Advisors Responsibility

The advisor has the responsibility of assisting you in planning your academic program and approving your proposed coursework as it relates to your major. The responsibility of meeting all academic and graduation requirements rests ultimately with you. The advisor's function is to give advice or to refer you to another individual or office which can provide further information. Advisors will also assist you in planning for your graduate education or for your psychology-related career.

All faculty are required to post their office hours. During the semester, faculty are available to students. During registration, advisors have additional hours for their advisees. These hours and time slots will be posted on the office door of your individual faculty advisor. If your advisor's office hours conflict with your schedule, arrange for an alternate meeting time.

Students Responsibilities

Students must meet with your advisors for approval of course schedules. After you have consulted with your advisor, he or she will sign your registration form and you will take it directly to the registrar's office to complete the registration process.

Advising will go more smoothly during registration week if you take the responsibility for following the directions below:

  1. Sign up in advance for an appointment. If you can't keep the appointment, remove your name from the sign up sheet on your advisor's door in advance so that someone else may use that time slot.
  2. Know what graduate requirements you still have to complete.
  3. Bring your copy of the schedule of courses and your copy of the college catalog with you to your meeting.
  4. Bring your proposed class schedule (in writing), complete with all course numbers, course titles and time periods. Be sure that you have read the course descriptions and checked the prerequisites for all courses you plan taking and have checked the most recent list of closed courses.
  5. Do not wait until the last minute and then expect to see your advisor at your convenience. It is to your advantage to get your proposed class schedule approved as early as possible during the registration period.
  6. Do not leave a note or have a friend bring your Registration form to your advisor and ask him or her to register you when the two of you have not discussed your proposed course selections.


Independent Study Program

Independent Study provides students with an opportunity to undertake a program of supervised reading, research, or artistic production not normally provided within existing courses. Such programs may involve study in depth of a topic briefly introduced in an existing course, a program of reading and comparable project in music or art. Independent Study should not be used simply to approximate an existing course for a single student or to cover projects more properly described as Field Study.

The Independent Study option is available to regular session and Continuing Studies students who have junior or senior standing with a cumulative Quality point Average of at least 2.70. Transfer students must have completed one full term of study at Moravian College before taking an Independent Study. An Independent Study earns one course unit. Students may schedule no more than one Independent Study or Honors course unit a term to a maximum of four over the period of the junior and senior years.

Independent Study may be taken in the fall or spring terms or during the summer. A student may not take more than one Independent Study during the summer and must register for it no later than the beginning of the Main Session. The Independent Study will appear on the student's transcript as a Post-Session course, thus allowing the student the summer to complete the project.

A student planning to do Independent Study should identify the project at the time of pre-registration for the term in which the project is to take place. The student must submit the preliminary application to his/her academic advisor in the department. All applications will be reviewed and the student will be informed before the registration period as to the outcome. If approved the student must have the project director initial the student's registration form to indicate approval of the project.

Between the pre-registration and the beginning of the term in which the project is to take place, the student initiates completion of an "Information and Approval Form" describing the project and certifying that the student is eligible and qualified to undertake the project. This form, available at the Registrar's office, must be signed by both the project director and the student's academic advisor. All actions concerning an Independent Study proposal must be completed by the end of the first week of classes. Pre-registration which lacks a completed "Information and Approval Form" will automatically be dropped by the Registrar at the end of the drop/add period, and the student, the project director, and the academic advisor will be so notified by the Registrar.

Honors Program

The purpose of the Honors program is to offer qualified students, generally seniors, the opportunity to work on a year-long independent, intensive research project on a specific topic of their choice.

A student admitted to the Honors program is expected to work on his or her project during two terms under the guidance of a faculty member who serves as the Honors Project advisor, devoting no less time in each term than would be devoted to a course unit.

A student who has completed a minimum of 15 courses (at least eight of which must be at Moravian College) may apply for admission to the Honors program. At the start of the term in which the Honors work is begun, the student must have a cumulative Quality Point Average of 3.00 with a cumulative QPA of 3.30 in the proposed field of Honors and must have completed at least 19 course units.

The student should (1) consult with the chair of the department in which he or she proposes to receive Honors (usually, but not always, the major field), (2) agree upon an Honors Project advisor, (3) work out in consultation with this advisor a proposal of study, and (4) submit the proposal to the Honors Committee during the pre-registration period for the first term as a formal application for admission to the Honors program.

Upon successful completion of the Honors program with a grade of H (Honors), the student receives academic credit equivalent to two course units, and the degree carries the citation of Honors in the field of research. Students who earn a grade of P (pass) receive two course units of credit only. Students who fail to complete the Honors program satisfactorily receive a grade of NC (No Credit). Any questions concerning the operation of the Honors program may be addressed to the Honors Committee, Dennis Glew.


Psychology majors are eligible to be considered for a number of honors, awards, or prizes at Moravian College. They may be invited to join a number of honor societies. There are many awards and prizes that they may apply for, or for which they may be nominated. Finally, psychology majors have the opportunity to graduate with honors.

Honor Societies

Psychology majors are considered for membership in the following honor societies. Membership in these societies is by invitation and students must meet the entrance requirements such as a minimum grade point average. Students should contact the advisor of these societies for ore information.

  • Alpha Sigma Lambda
    National honor society for students in continuing education.
    Advisor: Dean Florence Kimball
  • Omicron Delta Kappa
    National honorary society for scholarship and leadership.
    Advisor: Dr. Art Lyons
  • Psi Chi
    National psychology honor society.
    Advisor: Dr. Michelle Schmidt

Awards and Prizes

There are a number of awards and prizes that psychology majors are considered for each year. These appear below.

  • The Charles A. Albrecht Memorial Award
    Awarded to the member of the senior class who has made the best four-year record at Moravian College in scholarship and effective participation in student activities.
  • The Alumni Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Social Sciences
    Awarded to a graduating senior in the social sciences on the basis of Quality Point Average, independent study, and involvement in college and/or community affairs.
  • The Delta Kappa Gamma Society Delta Chapter Award
    Given to a graduating woman student for her academic achievement and participation in extracurricular activities while preparing herself for a career in the education of youth.
  • The Psi Chi Service Award
    Presented to graduating Psi Chi member who has shown outstanding achievement, dedication, enthusiasm, and participation in the field of psychology.
  • The Timothy M. Breidegam Memorial Student Service Award
    Given to the student who has unselfishly given his or her service to the college community, following the example of Timothy M. Breidegam of the class of 1978.
  • The George Tyler Award
    Presented to a graduate from the Division of Continuing Studies for academic excellence, for contribution to the institution, a profession, or the community, and for triumph over difficult circumstances encountered in pursuing a college degree.
  • Alumni Fellowships
    Awarded by the Alumni Association to five students each year on the basis of scholarship and active participation and leadership in college and/or community service. To be eligible for nomination, the applicant must be a full-time student of the College, have been a student at least one class year prior to application, and have attained a minimum cumulative Quality Point Average of 3.0 for the class year prior to application.

Graduation with Honors

Cum laude citations are awarded to graduates whose cumulative Quality Point Averages meet the following standards:

  • 3.50 - Cum laude
  • 3.65 - Magna cum laude
  • 3.80 - Summa cum laude

A student must have earned a minimum of 16 course units at Moravian College to be eligible for cum laude citations.

Questions concerning a student's eligibility for cum laude citations may be addressed to the Academic Deans' Office.

Students who complete the senior year Honors program with a grade of H are graduated with Honors.