What You Will Learn as a Psychology Major

The Rollins College Psychology Department uses the methods and content of psychological science so that you will (1) understand the reasons behind your own and others’ behavior; (2) become competent and critical decision-makers; (3) respect human diversity; and (4) fulfill your social responsibilities.

Rollins student reading a book to a child.

Global Citizenship

Psychology is diverse, so you will be exposed to a variety of fields and perspectives within the discipline to gain a broad-based knowledge and appreciation of how psychologists seek to understand the world.

Rollins student works on a project in a classroom

Responsible Leadership

Psychology is practice, so you will gain experience in applying psychological principles and methods to understanding and solving “real world” problems.

Psychology is collaborative, so you will work with the faculty and your peers inside and outside the classroom in order to draw on the expertise of others, share individual areas of expertise with others, and create a supportive learning community.

Rollins psychology student is blindfolded and learning without their sight

Productive Careers

Psychology is science, so you will learn the philosophy and principles of science and be well-versed in theory, methods, and statistics (i.e., the foundations of scientific inquiry).

Psychology is challenging, so you should expect a curriculum that requires you to question your preconceptions, practice skeptical inquiry, engage in analytic and synthetic thinking, show tolerance for views that you may not share, and struggle with work that is difficult but often rewarding.

Rollins student plays and works with children at the Child Development & Student Research Center.

Meaningful Lives

Psychology is honorable, so you will learn the values deemed important in psychology and strive to comply with accepted ethical principles in research and practice.

Psychology is empowering, so although the faculty and curriculum offer guidance to you in your courses and endeavors, you ultimately will be responsible for shaping your own educational experience.

Psychology Curriculum

Rollins psychology class working in small groups.


Two courses (PSY 150 & PSY 155) introduce majors to psychology by exploring six areas within the discipline (three modules per course). Each module draws connections between historical and current perspectives, uses research projects to illustrate disciplinary methods, and encourages the synthesis of ideas across topics.

Rollins psychology professor sitting and talking with a small group of students.

Scientific Core

Two courses (PSY 250 & PSY 255), taken in sequence, provide students with a background in a variety of research methods and statistics, the foundations of the science of psychology. These can be taken concurrently with the foundations courses. Students must complete this sequence before taking other laboratory courses in the major and are therefore encouraged to complete the scientific core as soon as possible.

Rollins student works one on one with a child at the Child Development & Student Research Center.

Breadth of the Discipline

Psychology is a broad discipline encompassing a diverse variety of fields spanning the social and natural sciences. The 300-level elective courses represent a general education within the discipline of psychology. Majors are required to take 7 of these courses, at least 1 from each domain, and a minimum of 3 courses that have a laboratory component (emphasizing experiential learning), providing a requirement for breadth and an opportunity for depth in a particular domain. The four domains (behavioral & biological, cognitive neuroscience, developmental, and individual-social) are in compliance with the American Psychological Association’s (2007) APA Guidelines for the Undergraduate Psychology Major.

A group of Rollins students read with a group of preschool children.


The culmination of training in the major, the 400-level capstone emphasizes integration of concepts from other courses, independent work, and intensive exploration of a topic within the discipline of psychology. Students can enroll in a Senior Seminar or conduct Honors Research for Honors in the Major. Capstone courses will be capped at 12 students. Students need to consult a departmental advisor as early as possible to plan course selections. Because of the structure of the major, transfer students should expect to spend at least four semesters in the Rollins program to complete major requirements.

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