Need photo

The Psychology department provides students with a broad introduction to the study of behavior and its underlying processes with an emphasis on the discipline as an experimental science.

Psychology offers two disciplinary majors, a B.A. and a B.S., and a disciplinary minor.


If you'd like to view a full listing of our course options in psychology or any other subject, please visit the Online Course Catalogue.

Click for the Course Catalogue


Requirements for the Major (B.A.)

disciplinary, 11 courses

PSY 100 and PSY 210; one course from laboratory group A; one course from laboratory group B; two 300-level non-lab courses; four additional psychology courses, only one of which may be at the 400-level, one of which must be the prerequisite for a 300-level group A lab course, and one of which must be the prerequisite for the 300-level group B lab course; and one course from outside the department that provides another perspective on behavior.

Requirements for the Major (B.S.)

disciplinary, 16 courses

All of the requirements for the B.A. in psychology, plus five additional courses in the natural sciences, approved by the adviser, assuming the course that provides a perspective on behavior from a discipline other than psychology is in the natural sciences. Otherwise, six additional natural science courses are needed.

Requirements for the Minor

disciplinary, 6 courses

PSY 100 and PSY 210; one psychology laboratory course (either group); and three additional elective psychology courses, only one of which may be at the 400-level. One of the electives must be a prerequisite for either a group A or B laboratory course.


Our students choose from a variety of introductory and advanced courses, each designed to provide students with a solid foundation in the study of behavior and its underlying processes.

Below, you'll find a sampling of some of our most popular classes, as well as suggestions for making Psychology a part of your larger interdisciplinary experience at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

PSY 203 Intro. to Child Psychology


Focus on normative development as it occurs from conception through late childhood by studying areas of development such as: theoretical approaches to development, behavioral genetics, the impact of parents and family environments towards healthy adjustment, the development and maintenance of gender roles throughout childhood, the impact of friendships on development, and the development of morality. Once you've established the connection between human development and family, learn about the historical and cross-cultural definitions of family and how those definitions have evolved over time in SOC 225, Sociology of Family.

PSY 327 Research in Social Psychology


Explore the practical and ethical challenges of designing, conducting and interpreting social psychological research by performing your own original research. Use your knowledge of social psychology to explore the new ways of thinking about gender, race and class as they apply to individuals, groups and nations in WMST 223, Social Psychology.

PSY 344 Topics in Personality


Learn about topics like personality and culture, personality development, self and identity, personality and interpersonal relationships, ethnic identity, personality and emotion from a cross-cultural perspective while developing critical analytical skills through discussing and writing. Further develop your thinking, writing and reasoning skills by enrolling in PHIL 120, Critical Thinking and Argumentative Writing.


Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.