Why Study Psychology at Cornell?
Psychology provides strong preparation for success in a variety of fields because of the many important learning objectives met by our courses:
- Psychology fosters proficiency with research design and research methods. This is an integral skill for success in a variety of research-dependent fields. Our students are prepared to conduct and understand research at a high level of sophistication.
- Psychology promotes understanding of human thinking, emotion, and behavior (both normal and abnormal). Understanding complex human interaction is integral to success in many areas and our students are well-prepared for this challenge.
- Psychology offers wide exposure to diversity issues. Understanding and appreciating diversity is a vital component of meaningful interactions in increasingly diverse local, regional, national, and global environments.
- Psychology explores the contribution of biology to psychological issues. This reflects one of the many interdisciplinary intersections of the field. Psychology prepares students to interact with professionals across many disciplines.
Psychology on OCAAT
Cornell’s One Course At A Time schedule allows us to use class time flexibly to fit the subject rather than fitting the subject into rigid 50-minute class periods. Most class periods are a mixture of short lectures, film clips, demonstrations, and small group discussion, but OCAAT makes other ways of using class time possible. In some class periods, students may watch a feature-length film and discuss the psychological principles shown in the film. In other class periods, students may use their psychological knowledge to train a virtual rat or to practice counseling skills they have learned in class.
OCAAT also makes it possible for classes to take full-day field trips. And OCAAT is ideal for internships. Psychology students who complete an internship at Cornell can work full time on-site for a block or longer, and thus be more completely integrated with the activities of the agencies and the other staff members.
Curriculum & Internships
The major requirements are intended to give students choices within the major but also offer clear guidance on course selection in psychology. We also seek to broaden students’ awareness of the interdisciplinary connections of our field. We offer three separate tracks for our majors to choose from:
The Psychology Specialist option prepares students for a broad range of activities in psychology, including graduate study and a variety of areas of practice. We have labeled this curriculum “specialist” because it allows students to choose a generalist option or to develop individualized specializations while also completing breadth requirements crucial for advanced study in Psychology. Talk to your advisor about whether a specialization area might be advisable for you and about what courses to include in a specialization.
The Psychological Scientist option includes more coursework in mathematical and natural science areas and prepares students for research-oriented positions, health-related careers, or graduate study in areas of psychology that are more closely associated with the natural sciences, such as learning, cognition, neuroscience, and biopsychology.
The Psychological Services option prepares students for work in a variety of mental health and human service areas, as well as for graduate training at the master’s degree level in applied aspects of psychology and related fields (e.g., student services, social work, rehabilitation, or career counseling). This track allows students to complete either Senior Seminar or a practicum as a capstone experience. We strongly encourage students who might eventually pursue doctoral training in psychology to select one of the other tracks of the major or to complete Senior Seminar in fulfilling the Psychological Services option.
Cornell's One Course At A Time schedule gives students many opportunities for off-campus learning, including immersions in real-world internships for a block or longer.
Involvement in research is an excellent way for students to learn about psychology almost literally from the inside out. Students who are engaged in research are able to greatly expand their understanding of a particular area of psychology and increase their technical skills in the field. Research experiences are also great opportunities for faculty members to mentor talented students in the field.
This school offers programs in:
Last updated February 11, 2018