Psychology Major at Dartmouth

December 17, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Psychology Major at Dartmouth

Does Dartmouth offer a psychology major?

Does Dartmouth offer a psychology major? The Department of Psychology at Dartmouth offers a major and minor in psychology, as well as a major and minor in neuroscience. The psychology major at Dartmouth focuses on understanding observable behavior and constructing models of the underlying cognitive, emotional, and physiological processes. Courses in social interaction, sensation and perception, the physiological basis of behavior, cognition and cognitive neuroscience, learning, social and cognitive development, and behavioral disorders are all part of the psychology major and minor at the institution.

How does the brain create the mind? Where and how are memories stored? What is the biological underpinning of consciousness? What is the neurological basis of decision-making? What is the relationship between mental diseases and changes in brain function? These are just a handful of the fascinating and unanswered questions in neurology.

Aerial view of Dartmouth University.

Neuroscience is a vast and interdisciplinary study that draws from psychology, biology, computer science, chemistry, engineering, medicine, and other disciplines. As a result, the neuroscience curriculum includes both breadth and depth in the main fields of neuroscience.

Neuroscience is a continuously changing area, and changes are brought about by extensive research. Students will acquire laboratory experience with neuroscience research methodologies and will have the chance to conduct independent research in collaboration with a faculty mentor.

So, what’s the difference between psychology and neuroscience? Psychology is the study of behavior at all levels, from brain mechanics to social interactions. It covers a wide range of areas, such as applied, social, developmental, clinical cognitive, and physiological psychology. Many of these disciplines will be covered if you take a psychology major at Dartmouth.

Neuroscience, on the other hand, is the study of brain mechanisms and includes material ranging from the molecular and cellular level of how neurons work to cognitive and behavioral levels where concerns of how neural processes lead to behavior and cognitive thought are investigated. Neuroscience includes anatomical and system-level examinations of brain function between these two levels.

Honors Psychology Research (PSYC 89)

This course is intended to allow highly qualified students, mostly seniors, to do independent laboratory or field research under the supervision of a faculty member. Those wishing to graduate with Honors in Psychology must take this course for two terms.

Male student typing in his laptop.

No more than two terms of PSYC 88 (Independent Psychology Research), PSYC 89 (Honors Psychology Research), or a mix of PSYC 88s and PSYC 89s may credit toward the eight required courses for the major. This course can be used to satisfy the upper-level (60 or higher) major requirement. Students must indicate their intention to pursue Honors Research by the conclusion of the second week of their Senior year’s Fall semester.

Participating in Honors Research

Students who meet the honors standards should first pick a faculty member who will supervise their thesis research and discuss their plans with that faculty member. Following this conversation, students will be guided through the application process through the Honors Research Permission Checklist, and the completed checklist will act as their permission request to register for PSYC 89.

Forming a thesis committee is part of the application process. The thesis committee will examine and analyze the thesis and oral presentation before recommending honors or high honors to the undergraduate committee. In making a recommendation to the department faculty, the Undergraduate Committee considers both this recommendation and grades in the psychology major at Dartmouth.

The thesis committee will also nominate meritorious candidates to the undergraduate committee for consideration for the different departmental prizes. Faculty members who attend the honors presentations and/or the end-of-year faculty meeting will vote on the recipients.

The primary advisor assigns grades for PSYC 89. It is typical for faculty advisers to find it challenging to evaluate a thesis until it has been completed, hence, a grade of “ON” (ongoing) is typically assigned for the first term of PSYC 89. When the thesis is done, the “ON” ratings must be converted to ordinary letter grades by the conclusion of the spring term.

What courses do you need to take to major in psychology at Dartmouth?

At Dartmouth, students in their second year may declare their major at the start of the winter term. The online major declaration method will be used to declare your major (single majors, double majors, modified majors, and minors). The staff in the Registrar’s Office and the Undergraduate Deans are available to assist with the major/minor declaration process and to answer any queries.

Group of students talking in a library.

Now, what courses do you need to take to major in psychology at Dartmouth? Here’s a quick overview of the courses you need to take and some important things to remember about the psychology major prerequisites at Dartmouth.

Prerequisites for the Psychology Major at Dartmouth

  • PSYC 1 (Introduction to Psychology)
  • PSYC 10 (Experimental Design, Methodology, and Data Analysis Procedures)

Courses numbered less than ten (10) have no prerequisites. They are introductory courses and do not offer significant credit. Introductory Psychology (1) and Introduction to the Neurosciences (6) are two of these courses. In addition, there are First-Year Seminars (7) in Psychology. PSYC 10 (Experimental Design, Methodology, and Data Analysis Procedures) is required for the Psychology major as well as PSYC 11.

Important Points

  • In PSYC 1, students must get a grade of at least C. Students who do not receive a C or better in PSYC 1 may still complete a major in psychology if they receive a C or better in their next two psychology courses.
  • PSYC 10 and PSYC 1 can be taken concurrently.
  • As a course prerequisite to the psychology major at Dartmouth, PSYC 10 should be taken at or before the time of declaring the major; if not, it must be taken in the first offering after the major declaration.  The statistical methods used in psychological research differ significantly from those used in other fields. While ECON 10, GOVT 10, SOCY 10, MATH 10, and QSS 15 are acceptable as substitute statistics courses (with permission), majors and minors in psychology are highly encouraged to take PSYC 10. Please note that AP or IB credit for Math 10 is not an acceptable replacement.

Does Dartmouth offer a master’s degree In Psychology?

Does Dartmouth offer a master’s degree in psychology? The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences provides graduate training for a doctoral degree in Psychological and Brain Science or Cognitive Neuroscience. The department’s research focuses on systems and behavioral neuroscience, cognitive and computational neuroscience, and social and emotional neuroscience. Students conduct research in a cutting-edge facility that contains significant laboratory space as well as a research-only MRI machine.

The faculty’s research programs have tight relationships with other departments and programs, including Dartmouth Medical School. and the Dartmouth Neuroscience Center. Coursework and research are frequently carried out in conjunction with these other programs. In addition, the department’s size contributes to a friendly community with numerous opportunities for communication and collaboration among diverse lab groups, encouraging innovative and interdisciplinary work.

Teacher talking to a student while they are doing school works.

All Ph.D. students in good standing get annual stipends and are not charged tuition or fees. The annual stipend for the fiscal year 2022-2023 is $35,196.

The core curriculum, several elective courses, and research are the program’s main components. Students take Proseminar, which is taught by the entire faculty, during their first year. This lecture delves into the department’s several fields of psychological and brain sciences. First-year students also begin to complete a series of Core Courses and do supervised research in their chosen advisor’s lab.

Second-year students receive statistical training, attend focused seminars, conduct independent research, and pass a specialist examination in their area before moving on to dissertation research in the later years of the program. During their time in the program, students also work as teaching assistants for four terms.

The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences works closely with several different departments and programs, including Dartmouth Medical School

For admission, a bachelor’s degree is required (or equivalent). Current and former students have degrees in a wide range of disciplines, including physics, computer science, biology, engineering, philosophy, cognitive science, and others.

Components of Application

  1. A completed application form
  2. Personal statement explaining your interests in graduate school (2-3 pages)
  3. Transcript(s) from your bachelor’s degree program. An unauthorized copy may be used for initial submission, but an official copy is required if admission is offered.
  4. At least three letters of recommendation from instructors, research advisors, and employers that can attest to your capabilities, experience, and potential.
  5. A list of potential advisors whose work intrigues you. (The Admissions FAQs page contains a list of faculty members who are recruiting graduate students this year.)

The GRE is not necessary for admission to the program and there is no charge for an application fee.

Is Dartmouth a good school for psychology?

Dartmouth College, the smallest Ivy League institution, has educated some of America’s best minds in rural Hanover, New Hampshire since 1769. The undergraduate arts and sciences and engineering departments, as well as four graduate schools, including the highly regarded Tuck School of Business, Thayer School of Engineering, and Geisel School of Medicine, make up Dartmouth College.

Dartmouth College offers a wide variety of student activities, including more than 30 NCAA Division I varsity sports teams. More than ninety percent of students reside on campus in residence halls, fraternity and sorority homes, college-approved coeds, and undergraduate clubs.

If you wonder, “Is Dartmouth a good school for psychology?” The school ranked No. 12 in the Best National Universities list out of 443 schools in the US.

Dartmouth’s Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences emphasizes diversity and inclusion as core values and welcomes students from all backgrounds. The community’s diversity is critical to the advancement of scientific knowledge. All aspects of a vibrant intellectual community, including rigorous investigation, open dialogue, and diversity of viewpoints, need a welcoming, courteous, and inclusive environment. As a result, the department is dedicated to cultivating a community with varied viewpoints (including, but not limited to, representation of gender, race, and ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, and socioeconomic status).

Now, we’ll discuss the resources and opportunities for students in the psychology major at Dartmouth.

Research Fellowships

The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences offers two undergraduate research fellowships to students. The Lincoln Filene Undergraduate Fellowship in Human Relations and the Benjamin J. Benner ’69 Undergraduate Research Fellowship both provide a $3,500 stipend to a psychology or neuroscience student during a three-month off-term of full-time research. has Application guidelines and deadlines are discussed further on the Undergraduate Research website.

Jobs and Internships

The department regularly receives employment or internship listings from organizations interested in recruiting current students or recent graduates regularly. Many job openings are publicized in the spring in order to attract recent grads.

  • The Sara S. Sparrow Fellowship in Clinical Neuroscience of Autism, offered by the McPartland Lab at the Yale Child Study Center, is designed for recent college graduates interested in cognitive neuroscience and clinical autism research.
  • Hatch Tutors connects low-income K-12 children with trained volunteer tutors from top colleges. Hatch is looking for Teaching Fellows for its 12-week spring program (February 13 – May 8).
  • The Cambridge University Development & Learning Lab is looking for new undergraduate research assistants for Spring 2023 to work remotely on a project investigating the impact of COVID-19 on the social-cognitive development of American children.
  • Teach For America is now advertising two possibilities for students to make an impact: the full-time corps program for post-graduate students and the part-time Ignite Fellowship for undergraduate students. To learn more, sign up for the Ignite Application session on December 15th. For Seniors, apply by February 10 for the Spring 2023 Teach For America corps.
  • UT Austin is looking for graduating seniors who want to use science and technology to make a difference in the world. UT Austin is inviting students to spend next year in the Post-Baccalaureate Program in Applied Psychology participating in a fast-paced, mission-driven effort to increase the focus and emotional resilience of youth across the country.
  • The Marcus Autism Center, in collaboration with Emory University School of Medicine and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, is providing six fellowships. Students who will have completed their bachelor’s degrees by June 2023 will be considered for the positions. The fellowships will begin in July 2023 and will last two years
  •  Do you want to make a difference in the lives of children? The Hands of Hope House Parent Program at Casa de Esperanza is looking for applicants. Casa de Esperanza provides residential foster care to children ages birth to six who are in crisis due to abuse, neglect, or HIV-related issues.

Master’s and Doctoral Degree Programs

  • The Georgetown University Department of Pharmacology & Physiology is holding webinars for the MS in Physiology and MS in Pharmacology programs. The application date is July 1st, with a priority deadline of May 15th.
  • On December 12, Tufts University’s Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development will offer a virtual webinar for their Child Study and Human Development Master’s Program.

As mentioned earlier, Dartmouth is an institution with high research activity. With this, the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences is housed in Moore Hall, provides not just resources and scholarships but high-end facilities to students of the psychology major at Dartmouth. Extensive laboratories, including a dedicated MRI lab, small animal laboratories, computer labs, neurophysiological and psychophysical recording capabilities, a video production and editing center, and labs for investigating social and group interaction, are accessible.

Group of students looking at a laptop while talking.

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