Human Brain Chart

Academic Program

Requirements for Major

For students who entered the college prior to Fall 2012

Prior to Moderation, students are required to take Introduction to Psychology (PSY 103), preferably in the first year (a score of 5 on the AP psychology exam fulfills the requirement), and a sophomore sequence of Introduction to Statistics in the fall (PSY 203) and Research Methods in Psychology in the spring (PSY 204).  In order to moderate, a grade of C or higher in Statistics is required. Students who have completed Research Methods at the time of Moderation must have received a grade of C or higher; students who are enrolled in Research Methods at the time of Moderation must have a midterm grade of C or higher. In addition, at least one 200-level course should be taken prior to Moderation. In the Upper College, moderated students are required to take at least one additional 200-level course and two 300-level courses (seminars and/or laboratory courses), with at least one of the 300-level courses being completed prior to the start of Senior Project. Only one 300-level course can be taken in Psychology in a single semester. The B.A. degree is granted in the Division into which the student moderated.

Students may submit written petitions to the Program faculty to request deviations from the requirements. 

Click to see Moderation Guidelines

For students who enter the college in or after the Fall 2012 semester

Prior to Moderation in psychology, students entering the College in or after the fall semester of 2012 are required to complete the following courses with a grade of C or higher: Introduction to Psychological Science (Psychology 103), preferably in the first year (although a score of 5 on the AP Psychology exam fulfills the requirement); a sophomore sequence of Statistics for Psychology (Psychology 203) in the fall and Research Methods in Psychology (Psychology 204) in the spring; and at least two 200-level courses in psychology. Students who have completed Research Methods at the time of Moderation must have recieved a grade of C or higher; students who are enrolled in Research Methods at the time of Moderation must have a midterm grade of C or higher.

Psychology students must complete the following requirements to graduate: A total of four 200-level courses in psychology (excluding 203 and 204); one course in biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, or physics (this excludes Biostatistics, if this was taken in lieu of Psychology 203, and Foundation in Mind, Brain and Behavior, Computer Science 131); two 300-level courses following Moderation, at least one of which must be completed before beginning the Senior Project; and the Senior Project. No more than a single 300-level course may be taken per semester, and taking these 300-levels with two different faculty is strongly encouraged. At least one 200-level course must be completed from each of the following course clusters:

  • Cluster A: Abnormal and Personality Psychology (course numbers in the 210s)
  • Cluster B: Developmental and Social Psychology (course numbers in the 220s)
  • Cluster C: Cognitive Pscyhology and Neuroscience (course numbers in the 230s)

  • Although the Psychology Program is housed in the Division of Science, Mathematics, and Computing, students decide at the time of Moderation whether they will pursue their degree in psychology from either the Division of Science, Mathematics, and Computing (SM&C) or the Division of Social Studies (SSt). These divisional degrees are distinguished by two features:
    a) an SSt degree entails at least two courses in one or more related disciplines in the Social Studies Division (see the link below for a pdf of particular courses that fulfill this requirement) and b) the Senior Project for an SM&C degree must have an empirical focus, in which the student collects and analyzes data, or presents a detailed plan for doing so. The SSt Senior Project does not carry this requirement, though it may of course do this. An SSt degree may be particularly suited for those intending to pursue law, social work, or education; and an SM&C degree may be particularly suited for students intending to pursue a research degree in psychology, medicine, or the natural sciences.

    If students wish to change thier major division after they've made a choice, a second moderation will happen. This moderation will require submission of two short papers to the college and the student's moderation board and a board meeting. It can be inititated at any time before the Add/Drop deadline of the Senior I semester by informing the advisor, who will convene and chair the Board. Students may not change divisions after the add/drop date of the Senior I semester. Failure to meet the requirements of the major Division project requirements will result in a substantial reduction in the Senior Project grade. 

    Students may submit written petitions to the program faculty to request deviations from the requirements.

    File: Courses Fulfilling Psych SSt Requirement.pdf

    Click to see Moderation Guidelines

    Requirements for Senior Project

    All seniors will be asked to submit their tentative plans for Senior Project, and matches between advisors and advisees will be made by the Psychology Program. It is imperative that you submit your plans when asked (and by the deadline implemented each semester)! All majors work on Senior Project during their last two semesters at Bard, and this project may take the form of an empirical study (with associated paper) or detailed proposal for a study to test a novel hypothesis  (with associated paper). We strongly suggest, however, that you consider doing an empirical study if you have aspirations to enroll eventually in a doctoral program in psychology. (For further details about Senior Project, please see the expectations and grading rubric that follow later in this handbook.) 

    Joint and Double Majors

    In the joint major a student completes all the requirements for each of Psychology and the other program, including two moderations (or a single joint moderation), but completes a single senior project that contains sufficient work in both disciplines to be considered a senior project in each. For example, a student might jointly major in Psychology and Human Rights. If at the end of a joint senior project the advisors decide that the project involves substantial work in only one of the disciplines, then the student will graduate as a single major in that program. At any time before the final board meeting, during the writing of the joint senior project, the student may elect to continue as a single major in either program with the consent of the advisors.

    Joint majors are reserved for very strong students who have found advisors in each of Psychology and the other program who are willing to supervise the project jointly, and who have been approved to do a joint major by both the Psychology Program and the Faculty Executive Committee. Additionally, a GPA of 3.5 or higher in the courses in each of Psychology and in the other program is required for approval by the Psychology Program. Simply moderating into Psychology and another program does not automatically make a student eligible for a joint major.

    A moderated student who wishes to do a joint senior project combining Psychology and another program must do the following. First, in the semester prior to the start of the senior project, the student must find an advisor in each of Psychology and the other program who are willing to supervise a project jointly. Second, the student must have a meeting with the two prospective advisors to formulate a plan for a joint senior project. Third, the student must submit a proposal to do a joint senior project to the chair of the Psychology Program by November 15 for senior projects to begin the following spring, and by April 15 for senior projects to begin the following fall; the proposal should include the names of the proposed advisors, a description of the proposed topic, and a discussion of how the topic relates to both psychology and the other program. If the Psychology Program approves the proposal, the proposal must then be sent to the Faculty Executive Committee for final approval.

    Students who intend to double major (or who are considering double majoring) should discuss their plans for the double major in depth at moderation (in their short papers and during the board meeting). They should have a clear plan for carrying out the charge of completing two Senior Projects. Double majors must have a minimum 3.5 overall GPA and minimum 3.5 GPA in their Psychology classes before beginning their Psychology Senior Project. In cases where the GPA at the start of Senior Project is less than 3.5, students will choose to major in either Psychology or their other planned major. 

    Opportunities for Additional Learning

    Students are strongly encouraged to pursue opportunities for research or community-based practicum experiences that complement their regular course work and that connect academic learning with practical applications. The program offers independent laboratory courses in cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, social psychology, and neuroscience under the direction of program faculty that provide ideal opportunities for learning how to conduct research in psychology. In addition, opportunities to gain experiences in applied settings exist in local communities in the realms of abnormal, developmental, and cognitive psychology. Students are also encouraged to gain experience through summer research opportunities in the Bard Summer Research Institute, and to pursue opportunities for obtaining summer research positions at other academic centers.  We strongly recommend that students especially interested in entering a doctoral program in the field consider pursuing additional research experiences (typically in a two- to three-year research assistantship) after graduating from Bard.

    Rockefeller University Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)