Psychology

Jonas Clark Hall, home of psychology at Clark

Undergraduate Program in Psychology

Psychology, in a broad sense, is the study of human behavior. Clark's Psychology Department is one of the largest at the University, and one of the best known nationally. The program has a rich, diverse list of offerings in such areas of study as learning, sensation, perception, development, personality, social, and evolutionary psychology, and has had notable success in preparing its graduates for professional careers.

Clark is both a small college and a research university. As part of a research university, the faculty is dedicated to gathering and distributing new knowledge. Clark provides opportunities for undergraduates to join in research related activities. The department has a unique listing of undergraduate research courses in which qualified undergraduates work closely with faculty and graduate students on collaborative research projects that are often presented at national and international scientific conferences. Our honors program makes it possible for motivated students to finish their undergraduate degree with a research thesis, many of which have been published.

We offer career-relevant seminars, laboratories, and research courses-intensive, small courses normally taken in the junior and senior years. Through these courses, students have the opportunity to participate in discussions of the research and theoretical issues linked to the faculty's diverse research interests. To prepare first- and second-year students for these advanced courses, we offer basic skills courses that reach the essential methods every psychologist needs to know. Students can also supplement the department's program by taking advantage of related courses offered through Clark's Hiatt Center for Urban Education or the concentration in Peace Studies. Psychology majors are also encouraged to take advantage of Clark's Study Abroad Program.

According to a recent study, Clark ranks third among comparable institutions in the number of Ph.D.s earned by our B.A. graduates. The reason is clear enough: our undergraduate program is designed to involve all of our majors in inquiry and scholarship as early and as deeply as possible. Whether a student ultimately earns a Ph.D., or goes on with a career in some other profession, an ability to understand how to collect and interpret data about human behavior will be one of the most important skills a student can have.

In our undergraduate program, all students participate in inquiry-based projects as part of the major. The majority of our majors complete a project worthy of a presentation at Academic Spree Day. Academic Spree Day is an annual event in which Clark undergraduates from all disciplines may present their scholarly work. Each year Psychology majors make up approximately half of those presenting.

In addition to the required course work, many students also participate in research project groups. All faculty have research groups, involving undergraduate students and graduate students. These are characteristically organized so graduate students provide much of the day to day leadership of teams of undergraduates working on a common research project, with one or more faculty members providing overall supervision and guidance. These projects routinely result in publications in professional journals. In sum, for a Clark undergraduate, learning to function as a member of a research team is an ordinary, required part of the curriculum. More information .

The Undergraduate Psychology Committee is a very active part of Department life. The UPC sponsors a number of activities throughout the year, a member attends all Department meetings, and the UPC has collected, and updates regularly, information on more than 150 graduate programs. For more information on the UPC and its activities, please visit its web page.

If you would like to contact one of our undergraduate majors, please e-mail the chair of the department, Marianne Wiser at mwiser@clarku.edu.

2013 LEEP Project: Psychology Major

Sara Goldstein Sara Goldstein '14
Project Mentor: Laura Burgess
Operations Assistant Manager at the Worcester Chamber Music Society ( WCMS) 2013 Summer Festival in Worcester, Mass. Sara helped the director with the day-to-day operation of WCMS's two-week classical music camp. Tasks included assisting with pre-festival set-up and communications, working with all faculty and music coaches, managing extra food plans, talking to students' parents, and initiating partnerships with other local NGOs.

Camille Adeoye Camille Adeoye '14
Project Mentor: Eric DeMeulenaere
The Complexities of Nonprofit Work in New York, NY Camille was responsible for organizing pre-existing and developing curricula for the Author Workshops at Behind the Book.

Learn more about LEEP