Your lab work will begin with your first course, and the hands-on approach to study will give you an early grounding in the scientific method. You will find many opportunities for research and fieldwork, for instance during a semester at the New England Center for Children, a school for children with autism.

About the Major

Students build a body of knowledge about the forces and influences great and small that shape mind, brain and behavior. In addition, through laboratory work and field studies they learn the scientific method, perhaps the most important means we have of acquiring knowledge. Hamilton psychology grads have gone on to pursue graduate study in a variety of areas, to teach, and to work in a variety of clinical and professional fields.

I am kind of the classic liberal arts student. I’ve taken geology and am currently in sociology, and most of my classes this year are psych classes but I’m fascinated with earth sciences, which is just an aside for me – I’m so privileged to go to a school that lets me do that. And I love philosophy. I find it to be just wonderful and kind of a break from the sciences, so I do have a breadth.

Corinne Smith ’17 — psychology major

Hamilton's psychology program reflects the strengths of a versatile, highly regarded faculty with wide research interests and a deep commitment to teaching. The curriculum includes major branches of contemporary psychology: clinical, cognitive, educational, developmental, personality, physiological, sensory and social psychology. The program's range and appeal make the major one of the most popular at Hamilton.

Careers After Hamilton

  • Senior Financial Analyst, IBM
  • Clinical Social Worker, Washington, D.C. Department of Mental Health
  • Product Quality Analyst, Google
  • School Psychologist, Dundee Central School
  • Neuroscientist, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Chief Architect, Port Authority of NY & NJ
  • Vice President of Global Marketing Solutions, Facebook
  • Professor, Georgetown University Law Center
  • Assistant Surgeon General, U.S. Public Health Service
  • Program Director, National Science Foundation
  • Senior Deputy General Counsel, San Francisco Unified School District

Contact Information

Psychology Department

198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323
315-859-4367 315-859-4807 psychology@hamilton.edu Psychology Website

Meet Our Faculty

A Sampling of Courses

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The Self in Social Psychology 311F

Theoretical and methodological understanding of the study of the self in social psychology. Topics include organization of self-concept and its effect on information processing; self-awareness; self-esteem maintenance processes; cultural influences; stigmas; and self-regulation. Class time devoted to discussion of research articles. Laboratory component involves conducting two research projects. Data collection, statistical analysis, papers based on findings, oral and poster presentations. Three hours of class and three hours of laboratory. Writing-intensive. Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning. Oral Presentations.

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Environmental Psychology 312S

Addresses how people think about and react to environmental problems from littering to climate change, with a focus on individual behaviors. Topics include risk perceptions, group identity, social influence, environmental effects on mood and performance, and the interdisciplinary challenges of collective action problems. Class time will focus on the discussion of research articles. The laboratory component will include two research projects, including design, data collection, statistical analysis, papers based on findings, and oral and poster presentations. Six hours of class and laboratory. Writing-intensive. Oral Presentations.

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Health Psychology 345F

An introduction to the use of psychological methods to study the two-way relationship between mind and body. Health psychologists investigate how to promote health, as well as how to prevent, react to, cope, and recover from illness. In this class, we will focus on psychological states such as stress and how they affect the body, as well as the importance of mental processes such as coping and finding meaning, both of which are powerfully associated with positive health outcomes. Other topics include health behavior change, pain, eating and dieting, placebo, and personality. Oral Presentations.

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Child Development 351

An introduction to the science of child behavior and the principles of child growth and development from conception to early adulthood. Focuses on integrating the physical, cognitive, social and emotional domains of development. Includes an experiential component whereby students will work with children or adolescents in an applied setting (e.g., child care center or school). Oral Presentations.

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Psychopharmacology 352S

A study of the effects of drugs on animal and human behavior. Topics include neuropharmacology, antipsychotics, analgesics, stimulants, hallucinogens, antidepressants, alcoholism, addiction, effects of drugs on society, and the implications of drug effects for neurochemical theories of behavior. Oral Presentations.

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Human Memory 357S

An examination of theoretical and empirical research on the creation and structure of memories. Consideration of both theoretical and applied topics within the memory literature, including autobiographical memories, unconscious memories, factors contributing to forgetting, the organization of memories, eyewitness memory, and false memories. Oral Presentations.

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