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.
As Rosmery Rodriguez ’15 researched colleges, Hamilton stood out for the student internships it offers at the New England Center for Children, a school for children with autism. Each summer, select Hamilton students interested in education or psychology get the chance work at the center founded by a Hamilton alumnus. Rodriguez figured she would major in neuroscience or psychology, and when she heard about the center experience, the scale tipped toward Hamilton College.More >>
She majored in psychology, secured the internship and spent a summer teaching, under supervision, a group of boys aged 9 to 14. At first, the work could feel overwhelming, but Rodriguez got the hang of it. In the end, she learned things that helped focus her future studies. A big realization – she wants to work in a clinical setting.
The most rewarding part of her Hamilton experience, Rodriguez says, is being part of the close-knit psychology community. The bond means the rigorous atmosphere is never daunting, in her experience.
“I feel like Hamilton, while it is competitive, it’s a friendly, competitive atmosphere. I feel like people support each other,” Rodriguez says.
A graduate’s progress: on track for a Ph.D.
Hannah Schacter ’12 is earning a doctorate in developmental psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles. She discovered a passion for developmental research at Hamilton College; she was riveted by work that shows how bullying has an impact on children’s later adjustment, be they victim or perpetrator.More >>
“This topic immediately captured me, and I quickly grew interested in understanding why kids who are bullied, for example, end up faring so poorly. Although I began investigating some of these topics at Hamilton through independent research and my senior thesis, I didn’t want to stop there,” she says.
As a Ph.D. student she continues to research bullying during early adolescence.
“Especially as we see more and more tragic news stories surfacing about youth who have been chronically victimized, I see my research as having the potential to address a pressing public health issue. At the end of the day – and at the risk of sounding cheesy – success in a career for me means knowing my work has made even the slightest difference in the lives of any victims of bullying,” Schacter says.
Hamilton graduates who concentrated in psychology are pursuing careers in a variety of fields, including: