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From your first course, you will use the scientific method to pursue questions about human nature. Our coursework spans the broad scope of psychology, including neuroscience, cognitive, affective, social, developmental and clinical topics. The concentration provides a firm grounding in research methodology and statistics. You’ll find many opportunities for research and fieldwork with faculty — perhaps in our program at the New England Center for Children, a treatment facility for children and adolescents 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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Counseling Psychology 254S


An overview of the theoretical orientations, treatment approaches and empirical literature in the field of counseling psychology. Examines the mechanisms by which counseling interventions facilitate personal and interpersonal functioning with a focus on emotional, social, educational, vocational and developmental concerns. Does not count toward the Psychology or Neuroscience concentration or the Psychology minor.

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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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Autobiographical Memory 322


Methodological and theoretical examination of autobiographical memory. Students will study the relationships among cognitive, social, and developmental factors, such as the influence of early experiences and memory development in early childhood, or the role of gender and older age on memory for specific events. Laboratory component will include developing methods for collecting data, analyzing event narratives, and designing and writing original empirical studies. Three hours of class and three hours of laboratory. Writing-intensive. 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 352F


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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Stereotyping and Prejudice 359F


In this course we will take a social psychological approach to understanding stereotypes, prejudice(s), and discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and other group memberships. We will examine classic and contemporary theories and research on topics such as cognitive, motivational, evolutionary, and sociocultural explanations of prejudice; modern forms of prejudice/implicit bias; the impact of prejudice and discrimination on targets of prejudice; and prejudice reduction.

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