Psychology Program

Psychology Degree Program

How do we think? Why do we behave in certain ways – why do we fidget, blush or lie? How does the brain affect our attraction to others, our choice of music or our political leanings? Psychology, the study of the human mind, explores these mysteries to help us better understand ourselves.

At Menlo, we provide a strong foundation for an undergraduate psychology degree through a general psychology curriculum while exploring the most current psychology issues, from sports psychology to human sexuality. Psychology can prepare you for a multitude of career paths, including graduate school, law school, teaching, coaching, human services work or business. Whatever you choose, when you leave Menlo, you’ll be ready.

The Psychology degree includes a common core of classes that every psychology student takes. APA recommends five major areas of learning goals and outcomes to insure that all psychology majors have the general knowledge and skills expected of a typical undergraduate psychology major.

1 – Knowledge base in psychology:

Conceptually this goal means that students have a reasonable breadth and depth of “key concepts, principles and overarching themes in psychology” (APA, 2013, pg. 15). Operationally, students will complete a comprehensive assessment of the core competencies of the curriculum: psychological disorders, lifespan development, biopsychology, and personality theory.

2 – Scientific inquiry & critical thinking:

Conceptually this goal means that students can ”use scientific reasoning to interpret psychological phenomena” (APA, 2013, pg. 20). Operationally, students design and conduct the Senior Thesis project demonstrating psychological information literacy and standards of research design, critique and analysis.

3 – Ethical & social responsibility in a diverse world:

Conceptually this goal means that students can “apply ethical standards to evaluate psychological science and practice” (APA, 2013, pg. 26) in a diverse global community. Operationally, students demonstrate attention to psychosocial issues of diverse populations and ethical practices for research and human services throughout the curriculum, culminating in their critiques of a body of literature in the Senior Thesis.

4 – Communication:

Conceptually this goal means that students “demonstrate effective written…and presentation skills” (APA, 2013, pg. 30). Operationally, students demonstrate written and oral communications skills by conducting and writing an analytical literature review of a key social-psychological issue and orally presenting their findings to a public audience in the Senior Thesis capstone.

5 – Professional development:

Conceptually this goal means that students “develop meaningful professional direction for life after graduation” (APA, 2013, pg. 16) that applies “psychological content and skills to their career goals.” Operationally, evidence from the prior Program Review (17. 2010-2011) demonstrates career planning and professional direction in two courses, PSY101 and PSY401. Over the last decade (2005-2014) at least 30% of all Senior Thesis projects have been directly related to students’ first careers or graduate school matriculation. Students have also completed elective internships in their field of interest.

If the Psychology program moves to include the mandatory internship requirement, career planning and professional direction are components of the proposed curriculum. Specific student learning outcomes will be developed for psychology internships rather than applying those listed earlier in this document for business internships.


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