Majoring in Psychology

Overview of the Psychology Major 

The St. Olaf Department of Psychology, in accord with the American Psychological Association’s curricular guidelines, encourages students to experience the breadth of the discipline, learning about both natural science and social science aspects of psychology. The Department’s faculty reflects this breadth; faculty areas include clinical, cognitive, cultural, developmental, neuroscience, personality, and social psychology.  At the same time, our major provides flexibility so that students can pursue their interests in more depth and craft a major to fit their specific goals. Students often do research with faculty, and many complete internships.

Psychology Major Worksheet 

The following worksheets lay out the requirements for the major, which are listed below, in an easy to follow format:
Students that entered St. Olaf BEFORE 2013
Students that entered ST Olaf AFTER 2013

Requirements for the Major

Psychology majors are required to take a minimum of 11.00 courses to complete the major. The major consists of 10.00 courses in the Department of Psychology and 1.00 course in statistics.
The requirements fall into five categories: foundation courses in the major, content core courses, Level III capstone courses, an elective course in the department, and a general education requirement for the major.

1. Foundation Courses in the Major:  Each of the following foundation courses is required:
Psychology 125, Principles of Psychology
Psychology 230, Research Methods in Psychology

2. Content Core of the Major:  To help ensure breadth of knowledge within psychology, four additional 200-level courses are required. Students choose two from the Natural Science Core and two from the Social Science Core:

Two courses from the Psychology Natural Science Content Core:
Psychology 235, Sensation and Perception
Psychology 236, Conditioning and Learning
Psychology 237, Cognitive Psychology
Psychology 238, Biopsychology

Two courses from the Psychology Social Science Content Core:
Psychology 241, Developmental Psychology
Psychology 244, Personality Psychology
Psychology 247, Psychopathology
Psychology 249, Social Psychology

3. Level III Capstone Courses:  Students must take two Level III courses. Psychology 394, Internship, does NOT count toward the Level III requirement but will count as an elective course, and only one Psychology 396 or 398 may fulfill the Level III requirement.

4. General Education Requirement for the Major:  Students are required to take an introductory course in statistics that emphasizes descriptive statistics and hypothesis testing: e.g., Statistics 110, 212, 214, or 263.

5. Elective Psychology Course (s):  Students are required to take at least one additional psychology course. For students who entered St. Olaf before Fall 2013 and have not already taken Psych 130, we recommend taking a second elective Psychology course in its place.  For students who enter St. Olaf in Fall 2013 or later, a second elective Psychology course is required for the major.


For a full list of courses  and descriptions consult the Academic Catalog. The current courses offered each semester are available to students via the Class & Lab link in Student Information Services. Note that courses are subject change.

Advising FAQs

This page contains a list of frequently asked advising questions and their answers.