Program Highlights

This major will provide you with an understanding of the scientific discipline of psychology through exposure to the breadth of our discipline from its most basic level (neuroanatomy) to its most interactional level (sociocultural). Your studies will develop your knowledge and skill in using the scientific method to both conduct research to understand mind and behavior, as well as deliver clinical or consulting services from this empirical base.

A major in psychology leads to a Bachelor of Science Degree and is designed for the student seeking a liberal arts degree or graduate study leading to a Master’s degree or a Ph.D. in experimental (e.g., cognitive, learning, physiological, quantitative, industrial/organizational, memory), or social (e.g., attitudes, person perception, judgment and decision-making, stereotyping and prejudice, relationships), or clinical (e.g., psychotherapy, psychological assessment,  child and adolescent counseling) areas of psychology. This degree is the preferred path to a career as a practitioner, researcher, or psychology professor. Emphasis is in the scientific skills and basic research areas of psychology. A total of 33 hours is required; 21 of which have to be at the 300 level or above.

The following courses are required of all majors:

Discipline Foundation

PS130, Introductory Psychology


Research Methods and Quantitative Analysis

PS201, Statistical Methods in Behavioral Sciences

PS202, Experimental Psychology

PS301, Advanced Statistical Methods

PS304, Advanced Experimental Psychology

PS450, Experimental Psychology Capstone


In addition, students must declare a concentration from one of four options explained below.

Students must choose among four (4) concentrations: 1) General; 2) Experimental; 3) Clinical; 4) Social.  If desired, a student may elect to complete multiple concentrations of Clinical, Experimental, and Social.  The following requirements are in addition to the courses listed above as Discipline Foundation and Research Methods and Quantitative Analysis.

  1. General Concentration allows a student to select courses from the other three concentrations without choosing emphasis in any particular area.  This concentration allows for exploration of multiple areas that will allow a student to have flexibility in determining future studies or careers.  Students must complete 15 hours in psychology in addition to those listed above required of all majors.  To complete this concentration, students must complete three (3) hours from each of the three other concentrations (total of 9 hours), and then six (6) more hours from any concentration (electives).
  2. Experimental Concentration encompasses three main areas. Sensation and Perception examines how we know about the world through our senses and the conscious representation of the world that builds on sensory input. Cognitive Psychology involves the experimental study of the basic aspects of mental life, including memory, attention, and executive function. Cognitive neuroscience explores the neural underpinnings of sensation, perception, and cognition and how they arise from the activity of the brain and other neural structures. 
  3. Clinical Concentration is an option to students who are considering graduate studies in Clinical psychology. The coursework is based on the Scientist-Practitioner model that utilizes the interface between clinical research and clinical practice. Scientist-Practitioners and Practitioner-Scientists must embrace controversy and maintain an environment that is conducive to constant questioning, change, and exploration; what we accept as fact today will be overturned and replaced by a new understanding tomorrow through this process of challenge, research, and re-examination. Without this process of questioning, there is no science- merely a system of beliefs. This concentration option allows recognition that one's elective options have focused on clinical psychology coursework, including the domains of school psychology and psychotherapy.
  4. Social Concentration focuses on a branch of psychology concerned with how social influences affect how people think, feel, and act. The way we perceive ourselves in relation to the rest of the world plays an important role in our choices, behaviors, and beliefs. Conversely, the opinions of others also impact our behavior and the way we view ourselves.


Related options

If you are interested in a career in counseling at the Bachelor's or Master's level, you should explore a Human Services degree.

To teach psychology or sociology in the public schools, you should learn more about the Social Science Secondary Teaching program.

Plan of Study

Departmental Course Offerings

Courses change each semester, so this list should not be considered a commitment to these individual topics. However, this does represent a list of many of our current and popular courses. The list is provided so that you can begin to imagine your academic career at Millikin in this major.

Introductory Psychology Introduction to study of behavior and mental processes derived from application of scientific method. Topics range from biological bases of behavior, levels of consciousness, development, memory, abnormality to motivation and emotion. Examination of psychology as a profession and its relevance to everyday life. (PS130)
Statistical Methods in the Behavioral Sciences Application of elementary statistical methods to psychological and sociological data. Lecture and laboratory course in techniques of descriptive and inferential statistics and research design. Cross-listed with SO201. Pre-requisite: PS130 or SO100. To fulfill the quantitative reasoning requirement a student must have an ACT Mathematics subscore of 22 or higher or placement score of at least a 3 on the OR placement or complete MA098. (PS201)
Experimental Psychology Introduction to philosophy of science, theory development and testing, professional and research ethics, and a systematic study of a variety of descriptive and experimental research methods through lecture and class exercises. American Psychological Association writing style through a variety of writing exercises. Pre-requisite: PS130 and 201 (or equivalent) or consent of instructor. (PS202)
Advanced Statistical Methods Systematic study of multi-factor analysis of variance techniques, regression analysis and other advanced analytic techniques, including compter skill for data analysis. Pre-requisite: PS201. (PS301)
Cognitive Neuroscience The biological bases of behavior. Consideration of the neuroscience approach to understanding psychological functioning. Includes neurological and endocrine mechanisms which direct and support behavior. Pre-requisite: PS130. (PS303)
Advanced Experimental Psychology Advanced study of major areas of psychological research. Emphasis on psychology as an empirical science. Students design, perform, analyze and report on experimental projects. Readings in current psychological research are discussed. Two hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory each week. Pre-requisite: PS 202 and 301. (PS304)
Social Psychology Systematic study of social behavior of the individual as well as the group. Social perception, motivation, learning, attitudes and values. Dynamics of social groups and interaction among groups. Emphasis on research methods and projects. Pre-requisite: PS130. Cross-listed with SO204. (PS305)
Tests and Measurements An introduction to basic psychometric principles underlying test construction, evaluation, and interpretation; methods of collecting, evaluating, and reporting psychometric data; major psychological and educational measurements currently in use, their application, theoretical and empirical basis, and their historical significance. Basic legal and ethical issues in psychological measurement are addressed. Pre-requisite: PS130 and PS201. (PS306)
Principles of Psychopathology An introduction to pathological personality development and the behavior disorders. Emphasis on causal perspectives and major theories of psychopathology. Assessment and diagnostic systems are broadly reviewed. Pre-requisite: Psychology 130 or 140. (PS310)
Sensation and Perception Examination of traditional and contemporary psychophysical models of sensation and perception, overview of the seven senses, sensory development and learning, and applications of sensation and perception research. In-class laboratory participation required. Pre-requisite: one course in psychology or consent of instructor. (PS315)
Personality Theory Development, dynamics and structure of personality. Survey of major contributions to methodology, theory and empirical research. Pre-requisite: Psychology 130, 140, or consent of instructor. (PS318)
Memory and Cognition Consideration of experimental approaches to the study of higher mental processes. Emphasis on the major developments in the study of memory acquisition, storage and retrieval. Survey of concept formation, knowledge representation, language (PS332)
Lifespan Development Study of human development through the lifespan. Emphasis is on theories of development, normative development, and changes in psychological processes including cognition, memory, and intelligence. The changes in family and social interactions are also considered. Pre-requisite: PS130. (PS340)
Experimental Psychology Capstone A required capstone course for Psychology majors. Students in this course will conduct independent research, and write a final paper in APA format. This paper will then be presented at the Behavioral Sciences Research Symposium or the Undergraduate Research Poster Symposium in the Spring. Pre-requisites: senior psychology major and satisfaction of the Departmental Writing Proficiency. (PS450)