Psychological Science Major

In the classroom and in the lab, become a critical consumer and producer of knowledge of human behavior.

Our Psychological Science major and minor develop a broad background in psychological science, the theoretical frameworks used to study human behavior, empirical research and lab experience, and the sociocultural contexts of human behavior.

As a major, you’ll:

  • receive a broad introduction to the methods and perspectives of psychology
  • learn about research design and statistical methods
  • take laboratory courses
  • complete a cultural, ethnicity and psychology requirement
  • take three electives
  • complete a senior seminar and thesis

Research is the key to this major. All seniors complete an empirical research investigation, and all of our faculty members have active research labs.

Prof. Eric Hurley on why students should major in psychological science
In class with Professor Eric Hurley
In class with Professor Eric Hurley
In class with Professor Deborah Burke
Class discussion
In class with Professor Sharon Goto
In class with Professor Sharon Goto

What You’ll Study

    • ​Psychological approaches of the study of people
    • Research design and methodology
    • Culture, ethnicity and psychology
    • Laboratory courses
    • Application of psychology to real-world problems
Per 100 graduates, Pomona College is one of the top producers of psychology Ph.D.s in the nation.

Researching at Pomona

Angela Yeh ’22

Our Voting Appeals Fail. Here’s Why.

Angela Yeh ’22 examined voting data and concepts such as efficacy beliefs, and her group provided suggestions in an op-ed to avoid generic and repetitive voting appeals.

Ananya Saluja ’22

Should people who are high on psychopathy and who break laws be held criminally responsible?

Ananya Saluja ’22 delved into the depth of the argument surrounding the insanity defense, and whether people high on trait psychopathy should, from a psychological and biological standpoint, be held accountable for their actions.

Kirby Lam ’23

Exploring Pluralistic Ignorance of the Impostor Phenomenon (IP) in College Students

Kirby Lam ’23 examined the discrepancy between self-attitudes of imposter phenomenon and beliefs about its presence in the greater student population.

Rosa Gerdts '24
Rosa Gerdts ’24

I loved the idea of understanding why and how people behave the way they do, especially as a means of understanding people who come from distinct backgrounds and coming to common solutions.

Faculty & Teaching

Our psychological science professors believe that firsthand experience in planning, performing and interpreting research is the best teacher of critical thinking in the field of psychology. Consequently, many psychological science courses have an associated laboratory and every faculty member has an active research lab.

Professor Richard Lewis

Our curriculum is designed to engage our students in investigations of human behavior, cognition and affect throughout the major, culminating in an original, empirical senior thesis. We emphasize an integrative approach to scientific psychology, incorporating the confluence of multiple perspectives from brain to culture to computing, to address individual and social experience. Students develop skills in statistics, measurement, technical writing and programming.