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.

  • Majors at Pomona: Psychology
    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

  • Rachel Song
    The Influence of Media on the Public Perception of Wise Interventions and Negatively-Stereotyped Groups

    Rachel Song '18 investigated how the media's portrayal of wise interventions that target negatively-stereotyped groups can affect the public's sympathy for these groups and the public's willingness to support such interventions.

  • Callie Kernick '18
    "Effect of Relational Savoring on Parental Sensitivity and Child Self-Regulation" Callie Kernick '18

    This study tests the effectiveness of a relational savoring intervention designed to help mothers reflect on positive moments of attachment with their children, thereby promoting parental sensitivity, which can in turn increase child self-regulation.

  • Shannon Burns ’16
    Using fNIRS to study rTPJ activity in response to Theory of Mind task.

    Shannon Burns ’15 is investigating the feasibility of using functional near-infrared spectroscopy to study social cognitive function in the right tempoparietal junction of adult brains.

  • Sichen Martinez-Hernandez ’15
    Inter-Family Dynamics Between Members of Different Legal Statuses

    Sichen Martinez-Hernandez ’15 studied "differences in personal protective factors, environmental protective factors and risk factors between siblings in mixed-status families" following increased immigration post-1960s.

Rachel Song '18

The psychological science department is phenomenal - the curriculum is balanced between theory and empiricism, the student and alumni network is extensive yet intimate, and the professors are some of the most caring people I've met. What I enjoy most, however, is its interdisciplinary nature and breadth of subareas from industrial-organizational psychology to neuropsychology.

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.