Explore the Psychology Degree Program at Etown College
Major in Psychology at Elizabethtown College and prepare for either the direct pursuit of a career or for graduate and professional studies across many disciplines including psychology, neuroscience, medicine, business, education, human services and law.
At Etown, located in south-central Pennsylvania, we offer a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Psychology, and we participate in the interdisciplinary Cognitive Science and the Women and Gender Studies minor. Through our coursework, we give you the knowledge and skills that you’ll need to take your next steps. By working with your advisor to create experiences tailored to your interests, you’ll gain the opportunities that will enable you to thrive in the field!
Our Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree program focuses on the science of psychology--the theories and methods used to understand human behavior. You’ll gain knowledge by exploring of the subfields of psychology, gaining foundational clinical skills, and by conducting research projects that you design. As a psychology major, you’ll learn about human behavior, from basic brain function to interpersonal relationships.
You’ll also develop skills in critical thinking, ethical reasoning, problem solving, data analysis, written and oral communication, and interpersonal skills. These skills will be nurtured both in the classroom and in your hands-on applied work with a community partner. Studying psychology provides you with a versatile skill set that will serve you well in any number of career paths that you pursue after Etown, including careers working in community or counseling centers, schools, medical settings, business or non-profit settings, or as an independent consultant.
Our department offers one of the best undergraduate psychology programs in Pennsylvania for students looking for flexibility. Students can easily combine the Psychology major with an academic minor or a second major, and studying abroad is very easy to integrate into our major program. Our Psychology major program provides a firm foundation in all domains of the field. Students are required to take courses in Mind and Body, Self and Society, and Clinical and Counseling. As Psychology majors discover their area of greatest interest in the field, they are encouraged to take additional courses in that area. All students receive the same degree, which is excellent preparation for the workforce and later graduate work.
Clinical & Counseling
Our course offerings in Clinical and Counseling within our Psychology degree program prepare students looking to enter the subfields of school psychology, counseling psychology and clinical psychology. In these courses, students learn about psychological disorders and evaluate the effectiveness of various forms of psychotherapy. Advanced coursework provides students with opportunities to develop their own foundational counseling skills and learn more about special populations and disorders.
Students who intend to pursue a career in a helping profession are encouraged to take Clinical Practicum, an intensive course the combines an internship experience with readings in the clinical/counseling research literature plus self-reflection and group supervision with an Elizabethtown faculty mentor.
Mind & Body
Psychology majors who are interested in neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and health psychology will be interested in courses in the Mind and Body domain. In these courses, students learn about topics such as brain development, neural plasticity, and the effects of drugs on brain function.
Courses in this area also teach students about the latest research on learning and memory, mental imagery, decision-making, and creativity. Students will also learn about how the mind and body interact with one another during daily activities such as exercise and meditation.
Self & Society
Our courses in the domain of Self and Society prepare Psychology majors for the subfields of developmental psychology, social psychology, industrial/organizational psychology and legal and forensic psychology. In this domain, students learn about child, adolescent, and adult development across the lifespan, interpersonal relationships, and social influence.
Advanced courses in the domain expose students to the latest psychological research on stereotyping and prejudice, diversity issues, and specialized topics including sports psychology, forensic psychology, and industrial/organizational psychology (the intersection of psychology and business).
Students majoring in another discipline can elect to complete a Psychology minor that provides a basic foundation in Psychology. Our minor is very flexible and allows you to explore the subfields of psychology that most interest you and complement your primary area of study.
Cognitive Science Interdisciplinary
Students of any major (including psychology) can pursue the interdisciplinary Cognitive Science program. This minor integrates elements of Psychology, Biology, Neuroscience, Philosophy, and Computer Science into a unified field of study to better understand the human mind.
Women & Gender Studies Interdisciplinary Minor
Psychology majors may choose to participate in the Women and Gender Studies program. This minor focuses on concepts of gender, race/ethnicity, and class to analyze all dimensions of human experience. This minor draws on courses from Psychology, Sociology, Political Science, Social Work, Communications, English, and Religious Studies.
We recognize that every student learns differently and wants to explore different passions within the field. From your first year at Etown until graduation, you will work with a faculty advisor to tailor your opportunities to your individual interests, and you’ll have both the resources and opportunity to learn more about what interests you most! Our Psychology degree program includes opportunities for students to participate in:
- Community-Based Learning
- Research Opportunities
- On-Campus Clubs and Organizations
- Study Abroad Opportunities
- Personalized Academic Advising
All of our Psychology students are required to take a course called Career Seminar. In this class, which is taught by the faculty advisor, students explore their own strengths and abilities, learn about the subfields of psychology as well as diverse career options for majors, and discern their fit in the field. Through course activities, students will interview professionals in the field, create a customized education plan, and develop the skills necessary for communicating their interests, abilities, and experiences to a professional audience. Working with the academic advisor, students construct a plan for their time in college and beyond, identifying key experiences that will aid in their career preparation, including summer employment, internships, research experiences, and leadership experiences on campus.
From the Department of Psychology
Psychology major, Class of 2020
"Throughout the course of the semester in Career Seminar, I have gained more knowledge not only about the fields and careers in psychology I might be interested in, but also about effective ways to succeed in pursuing a career as well as how my own experiences, skills, and interests reflect and prepare me for my career."