About Psychological Sciences

Psychologists are concerned with advancing knowledge of behavior and experience.

The mission of the Department of Psychological Sciences is to teach you how to think like a psychologist. To accomplish this, the Department of Psychological Sciences has adopted the Curricular Guidelines for Undergraduate Education in Psychology developed by the American Psychological Association:

1. Knowledge Base in Psychology

Ability to describe key concepts, principles, and overarching themes in psychology; develop a working knowledge of psychology’s content domains; and describe applications of psychology.

2. Scientific Inquiry and Critical Thinking

Ability to use scientific reasoning to interpret psychological phenomena; demonstrate psychology information literacy; engage in innovative and integrative thinking and problem solving; interpret, design, and conduct basic psychological research; and incorporate sociocultural factors in scientific inquiry.

3. Ethical and Social Responsibility in a Diverse World

Ability to apply ethical standards to evaluate psychological science and practice; building and enhance interpersonal relationships; and adopt values that build community at local, national, and global levels.

4. Communication

Ability to demonstrate effective writing for different purposes; exhibit effective presentation skills for different purposes; and interact effectively with others.

5. Professional Development

Ability to apply psychological content and skills to career goals; exhibit self-efficacy and self-regulation; refine project-management skills; enhance teamwork capacity; and develop meaningful professional direction for life after graduation.

Our core programs for the major – Writing-Across-the-Curriculum, Research-Across-the-Curriculum, and Diversity-Across-the-Curriculum - prepare our majors and minors for post-graduate study of psychology and related fields as well as careers in social services, the arts, education, business, international relations, law, or specific branches of psychology.

By the time they graduate, our students are able to

  • Apply psychological theories and concepts to analyze behavior;
  • Analyze research reports on psychological issues;
  • Conduct data analyses and interpret the results of their own and others' data analyses on psychological issues;
  • Communicate their own and others' research findings on psychological issues both orally and in writing;
  • Show personal development, including clarifying their personal values, enhancing their self-awareness and understanding of others, and identifying the academic degrees required of professional careers in psychology.

While at Whittier, students get involved in the activities of the department through the Psychology Club and Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology. We encourage students to regularly attend local, regional, and national conventions, and to apply their knowledge in the field through participation in off-campus internships and service learning.

Drop by the office of any Psychological Sciences faculty member to learn more about how you might participate in the psychology program at Whittier College.