Learning Objectives

The undergraduate curriculum for psychology majors has been designed to reflect the broad goals of enabling students to:

  • Use critical thinking skills in a variety of domains;
  • Think scientifically about behavior, mental processes, and underlying mechanisms;
  • Apply broad perspectives to behavior from both an individual and cultural point of view;
  • Pursue a variety of post-bac opportunities including employment, graduate school, and professional school.

To support these goals, Psychological and Brain Sciences adopted a well-articulated set of undergraduate learning outcomes in 2001. Although there are no national standards for the discipline, our goals and learning outcomes are consonant with those endorsed by the American Psychological Association in a 2002 report, “Undergraduate Psychology Major Learning Goals and Outcomes.” Our outcomes are outlined below.

Conceptual skills:

  • Critically evaluate empirical support for various theories and findings.
  • Conduct literature searches using traditional and technology-based methodologies and critically evaluate and synthesize findings.
  • Understand the interconnections of psychology with other disciplines.

Research skills:

  • Use and evaluate research methods and designs.
  • Employ and evaluate basic statistics.

Applications skills:

  • Appreciate how psychological findings can be used to make informed judgments that strengthen the community and build public policy.

General skills:

  • Speak and write effectively in the discourse of the discipline.
  • Understand the diversity of behavior and experience. 
  • Work effectively with others and on teams.
  • Synthesize natural science and social science aspects of psychology. 
  • Understand the ethical practice of scientific inquiry.
  • Think scientifically, understanding the relationships between theories, observations, and conclusions.