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Undergraduate Program

The University of Maine’s psychology major is designed to foster a scientific understanding of behavior by exploring the wide range of factors that shape it — from molecules to the brain as a whole, from sensory input to reasoning, and from genetics to social and cultural influences. Students explore how behavior develops from infancy to old age and what it means for a behavior to be considered pathological.

Although psychology is broad in scope, UMaine’s psychology major is focused on developing rigorous scientific reasoning skills (methodological, statistical and logical argument), forming an exceptional foundation for critical thinking across disciplines. To further foster critical thinking and communication skills, the psychology major culminates in a capstone experience in which students apply, integrate and extend the base of knowledge they acquired to a specific topic of interest.


Requirements for a Major in Psychology

Requirements for students declaring the Psychology Major Fall 2015 or later

Requirements for students who declared a Psychology Major Fall 2004 to Spring 2015


About PSY 494 (Senior Research Project)

PSY 494 (Senior Research Project) is one option students have for completing the General Education requirements of (1) the senior capstone course and (2) the writing intensive course within the major. (The other option is PSY 491, Senior Seminar). Students who elect to take PSY 494 are required to take at least 3 credits of PSY 494. However, students can take PSY 494 for up to 6 credits. Often, research projects take more than 1 semester to complete. Therefore, students have the option of registering for PSY 494 across 2 semesters, and students can decide, in consultation with their research mentor and academic advisor, how many credits (1 to 3) they want to take each semester. Students who elect to do PSY 494 conduct their own independent research under the mentorship of a faculty research advisor. Students are expected to have worked in the lab of their research mentor (e.g., PSY 492) prior to taking PSY 494 so that they can become familiar with the relevant research literature, methodology, etc. Students must have the permission of a faculty research mentor in order to register for PSY494. While taking PSY 494, students design their own study, collect and analyze the data, and write a research paper (introduction, method, results, discussion). PSY 494 students are also highly encouraged to present their projects on posters at the Department of Psychology’s annual Undergraduate Research Fair, held in April.


Psychology Department Goals for the Psychology Major

As set forth by the guidelines proposed by the American Psychological Association for designing effective undergraduate curriculum in the field of Psychology, the psychology major in the Maine Psychology Department is intended to meet the following goals:

  1. Theory and Content of Psychology. Students will demonstrate familiarity with the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in psychology.
  2. Research Methods in Psychology. Students will understand and apply basic research methods in psychology, including research design, data analysis, and interpretation.
  3. Critical Thinking Skills in Psychology. Students will respect and use critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry, and, when possible, the scientific approach to solve problems related to behavior and mental processes.
  4. Application of Psychology. Students will understand and apply psychological principles to personal, social, and organizational issues.
  5. Values in Psychology. Students will be able to weigh evidence, tolerate ambiguity, act ethically, and reflect other values that are the underpinnings of psychology as a discipline.
  6. Information and Technological Literacy. Students will demonstrate information competence and the ability to use computers and other technology for many purposes.
  7. Communications Skills. Students will be able to communicate effectively in a variety of formats.
  8. Sociocultural and International Awareness. Students will recognize, understand, and respect the complexity of sociocultural and international diversity.
  9. Personal Development. Students will develop insight into their own and others’ behavior and mental processes and apply effective strategies for self-management and self-improvement.
  10. Career Planning and Development. Students will emerge from the major with realistic ideas about how to implement their psychological knowledge, skills, and values in occupational pursuits in a variety of settings.


Requirements for a Minor in Psychology

Any 18 hours of psychology (PSY) courses constitute a minor in psychology. A minimum grade of “C-“must be obtained in each course used to satisfy the minor.  No more than 6 hours total of PSY 492 Problems in Psychology and PSY 493 Field Experience may be used toward the 18 hours.  A minimum of 12 psychology credits must be taken at the University of Maine.  All transfer courses applied to the minor must be approved by the Department of Psychology.


Neuroscience minor

Students can minor in neuroscience which is a minor that involves both Psychology and The Biological Sciences. See the Department of Biological Sciences for details.