The Psychology Department provides students with ample opportunity to work independently under the individual direction of their professors, including courses for advance study (Directed Readings - Psychology 470) and research (Research Projects - Psychology 480). These courses may be used to fulfill the elective requirement of the major. Our faculty is actively engaged in research on a variety of topics, including the effects of hormones and drugs on behavior, individual differences in animal intelligence, cognitive development in children, interpersonal coordination, sleep, social and cultural psychology, health psychology, and grief and bereavement. Many of the Department’s majors have presented papers at regional and national undergraduate and professional meetings and have published their work in professional journals.
In the various fields within the major, research methods vary as does the need for students. A good way to start getting involved is to volunteer in a lab. This allows a student to learn more about a project while at the same time demonstrating their interest to the professor. Also, if a student is especially interested in the subject matter of a class, the professor could offer suggestions for further research opportunities. Students may learn about faculty research interests by consulting the booklet entitled “Psychology Research at Holy Cross: A Major’s Resource Guide” (.pdf) available in the Department’s main office.
The undergraduate liberal arts degree in psychology also provides students with many advanced-study and career options and has led to students being placed in graduate programs in psychology, medicine, and law as well as a wide variety of work places.