Bachelor of Science in Psychology

Bachelor of Science in Psychology

Unlock Secrets of the Mind

Psychologists study the workings of the mind and how and why people do the things they do. Psychology also unlocks a wealth of career possibilities, from a job in health sciences or healthcare to a leadership position in the boardroom. A Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Clarkson gives you an edge in any profession requiring you to work with people, understand them, solve problems, think critically and communicate.

Why Study Psychology at Clarkson?

At Clarkson, you won't just study psychology. You'll dive into it. Internships, research and other hands-on experience are an integral part of the program. Every psychology student spends at least one semester participating in a professional experience. Some students work alongside mental health professionals or school psychologists. Others volunteer for nonprofit groups or assist faculty with research.

You'll get to know those faculty really well during your time at Clarkson. Our low student-to-faculty ratio ensures you'll be more than a face in the crowd. Your professors will become trusted advisors as you build your plans for the future.

Many of our professors choose to work here because our department lets them balance teaching in their area of expertise with maintaining an active research program. You benefit from that, too. Since there are no graduate students in the department, faculty train and mentor undergrads to provide the research assistance they need in their lab.

And, our Psychology majors had a 100 percent placement rate in 2023.

What You'll Learn

Psychologists study the mind and behavior. Your classes at Clarkson will approach the topic from multiple perspectives, from understanding the workings of the brain to examining how people relate to each other and society as a whole.

Some of the classes you can take include:

  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Animal Learning and Cognition
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Counseling Psychology: Theory and Practice
  • Cultural Psychology
  • Cyberpsychology
  • Diversity Science
  • Educational Psychology
  • Health Psychology
  • Learning and Memory
  • Motivation and Emotion
  • Neuroscience and Society
  • Personal Relationships
  • Psychology of Psychoactive Drugs

The psychology program consists of 32 credit hours in psychology and 9 credit hours in mathematics. 49 credit hours are in free electives, which is enough to complete a minor or second major if you so choose.

All courses are 3 credits unless noted.

Clarkson Common Experience

The following courses are required for all students, irrespective of their program of study. These courses are offered during the fall semester, with FY100 First-Year Seminar being required of only first-year students. Both FY100 and UNIV190 are typically taken during the fall semester of the first year at Clarkson.
FY100 First-Year Seminar (1 credit)
UNIV190 The Clarkson Seminar (3 credits)

Psychology Core Requirements

Students are required to complete the following courses:


  • PY151 Introduction to Psychology
  • PY253 Social Psychology
  • PY255 Cognitive Psychology
  • PY456 Experimental Psychology
  • PY457 Experimental Psychology Lab (2 credits)
  • PY496 Directed Research (1-6 credits)

Professional Experience

Students are required to complete one of the following Professional Experiences:

  • PY401 Internship: Counseling Psychology (1–6 credits)
  • or PY402 Internship: Personnel Relations (1–6 credits)
  • or PY403 Internship in Psychology in Health Care Environments (1–6 credits)

Psychology Core Electives

Students must complete three of the following courses:


  • PY246 Educational Psychology
  • PY286 Organizational Behavior I
  • PY310 Human Sexuality
  • PY311 Cyberpsychology
  • PY315 Personal Relationships
  • PY317 The Psych of Psychoactive Drugs
  • PY319 Current Readings in Animal Behavior
  • PY321 Consumer Behavior
  • PY335 Personality
  • PY340 Behavioral Ecology & Sociobiology
  • PY361 Motivation and Emotion
  • PY363 Judgement and Decision Making for the Biomedical Sciences
  • PY370 Developmental Psychology
  • PY411 Counseling Psychology
  • PY412 Psychiatric Center Professional Experience
  • PY453 Advanced Topics In Social Psychology
  • PY459 Neuroscience and Society
  • PY460 Neurobiology
  • PY461 Judgment and Decision Making
  • PY462 Abnormal Psychology
  • PY463 Health Psychology
  • PY480 Directed Study in Psychology
  • PY481 Directed Study in Social Psychology
  • PY482 Directed Study in Physiological Psychology
  • PY483 Directed Study in Cognitive Psychology
  • PY491 Directed Research in Health Psychology
  • PY492 Directed Research in Psychophysiology
  • PY493 Directed Research in Cognitive Psychology
  • PY494 Directed Research in Social Psychology
  • PY900 Thesis/Dissertation in Psychology

Cognitive Psychology

Students must complete one of the following courses:

  • PY357 Human Cognitive Evolution
  • PY358 Animal Learning & Cognition
  • PY359 Perception 
  • PY360 Learning & Memory
  • PY461 Judgment & Decision Making

Physiological Psychology

Students must complete one of the following courses:

  • PY454 Physiological Psychology 
  • PY458 Cognitive Neuroscience 
  • PY460 Neurobiology 

Psychology Electives


Students must complete three courses in mathematics (MA) numbered 100 or above, including one calculus and one statistics course for a total of 9 credits.

Knowledge Area/University Course Electives

Students will have at least 15 credit hours available to use toward Knowledge Area and/or University Course electives to satisfy the Clarkson Common Experience requirements.

Free Electives

Students will have approximately 49 credit hours available to use toward courses of their choice.

Real-world experience is the hallmark of a psychology degree at Clarkson. If you're interested in clinical experience, you might find an internship or co-op at the Ogdensburg Mental Health Clinic, St. Lawrence Health's Chemical Dependency unit, The Arc New York, Renewal House or the Reachout crisis hotline. Students also have internships at national organizations like Accenture.

You could also find an opportunity at a local business or inside Clarkson's human resources office or even design your own.

Learn more about career development and internships at Clarkson.

Psychology students regularly travel to national and international conferences, where they present research. Often, that work is conducted with our faculty members. We encourage students to find faculty with similar interests and collaborate on projects; you could even publish your work as a research article.

Our faculty research interests include:

  • Development of cognitive, social and emotional functioning
  • Hearing and attention
  • Human cognitive evolution
  • Phenomenological psychopathology
  • Social cognitive neuroscience

Psychology minors develop the critical skills of problem-solving and communication. These skills include being able to formulate a problem; acquiring the information needed to solve the problem, either through researching the existing literature or designing methods to collect new data; analyzing and interpreting the information; integrating the information and applying it to the problem; and communicating the solution to others.

All courses are 3 credits unless noted.

Psychology Minor Core Requirements

Students are required to take of the following courses:

PY151 Introduction to Psychology
PY253 Social Psychology
PY255 Cognitive Psychology

Psychology Electives

Students must take three PY courses numbered 300 or above.

Biology, Behavior and Society Minor

To understand human cognition, social behavior and social organization, you need a background in multiple disciplines. This minor provides a foundation in biology, psychology and social science, so you can join the discussion. Learn more about the biology, behavior and society minor.

Cognitive Neuroscience Minor

Study the mechanisms that guide processes like attention, memory, perception and emotion. This minor is ideal for students interested in clinical health careers, such as medicine, physical therapy, clinical psychology and neuropsychology. Learn more about the cognitive neuroscience minor.

Health Psychology Concentration

We offer several classes aimed at psychology majors interested in health science careers. Choose any six of these to complete this concentration:

  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Health Psychology
  • Human Sexuality
  • Learning and Memory
  • Motivation and Emotion
  • Physiological Psychology
  • Psychiatric Center Professional Experience
  • Social Psychology
  • The Psychology of Psychoactive Drugs

Pre-Health Sciences Advising Track

A psychology degree can take you in many directions. If you're interested in pursuing a career in the health sciences or healthcare, we'll work with you to ensure you're going the right way. Each semester, faculty advisors will help you choose classes and activities that can make it easier to get into graduate programs. The departmental psychology curriculum is so flexible that it provides an ideal starting point for students who want to double major (e.g., degrees in psychology and healthcare, or psychology and biology) within their regular course load.

Available advising tracks include:

Clarkson has established multiple professional partnerships with local psychiatric and mental health facilities to give our undergrads the rare opportunity to observe — and conduct — clinical work and supportive care in professional and community-based settings. Throughout an entire semester, participating students will spend a full day each week (or the equivalent) at one of our local partner sites, working with psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, peer support staff and other members of mental health teams. These students will encounter a wide range of conditions and concerns and may have the opportunity to work with children and adolescents, adults and sexual offenders.

Few, if any, undergraduate psychology programs offer students this level of professional immersion and clinical experience.

Participating students may observe and be involved in numerous forms of intervention and support, including:

  • Case management
  • Crisis intervention
  • Diagnostic evaluation
  • Education
  • Individual and group counseling
  • Medical evaluation
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Psychosocial support
  • Psychological testing
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Recreational therapy
  • Socialization
  • Structured learning therapy
  • Task and skill training
  • Vocational assessment

At the internship sites, students will not only observe professionals and support staff providing care and discussing treatment and intervention plans, but they will also have the opportunity to be directly engaged in clinical and support activities while receiving support and feedback from professionals and Clarkson faculty.

More about our professional partnership with the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center

How has natural selection shaped our behavior? How does social pain affect our mental and physical health? How does motivation affect social perceptions, relationships and behavior? Our faculty ask these and other questions in our specialized labs — and so will you.

Labs include:

  • Culture, Family and Child Development Lab
  • Evolution of Cognition Lab
  • Hearing and Attention Lab
  • Motivation and Emotion Lab
  • Phenomenology Lab

NSF-Funded Research in Germany

Gracie DeLaBruere's research in Clarkson's Evolution and Cognition Laboratory took her off-campus this summer — more than 3,000 miles away, to be exact. She accompanied a faculty member and three other students to Berlin, where they collaborated with researchers on an NSF-funded project.

“To be able to work alongside professors and develop research skills wasn’t something that I thought I would be able to do before graduate school, but Clarkson made it happen,” she says.

See where Clarkson can take you

Career Possibilities

For students interested in healthcare and health sciences, a psychology degree from Clarkson can help you make a real difference to patients. As the pandemic upended our lives, the importance of mental health training became evident. Psychology provides a vital introduction to that practice. Psychology is the top choice for students who want to pursue simultaneous training in (mental) health science and healthcare and graduate with two, rather than one, degrees.

But, a degree in psychology also opens doors to fields like teaching, law and human resources — all of which are expected to have above-average growth in the next decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Some careers you might pursue include:

  • Physical therapist
  • Physician assistant
  • Clinical psychologist
  • Counseling psychologist
  • Developmental psychologist
  • Educational psychologist
  • Forensic and legal psychologist
  • Health psychologist
  • Industrial/organizational psychologist
  • Neuropsychologist
  • Psychometrics, quantitative and experimental psychologist
  • School psychologist
  • Sports psychologist
  • Lawyer
  • Physician
  • Business

Recent Employers

Our graduates have found that their skills are in high demand. The Clarkson Undergraduate Class of 2023 had a 100-percent placement rate. Pschology graduates interested in applying their knowledge of human behavior have recently gone on to work at places such as:

  • BNY Mellon
  • CFES Brilliant Pathways
  • ConstructSecure
  • Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health
  • Discovery Mood and Anxiety Program
  • Four Winds Saratoga
  • Health Net, Inc.
  • Instrumart
  • Saga Innovations
  • St. Lawrence Health System
  • U.S. Navy
  • Waterford-Halfmoon Union Free School District

Graduate School

Our recent graduates have continued their educations at many institutions, including:

  • Clarkson University, Doctor of Physical Therapy
  • Clarkson University, MBA
  • College of William and Mary, Master's in Business Analytics
  • Duke University
  • John Jay College of Criminal Justice
  • MGH Institute of Health Professions
  • Spalding University, Doctorate, Clinical Psychology
  • SUNY Plattsburgh, Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • Syracuse University
  • University at Albany
  • University at Buffalo
  • William James College, Doctorate in Clinical Psychology

Contact Us

Psychology Department
Phone: 315-268-7023

Curious about earning a Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Clarkson? Contact us to learn more.

100 Percent Placement Undergrad - Program Specific

Psychology at Clarkson

Meet some of the psychology students and faculty of Clarkson University, and find out more about their research and what they think of the program.

Watch the Video

Take the Next Step

Clarkson's psychology program gives undergrads experience they can't find anywhere else and also works great as a double major with other Clarkson majors. Find out more today.