Department Learning Goals

Learning Goals for Psychology Majors

Our goals for student learning at Gettysburg College are adapted from guidelines established by the American Psychological Association for the undergraduate psychology major.  They include understanding not only the knowledge base in psychology, but also thinking critically about it and engaging in the process of gaining new knowledge.  

  1. Develop a knowledge base reflecting the breadth of psychological science.
    Students will demonstrate familiarity with the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in cognitive and brain sciences as well as social, personality, and developmental psychology.
  2. Understand and put into practice psychological research methods.
    Students will design, conduct, analyze, and interpret empirical research addressing psychological questions.
  3. Think critically about psychological concepts and evidence.
    Students will use critical, creative, and scientific thinking to examine and solve problems related to behavior and mental processes.
  4. Communicate effectively about psychological research in a variety of formats.
    Students will demonstrate effective writing skills and oral communication skills by reporting conceptual, methodological, and quantitative aspects of research accurately and clearly following the conventions of the American Psychological Association.
  5. Recognize connections between psychological principles and personal and societal issues.
    Students will recognize and reflect on the role of psychological knowledge in the world, including identifying and following ethical principles in understanding how psychology can be applied to improve people’s lives.