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Psychology is a diverse field with career options ranging from research and health care to counseling psychology and public policy. The psychology major at Cornell fosters proficiency with research design and research methods, and promotes understanding of human thinking, emotion, and behavior.

Psychology faculty regularly engage students in active learning. Whether you're interested in the psychology major or just want to learn more about the field, you may apply psychological knowledge to: train a virtual rat; dissect a sheep brain to learn about neural anatomy; practice counseling psychology skills in the classroom; observe the interactions of children to understand developmental processes; visit an imaging facility to learn about the assessment of neural function; or travel to sites across Europe to learn about the psychological underpinnings of the Holocaust

Benefits of One Course At A Time

The One Course At A Time curriculum removes other academic priorities for students. One Course offers the freedom of long class periods, allowing professors to engage in a creative and flexible approach to teaching that incorporates a strong emphasis on experiential learning, project-based learning, and collaborative learning. 

Most class periods are a mixture of short lectures, film clips, demonstrations, and small group discussion. In some class periods, you may use your psychological knowledge to train a virtual rat, practice counseling skills, or conduct your own original research projects. Faculty can incorporate complex experiential projects that would not be possible on a more traditional learning schedule.

Research and internships

You can devote one or two months entirely to psychology research opportunities or internships off campus. This allows you to work alongside some of the leading researchers in the country. Recent Cornell students have completed research fellowships examining obesity among children, ADHD among college students, cognitive processes among nonhuman animals, and the effects of psychiatric medications on children. 

Students have completed internships working individuals with developmental disabilities, working with children in the primary and secondary schools, at inpatient treatment facilities, and a variety of nonprofit organizations including women's advocacy groups and homeless shelters. 

Off-campus study

You may also take off-campus studies courses. For example, you might travel with your professor and class to sites across Europe to learn about the psychological underpinnings of the Holocaust. Your classroom is not limited to a physical space on the Hilltop. 

Internships and fellowships

Cornell students receive strong support for high-level research and internship experiences, and Cornell's One Course At A Time curriculum further extends these opportunities because students immerse themselves full-time in internships for a block or longer. You can receive credit for applying psychological principles in real-world settings by participating in a practicum setting such as Planned Parenthood, Waypoint Women's Shelter, and St. Luke's Hospital Child Protection Center. 

Learn more

Learn more about psychology degree requirements, course offerings, and our concentrations. Or explore what our alumni are doing and have to say about the department.