Our Mission Statement for Psychology Majors

The goal of the psychology major is to enhance understanding of behavior and mental processes and to examine their connection to other disciplines. Specific objectives concern the understanding of (a) scientific methodology, (b) critical thinking and analysis, and (c) contemporary psychological knowledge and its application. In addition to the focus on current knowledge and theory, the psychology major emphasizes skills in communication, information literacy, statistics, and research design through an experiential based curriculum including laboratory courses and a Senior Capstone Experience.

The following are goals and objectives for students who will complete four years of study within the psychology department at St. Mary's College of Maryland.


1) Students in the psychology major will understand and apply the scientific method.
a) Students will evaluate various research designs including their strengths and weaknesses.
b) Students will formulate testable research hypotheses.
c) Students will select the appropriate statistical tests and interpret statistical output.
d) Students will generalize research conclusions appropriately.
2) Students in the psychology major will understand the diverse theories and content of psychology.
a) Students will describe behavior and mental processes in psychological terms.
b) Students will use theories to explain and predict behavior and mental processes.
c) Students will integrate theoretical perspectives to produce comprehensive and multi-faceted explanations.
d) Students will compare and contrast the major perspectives of psychology and relate them to other disciplines.
e) Students will generalize psychological principles to a broad array of issues.
f) Students will understand different worldviews, methodological approaches, research, and theories on human thought, emotion, and behavior.
3) Students in the psychology major will use critical thinking to analyze problems related to behavior and mental processes.
a) Students will evaluate the quality and credibility of information.
b) Students will recognize, evaluate, and tolerate new ideas.
c) Students will develop sound arguments based on reasoning and evidence.
4) Students in the psychology major will learn communication skills.
a) Students will use APA style effectively.
b) Students will be able to clearly articulate concepts and theories in psychology both in written and oral form.
c) Students will be able to give a professional presentation in psychology.
5) Students in the psychology major will acquire information literacy skills.
a) Students will locate and choose relevant sources from appropriate databases.
b) Students will be able to identify different types of sources, including primary versus secondary sources, empirical versus non-empirical sources, and peer-reviewed versus non peer-reviewed sources.