Psychology at Oberlin is distinctive for its depth, variety, and research opportunities. Interdisciplinary in nature, it often serves as a gateway to other academic and professional programs. Discovery through psychological research is emphasized as students conduct experiential investigations in laboratory courses, participate actively in faculty projects, and engage in independent studies.


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Our faculty are both scholars and teachers who devote their careers to making important contributions to their disciplines through writing and research. Psychology faculty have varied research interests—from adolescent social relationships to social and environmental psychology, and from cognitive psychology to clinical psychology—to provide a range of opportunities for students to do individual reading and research projects.

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Department Overview

Oberlin’s psychology department is distinctive for its depth, variety, and research opportunities. This broad science field includes such subjects as biological, cognitive, and developmental psychology, as well as social perspectives on normal and abnormal behavior.

Psychology offers excellent training for students who plan to pursue graduate study. Our curriculum is not limiting; majors use psychology as the gateway to other academic and professional training programs. Our scientific approach to understanding human behavior equips students with analytical, research, and clinical skills for careers in many fields with a human service orientation.

Our department is the largest undergraduate source of bachelor's-to-doctorate degrees in psychology of any liberal arts college in the country.

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Curriculum Overview

The psychology department at Oberlin follows a scientific approach that relies on careful measurement, controlled observation, research, and experimentation to help you achieve a sound understanding of thought, feeling, and behavior in humans and other living things.

Our experienced faculty members teach and conduct research in developmental psychology, adolescent and family psychology, cognitive psychology and the language of psychology, theoretical and applied social psychology, health and clinical psychology, psychopathology and emotion, memory and attention, and psychology and the arts, among others.

We consider laboratory work essential to the degree and provide an extensive range of lab courses and experiences. We encourage students interested in applied fields of psychology to conduct independent research through winter-term projects, summer internships, or in such practical settings as schools, health care facilities, or social service agencies. These kinds of experiences develop and fine-tune your skills in theory, research design, data analysis, and scientific writing. You also can work alongside a faculty member who shares your research interest.

Graduates who plan an academic career eventually must obtain a doctorate. The program supports other professions for which psychology is relevant and many graduates pursue careers in counseling, therapy, social work, business, education, human resources, and other occupations.

Psychology News

L'Insalata at Stanford University's Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences building

Researching Treatments for Adolescent Eating Disorders

February 28, 2018
A strong relationship with her mentor and field experience in college helped Alexa L’Insalata ’17 land her ideal first job as a clinical research coordinator for Stanford University’s Eating Disorders Research Program.