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Psychological and Brain Sciences (PBS)

Basic Structure of the Department

  • PBS offers a Major and a Minor in Psychology, and a Major and a Minor in Neuroscience.  Neither can be modified with another course of study.
  • Psychology is the scientific approach to understanding human behavior and its social and biological underpinnings.
  • Neuroscience is the study of the science of the brain and its functions.  It is interdisciplinary in nature (drawing on courses from biology, chemistry, and computer science as well).
  • Both majors are scientific in their methodology and the nature of their inquiry.
  • Courses in PBS are numbered in the following way:  PSYC 1 and 6 are introductory level courses with no prerequisites.  PSYC 10 introduces students to design, methodology and data analysis procedures, and has either PSYC 1 or 6 as a prerequisite, which may be taken concurrently.  PSYC 11 is a methodology course that follows 10.  Students with AP Statistics (MATH 10) credit must take the PSYC 11 placement test to be considered for override of the PSYC 10 prerequisite.   Courses in the 20s and 40s are introductions to various sub fields within the discipline.  Courses in the 50s and above are more specialized topics courses limited to 35 students.  Courses numbered in the 60s are laboratory courses, and those numbered in the 80s are senior-level seminars.  Both 60s and 80s are culminating courses.

Courses for the Student with Little or No Background Who Wants to Explore Psychological and Brain Sciences

  • PSYC 1 (Introductory Psychology) is definitely the course for someone who wishes to explore the field and get a broad survey of what is has to offer.

Information for the First-Year Student Who Plans on Pursuing Studies in Psychological and Brain Sciences

  • PSYC 1 (Introductory Psychology) serves as a prerequisite for the Psychology Major. It is a large lecture course, is team-taught by four members of the PBS faculty, and has computer-corrected multiple-choice evaluation. This is a wide ranging, interesting, and often well-rated class. Over 50% of students will take this at one point in their Dartmouth careers, and it is appropriate for first-year students. It is also offered every fall, winter, and spring.
  • PSYC 6 (Introduction to Neuroscience) serves as a prerequisite for the Neuroscience Major. It is offered every fall and winter.
  • PSYC 1 or 6 is prerequisite for many upper-level courses in the PBS department.

Current Enrollments, Class Size, and Distributives

The ORC

The Psychological and Brain Sciences home page

Last Updated: 9/6/13