Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behavior. The major in Psychology introduces students to the main concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in the field. Students gain the ability to think scientifically, creatively, and critically about human behavior and mental processes; to acquire the basic skills for conducting research in these areas; and to develop a general understanding of psychology as both a natural science and a social science. Students grapple with overarching themes and persistent questions in psychology, such as the interaction of heredity and environment, variability and continuity of behavior and mental processes within and across species, free will versus determinism, the relation between mind and body, and applicability of general theories and measures to specific societal and cultural contexts. Topics of inquiry include cognition, sensation and perception, language and memory, child development, personality and individual differences, social interaction and group dynamics, intergroup relations, and the connection between the individual and society.
Students emerge from the major with realistic ideas about how to implement their psychological knowledge, skills, and values in occupational pursuits in a variety of settings. NYUAD Psychology provides a solid preparation for graduate programs in basic and applied psychology, other psychology-related fields, and graduate programs in business, education, and law. The psychology major consists of eleven courses. These include three required courses; four upper-level courses from the two tracks in the major; two special topics electives; and a two-course senior seminar that is designed to provide a Capstone experience. Students who elect to follow Track A: Cognition and Perception must take three of their upper level courses in that track and one course from Track B: Social Psychology. Correspondingly, students following Track B must take three of their upper level courses in that track and one course from Track A. In the first semester of senior year, students engage in a lab-based or field-based research practicum to develop and design a senior thesis, under close supervision of a faculty member. The thesis can be a research paper based on an independent empirical research project or a fully developed research proposal on a topic of the student's choice In the second semester, students conduct their independent research and are expected to present the results of their thesis projects. Psychology majors are not required to take Foundations of Science.