Off-Campus Studies can help Psychology students …

  • Gain a global perspective
  • Expand cross-cultural communication and problem-solving skills

How does a semester or year of OCS help students in Psychology prepare for graduate school or various career opportunities?

  • For psychology majors who aspire to work with non-English-speaking populations, or intend to earn a Masters in Social Work or work as a school psychologist, knowledge of Spanish or another language can greatly enhance career prospects. Study abroad in a foreign language environment can improve Spanish and other language skills. It provides students with non-specific experience with different kinds of people.
  • Off-campus studies provides students with a chance to interact with different kinds of people, thereby expanding cross-cultural communication skills. The independence of the study abroad/off-campus study experience also promotes personal development.
  • During off-campus studies, students can engage in research projects that give them conceptual ideas for their senior thesis. However, the actual lab work for the senior thesis in psychology typically cannot be completed abroad and must be undertaken after returning to Whitman.

As a general rule of thumb, the Psychology Department recommends the following for students who wish to study off campus.

  • First-year students should take PSYC 110 Introduction to Psychology if they plan to spend a full year abroad.
  • Second-year students can take PSYC 110 Introduction to Psychology if they plan to spend one semester abroad.
  • Study abroad students who intend to take psychology at a foreign university should complete PSYC 210 Psychological Statistics before studying off campus.
  • Psychology majors are required to complete PSYC 210 Psychological Statistics and PSYC 220: Research Methods at Whitman before their senior year.
  • Psychology majors should complete one course from each of the three foundation areas at Whitman.

Which requirements can Psychology majors fulfill while off campus?

  • Elective major credit
  • External requirements for the major (biology and philosophy) are encouraged
  • General Studies distribution credit
  • General degree credit

Major Credit Limitations

  • The maximum number of credits that can be applied to the Psychology major from off campus studies (including AP credit, IB credit and credits from other U.S. institutions) is 12 credits with the approval of your major adviser.
  • Business courses typically cannot be transferred to Whitman because they are vocational in nature and not considered liberal arts.

Minor Credit Limitations

  • A minimum of three-fifths of the specific course and credit requirements for the minor must be completed in the on-campus program of the college.

What are the types of OCS programs recommended by the Psychology department?

  • Direct enrollment at universities in the English-speaking world
  • Programs that provide an opportunity to study a foreign language at the beginning or advanced levels in addition to courses in other fields
  • Programs that offer an opportunity for independent study research or work in a psychology lab

Which Partner Programs are recommended by the Psychology department?

Psychology majors who need major credits abroad typically study either at universities in the English-speaking world or with the IES: Vienna European Society and Culture program.  Psychology majors who do not need major credits may opt to study abroad in a location that offers immersion in another culture and an opportunity to hone foreign language skills.  For students seeking pre-professional experience, psychology related academic internships are available on The Philadelphia Center (TPC) program.  Please consult with your major adviser and the OCS staff for specific recommendations related to your goals.

Students interested in Off-Campus Studies should attend an OCS First Step meeting in the fall of their second year, discuss their interests with their major adviser, and schedule an appointment with an OCS adviser.