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.
  • Off-campus studies provides students with a chance to interact with different kinds of people, thereby expanding cross-cultural communication skills. Related to the psychology major learning goals, studying abroad often allows students to develop their skills in recognizing, understanding, and respecting the complexity of sociocultural, international, and other forms of human diversity.
  • The independence of the study abroad/off-campus study experience 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.

Which requirements can Psychology majors fulfill while off campus?

  • External requirements for the major (biology and philosophy) are encouraged
  • Some off-campus programs offer courses that fulfill the foundation area requirements (i.e., one course each in Clinical/Personality, Cognitive/Learning/Physiological, and Developmental/Social). For the course to count toward the psychology major, however, students must receive pre-approval from their major adviser.
  • 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.

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?

  • Programs that expose students to people of diverse abilities, backgrounds, and cultural perspectives. These types of programs allow students to make progress toward the psychology major learning goals focused on ethical and social responsibility in a diverse 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, internships, or work in a psychology lab.

Which Partner Programs are recommended by the Psychology department?

Students do not need to take psychology courses abroad in order to fulfill the psychology major requirements. However, students interested in taking psychology courses abroad may wish to consider the following options:

  • CIEE: Prague Central European Studies
  • DIS Copenhagen
  • IES: Amsterdam – Psychology & Sciences
  • IES: Granada – Study in Granada
  • IES: Queen Mary, University of London
  • IES: Milan Italy Today
  • IES: Rome Language and Area Studies
  • IES: Vienna European Society and Culture
  • IFSA: Argentina Psychology in English
  • IFSA: University of Melbourne
  • The Philadelphia Center
  • University of Otago

Students interested in pursuing work related broadly to social justice may wish to consider the following options:

  • AU Washington Semester Program
  • CIEE: Dakar Language and Culture
  • IES: London Health Practice & Policy
  • IES: Paris French Studies
  • SIT: Chile Public Health, Traditional Medicine, and Community Empowerment
  • SIT: India Sustainable Development and Social Change
  • SIT: Indonesia Arts, Religion, and Social Change
  • SIT: Morocco Migration and Transnational Identity
  • SIT: Serbia Peace and Conflict Studies in the Balkans
  • SIT: South Africa Community Health and Social Policy
  • The Philadelphia Center

Students interested in K-12 education may wish to consider the following options:

  • IES: Granada – Study in Granada
  • IES: Nantes French Language Immersion and Area Studies
  • IES: Rome – Study Rome Language and Area Studies
  • IES: Vienna European Society and Culture
  • SIT: Bolivia Multiculturalism, Globalization and Social Change
  • The Philadelphia Center

Students interested in health professions/public health may wish to consider the following options:

  • SIT: Chile Public Health, Traditional Medicine, and Community Empowerment
  • DIS Copenhagen
  • IES: London Health Practice and Policy
  • SIT: South Africa Community Health and Social Policy

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.