“Study Abroad allows students to apply psychological knowledge to peoples and cultures around the world.”
– Psychology Department

Off-Campus Studies Mission Statement

Off-Campus Studies at Whitman College aims to develop in our students intercultural skills and global understanding for a lifetime of leadership.  We endeavor to achieve this goal by:

  • Providing off-campus study opportunities worldwide that offer high-quality academic content, instruction and evaluation.
  • Expanding learning opportunities for students and integrating the learning off-campus into their academic program to the fullest extent possible.
  • Promoting programs that increase a student’s foreign language and intercultural fluency.
  • Offering programs that foster an ability to question assumptions and think critically in the context of other worldviews.
  • Ensuring that programs are well integrated into the host community and encourage immersion of the student into the host culture. 
  • Developing the means by which returning students can actively contribute to international awareness and programming on campus, as well as in the Walla Walla community.

Off-Campus Studies can help Psychology students…

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

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

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.  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 gives them conceptual ideas for a 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.

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

Planning Tips

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.

Credit Limitations

The maximum number of credits that can be applied to the psychology major from off campus studies (including credits from other U.S. institutions) is 12 credits with the approval of your major adviser.

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 IES Vienna.  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 Program.  Please consult with your major adviser and the OCS staff for specific recommendations related to your goals.

Advising Support

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.