The ability to understand and predict how people act and think is more important than ever in addressing many of the greatest challenges faced as a society. At the same time, the study of behavior and mind is undergoing a rapid transformation. New technologies are continually being developed across the behavioral, data, and brain sciences. Advances in cloud and wearable computing, massive open datasets, noninvasive brain imaging, and virtual reality offer powerful new tools for understanding and predicting human thought and behavior. Psychological science is the rapidly evolving discipline that seeks to understand behavior and mind using rigorous scientific methods. Psychological scientists are trained to understand how behavior and thought are influenced by neurophysiological, emotional, cognitive, developmental, social, and environmental factors. With the benefit of emerging technologies, they are gleaning important new insights into how people learn, think, perceive, act, express emotions, make decisions, and interact with others, and applying these discoveries to improve the way people live and work.
Looking ahead, some of the most exciting opportunities in psychological science will be available to students proficient in the use of cutting-edge research methods, data analysis techniques, and technology. In 2017, Rensselaer launched a new undergraduate program in psychological science to provide students with exceptionally strong training in these areas. The program is designed for technologically oriented students with interests in the scientific study of behavior and mind and its many applications.
Due to the flexibility permitted in course selection, individual curricula may vary considerably within the framework of basic Institute degree requirements. Students are encouraged to supplement basic requirements in science and mathematics whenever feasible in order to take full advantage of Rensselaer’s education opportunities. A minimum of 124 credit hours is required to complete this curriculum.
Students are strongly encouraged to participate in research through RPI’s Undergraduate Research Program. Students may earn course credit or funding for their research project.
Outcomes of the Undergraduate Curriculum
Students who successfully complete this program will be able to demonstrate:
- the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in focused areas of psychology.
- an ability to apply basic research methods in psychology, including aspects of research design, data analysis, and data interpretation.
- an ability to apply psychological principles to personal, interpersonal, and organizational issues of cognitive, emotional, and occupational areas of psychological interest.