At a Glance

Building on the American Psychological Association blueprint, Carthage exposes students to the five core research areas of psychology — developmental, cognitive, biological, social/ personality, and mental/physical health — and welcomes majors to dive deeper into the ones that interest them. Psychology majors learn research techniques in classes and employ them in the lab, eventually opening the door to take on independent research.

Major

  • Psychology

Minor

  • Psychology

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Special Programs

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  • <div class="lw_widget lw_widget_type_blockquote"><blockquote class="blockquote"><div class="blockquote__image"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,633,845/38668_10644_163701665847155.rev.1698110157.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,633,845/38668_10644_163701665847155.rev.1698110157.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,633,845/38668_10644_163701665847155.rev.1698110157.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,633,845/38668_10644_163701665847155.rev.1698110157.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,633,845/38668_10644_163701665847155.rev.1698110157.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,633,845/38668_10644_163701665847155.rev.1698110157.jpg" alt="Savita Chandarana" width="183" height="183" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,633,845/38668_10644_163701665847155.rev.1698110157.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,633,845/38668_10644_163701665847155.rev.1698110157.jpg 3x" data-max-w="633" data-max-h="845" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </div><div class="blockquote__content"><div class="blockquote__quote"><svg aria-hidden="true" class="icon icon-round-left-quote" width="48" height="33"><use xlink:href="#icon-round-left-quote"/></svg><p> “I am thrilled with my decision to double major in psychology and neuroscience at Carthage; it has been an excellent preparation for graduate programs, and I feel like I have grown so much as a student and a person.”</p></div><footer class="blockquote__footer"><span class="blockquote__author"><a href="/live/profiles/2551-">Savita Chandarana</a> ’24</span></footer></div></blockquote></div>
  • <div class="lw_widget lw_widget_type_blockquote"><blockquote class="blockquote"><div class="blockquote__image"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2277,2208/38230_9337_163701665847155.rev.1691771885.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2277,2208/38230_9337_163701665847155.rev.1691771885.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2277,2208/38230_9337_163701665847155.rev.1691771885.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/png" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2277,2208/38230_9337_163701665847155.rev.1691771885.png 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2277,2208/38230_9337_163701665847155.rev.1691771885.png 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2277,2208/38230_9337_163701665847155.rev.1691771885.png" alt="Summer Zilisch" width="183" height="183" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2277,2208/38230_9337_163701665847155.rev.1691771885.png 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2277,2208/38230_9337_163701665847155.rev.1691771885.png 3x" data-max-w="2277" data-max-h="2208" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </div><div class="blockquote__content"><div class="blockquote__quote"><svg aria-hidden="true" class="icon icon-round-left-quote" width="48" height="33"><use xlink:href="#icon-round-left-quote"/></svg><p> “I chose Carthage because of its exceptional academic programs, supportive community, and commitment to fostering growth. The College’s reputation for personalized education aligns perfectly with my aspiration to excel as a double major/minor student.” </p></div><footer class="blockquote__footer"><span class="blockquote__author"><a href="/live/profiles/2488-">Summer Zilisch</a> ’26</span></footer></div></blockquote></div>
  • <div class="lw_widget lw_widget_type_blockquote"><blockquote class="blockquote"><div class="blockquote__image"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2316,3088/36438_IMG_3662.rev.1669742424.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2316,3088/36438_IMG_3662.rev.1669742424.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2316,3088/36438_IMG_3662.rev.1669742424.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2316,3088/36438_IMG_3662.rev.1669742424.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2316,3088/36438_IMG_3662.rev.1669742424.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2316,3088/36438_IMG_3662.rev.1669742424.jpg" alt="Amber Redmond" width="183" height="183" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2316,3088/36438_IMG_3662.rev.1669742424.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2316,3088/36438_IMG_3662.rev.1669742424.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2316" data-max-h="3088" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </div><div class="blockquote__content"><div class="blockquote__quote"><svg aria-hidden="true" class="icon icon-round-left-quote" width="48" height="33"><use xlink:href="#icon-round-left-quote"/></svg><p> “I wholeheartedly believe I would not be where I am today without the professors I’ve had here at Carthage. The psychology and studio art professors showed me that I am in the right place. The relationships I’ve built have led to so many opportunities for me. The faculty here at Carthage is unmatched.”</p></div><footer class="blockquote__footer"><span class="blockquote__author"><a href="/live/profiles/2178-amber-redmond">Amber Redmond</a> ’24</span></footer></div></blockquote></div>
  • <div class="lw_widget lw_widget_type_blockquote"><blockquote class="blockquote"><div class="blockquote__image"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,750,983/35772_Luke_Ehlert_24.rev.1664397164.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,750,983/35772_Luke_Ehlert_24.rev.1664397164.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,750,983/35772_Luke_Ehlert_24.rev.1664397164.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,750,983/35772_Luke_Ehlert_24.rev.1664397164.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,750,983/35772_Luke_Ehlert_24.rev.1664397164.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,750,983/35772_Luke_Ehlert_24.rev.1664397164.jpg" alt="Luke Ehlert ?24" width="183" height="183" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,750,983/35772_Luke_Ehlert_24.rev.1664397164.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,750,983/35772_Luke_Ehlert_24.rev.1664397164.jpg 3x" data-max-w="750" data-max-h="983" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </div><div class="blockquote__content"><div class="blockquote__quote"><svg aria-hidden="true" class="icon icon-round-left-quote" width="48" height="33"><use xlink:href="#icon-round-left-quote"/></svg><p> “With the professors being so open and willing to help, I was able to be involved and conduct research as a sophomore. I wouldn’t be able to do that at most other colleges.”</p></div><footer class="blockquote__footer"><span class="blockquote__author"><a href="/live/profiles/2076-">Luke Ehlert</a> ’24</span></footer></div></blockquote></div>
  • <div class="lw_widget lw_widget_type_blockquote"><blockquote class="blockquote"><div class="blockquote__image"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/15,0,735,720/36394_4860_163701665847155.rev.1668712304.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/15,0,735,720/36394_4860_163701665847155.rev.1668712304.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/15,0,735,720/36394_4860_163701665847155.rev.1668712304.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/15,0,735,720/36394_4860_163701665847155.rev.1668712304.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/15,0,735,720/36394_4860_163701665847155.rev.1668712304.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/15,0,735,720/36394_4860_163701665847155.rev.1668712304.jpg" alt="Jude Dzurak" width="183" height="183" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/15,0,735,720/36394_4860_163701665847155.rev.1668712304.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/15,0,735,720/36394_4860_163701665847155.rev.1668712304.jpg 3x" data-max-w="720" data-max-h="720" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </div><div class="blockquote__content"><div class="blockquote__quote"><svg aria-hidden="true" class="icon icon-round-left-quote" width="48" height="33"><use xlink:href="#icon-round-left-quote"/></svg><p> “I chose Carthage because I felt a lot more confident in knowing I’d make a connection with my professors because of how much smaller the classes are. It doesn’t hurt that the lake is beautiful too.”</p></div><footer class="blockquote__footer"><span class="blockquote__author"><a href="/live/profiles/2172-jude-dzurak">Jude Dzurak</a> ’24</span></footer></div></blockquote></div>
  • <div class="lw_widget lw_widget_type_blockquote"><blockquote class="blockquote"><div class="blockquote__image"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2316,3088/34625_EECB8A99-35A3-47D7-8729-1B951D74A93A.rev.1652992068.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2316,3088/34625_EECB8A99-35A3-47D7-8729-1B951D74A93A.rev.1652992068.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2316,3088/34625_EECB8A99-35A3-47D7-8729-1B951D74A93A.rev.1652992068.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2316,3088/34625_EECB8A99-35A3-47D7-8729-1B951D74A93A.rev.1652992068.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2316,3088/34625_EECB8A99-35A3-47D7-8729-1B951D74A93A.rev.1652992068.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2316,3088/34625_EECB8A99-35A3-47D7-8729-1B951D74A93A.rev.1652992068.jpg" alt="Zoey Kurka" width="183" height="183" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2316,3088/34625_EECB8A99-35A3-47D7-8729-1B951D74A93A.rev.1652992068.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/47/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2316,3088/34625_EECB8A99-35A3-47D7-8729-1B951D74A93A.rev.1652992068.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2316" data-max-h="3088" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </div><div class="blockquote__content"><div class="blockquote__quote"><svg aria-hidden="true" class="icon icon-round-left-quote" width="48" height="33"><use xlink:href="#icon-round-left-quote"/></svg><p> “The Carthage faculty are amazing. My professors taught me so much and inspired me to enjoy the work I do in the classroom. The encouragement I’ve received from them has been one of my greatest helpers at college.”</p></div><footer class="blockquote__footer"><span class="blockquote__author"><a href="/live/profiles/1876-">Zoey Kurka</a> ’25</span></footer></div></blockquote></div>
  • <div class="lw_widget lw_widget_type_blockquote"><blockquote class="blockquote"><div class="blockquote__image"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1080,1441/36390_4869_163701665847155.rev.1668625375.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1080,1441/36390_4869_163701665847155.rev.1668625375.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1080,1441/36390_4869_163701665847155.rev.1668625375.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1080,1441/36390_4869_163701665847155.rev.1668625375.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1080,1441/36390_4869_163701665847155.rev.1668625375.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1080,1441/36390_4869_163701665847155.rev.1668625375.jpg" alt="Lin Sensenbrenner" width="183" height="183" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1080,1441/36390_4869_163701665847155.rev.1668625375.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1080,1441/36390_4869_163701665847155.rev.1668625375.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1080" data-max-h="1441" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </div><div class="blockquote__content"><div class="blockquote__quote"><svg aria-hidden="true" class="icon icon-round-left-quote" width="48" height="33"><use xlink:href="#icon-round-left-quote"/></svg><p> “Joining clubs has pushed me outside my comfort zone and led me to meet students around campus with shared interests who I wouldn’t interact with otherwise. It has also introduced me to a large number of upperclassmen that serve as mentors to me.”</p></div><footer class="blockquote__footer"><span class="blockquote__author"><a href="/live/profiles/2164-lin-sensenbrenner">Lin Sensenbrenner</a> ’26</span></footer></div></blockquote></div>

Major in psychology at Carthage

Carthage psychology majors are trained not only in the content of psychology (theories of behavior and mental processes), but also in the scientific process that has informed our understanding of the mind. As they learn about the modes of scientific inquiry within psychology, they gain practice applying those within the five pillars of psychological science:

  • Biological — studying the brain and behavior, often in non-humans
  • Cognitive — studying mental processes, typically in humans
  • Developmental — studying behavior across the lifespan
  • Social and Personality — studying individual differences and interactions between people
  • Mental and Physical Health — studying techniques for enhancing and promoting wellbeing

Students focus their research efforts on the areas that most interest them, gaining first-hand experience working in one of the departmental laboratories. Students who plan to work in health or social services can participate in Carthage’s fieldwork program. A third of psychology majors have a second major, many in allied areas like neuroscience or criminal justice. More than half go on to graduate school.

Psychology majors at Carthage will study the Five Pillars of Psychology.

 

original research for Psychology Majors

Research is built into the Carthage experience through the required senior thesis and options such as the paid Summer Undergraduate Research Experience. Ongoing focuses include the psychological basis of magic, handwritten word perception, odor memory and perception in pregnancy, physiological responses to stress, and selection of college majors. Many students present their work at professional gatherings.

Current research topics include:

  • Odor memory and odor perception in pregnancy
  • The psychological basis of magic and illusion
  • Prosocial behavior in peer relationships
  • The psychological and physiological consequences of stress
  • Understanding of death and the afterlife
  • Development of humor over the lifespan


Psychology Degree special academic options

Pre-Health: Aspiring health care professionals consult frequently with a pre-health coordinator to select courses that match their abilities and goals.

Pre-Health at Carthage

Occupational Therapy: In this dual degree program, students spend three years at Carthage and then complete a master’s or clinical doctorate at Washington University in St. Louis.

Occupational Therapy at Carthage


Where Carthage psychology majors go

A large percentage of alumni enter graduate school to specialize in one of the subfields of psychology or to pursue law, public health, social work, or occupational therapy. Ultimately, graduates have found positions with employers such as:

  • Early Childhood Education Institute
  • Sensient Technologies
  • KGH Autism Services
  • Quarles & Brady LLP
  • Allstate
  • YWCA of Lake County (Ill.)
  • CareerBuilder Employment Screening
  • SC Johnson

Careers in psychology