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/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/202,120,2312,2229/39372_student_voices_-_shahrazad_shahin.rev.1710962958.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/202,120,2312,2229/39372_student_voices_-_shahrazad_shahin.rev.1710962958.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/202,120,2312,2229/39372_student_voices_-_shahrazad_shahin.rev.1710962958.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/202,120,2312,2229/39372_student_voices_-_shahrazad_shahin.rev.1710962958.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/202,120,2312,2229/39372_student_voices_-_shahrazad_shahin.rev.1710962958.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/202,120,2312,2229/39372_student_voices_-_shahrazad_shahin.rev.1710962958.jpg" alt="Shahrazad Shahin ?26" width="183" height="183" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/202,120,2312,2229/39372_student_voices_-_shahrazad_shahin.rev.1710962958.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/105/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/202,120,2312,2229/39372_student_voices_-_shahrazad_shahin.rev.1710962958.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2110" data-max-h="2109" 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> “My heart would skip a beat every time I saw the campus and looked at all the banners around the school. That’s when I knew this was the college for me.”</p></div><footer class="blockquote__footer"><span class="blockquote__author"><a href="/live/profiles/2673-shahrazad-shahin">Shahrazad Shahin</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/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> “Carthage faculty and staff have helped me feel welcomed on campus, and they engage in a hands-on and personal way with my learning.”</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>
  • <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> “Carthage has something for everyone, allowing you to make friends with similar interests and share your passions with others.”</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/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> “Growing up, I always thought college wouldn’t be for me and everyone did their own thing, but Carthage is a strong community and everyone wants to see you succeed.”</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/0,192,667,860/39932_bradley_szubryt_sv.rev.1717175455.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,192,667,860/39932_bradley_szubryt_sv.rev.1717175455.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,192,667,860/39932_bradley_szubryt_sv.rev.1717175455.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,192,667,860/39932_bradley_szubryt_sv.rev.1717175455.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,192,667,860/39932_bradley_szubryt_sv.rev.1717175455.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,192,667,860/39932_bradley_szubryt_sv.rev.1717175455.jpg" alt="Bradley Szubryt ?26" width="183" height="183" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,192,667,860/39932_bradley_szubryt_sv.rev.1717175455.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/90/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,192,667,860/39932_bradley_szubryt_sv.rev.1717175455.jpg 3x" data-max-w="667" data-max-h="668" 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 had a gut feeling Carthage was where I belonged. I trusted my gut, and I am proud I did.”</p></div><footer class="blockquote__footer"><span class="blockquote__author"><a href="/live/profiles/2753-">Bradley Szubryt</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/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> “The professors are truly passionate about their research and teaching, which in turn made me more passionate about research and learning. My relationships with my professors are the thing I love the most about Carthage.”</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> “The biggest surprise so far has been the fun things I get to do in some of my classes. Each class has had an interesting experience and something unique to it that has made it fun.”</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/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>

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