Become a scientist of the mind and behavior

Psychology seeks to understand and appreciate our complexity and diversity

The field of psychology is vast—from studying neural mechanisms to understanding race and racism. Through psychology classes, labs, internships, and mentorship from faculty members you’ll discover the area you’re most passionate about. Along the way, you’ll develop scientific thinking and learn to use data to ask and answer questions of all kinds.

With origins in philosophy and biology, psychology bridges the natural and social sciences, but remains uniquely itself: science applied to our own endlessly fascinating, and sometimes infuriating, human nature. Our students break open the traditional canon and take at least one psychology course—and often more—that focuses on underrepresented perspectives. For more information, read our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan.

Why study psychology at Macalester?

Our department is research-focused. Our three-course research cycle builds your capacity to learn about and then engage in psychological science. Our teaching approach is experiential. Whether you’re exploring cognition, behavioral neuroscience, moral reasoning, or social development, much of your learning will be in the lab or in the community. Our curriculum covers a lot of ground. Our majors take foundational courses in many sub-areas of psychology, as well as advanced seminars that offer rich training and depth in specialized topics.

All of our faculty members maintain active research programs, and students play pivotal roles as collaborators and research assistants. And every psychology major conducts an individualized capstone project with close mentorship from a faculty member.

Learn more about what we research.

Life after Macalester

Psychology in the cities

Access to the University of Minnesota's top research labs, including the Institute of Child Development, the Veterans Administration Hospital, and the Department of Psychiatry


Number of student internships recently mentored by psychology faculty (over 200 internship sites are within 8 miles of campus)

16 Fortune 500 companies in Minnesota, including 3M, Medtronic, and a wealth of industries and organizations for psychology-focused internships and experiences

Join our community

  • Claim your mug. All psychology majors get their very own personalized psychology mug for sipping coffee, cocoa, or tea in the student lounge.
  • Johnson Lecture Series. Each year we invite a distinguished psychologist to deliver the annual Johnson Lecture, named in memory of former faculty member Ray Johnson.
  • Psych Club. The first rule of Psych Club is to have fun (like making Valentines with classmates or game nights with faculty). The second rule is to learn more about psychology through coffee talks, colloquia, and panels.
  • Annual Halloween Lab Tours. We decorate our psychology labs, and faculty and students share treats—and information about the research they are conducting.
  • Friday Socials. Students and faculty meet up on Friday afternoons for mango cake, nachos, or s’mores, all with a side helping of conversation.