understanding behavior

Gain a broad introduction to the mind and behavior with a major or minor in Psychological Science. With an emphasis on experimental science, you’ll get plenty of hands-on opportunities to observe, test and study various components of the discipline in courses covering child psychology, personality, mindfulness, sexuality, social psychology and perception, just to name a few.


Student SpotlightHudson Cunningham Baker '23

major: psychological science
minor: environmental studies

"While I have always been curious about the study of psychology, my passion for this field was truly ignited here at Hobart and William Smith. One of the primary reasons I have pursued an undergraduate degree in Psychological Science is to create a positive impact in my community— something I feel that this field is uniquely suited for. 

One of the most influential moments within my academic journey was my decision to take “Psychology 221: Introduction to Psychopathology” with Professor of Psychological Science Jaime Bodenlos. It opened my eyes to the crucial realm of clinical psychology and ultimately served as a catalyst to pursue this field after HWS. Professor Bodenlos is one of the faculty members I look up to most as she introduced me to clinical psychology, and has offered me research opportunities outside of the classroom. These experiences have furthered not only my education here at HWS, but also provided insight to the inner workings of this field that I am so invested in."


Professor and Student at a Computer

And Research

Psychological Science students looking to engage more in their work can study and complete Honors and research projects in their chosen topic with the guidance of a faculty mentor.

Past examples include:

  • Hudson Baker '23: The Damoclean Threat of Climate Catastrophe: The Impacts of Climate Cafés on Eco-Anxiety
    Emily Fisher, Adviser
  • Greta Weiss '23: The Influence of Group Discussion on Moral Decisions
    Emily Fisher, Adviser
  • Alexandra D. Brind '22: How Character Knowledge Influences Comprehension Processing
    Michelle Rizzella, Adviser 
  • Travis I. Schneider ’21: Cognitive Distortions as a Mediator of the Relationship Between Dispositional Mindfulness and Psychological Distress
    Julie Kingery, Adviser
  • Runzhong Zhang ’21: Mental Health in US Colleges During the COVID-19 Pandemic
    Daniel Graham, Adviser


Psi Chi

Students who excel academically in Psychological Science are eligible to be inducted into the Colleges’ chapter of Psi Chi, an international honor society in the field of psychology.

Experiential EducationBeyond the Classroom

Attend guest lectures on biases hosted by the Fisher Center for the Study of Gender and Justice or work with local schools through the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning.

At Hobart and William Smith, learning goes beyond textbooks and classrooms. You’ll gain high-impact practical experience that deepens learning and opens doors.


No Borders:Global Education

Study bipolar disorder in Portugal or sexuality in Sweden.

Wherever you go, our top-ranked global education program will allow you to apply classroom knowledge, develop cultural understanding and build global connections that expand your personal capacity and sense of purpose.



Discover the theories and intricacies of psychology through lectures and hands-on experiments.

PSY 203 – Introduction to Child Psychology

Learn the theories that guide the study of child development, as well as the normative physical, cognitive, social, and emotional changes that take place from infancy through late childhood. 

PSY 327 – Research in Social Psychology

Become acquainted with correlational and experimental research approaches in social psychology.

PSY 344 – Topics in Personality 

Explore classic and current theory and research pertaining to fundamental and contemporary issues in personality psychology.


FacilitiesA Space to Learn

Gulick Hall
At Hobart and William Smith, you’ll have access to equipment and technology typically only found at larger universities. Gulick Hall houses several research and computer labs perfect for class work and research collaborations.




At HWS we center mindfulness on the whole student, combining academics and campus life to connect students' intellectual curiosities to their co-curricular and extra-curricular choices. The Psychological Science faculty take an active role in researching and supporting the mental health of college students.

Sport Psychology

Students interested in Sport Psychology and pursuing Sport Psychology graduate programs are well suited for the Psychological Science program at HWS. Our Cognitive Psychology course covers topics such as the effects of visualization on athletic performance and the differences in attentional focus for athletes vs. non-athletes. Psychological Science students also learn the behavioral principles to enhance health and performance.


Alum ImpactExperience that Prepares

talia fountain '22

Clinical Research Coordinator at Dana-Farber Cancer Center
Boston, Mass. 

"At HWS, I was given the opportunity to explore my interests through a wide variety of classes. Taking classes outside of my comfort zone pushed me to be a more flexible problem solver and approach situations with an open mind."

Companies That Employ Our graduates

  • Albany Medical Center
  • Aspen Center for Environmental Studies
  • California State Senate
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Conde Nast
  • Fox Sports Net (FSN)
  • Georgetown University Hospital
  • IBM
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Memorial Sloane-Kettering Cancer Center
  • Miami Herald
  • MTV Networks
  • National Football League
  • NYC Dept. of Environmental Protection
  • Pfizer, Inc.
  • University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Walt Disney Studios

universities where our graduates are studying

  • Boston College
  • Chicago School of Professional Psychology
  • Claremont Graduate University
  • Columbia University
  • Fairleigh Dickinson University
  • George Washington University
  • Georgetown School of Law
  • Harvard University
  • Illinois State University
  • Loyola College
  • Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology
  • Michigan State University
  • New York University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Syracuse University
  • Tufts University
  • UCLA
  • University of Baltimore Law School
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Illinois – Chicago
  • University of Michigan
  • University of New Mexico
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of San Francisco
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • University of Vermont
  • Utica College