Cornell University

Courses and Majors

While many programs do not require an undergraduate psychology major, they require the completion of a number of psychology courses. Majoring in psychology or human development is an easy way to complete the coursework that is required for admission. Check graduate programs that interest you for specific requirements.

What Courses Should I Take?

It is important that you develop a solid foundation in basic psychology and supplement that with additional coursework in a specific topic/subject depending on interest. It is recommended that you complete coursework in each of six areas: statistics, experimental methods, biological bases of behavior, personality, psychopathology, and social groups. Cornell University courses recommended for application to clinical psychology programs are listed below. To assist you in building the recommended level of knowledge, where possible, we've delineated which courses could serve as the basic foundation in a particular area and which courses would provide additional study.

It should be noted that the list below provides courses from which students can select. It is not necessary to complete them all, as long as you have selected courses from each of the six primary areas. However, because many graduate programs have specific course requirements, you should be sure to consult the particular program requirements listed in Graduate Study in Psychology.


  • Psych 350: Statistics and Research Design
  • Soc 301: Evaluating Statistical Evidence
  • ARME 310: Introductory Statistics
  • Btry 215: Introduction to Statistical Methods
  • Math 171: Statistical Theory and Application in the Real World

Experimental Methods

  • Psych 491: Research Methods in Psychology

Biological Bases of Behavior

  • Psych 332: Biopsychology of Learning and Memory
  • HD 3440: Infant Behavior and Development
  • HD/Bio & Society/Nutritional Sciences 3470: Human Growth and Development: Biological and Behavioral Interactions
  • Psych/Nutritional Sciences 361: Biopsychology of Normal and Abnormal Behavior
  • Psych 422: Developmental Biopsychology
  • Psych 425: Cognitive Neuroscience



  • Psych 275: Introduction to Personality Psychology
  • HD 2600: Personality Development



  • Psych 325: Psychopathology
  • HD 3300: Developmental Psychopathology


  • Psych 327/328: Fieldwork in Psychopathology and the Helping Relationship
  • Psych 402: Current Research on Psychopathology: Depression
  • HD 4660: Psychobiology of Temperament and Personality
  • HD 4700: Psychopathology in Great Works of Literature

Social Groups

  • Psych 280: Introduction to Social Psychology
  • Psych 404: Psychopathology and the Family
  • HD 2710: The Black Family and Socialization of Black Children
  • Psych 481: Advanced Social Psychology