Vassar College


Psychology and Counseling Programs at Vassar College

Vassar College appears in our ranking of the 50 Great Small Colleges for a Bachelor’s in Psychology

At Vassar College, three degree programs appeal to students who want to study psychology or counseling. These programs offer the preparation that they need at the graduate level too. The Independent Program is a course of study designed by the college for students who want to design their curriculum. Students work closely with their professors and advisers to ensure that they meet the degree requirements. They can do internships and independent study projects in psychology and counseling fields too.

Another program that is suitable for these students is the college’s major in neuroscience and behavior. It looks at how the brain functions and how brain development can affect behavior. Majors have the choice of doing research projects on their own or with their professors. This program includes intermediate courses such as Perception and Action, Animal Structure and Diversity, Developmental Biology, Molecular Genetics and Research Methods in Learning and Behavior. Some of the available advanced courses include Molecular Biology, Seminar in Animal Learning and Behavior, Animal Communication, Sensory Ecology and Hormones and Behavior.

Vassar also offers a psychological sciences major. Majors have the chance to take courses from the neuroscience and behavior major and can join Psi Chi, which is the branch of the national honors society on the campus. Students must take an introductory course and an advanced math class and receive passing grades before they can take advanced psychological sciences courses. Those courses include Principles of Social Psychology, Health Psychology, Evolutionary Psychology and Principles of Development. The college encourages students to do an integrative or empirical thesis too, which requires research work and some writing. Ten different seminar courses are also available. Each one focuses on a different area of the psychological sciences. Students can take those courses more than once as the subject areas change.

About Vassar College

Vassar College is a private college named after its founder, Michael Vassar. Established in 1861 as the Vassar Female College, it had only 21 faculty members when it first opened. Though the school became Vassar College the following year, it did not admit male students until the 1960s. As one of the first schools in the Seven Sisters system, Vassar offered opportunities for women that men had access to on other campuses. Located around 70 miles from New York City, the college quickly became popular among local students and those from across the state. Delta Sigma Rho, a secret society, was established on the campus in the 1920s. This society offered even more opportunities and programs for those selected.

Though not an Ivy League school, Vassar College is a sister institution. It opened at a time when Ivy League schools did not accept women. Forbes ranked Vassar as the nation’s 61st best college, and Wall Street Journal ranked the campus as the 56th best in the United States. Both U.S. News and World Report and Washington Monthly rank Vassar as one of the country’s best liberal arts colleges. It also appeared on the 2018 list issued by The Princeton Review of the best colleges in terms of the financial aid packages awarded. Though Vassar does not have a traditional graduate school, some programs offer advanced courses that transfer to graduate schools.

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Vassar College Accreditation Details

The regional accreditation that the college holds allows students to get financial aid in their first years and all future years. That accreditation comes from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). Not only can students complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) because of this accreditation, but they can also transfer credits earned at other schools to a Vassar program. Vassar also has full accreditation for its education programs that include teacher preparation courses.

Vassar College Application Requirements

With an acceptance rate of less than 30 percent, Vassar College is one of the nation’s most selective schools. The college has an early action deadline of November 15 and a final application deadline of January first. If the college does not accept a student from within the first group of applications, it will hold their application and review it again in January. Vassar recommends that students take four full years of English, math, social science, and life science courses and that they take several years of foreign language classes too.

To apply, prospective students must create an account with the Vassar application portal. They will use that account to log into the system and both complete and later submit the application. Once Vassar receives the application, the college will send the student a user ID, which usually takes at least five days to get. That ID allows students to log in and make sure that the college received all their documents. They’ll use the same ID to check on their application decisions. Vassar requires an official ACT or SAT score and a letter of recommendation from a guidance counselor and another from a high school teacher. Future students can interview with Vassar alumni or representative also.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The total cost of attendance at Vassar College is around $72,990 a year. This includes tuition of $57,910 per year for full-time enrollment and fees of more than $800. The average amount that students pay for room and board is $14,220 per year. Vassar also offers health insurance packages for an added fee. This coverage allows students to visit the health center on-campus and to seek medical help when they’re away from the college too.

Though Vassar College is an expensive school, it offers financial aid packages designed to meet the estimated need of each student based on the FAFSA. Those who qualify for work-study can either work for the college or take part in the off-campus community program, which lets them work for local organizations that support the surrounding community. Freshmen earn around $2,400 a year through their jobs. New York offers an assistance program for residents of the state that can give them more than $5,000 a year based on their parents’ income. Scholarships and grants go to students in need too. Vassar College financial aid packages can cover most or all of a student’s estimated need in a counseling or psychology degree program.

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