Degree Requirements

Psychological Science

Learning goals:

  • Students will demonstrate familiarity with the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings and historical trends in psychology.
  • Students will understand and apply basic research methods in psychology, including research design, analysis and interpretation.
  • Students will respect and use critical thinking, skeptical inquiry and, when possible, the scientific approach to solve problems related to behavior and mental processes.
  • Students will be able to apply psychological principles to personal, social and organizational issues.
  • Students will be able to weigh evidence, tolerate ambiguity, act ethically and reflect the values that are the underpinnings of psychology as a discipline.
  • Students will be able to communicate effectively in a variety of formats.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Degree. The department offers Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degree programs. Majors pursuing the Bachelor of Arts complete 41 semester hours in psychology with a grade of C- or better and with at least a 2.00 psychology GPA. Students complete the following required courses from each of five content areas:

Semester hours


Psychology Core (all are required)


PSYC:101 Principles of Psychology


PSYC:223 Research Methods in Psychology


PSYC:421 Directed Research


Developmental Psychology (choose one of the following)


PSYC:238 Developmental Psychology: Conception Through Childhood


PSYC:239 Developmental Psychology: Adolescence


PSYC:240 Developmental Psychology: Adulthood


Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Psychology (choose one of the following)


PSYC:230 Social Psychology


PSYC:245 Personality


PSYC:320 Abnormal Psychology


Fundamental Paradigms in Psychology (choose two of the following)


PSYC:340 Cognitive Psychology


PSYC:342 Behavioral Neuroscience


PSYC:344 Learning and Processes


Laboratory Proficiency (choose one of the following)


PSYC:360 Laboratory in Behavioral Neuroscience


PSYC:361 Laboratory in Cognitive Psychology


PSYC:362 Laboratory in Learning Processes


PSYC:363 Laboratory in Sensation and Perception


Psychology Electives


12 hours of electives selected with faculty adviser guidance

Majors must also complete a comprehensive psychology examination during the junior or senior year. Questions cover courses in the psychology core, developmental psychology, interpersonal and intrapersonal psychology, and fundamental paradigms in psychology content areas but not courses in the laboratory proficiency area. Students have up to four opportunities to take the comprehensive examination; only the highest score is recorded on the transcript. Performance on the comprehensive examination is reported on the transcript as high pass, pass or fail.

The department also recommends additional courses in other areas, depending on specific career goals. Frequent choices are biology, health care studies, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, business, prelaw and communications.

Additional Requirements for the Bachelor of Science Degree. Candidates for the Bachelor of Science degree will complete all requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in psychology. Bachelor of Science candidates also complete two additional courses (at least one of which must be selected from outside the psychology department) from among the following four options:

  • A course (together with its corresponding lab) from the natural sciences (biology, chemistry, ecology, earth and environmental sciences, health care studies, or physics) that does not fulfill the student’s scientific explanations requirement1
  • Any four-semester-hour math course numbered 111 or higher (except statistics) that does not fulfill the student’s Analytic Thought requirement1
  • A third course from the fundamental paradigms content area of the psychology major2
  • PSYC:323 Advanced Research Design and Analysis2

1A student may take two of these courses to meet their B.S. course requirements

2This course may also be counted as a psychology B.A. elective

Secondary Teaching Certification. Psychology majors preparing for certification may substitute student teaching for eight semester hours of psychology electives. They also must meet additional Department of Education requirements.

Minor in Psychology. The minor is designed to acquaint students with important areas in the field while offering flexible options based on their career goals. Students consult with a psychology department adviser to select minor courses. The minor requires 24 semester hours in psychology with a grade of C- or better and a minimum 2.0 grade point average in their psychology classes. Required courses include PSYC:101 Principles of Psychology, 12 semester hours at the 200 level (only one of which may be from the developmental psychology sequence), and eight semester hours in courses numbered 300 or above. Psychology laboratory courses may be applied to the minor. Substitution of 300-level courses for 200-level courses is possible with permission of the minor adviser. Students may not apply the following courses to the minor: PSYC:123 Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences; PSYC:421 Directed Research; PSYC:505 Research Apprenticeship; PSYC:525, 526 Independent Research; and PSYC:527, 528 Practicum.

Honors in Psychology. Award of departmental honors recognizes outstanding performance and dedication in the psychology major. To graduate with honors in psychology, students must do the following:

  • Complete all the requirements for either the B.A. or B.S. in psychology.
  • Have an overall cumulative GPA of 3.25 and a psychology GPA of 3.5,
  • Score at least 80 percent on the comprehensive examination,
  • Complete PSYC:525 Independent Research for two or more semester hours, and
  • Present their independent research in an approved public forum.

Psi Chi. Students who meet the requisite standards will be invited to join the international psychology honor society.

Course Catalog

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