Psychology Studies

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 and as a discipline.
  • Students will be able to communicate effectively in a variety of formats.

Requirements for the Major in Psychology. The department offers both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degree programs. Majors pursuing the Bachelor of Arts complete 40 semester hours in psychology with a grade of C- or better in each course and at least a 2.0 psychology GPA. Students successfully 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


Diversity in Psychology (choose one of the following)


PSYC:334 Psychology of Gender


PSYC:337 Psychology of Exceptional Individuals


PSYC:350 Psychology, Culture and Ethnicity


Fundamental Paradigms in Psychology (choose two of the following)


PSYC:340 Cognitive Psychology


PSYC:342 Behavioral Neuroscience


PSYC:343 Learning and Motivation


Psychology Electives


Eight hours of electives selected with faculty adviser guidance

Majors must also take a comprehensive psychology examination during the junior or senior year. Questions cover the five content areas. 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 science (especially biology), sociology and anthropology, philosophy, business or communications.

Additional Requirements for the Bachelor of Science Degree. In addition to satisfying the university Central Curriculum requirements and the psychology requirements listed for the Bachelor of Arts, candidates for the Bachelor of Science complete two courses chosen from among the following options:

  • Any course (with a lab) from the natural sciences (biology, chemistry, ecology, earth and environmental sciences, health care studies, physics)
  • Any math course numbered 111 or higher
  • A third course from the Fundamental Paradigms cluster*
  • PSYC:323 Experimental Design and Analysis*

* These courses may be used to fulfill the psychology elective requirement.

Bachelor of Science candidates also must take at least two semester hours of research beyond PSYC:421 Directed Research; this can be accomplished by completing a second semester of Directed Research (PSYC:422) or by taking Independent Research (PSYC:525) for at least two semester hours.

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

Minor in Psychology. The minor is designed to acquaint students with major areas in the field while offering flexible options based on students’ 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 in each course and a minimum 2.0 overall average. Required courses include PSYC:101 Principles of Psychology, three courses at the 200 level (only one of which may be from the Developmental Psychology sequence), and two courses numbered 300 or above. Students may take the following courses as electives but may not apply them to the minor: PSYC:123 Elementary Statistics; PSYC:421, PSYC:422 Directed Research; PSYC:525, PSYC:526 Independent Research; and PSYC:527, PSYC:528 Practicum.

Honors in Psychology. The departmental honors program encourages and recognizes outstanding performance in psychology. To graduate with honors in psychology, students must do the following:

  • Complete all the requirements for the major,
  • 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 credits, and
  • Present their independent research in an approved public forum.

Psi Chi. Students who meet requisite national standards are eligible to join the national psychology honor society.