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Major in Psychology

Major in Psychology

Every psychology major must complete thirty-six semester hours in psychology, as well as four hours in statistics.

The following five core courses are required:

  • PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychological Science
  • MATH 118 Introductory Statistics
    (or MATH 227 or MATH 229)
  • PSYC 201 Biological Psychology
  • PSYC 203 Research Methods in Psychology
  • PSYC 345 History and Systems of Psychology

To ensure that students receive sufficient breadth across substantive areas, as well as some depth within at least one area, the department also requires that students successfully complete at least one course chosen from each of the following five areas:

Basic Processes

  • PSYC 243 Cognitive Psychology
  • PSYC 244 Drugs and Behavior
  • PSYC 245 Learning and Conditioning
  • PSYC 247 Perception

Social and Developmental

  • PSYC 235 Developmental Psychology
  • PSYC 236 Psychology of Adolescence
  • PSYC 239 Psychology of Aging
  • PSYC 248 Social Psychology

Clinical and Personality

  • PSYC 230 Theories of Personality
  • PSYC 231 Abnormal Psychology
  • PSYC 232 Health Psychology

Upper Level Theory and Application

  • PSYC 331 Seminar in Clinical Psychology
  • PSYC 335 Social and Emotional Development
  • PSYC 336 Childhood Psychopathology
  • PSYC 339 Psychology and the Law

Upper Level Research

  • PSYC 301 Research in Biopsychology
  • PSYC 303 Research in Cognitive Processes
  • PSYC 304 Research in Personality
  • PSYC 308 Research in Social Psychology

Prerequisites: PSYC 101, Introduction to Psychological Science, is a prerequisite for all courses offered by the department except PSYC 220, for which the prerequisite is PSYC 101 or WGST 100. Upper-level courses have additional prerequisites as detailed in the course descriptions. Most 300-level courses require instructor's consent to register.

Recommendations: Students considering a major in psychology are advised to take PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychological Science during their first year and MATH 118 Introductory Statistics in the fall semester of their sophomore year. In general, the department encourages flexible and individualized course planning both within and beyond the field of psychology. The chair or an advisor in the department can help with such program planning. The following examples serve as guides to planning an appropriate program.

  1. A student planning a career working with children, such as early childhood education, counseling, child guidance, or school psychology, should consider PSYC 235, 236, 305, 335, and 336.
  2. A student planning a career in a medical or physiological research setting should consider PSYC 232, 243, 244, 247, and 301. Relevant courses in biology, chemistry, and computer science are also recommended.
  3. A student interested in a career in behavioral research, human factors, or computer-based instruction should consider PSYC 243, 245, 247, 248, and 303. Relevant areas of mathematics and/or computer science are also recommended.
  4. A student with career interests in the clinical and personality area should consider PSYC 230, 231, 232, 304, 331, 336, and 339.
  5. A student planning a career in social service or human resources should consider PSYC 220, 230, 231, 232, 248, 308, and 339.

Independent Learning in Psychology

The all-College Independent Learning Requirement (eight semester hours) can be met by taking two four-credit Psychology 350 (Independent Study) courses; Psychology 350 followed by Psychology 355: Psychology 380 (Fieldwork in a Psychological Setting), a one year eight-credit course; or Psychology 380 followed by Psychology 381. Normally, psychology majors should do at least four hours of independent learning in psychology. Arrangements should be made with the student's adviser and/or the PSYC 380 Fieldwork instructor before the end of the junior year. For further information about the program in neuroscience and behavior, contact Professor Rachel Galli in the Department of Psychology.

Students planning to attend medical, dental, or veterinary school should contact the health professions adviser as early as possible to be sure that to incorporate the courses required for admission to these professional schools.