Undergraduate Studies

Majoring in Psychology

The Psychology major partially fulfills requirements for the B.A. degree and satisfies a Social Science Divisional Requirement.

  1. PSY 101 or the equivalent must be completed before the student is accepted into the major.
  2. Passing performance in an acceptable statistics course, preferably by the end of the sophomore year. PSY 200, PSY 211, STT 211, STT 212, or STT 213 is strongly recommended, although STT 203 may also be used to meet this requirement.
  3. In addition to the above:
    1. Four core courses, such that two are in natural science aspects of psychology and two are in social science aspects of psychology.
      1. Natural Science Core (both of the following):
        BCS/PSY 110, Neural Foundations of Behavior
        BCS/PSY 111, Foundations of Cognitive Science
        *Note: Students who enrolled in PSY 112, which was offered through Spring 2012, may use this in place of PSY 111.
        For students in the Class of 2013: PSY 113 (Biopsychology of Social and Clinical Behaviors) may also be used to fulfill one of the Natural Science Core courses. PSY 113 will no longer be offered after Spring 2012.
      2. Social Science Core (choose two of the following):
        CSP/PSY 161, Social Psychology and Individual Differences CSP/PSY 171, Social and Emotional Development CSP/PSY 181, Theories of Personality and Psychotherapy.
  4. Elective courses:
    1. For students in the Class of 2014 and later: Five elective courses in PSY, such that no more than two are independent study courses (numbered 39X).
    2. For students in the Class of 2013: Six elective courses in PSY, such that no more than two are independent study courses (numbered 39X). One or two of the six elective courses may be courses in an allied field that inform the student's pursuit of psychology. Allied field courses are frequently bridges to a student's second major or a minor. At the time of declaring the major, the student is advised to prepare a justification for the appropriateness of the allied-field course choices.
  5. Two of the psychology courses are to be designated upper-level writing courses and at least one of these courses is to be at or above the 200 level.
  6. Pursuant to College rules, all courses in the major program must be completed with a cumulative average of 2.0 (C) or better. courses passed with grades of D- or better may be included in the major, but the overall cumulative average must be 2.00 or higher.

Transfer Courses:

As many as two transferred psychology courses in addition to the Introduction to Psychology (see note at end of this paragraph) and an acceptable statistics course may be used in the major plan. Transfer courses need to meet the college rules for acceptability. Students should realize that receiving college credit for a course does not automatically grant credit toward the major. In most cases, courses should be reviewed and approved by the instructors of the comparable courses. A course description will sometimes suffice, but often a syllabus or a copy of the table of contents of the text is needed to provide sufficient information for a judgment. The college has a Course Approval Form, and courses in your psychology program can be approved on this form in consultation with your psychology advisor.

Note regarding credit for Introduction to Psychology: A score of 4 or 5 on the AP psychology test will result in 4.0 semester hours of credit and waiving the requirement for Introduction to Psychology. An AP score of 3 will carry no credit but will result in waiving the requirement for Introduction to Psychology. To earn transfer credit, an introductory course must be taught at a college by regular college faculty. Courses taught in the high school will not be granted transfer credit.

Upper Level Writing Requirements:

Writing courses will stress formal writing, and may include literature review papers, research reports, and critical reviews of articles. The form of the document will vary among courses, but all writing should conform generally to the appropriate guidelines in the American Psychological Association’s Publication Manual.

The criteria for significant writing are the following minimum set of assignments and activities:

  1. At least three formal writing assignments. (These could be linked components of a larger document. If so, the separate parts must be clearly identified.)
  2. Each assignment is to be at least 5 pages in length.
  3. Revision of at least one assignment with the benefit of instructor comments.
  4. Meet quality standards of clarity, conciseness, and completeness.

Independent study, laboratory courses, seminars, and small lecture courses in psychology may often be negotiated with the instructor to be “W” courses and carry writing credit although there will be exceptions. Many lecture courses have small tagalong writing sections that carry 0.5 credits and are designated as “W” sections.

Students who have declared their major in psychology may seek admission to tagalong writing sections in the first two weeks of the semester and enrollments will be allotted on need and first-come-first-served bases. Students are encouraged to consult with the individual faculty member regarding writing courses registration.