Bachelor Degree Options

Choosing a BA or a BS degree?

A Psychology major may choose to obtain either a Bachelor of Arts degree (BA) or a Bachelor of Science degree (BS). The Psychology courses required for a BA and BS are identical.

The College of Arts and Sciences has different course requirements for those earning a BA vs a BS The BA requirements focus on culture and social behavior, liberal arts, and humanities whereas the BS requirements focus on mathematics and the natural and social sciences.

The Psychology faculty recommends the BA for most students. The BS degree is most appropriate for students planning research careers in areas of Psychology requiring a strong background in mathematics and science. 

However, even for students headed for research intensive careers, the BA degree supplemented by selected science and mathematics courses can be the best overall choice. Psychology advisors can help with decisions in individual cases.

Academic Advising for the Psychology Undergraduate Programs

 

Admission Requirements

Satisfy the Application and Admission Requirements for Baccalaureate Programs

In addition, students wishing to declare Psychology as a major must have earned a minimum GPA of 2.50.

Academic Requirements

All prerequisites for required Psychology courses must be completed with a minimum grade of C. Students who audit or are unable to earn a minimum grade of C in a lower division (100- or 200-level) PSY course may repeat the course two additional times on a space-available basis. Students who audit or wish to repeat an upper division (300- or 400-level) PSY course may repeat the course one additional time on a space-available basis. Students repeating a course are required to complete all components of that course during the semester in which the course is retaken. When repeating a course with a lecture and laboratory component, both components must be repeated.

Graduation Requirements

Major Requirements

Core Requirements
PSY A111Introduction to Psychology3
PSY A150Lifespan Development3
PSY A200Introduction to Behavior Analysis3
PSY A260Statistics for Psychology3
PSY A260LStatistics for Psychology Lab1
PSY A261
A261L
Research Methods in Psychology
and Research Methods in Psychology Laboratory
4
PSY A345Abnormal Psychology3
PSY A370Behavioral Neuroscience3
PSY A375Social Psychology3
PSY A468
A468L
Learning and Behavior
and Learning and Behavior Laboratory
4
Psychology Capstone Requirement 13
Each capstone option is designed to synthesize and apply material from the psychology major. Choice of a capstone should be based, at least in part, on the student’s future career plans. Students planning to work in human service jobs following graduation should consider taking PSY A495A. Students planning on graduate work in psychology should consider taking PSY A412, PSY A420 or PSY A499. Students may elect to take all of these courses as upper-division electives.
History of Psychology
Conducting Research in Psychology
Evolutionary Psychology
Psychology Practicum
Senior Thesis
Developing Psychological Research
Psychology Electives9
Complete an additional 9 credits of upper-division psychology courses.
Writing3
Writing and the Sciences
Mathematics and Statistics3
College Algebra for Managerial and Social Sciences
Elementary Statistics
Biology3-6
Introductory Biology
Principles and Methods in Biology
Additional Electives17
Complete 3 Social Science GERs outside of psychology
Complete an 8-credit sequence of a world language or American Sign Language from the GER list
Total68-71

All psychology majors are also required to take the exit examination, a standardized test of knowledge of psychology approved by the Department of Psychology. There is no minimum score required for graduation. This exam is taken in the Testing Center and a fee will be charged to students.

A minimum of 120 credits is required for this degree, of which 42 credits must be upper-division. 

Concentration in Behavior Analysis

This concentration provides foundational knowledge and professional skills to apply the science of behavior analysis across a range of settings and client populations, including staff in the workplace, children and adults with intellectual and cognitive disabilities, and individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Completing the coursework below, in addition to required supervised practicum experience with a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, helps prepare students to apply for the Behavior Analysis Certification Board examination for becoming a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst.

Concentration requirements:
PSY A200Introduction to Behavior Analysis3
PSY A400Strategies of Behavior Change3
PSY A495APsychology Practicum3
Complete a minimum of 6 credits from the following:6
Behavioral Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder
Interventions for Challenging Behavior
Organizational Behavior Management
Applications of Behavior Analysis
Total15

Honors in Psychology

The Department of Psychology recognizes exceptional undergraduate students by awarding them departmental honors in psychology. To graduate with departmental honors, the student must be a declared psychology major and meet the following requirements:

  1. Satisfy all requirements for a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Psychology.
  2. Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.50.
  3. Complete PSY A412.
  4. Complete PSY A420.
  5. Complete PSY A499. The thesis project must be approved in advance by the Undergraduate Studies Committee and carried out by following applicable departmental guidelines.
  6. Students intending to graduate with departmental honors must notify the Departmental Honors Committee in writing on or before the date they file their Application for Graduation with the Office of the Registrar.

Honors Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating with departmental honors in psychology will possess:

  • An advanced understanding and application of descriptive and inferential statistics and use of statistical software in data analysis.
  • A broad knowledge of psychology’s historical foundation.
  • The ability to conduct a critical review and analysis of existing psychological literature.
  • The ability to design and execute empirical research that tests clearly stated hypotheses or addresses clearly articulated research questions.
  • A clear understanding of research ethics and the responsible conduct of research in the field of psychology.
  • The ability to communicate effectively in writing, in poster format, and in oral presentations, including mastery of APA style.
  • The ability to draw conclusions from research findings, including recognition of the limitations, applications, and implications of the data, and a discussion of alternative explanations of the results.
 

Admission Requirements

Satisfy the Application and Admission Requirements for Baccalaureate ProgramsIn addition, students wishing to declare psychology as a major must have earned a minimum GPA of 2.50.

Academic Requirements

All prerequisites for required psychology courses must be completed with a minimum grade of C. Students who audit or are unable to earn a minimum grade of C in a lower-division (100- or 200-level) PSY course may repeat the course two additional times on a space-available basis. Students who audit or wish to repeat an upper-division (300- or 400-level) PSY course may repeat the course one additional time on a space-available basis. Students repeating a course are required to complete all components of that course during the semester in which the course is retaken. When repeating a course with a lecture and laboratory component, both components must be repeated.

Graduation Requirements

Major Requirements

Core Requirements
PSY A111Introduction to Psychology3
PSY A150Lifespan Development3
PSY A200Introduction to Behavior Analysis3
PSY A260Statistics for Psychology3
PSY A260LStatistics for Psychology Lab1
PSY A261
A261L
Research Methods in Psychology
and Research Methods in Psychology Laboratory
4
PSY A345Abnormal Psychology3
PSY A370Behavioral Neuroscience3
PSY A375Social Psychology3
PSY A468
A468L
Learning and Behavior
and Learning and Behavior Laboratory
4
Psychology Capstone Requirement 13
Each capstone option is designed to synthesize and apply material from the psychology major. Choice of a capstone should be based, at least in part, on the student's future career plans. Students planning to work in human service jobs following graduation should consider taking PSY A495A. Students planning on graduate work in psychology should consider taking PSY A412, PSY A420 or PSY A499. Students may elect to take all of these courses as upper-division electives.
History of Psychology
Conducting Research in Psychology
Evolutionary Psychology
Psychology Practicum
Senior Thesis
Developing Psychological Research
Psychology Electives9
Complete an additional 9 credits of upper-division psychology courses.
Writing3
Writing and the Sciences
Mathematics and Statistics6-8
Complete two of the following:
College Algebra for Managerial and Social Sciences
College Algebra for Calculus
Applied Calculus for Managerial and Social Sciences
Social Science Statistics
Elementary Statistics
Applied Statistics for the Sciences
Biology7-16
Introductory Biology
Principles and Methods in Biology
Complete at least two of the following courses:
Human Anatomy and Physiology I
Human Anatomy and Physiology II
Introduction to Complexity
Introductory Microbiology for Health Sciences
Fundamentals of Cell Biology
Principles of Genetics
Experiential Learning: Ecology and Evolution
Principles of Evolution
Experiential Learning: Animal Physiology
Vertebrate Biology
Experiential Learning: Vertebrate Biology
Behavioral Endocrinology
Neurophysiology
Chronobiology
Comparative Animal Physiology
Applied Kinesiology and Exercise Physiology
Fish Physiology
Ichthyology
Marine Invertebrate Biology
Marine Mammal Biology
Animal Behavior
Experiential Learning: Animal Behavior
Human Genome
Experiential Learning: Bioinformatics
Molecular Biology
Metals in Biology
Molecular Biology of Cancer
Fish Ecology
Wildlife Ecology
Immunology
Biogeography
Conservation Biology
Ecotoxicology
Tundra and Taiga Ecosystems
Ecological and Conservation Genetics
Marine Biology
Spatial Ecology
Exploration Ecology
Experiential Learning: Exploration Ecology Field Study
Evolutionary Ecology
Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates
Population Genetics and Evolutionary Processes
Experimental and Scientific Foundations6-7
Complete two of the following:
Biological Anthropology
Culture and Human Biodiversity
Culture and Health
Introduction to General Chemistry
Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry
General Chemistry I
General Chemistry II
Organic Chemistry I
Organic Chemistry II
Principles of Biochemistry I
Principles of Biochemistry II
Computer Programming (Languages Vary)
Principles of Macroeconomics
Principles of Microeconomics
Experimental Economics
Behavioral Economics
Industrial Organization and Public Policy
Total64-76

All psychology majors are required to take the exit examination, a standardized test of knowledge of psychology approved by the Department of Psychology. There is no minimum score required for graduation. The exam is taken in the Advising and Testing Center and a fee will be charged to students.

A minimum of 120 credits is required for this degree, of which 42 credits must be upper-division.

Concentration in Behavior Analysis

This concentration provides foundational knowledge and professional skills to apply the science of behavior analysis across a range of settings and client populations, including staff in the workplace, children and adults with intellectual and cognitive disabilities, and individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Completing the coursework below, in addition to required supervised practicum experience with a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, helps prepare students to apply for the Behavior Analysis Certification Board examination for becoming a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst.

Concentration requirements:
PSY A200Introduction to Behavior Analysis3
PSY A400Strategies of Behavior Change3
PSY A495APsychology Practicum3
Complete a minimum of 6 credits of the following:6
Behavioral Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder
Interventions for Challenging Behavior
Organizational Behavior Management
Applications of Behavior Analysis
Total15

Honors in Psychology

The Department of Psychology recognizes exceptional undergraduate students by awarding them departmental honors in psychology. To graduate with departmental honors, the student must be a declared psychology major and meet the following requirements:

  1. Satisfy all requirements for a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Psychology.
  2. Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.50.
  3. Complete PSY A412.
  4. Complete PSY A420.
  5. Complete PSY A499. The thesis project must be approved in advance by the Undergraduate Studies Committee and carried out by following applicable departmental guidelines.
  6. Students intending to graduate with departmental honors must notify the Departmental Honors Committee in writing on or before the date they file their Application for Graduation with the Office of the Registrar.

Honors Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating with departmental honors in psychology will possess:

  • An advanced understanding and application of descriptive and inferential statistics and use of statistical software in data analysis.
  • A broad knowledge of psychology’s historical foundation.
  • The ability to conduct a critical review and analysis of existing psychological literature.
  • The ability to design and execute empirical research that tests clearly stated hypotheses or addresses clearly articulated research questions.
  • A clear understanding of research ethics and the responsible conduct of research in the field of psychology.
  • The ability to communicate effectively in writing, in poster format, and in oral presentations, including mastery of APA style.
  • The ability to draw conclusions from research findings, including recognition of the limitations, applications, and implications of the data, and a discussion of alternative explanations of the results.