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BA in Psychology

The mission of the Department of Psychology is to introduce students in the major to the broad field of scientific psychology while offering an education in the true liberal arts tradition.

Many students begin by assuming that psychology consists primarily of clinical psychology, but you'll soon learn it includes many other specialties, such as industrial/organizational, developmental, cognitive, physiological and more.

You'll study psychology from several vantage points: as a natural science, as a social science and as an applied science. In this way, you'll come to appreciate the complexity of the field.

The psychology program is designed to produce independent, lifelong learners. We prepare you to think analytically and express yourself clearly. The department offers preparation for admission to graduate and professional schools and employment after graduation.

Students design and conduct research, analyze data using statistical software and use academic search engines. All seniors complete a substantial piece of scholarly work in the form of a thesis.

Psychology majors also have the opportunity to engage in supervised fieldwork and intensive study within one of two concentrations:

  • Human Services
  • Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Curriculum + Requirements

Students seeking a BA in psychology must take a set of courses that emphasize scientific reasoning. After taking PS 101, all majors take PS 206, 307, 308, 309 and 409. PS 206 and PS 307 are taken concurrently followed by PS 308 in a subsequent semester. PS 309 and PS 409 must be taken in the senior year. In each of the following sequence courses, students must earn a grade of C- or higher before moving on to the next course: PS 206, PS 307, PS 308. In addition, students must maintain a psychology GPA that is above 2.0. PS 409, Senior Seminar, must be taken as a seminar during the regular academic year.

For breadth, all majors are required to take two psychology courses from the category of natural science (PS 233, PS 251, PS 252, PS 354), two from social science (PS 232, PS 236, PS 261, PS 262, PS 272) and one from applied science (PS 242, PS 250, PS 265, PS 311, PS 325, PS 371, PS 383). In addition, two psychology electives are required, one at the 200-level or higher and one at the 300-level.

Psychology majors also have the opportunity to engage in supervised fieldwork and intensive study within one of two concentrations, human services or industrial/organizational psychology, described in the sections below.

Minor in Psychology

Students who plan to minor take 18 credits in psychology, no more than six of which may be at the 100-level. Course selection should be based on the student's interest and goals. However, the following are reserved for majors only: PS 206, 307, 308, 309, 409, and internship courses.

Human Services Concentration

Students may elect to enroll in the human services program within the psychology major. The program prepares students for careers in human service and provides the basis for graduate work in fields such as social work, counseling and school psychology. A 3.0 overall GPA is required to participate in the HS concentration fieldwork courses.

HS students must take PS 272, PS 371, PS 391, PS 393 and PS 394.

The HS program emphasizes:

  1. Mental health fields as possible careers
  2. Conceptions of mental illness and the history of therapeutic methods
  3. Counseling and other treatment techniques

Industrial/Organizational Psychology Concentration

Students may elect to enroll in the industrial/organizational psychology program within the psychology major. The program exposes students to career possibilities in I/O psychology areas and provides the basis for further study in fields such as I/O psychology and management. I/O psychology students must take PS 265, PS 397 and two of the following: PS 366, PS 367 or PS 368.

The I/O psychology program emphasizes:

  1. The traditional research and practice of industrial/organizational psychology
  2. Using psychological principles to study and improve working conditions
  3. Mindfulness of the changing nature of work and the ability of the field to make innovations to match such changes