Departments & Programs

Psychological and Brain Sciences

Major in Psychology—B.A.

The B.A. Major in Psychology provides broad coverage of modern scientific psychology and the strategies and methods by which knowledge is acquired in this field. B.A. students learn about concepts, theories, strategies and tactics that apply to human behavior. The B.A. program offers the opportunity to pursue a concentration or specialization in the field, such as human development, memory and cognition, animal behavior, clinical psychology, or social psychology. Courses emphasize improvement of an individual's critical-thinking, problem-solving, communication, and leadership skills. The program also requires sufficient background in science and psychology to enable strong students to qualify for demanding graduate programs. Furthermore, B.A. psychology students are encouraged to engage in research and participate in internships and other hands-on activities to enhance their learning experience. Psychological knowledge, techniques, and skills obtained in the B.A. program are applied in many careers and provide background for students entering graduate work in psychology and related areas, as well as the professions of medicine, dentistry, law, and business.

Required Courses

Students must complete the following courses in psychology:

1. One of the following entry-level sequences:

  • P155, P199, and P211 or
  • P106 and P199 or
  • P101, P102, P199, and P211

(Note: P299 may be substituted for P199 in any of the sequences above.)

2. PSY-K 300 or K310 or a substitute approved by the undergraduate advisor.

3. All of the following foundational courses: P304, P335, P346.

4. One advanced course chosen from P337, P349, P402, P405, P406, P407, P409, P410, P411, P413, P416, P417, P423, P425, P430, P434, P437, P438, P440, P441, P442, P443, P444, P446, P447, P448, P449, P452, P453, P455, P456, P457 (if appropriate topic), P459, P460, P461, P464, P466, P467, P469, P470, P475, P478, P495 (approved topics only), BIOL-L 423, BIOL-Z 460, BIOL-Z 463, HPSC-X 424.

5. Two elective courses chosen from P303, P315, P316, P319, P323, P324, P325, P327, P329, P330, P336, P338, P340, P347, P350, P351, P357, P366, P375.

6. One capstone course or appropriate substitute: P404, P421, P424, P426, P429, P433, P435, P436, P472, P473, P474, P480, P490, P493 (approved topics only), P494 (approved topics only), or P499.

7. Mathematics M118 (V118, D116-D117), or M119, or M120, or a 200-level mathematics course, or the equivalent, completed with a C– or higher.

8. A one-semester course in biology completed with a C– or higher.

9. One additional course completed with a C– or higher selected from one of the following departments: Anthropology (B200 Bioanthropology only), Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics (in addition to the course used to satisfy requirement number 7 listed above), and Physics.

Students must also complete the degree requirements for the B.A. degree in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Required Outside Concentration

A single outside concentration is required of all majors in psychology. The outside concentration must consist of 12 credit hours at any level or of three courses above the 100 level, taken in one department. The following disciplines are examples of outside concentrations chosen by psychology majors: animal behavior, anthropology, biology, business, chemistry, cognitive science, computer science, criminal justice, foreign languages, gender studies, history and philosophy of science and medicine, human development and family studies, linguistics, mathematics, philosophy, or sociology. Students can fulfill this requirement by completing an optional minor, offered by many departments. (See individual departments' sections in this Bulletin for specific required courses.)


We strongly recommend that students fulfill the entry-level sequence and all foundational courses (P304, P335, P346) by the end of the second year of studies. Students should consult with one of the undergraduate advisors for additional information on the above requirements. See also the departmental information available at We recommend that students take P199 Career Planning for Psychology Majors in their sophomore year. This course can be used for career guidance and provides students with invaluable information at an appropriate time.