Departments & Programs

Psychological and Brain Sciences

Major in Psychology—B.S.

The B.S. Degree in Psychology is designed for students desiring a career in industry or research. In addition to the broad coverage of modern psychology and the strategies and methods by which scientific knowledge is acquired in this field, the program emphasizes broad preparation in sciences and the development of math and computer skills. The B.S. degree program also requires more advanced courses and laboratory work in psychology than the B.A. program. B.S. psychology students are strongly encouraged to develop a concentration or specialization in the field as well as to get actively involved in research, thereby affording them the background and skills to be competitive for demanding graduate programs or employment in such fields as health care, medicine, business, and education. The student who graduates with a B.S. in psychology should be well prepared for graduate training in psychology and related fields, for professional schools, and for jobs (not necessarily in psychology) that use scientific training and quantitative techniques.

Required Courses

Students must complete the following Foundations, Intensive Writing, Foreign Language, Critical Approaches, Public Oral Communication, and Breadth of Inquiry requirements:

  1. Writing, same as B.A. degree (English Composition, Intensive Writing).
  2. Mathematics, two courses from the following or an approved equivalent: M118 (A118, V118, or D116-D117), M119, M120, any 200-level or higher course with an "M" prefix (such as M211).
  3. Foreign language, 3 credit hours at or above the second-year level (or equivalent proficiency) in one language.
  4. One Critical Approaches to the Arts and Sciences course (COLL-C 103, COLL-C 104, or approved equivalents).
  5. One Public Oral Communication course.
  6. Arts and Humanities, three courses (could include COLL-C 103 or equivalent from number 4 above).
  7. Social and Historical Studies, three courses, exclusive of psychology courses (could include COLL-C 104 or equivalent from number 4 above).
  8. Natural and Mathematical Sciences: must include Biology-L 112 and L113 and one of the following combinations:
    1. Two mathematics courses beyond the two fundamental skills courses listed above or
    2. Physics P201-P202 (or P221-P222) or
    3. Chemistry, complete all courses within one set: C101-C121-C102-C122 or C103-C117-C127 or C117-C127-C341 or C117-C127-R340 or
    4. One additional course in biology for majors (such as L111 or L211) and one other course from the mathematics, physics, and chemistry courses listed above. ANAT A215 may substitute for the biology course.

Major Requirements

  1. One of the following entry-level sequences:
    1. P155, P199, and P211 or
    2. P106 and P199 or
    3. P101, P102, P199, and P211

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

  2. K300 or K310, or a substitute approved by the undergraduate advisor.
  3. All of the following foundational courses: P304, P335, P346.
  4. Three advanced courses 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, HPSC-X 424.
  5. Two capstone courses or appropriate substitutes from P404, P421, P424, P426, P429, P433, P435, P436, P472, P473, P474, P480, P490, P493 (approved topics only), P494 (approved topics only), or P499.

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 psychological and brain sciences 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.

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 an optional minor, offered by many departments. (See individual departments' sections in this Bulletin for specific required courses.)