Major Requirements

The psychology major leads to a BA degree and satisfies a social science divisional requirement.

Below is information on:

Pre-Major Requirements

PSYC 101 or the equivalent (which may include a grade of B- or higher in PSYC 101A) must be completed before the student is accepted into the major. 

Top ↑

Major Requirements

One Statistics Course

One of the following:

  • STAT 211: Statistical Literacy & Applied Methodology (no longer offered)
  • STAT 180: Introduction to Applied Statistical Methodology (formerly STAT 212: Applied Statistics I)
  • STAT 190: Introduction to Statistical Methodology (formerly STAT 213: Elements of Probability & Mathematical Statistics)
  • BIOL 214/STAT 214: Biostatistics (no longer offered)
  • STAT 203: Introduction to Mathematical Statistics

Note: This course should be taken by the end of the sophomore year.

Two Natural Science Core Courses

Both of the following:

  • BCSC/PSYC 110: Neural Foundations of Behavior
  • BCSC/PSYC 111: Foundations of Cognitive Science

Two Social Science Core Courses

Two of the following:

  • PSYC 161: Social Psychology and Individual Differences
  • PSYC 171: Social and Emotional Development or PSYC 170: Child Development
    • Note: Students may not receive credit for both PSYC 170 and PSYC 171
  • PSYC 181: Theories of Personality and Psychotherapy

Five Elective Courses

Students must complete 20 elective credits in PSYC. The most common way to reach 20 credits is by taking five 4-credit elective courses in PSYC. Courses bearing more or less than four credits (e.g., 2- or 6-credit courses) are acceptable so long as the total number of elective credits is at least 20. No more than two courses can be independent study courses (numbered 39X).

Top ↑

Transfer Courses

Students can transfer up to two psychology courses in addition to an Introduction to Psychology course and an acceptable statistics course. Transfer courses need to meet the College’s rules for acceptability.
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.

To earn transfer credit, an introductory course must be taught at a college by regular college faculty. Courses taught in high school will not be granted transfer credit.

Top ↑

AP Credit for Introduction to Psychology

A score of 4 or 5 on the AP psychology test will result in a four-credit equivalent of PSYC 101 and waiving the requirement for Introduction to Psychology.

Additionally, a score of 6 or better on the higher-level IB psychology exam will result in a four-credit equivalent of PSYC 101 and waiving the requirement for Introduction to Psychology.

A score of 4 or 5 on the AP statistics test will result in a four-credit equivalent of STAT 212. This will fulfill the statistics requirement for the psychology major.

Transfer of AP and IB credit can be accomplished by contacting CCAS.

Top ↑

Upper-Level Writing Requirements

Students are required to take two of the psychology courses designated as upper-level writing courses, and at least one of these courses is to be at or above the 200 level. Eligible courses are the .5 tagalong or the 2-credit WRTG 274/PSYC 274W course. Two courses are still required if you take the 2 credit writing course. 

Writing courses 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 Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

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. Assignments vary in length from 150-word abstracts to longer documents.
  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.

Psychology majors can 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.

Top ↑