Undergraduate Psychology Major
Psychology is the scientific study of behavior – how people perceive the world, think and act. In addition to the obvious benefits of an understanding of human behavior, the major in psychology emphasizes the development of critical thinking skills as well as practical experience in developing research ideas, analyzing data and communicating results. The psychology major reflects the richness of the field; courses focus on the primary areas of research and instruction—behavior and cognition, clinical, cognitive, personality and social. Core courses survey the field, statistical and research methodologies, and various sub-disciplines, while more advanced courses provide opportunities to explore specific topics in greater depth. Led by faculty who are active researchers, psychology courses at all levels combine the study of people with a focus on the analysis and interpretation of data.
A bachelor's degree in psychology can lead in a variety of directions; the subject is a useful major for students seeking or continuing careers in management and business, education and teaching, marketing and advertising, human resources, research, and consulting. Further study at the graduate level can prepare students for a career as a clinical psychologist. All students will find that the major provides knowledge about human behavior and methods of research that are valuable in a range of professions.
Graduates will be prepared to:
- Demonstrate familiarity with the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings and historical trends in psychology
- Understand and apply basic research methods in psychology
- Employ critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry and scientific approaches to solve problems related to behavior and mental processes
- Write and communicate effectively
- Exhibit quantitative literacy
- Recognize the diversity of human experience through sociocultural analysis
- Understand the ethics of psychological research and practice
- Bachelor of Philosophy - 45 units
The bachelor of philosophy (BPhil) is conferred by the Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. To earn the BPhil degree, students must complete a total of 45 units (courses), including a writing requirement, two years of study in a foreign language (or demonstration of equivalent foreign language proficiency), distribution requirements, a major and electives. Foreign language proficiency may be demonstrated by completion of a second-year language sequence with a grade of C or better at an accredited college or university. Minors are optional.
- Bachelor of General Studies – 45 units
The bachelor of science in general studies (BSGS) is conferred by the Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. For the BSGS degree, students must complete 45 units, including a writing requirement, distribution requirements, a major and electives. Minors are optional.
- English - 2 units
• ENGLISH 111 or ENGLISH 205
• ENGLISH 113
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- Humanities – 4 units
4 courses from the following areas: art history, classics, comparative literary studies, English literature, foreign languages (up to two units), history, music history, philosophy, religion, and some courses in African American studies, foreign languages with literature, gender studies, performance studies, radio/television/film, Slavic languages and literature and theatre.
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- Social Sciences – 4 units
4 courses from the following areas: anthropology, economics, history, linguistics, political science, sociology, and some courses in African American studies, gender studies, psychology and statistics.
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- Science – 4 units
4 courses from the following areas: astronomy, biological sciences, chemistry, earth and planetary sciences, engineering, geography, information systems, mathematics, physics and some courses in anthropology, psychology, radio/television/film and statistics.
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- Modern Foreign Language (BPhil degree only) – 6 units
6 courses from the following areas: French, Spanish, Chinese
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Psychology Major Requirements
Introduction to Psychology
The purpose of this course is to present an overview of the field of psychology. Among the topics we will cover are: history and themes of the discipline, research methods, biological bases of behavior, perception, memory, learning, motivation, emotion, social influences on behavior, psychological disorders, and a bit on treatment of disorders. Class lectures, readings, and discussions will convey a sense of some of the foundational questions and methods of the science of psychology. Ultimately, the goal of this course is to impart an initial understanding of some fundamentals of human nature and behavior, as well as instill a deeper appreciation for the science of psychology.
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Statistical Methods in Psychology
This course explores techniques for describing the real world with numbers and for making educated guesses about how the world works by manipulating these numbers. Students acquire a knowledge of how to execute statistical tests, but more importantly when and why to execute these tests. Emphasis is placed on understanding and interpreting data as well as on techniques of statistical analysis. A secondary goal of this course is to provide a framework from which to think critically about statistical evidence presented in the media and research reports from journals in psychology.
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Research Methods in Psychology
This course provides an introduction to designing, conducting, evaluating, and presenting psychological research. Among the topics to be covered are: experimental and non-experimental research; statistical analyses; writing psychological reports; ethics in research; and utilizing library resources.
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- 5 300-level psychology courses
- 2 additional 200- or 300-level psychology courses
- 2 related courses selected from 200-level mathematics, 300-level statistics, or any biological sciences, chemistry, information systems or physics courses