Structure of the Major

Students who select psychology as a major must choose track within the major: the B.A. track, the B.S. General track, or the B.S. Behavioral Neuroscience track. In the B.A. track, slightly fewer hours are required, which may leave space for more electives, a minor, or a second major. The B.S. degree emphasizes the sciences and serves as preparation for academic or research graduate work in certain areas. If one's courses are chosen carefully, a minor or a second major may also be completed. Both the B.S. and B.A. tracks provide an excellent foundation for graduate school in psychology.

Regardless of the track chosen, the course sequence in the psychology major is composed of three tiers, or levels, of study. The first tier consists of lower division requirements which provide a theoretical and methodological foundation in psychology. These include General Psychology, Statistics, and Experimental Psychology.

The second tier is composed of the central content areas of psychology which include Cognitive Psychology, Social Psychology, Child Development, Lifespan Development, Theories of Personality, Abnormal Psychology, Behavioral Neuroscience, Sensation and Perception, Fundamentals of Clinical and Counseling Theories, Learning, Clinical Neurospychology, and other special topics.

The third tier is a capstone experience which is designed to stretch students beyond their previous learning so that they apply their knowledge and skills in examining a specialized area in depth or discovering a new piece of psychological knowledge. This tier consists of a required History and Systems course and Practicum or Research.

Students who expect to pursue graduate school in psychology are strongly encouraged to take Individual Research in Psychology and Capstone Senior Research in Psychology I and II. If graduate school goals involve areas of psychology such as Clinical or Counseling Psychology, Individual Internship in Psychology and Capstone Senior Practicum in Psychology are also recommended. Practicum is also excellent preparation for those intending to begin their careers immediately after graduation.