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Undergraduate Program: BA

Descriptions of Course Categories

Methods of inquiry and Analysis

Psychology majors should achieve skills in critical thinking and reasoning. These skills come, in part, from working with quantitative information in statistics and from understanding the rationale and methods of research design and their strengths and limitations. Psychology majors should be able to use library resources to gather information to support an argument, to design a study, to investigate a hypothesis relevant to the argument, and to present the argument and data in the language of the discipline using the elements and style of the APA Publication Manual. A student will meet this standard by earning grades of C or better in the two courses (PSY 200 and PSY 301) in this category. However, an average of C or better is required for the two courses, if your catalogue year is prior to Fall 2001.

Topics Areas

Psychology majors should achieve a more in-depth knowledge of several of the content areas within psychology. They should be familiar with the facts, theories, and questions of historical and current interest within these content areas. They should be able to understand the discourse of the discipline used in textbooks and scientific journals. Students should read current texts and original sources in each of these courses. They should be able to present written arguments in support of their chosen positions on controversial topics within the content areas. A student will meet this standard by earning an average grade of C or better in the best three courses passed in this category.

Applied Knowledge

Psychology majors should achieve some knowledge of the application of psychological theory, facts, and methods to the practical needs of individuals, organizations, and society. Students should be able to monitor their own behavior; to be sensitive to differences in treatment of people of differing backgrounds, race, ethnicity, culture, age, class, lifestyle, and disability status. A student will meet this standard by earning a grade of C or better in one course in this category.

Experiential Practica and Internships

Psychology majors should achieve some experience in applying psychology. Depending on their areas of interest, students should participate in one or more of the basic and applied research opportunities or service-delivery opportunities available through the department's course offerings. Students should gain experience in the application of principles learned in the classroom to the point where they will be recognized by potential employers/graduate programs as having prior experience in their areas of interest. A student will meet this standard by earning a grade of C or better or S in one course in this category.


Psychology majors will have the opportunity to take additional, elective psychology courses within their major to add to or to expand their knowledge and experience in the areas of Intermediate Perspective, Topic Areas, Applied Knowledge, and Practica/Internships. These courses will allow them to become better educated in the areas that they see as important to their individual objectives and interests. A student will meet this standard by taking enough psychology courses to have a minimum total of 32 earned credits in psychology (only 31 credits, if the psychology major was declared prior to Fall 2012). Pass/fail and satisfactory/unsatisfactory courses do not count toward the 31 or 32 credit minimum.