Psychological and Social Sciences, B.A.

Program Code: PSSBA_BA

Entrance to Major

In order to be eligible for entrance to this major, a student must:

  1. attain at least a C (2.00) cumulative grade-point average for all courses taken at the University; and
  2. have third-semester classification.

READ SENATE POLICY 37-30: ENTRANCE TO AND CHANGES IN MAJOR PROGRAMS OF STUDY

Degree Requirements

For the Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychological and Social Sciences, a minimum of 121 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Electives 5-6
Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements 24
Requirements for the Major 46-47

3 of the 24 credits for Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements are included in the Requirements for the Major, General Education, or Electives and 0-12 credits are included in Electives if foreign language proficiency is demonstrated by examination. 

General Education

Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.

The keystone symbol Keystone/General Education Course appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.

Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)

  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits

Knowledge Domains

  • Arts (GA): 6 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 6 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits

Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)

  • Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits

University Degree Requirements

First Year Engagement

All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.

Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.

First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.

Cultures Requirement    

6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements

  • United States Cultures: 3 credits
  • International Cultures: 3 credits

Writing Across the Curriculum

3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.

Total Minimum Credits

A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.

Quality of Work

Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.

Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition

The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.

B.A. Degree Requirements

Foreign Language (0-12 credits): Student must attain 12th credit level of proficiency in one foreign language. See the Placement Policy for Penn State Foreign Language Courses.

B.A. Fields (9 credits): Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Arts, Foreign Languages, Natural Sciences, Quantification (may not be taken in the area of the student's primary major; foreign language credits in this category must be in a second foreign language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the first language)

Other Cultures (0-3 credits): Select 3 credits from approved list. Students may count courses in this category in order to meet other major, minor, elective, or General Education requirements, except for the General Education US/IL requirement.​

Requirements for the Major

A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the major. To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn at least a C grade in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
ANTH 45NCultural Diversity: A Global Perspective Keystone/General Education Course3
PSYCH 100Introductory Psychology Keystone/General Education Course3
PSYCH 200Elementary Statistics in Psychology Keystone/General Education Course4
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
BBH 301WValues and Ethics in Biobehavioral Health Research and Practice3
or HDFS 301 Values and Ethics in Health and Human Development Professions
HDFS 129Introduction to Human Development and Family Studies Keystone/General Education Course3
or PSYCH 212 Introduction to Developmental Psychology Keystone/General Education Course
HDFS 312WEmpirical Inquiry in Human Development3-4
or PSYCH 301W Basic Research Methods in Psychology
SOC 1Introductory Sociology Keystone/General Education Course3
or SOC 5 Social Problems Keystone/General Education Course
Select 3 credits of the following:3
Internship
Internship: Advanced Experience
Internship
Internship
Supporting Courses and Related Areas 1
Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better
Select 6-15 credits of the following HDFS and PSYCH courses:6-15
Infant and Child Development Keystone/General Education Course
Adolescent Development Keystone/General Education Course
Adult Development and Aging Keystone/General Education Course
Sexual Identity over the Life Span
Family Development
Developmental Problems in Childhood and Adolescence
Developmental Transition to Adulthood
Development Throughout Adulthood
HDFS 468
Introduction to Social Psychology Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Industrial-Organizational Psychology Keystone/General Education Course
Advanced Research Methods in Psychology
Adolescence
Topics in Developmental Psychology
Development Throughout Adulthood
Advanced Social Psychology
Human Sexuality
Social Psychology of Interpersonal/Intergroup Relationships
Applied Social Psychology
Language and Thought
Personality Theory
Health Psychology
Abnormal Psychology
Clinical Neuropsychology
The Psychology of Gender
Introduction to Clinical Psychology
Work Attitudes and Motivation
Leadership in Work Settings
**SPECIAL TOPICS**
Special Topics
Select 6-15 credits of the following SOC and ANTH courses:6-15
World Archaeology Keystone/General Education Course
North American Archaeology Keystone/General Education Course
Humans as Primates Keystone/General Education Course
Biocultural Evolution
Indigenous North America Keystone/General Education Course
Special Topics
Foreign Studies
Sex and Evolution Keystone/General Education Course
Intellectual Background of Archaeology
Anthropology Museum Studies
Internship
Ethnography of the United States
Introductory Social Psychology Keystone/General Education Course
Sociology of the Family Keystone/General Education Course
Sociology of Aging
Racism and Sexism Keystone/General Education Course
Sociological Perspectives
Sociology of Gender Keystone/General Education Course
Sociology of Health
Advanced Social Psychology
Sociological Theory
Sociology of Deviance
Racial and Ethnic Inequality in America
Sociology of Education
Social Stratification
Family in Cross-Cultural Perspective
Work and Occupations
Gender, Occupations, and Professions
Qualitative Research Methods in Sociology
Special Topics
Select 0-9 credits of the following other social sciences courses:0-9
Diversity and Health
Gender and Biobehavioral Health
Organizational Communication Keystone/General Education Course
Rhetoric of Film and Television
Gender Roles in Communication
Group Procedures in Guidance and Counseling
The Mass Media and Society Keystone/General Education Course
COMM 120
Cultural Aspects of the Mass Media
Learning and Instruction Keystone/General Education Course
The Psychology of Gender

Program Learning Objectives

  1. Knowledge and Application
    1. Describe key psychological and sociological concepts and theories.
    2. Apply concepts and theories to empirical and real life situations.
  2. Effective Communication (Writing and Speaking)
    1. Communicate social scientific knowledge orally in a clear and accurate manner.
    2. Communicate social scientific knowledge in writing in a clear and accurate manner.
  3. Critical Thinking and Scientific Reasoning
    1. Understand and utilize the scientific method and basic research methods.
    2. Demonstrate critical thinking in the analysis and evaluation of information to distinguish the scientific from the nonscientific.
  4. Ethics and Diversity
    1. Evidence knowledge of and appreciation for cultural diversity and relativity in human experience, and for the complexity of human behavior and interactions.
    2. Acquire an ethical lens that applies to concrete professional situations and broader issues in society and culture.

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee’s unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.

READ SENATE POLICY 32-00: ADVISING POLICY

Abington

Michael Bernstein
Associate Professor of Psychology
1600 Woodland Road
Abington, PA 19001
215-881-7479
mjb70@psu.edu

Suggested Academic Plan

The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2020-21 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contain suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).

Psychological and Social Sciences, B.A. at Abington Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ENGL 15 or 30H3PSYCH 212 or HDFS 129* 3
PSYCH 100* 3World Language level 24
World Language level 14MATH 21 (Based on Math Placement Test)3
General Education Course3General Education Course3
General Education Course3General Education Course3
 16 16
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
PSYCH 200* 4ANTH 45N* † 3
World Language level 34PSYCH 301W*4
General Education Course3ENGL 202A3
CAS 100A or 100B3SOC 1 or 5*3
 General Education Course3
 14 16
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
HDFS 301*3Elective (US;IL)3
Major Selection 400 level* 13Major Selection any level* 13
General Education Course3Major selection any level* 13
General Education Course3Bachelor of Arts Requirement3
General Education Course (GHW)3Humanities (US;IL)3
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
Major Selection 400 level* 13XXX 495 Internship* 13
Major Selection 400 level* 13Major Selection 400 level* 13
Bachelor of Arts Requirement3Major Selection 400 level* 13
Elective (OC)3Bachelor of Arts Requirement3
General Education3Elective3
 15 15
Total Credits 122

Bachelor of Arts Requirements:

Bachelor of Arts students must take 9 credits in Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Fields (Humanities; Social and Behavioral Sciences; Arts; World Languages [2nd language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the 1st]; Natural Sciences; Quantification). The B.A. Fields courses may not be taken in the area of the student’s primary major. See your adviser and the Degree Requirements section of this Bulletin.

Bachelor of Arts students must take 3 credits in Other Cultures.
See your adviser and the full list of courses approved as Other Cultures courses.

Advising Notes

PSYCH and/or HDFS courses for Major Requirements:

PSYCH 221, 281, 407, 412, 415, 416, 420, 422, 423, 424, 426, 438, 441, 470, 478, 479, 481, 484, 485, 496B, 497, HD FS 229, 239, 249, 250, 315, 432, 433, 445, 468 

SOC and/or ANTH courses for Major Requirements: 

SOC 003, 030, 035, 103, 109, 110, 309, 403, 405, 406, 409, 416, 429, 430, 455, 456, 462, 471, 497, ANTH 002, 011, 022, 040, 146, 197, 199, 216, 321W, 380, 395, 448, 464 

Other Social Sciences courses for Major Requirements: 

BBH 302, 315, CAS 352, 415, 455, CN ED 404, 407, EDPSY 014, COMM 100N, 120, 411, WMNST 471 

Courses cross-listed with the above may be petitioned to meet the 400-level requirement. 

Career Paths

A bachelor of arts degree in Psychological and Social Sciences is designed to prepare students for a variety of career fields including human resources, business administration, mental health, and social work or continued study in graduate and professional schools.. The Penn State Abington Center for Career & Professional Development supports and serves students in all areas related to career development and preparation including career counseling and coaching, internships, resume creation, interview training, and job search strategies.

Careers

With a bachelor of arts degree in Psychological & Social Sciences, you will be prepared for careers in child and geriatric care; counseling, clinical, and social work; education; human resources; marketing/marketing research; occupational therapy; and research.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT POTENTIAL CAREER OPTIONS FOR GRADUATES OF THE PSYCHOLOGICAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES PROGRAM

Opportunities for Graduate Studies

A baccalaureate degree in Psychological and Social Sciences prepares students to earn graduate degrees in a variety of fields or obtain admission to MBA programs and law schools, among other post-graduate opportunities.

Contact

Abington

DIVISION OF SOCIAL SCIENCES
1600 Woodland Road
Abington, PA 19001
215-881-7479
mjb70@psu.edu

http://abington.psu.edu/psychological-and-social-sciences