Psychology, B.S. (Altoona)

Program Code: PSCBS_BS

Program Description

The Psychology major will combine the knowledge, skills, and values of psychology with a liberal arts foundation. Students should:

  • develop a knowledge base consisting of concepts, theory, empirical findings, and trends within psychology;
  • understand and apply basic research methods in psychology;
  • use critical thinking and the scientific approach to solve problems related to behavior and mental processes;
  • apply psychological principles to personal and social issues;
  • and be able to understand the gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, culture, and class issues in psychological theory, research, and practice.

Students should also develop information and computer competence, communication skills, and develop realistic ideas about how to implement their psychology education in occupational pursuits in a variety of settings. The major may lead to either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. The B.A. degree incorporates a broad exposure to the many facets of the field of psychology, in addition to the B.A. requirements. The B.S. degree provides the same exposure to the field of psychology and adds options in Science and Business to prepare students for more specific career directions. Students in both degree programs may also prepare for graduate school; research experience with faculty members is encouraged for such students.

What is Psychology?

Psychology is the scientific study of thought, behavior, and experience. Many people associate psychology with psychological therapy and the practice of clinical psychology. There are also many other important areas of scientific psychology, such as cognitive, developmental, industrial/organizational, and social psychology. What these subfields of psychology have in common is the use of the scientific method to understand human behavior and apply that understanding to the development of theory and practice. Psychologists are increasingly making use of neuroscience methods and theories to understand psychological phenomena. As a profession, psychology is related to fields such as health, education, marketing, human resources, social work, and more. The principles of psychology are relevant to almost all areas of human endeavor, and the career paths of psychology students reflect this wealth of possibilities.

You Might Like This Program If...

You are interested in people and in learning to use science to better understand them. As a major, you’ll have opportunities to do research with faculty and to work in career-relevant settings.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT PSYCHOLOGY

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 Science degree in Psychology, a minimum of 124 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Electives 14-18
Requirements for the Major 65

0-4 of the 45 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes 0-4 credits of General Education GQ courses.

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.

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.

Common Requirements for the Major (All Options)

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
PSYCH 100Introductory Psychology Keystone/General Education Course3
PSYCH 301WBasic Research Methods in Psychology4
Additional Courses 1
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
PSYCH 200Elementary Statistics in Psychology Keystone/General Education Course4
or STAT 200 Elementary Statistics Keystone/General Education Course
Select 18 credits of the following, with a minimum of 3 credits from each of the following six categories:18
Learning and Cognition
Introduction to Cognitive Psychology Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Psychology of Learning Keystone/General Education Course
Animal Minds
Language and Thought
L1 Acquisition
Learning and Memory
Advanced Cognitive Psychology
Psychology of Language
Visual Cognition
PSYCH 459
Advanced Conditioning and Learning
Social and Personality Psychology
Introduction to Social Psychology Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to the Psychology of Gender Keystone/General Education Course
Cross-Cultural Psychology Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Personality Psychology Keystone/General Education Course
Psychology and a Sustainable World
Advanced Social Psychology
Self and Social Judgment
Social Psychology of Interpersonal/Intergroup Relationships
Applied Social Psychology
Multicultural Psychology in America
Personality Theory
The Psychology of Gender
Biological Bases of Behavior
Introduction to Psychology of Perception Keystone/General Education Course
Neurological Bases of Human Behavior
Evolutionary Psychology
Health Psychology
Comparative Psychology
Physiological Psychology
Behavior Genetics
Psychology of Fear and Stress
Clinical Neuropsychology
Developmental Psychology
Introduction to Developmental Psychology Keystone/General Education Course
Child Development
Adolescence
Cognitive Development
Social and Personality Development
Topics in Developmental Psychology
Development Throughout Adulthood
Psychological Intervention in Childhood
Applied and Clinical Psychology
Introduction to Well-being and Positive Psychology Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to the Psychology of Human Factors Engineering Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Abnormal Psychology
Introduction to Industrial-Organizational Psychology Keystone/General Education Course
Psychology of the Differently-Abled
Principles of Measurement
Program Evaluation
Treatment and Education in Developmental Disabilities
Engineering Psychology
Forensic Psychology
Abnormal Psychology
Psychology of Adjustment and Social Relationships
Behavior Modification
Child Psychopathology
Mental Health Practicum with Children
Introduction to Clinical Psychology
Selection and Assessment in Organizations
Work Attitudes and Motivation
Leadership in Work Settings
Capstone Experience
History and Systems of Psychology
Senior Seminar in Psychology
Senior Thesis
Research Projects
Internship
Independent Studies
Select 12 credits of additional Psychology courses from any offered for a total of 30 credits of Psychology courses beyond PSYCH 100 and PSYCH 301W12
Requirements for the Option
Requirements for the Option: Require a grade of C or better
Select an option24

Requirements for the Option

Science Option (24 credits)

Available at the following campuses: Altoona, Beaver, Berks, Brandywine, Fayette, Greater Allegheny, Hazleton, Lehigh Valley, Mont Alto, New Kensington, Schuylkill, Scranton, York

Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select 15 credits of the following:15
Introductory Biological Anthropology Keystone/General Education Course
Humans as Primates Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Biobehavioral Health Keystone/General Education Course
Any BIOL course
Any CHEM course
Any MICRB course
Any PHYS course
Supporting Courses
Supporting Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select 6 credits in natural sciences/quantification from department list 6
Select 3 credits in social and behavioral sciences from department list3
Business Option (24 credits)

Available at the following campuses: Altoona, Beaver, Berks, Brandywine, Fayette, Greater Allegheny, Hazleton, Lehigh Valley, Mont Alto, New Kensington, Schuylkill, Scranton, York

Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select 15 credits of the following:15
Any ACCTG course
Introduction to Business Keystone/General Education Course
Legal Environment of Business
and Social and Ethical Environment of Business
Social, Legal, and Ethical Environment of Business
Any ECON course
Any FIN course
Any HPA course
Any IB course
Any MGMT course
Any MKTG course
Any SCM course except SCM 200
Supporting Courses
Supporting Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select 6 credits in natural sciences/quantification from department list 16
Select 3 credits in social and behavioral sciences from department list3

Program Learning Objectives

  • Knowledge Base in Psychology: Students should demonstrate fundamental knowledge and comprehension of the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, historical trends, and empirical findings to discuss how psychological principles apply to behavioral problems. Students completing Foundation courses should demonstrate breadth of their knowledge and application of psychological ideas to simple problems; students completing a baccalaureate degree should show depth in their knowledge and application of psychological concepts and frameworks to problems of greater complexity.
    • Describe key concepts, principles, and overarching themes in psychology
    • Develop a working knowledge of psychology's content domains
    • Describe applications of psychology
  • Scientific Inquiry and Critical Thinking: The skills in this domain involve the development of scientific reasoning and problem solving, including effective research methods. Students completing Foundation courses should learn basic skills and concepts in interpreting behavior, studying research, and applying research design principles to drawing conclusions about psychological phenomena; students completing a baccalaureate degree should focus on theory use as well as designing and executing research plans.
    • Use scientific reasoning to interpret psychological phenomena
    • Demonstrate psychology information literacy
    • Engage in innovative and integrative thinking and problem solving
    • Interpret, design, and conduct basic psychological research
    • Incorporate sociocultural factors in scientific inquiry
  • Ethical and Social Responsibility in a Diverse World: The skills in this domain involve the development of ethically and socially responsible behaviors for professional and personal settings in a landscape that involves increasing diversity. Students completing Foundation courses should become familiar with the formal regulations that govern professional ethics in psychology and begin to embrace the values that will contribute to positive outcomes in work settings and in building a society responsive to multicultural and global concerns. Students completing a baccalaureate degree should have more direct opportunities to demonstrate adherence to professional values that will help them optimize their contributions and work effectively, even with those who don't share their heritage and traditions. This domain also promotes the adoption of personal and professional values that can strengthen community relationships and contributions.
    • Apply ethical standards to evaluate psychological science and practice
    • Build and enhance interpersonal relationships
    • Adopt values that build community at local, national, and global levels
  • Communication: Students should demonstrate competence in writing, oral, and interpersonal communication skills. Students completing Foundation courses should write a cogent scientific argument, present information using a scientific approach, engage in discussion of psychological concepts, explain the ideas of others, and express their own ideas with clarity. Students completing a baccalaureate degree should produce a research study or other psychological project; explain scientific results, and present information to a professional audience. They should also develop flexible interpersonal approaches that optimize information exchange and relationship development.
    • Demonstrate effective writing for different purposes
    • Exhibit effective presentation skills for different purposes
    • Interact effectively with others
  • Professional Development: The emphasis in this goal is on application of psychology-specific content and skills, effective self-reflection, project-management skills, teamwork skills, and career preparation. Foundation outcomes concentrate on the development of work habits and ethics to succeed in academic settings. The skills in this goal at the Baccalaureate level refer to abilities that sharpen student readiness for post-baccalaureate employment, graduate school, or professional school. These skills can be developed and refined both in traditional academic settings and extracurricular involvement. In addition, career professionals can be enlisted to support occupational planning and pursuit. This emerging emphasis should not be construed as obligating psychology programs to obtain employment for their graduates, but instead encourages programs to optimize the competitiveness of their graduates for securing places in the workforce.
    • Apply psychological content and skills to career goals
    • Exhibit self-efficacy and self-regulation
    • Refine project-management skills
    • Enhance teamwork capacity
    • Develop meaningful professional direction for life after graduation

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

Altoona

Brad Pinter
Associate Professor of Psychology, Department Chair
Smith Building C128A
3000 Ivyside Park
Altoona, PA 16601
814-949-5507
tbp1@psu.edu

Beaver

Kevin Bennett
Assistant Teaching Professor of Psychology
100 University Drive
Monaca, PA 15061
724-773-3904
klb48@psu.edu

Berks

Erin Johnson, Ph.D.
Program Chair, Associate Teaching Professor
P.O. Box 7009, Tulpehocken Road
137 Franco Building
Reading PA 19610
610-396-6143
eem139@psu.edu

Brandywine

Joshua Marquit
Assistant Teaching Professor Psychology
25 Yearsley Mill Road
Media, PA 19063
610-892-1409
jdm53@psu.edu

Fayette

Elaine Barry
Associate Professor
2201 University Drive
Lemont Furnace, PA 15456
724-430-4284
esb12@psu.edu

Greater Allegheny

Advising Office
Academic Affairs

101 Frable Building
4000 University Drive
McKeesport, PA 15132
412-675-9140
GA-Academics@lists.psu.edu

Hazleton

Lisa Goguen
Associate Professor of Psychology
Memorial 103
Hazleton, PA 18202
570-450-3023
lms42@psu.edu

Lehigh Valley

Kevin Kelley
Psychology Program Coordinator
2809 Saucon Valley Road
Center Valley, PA 18034
610-285-5062
kjk13@psu.edu

Mont Alto

Robin Yaure
Associate HDFS Professor and Program Coordinator of HDFS & Psychology
112 Weistling Hall
Mont Alto, PA 17237
717-749-6210
r2y@psu.edu

New Kensington

Rick Harnish
Professor, Psychology
Engineering 122 A
3550 Seventh Street Road
New Kensington, PA 15068
724-334-6735
rjh27@psu.edu

Schuylkill

Cory Scherer
Interim Assistant Director of Academic Affairs/Psychology Program Coordinator
A201C 200 University Drive
Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972
570-385-6066
crs15@psu.edu

Scranton

Renae McNair
Assistant Teaching Professor
Dawson 203
Dunmore, PA 18512
570-963-2715
trw115@psu.edu

York

Mark A. Casteel
Professor of Psychology
210 Grumbacher Building (GISTC)
1031 Edgecomb Ave.
York, PA 17403
717-771-4028
mac13@psu.edu

Suggested Academic Plan

The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2021-22 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).

Science Option: Psychology, B.S. at Altoona 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
PSYCH 100†*3PSYCH 200-Level- Category Selection*23
ENGL 15 or 30H3CAS 1003
PSU 31General Education Course3
General Education Course3Science Option Selection Course3
General Education Course3General Education Course (GQ)3
Elective3 
 16 15
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
PSYCH 200-Level- Category Selection*23PSYCH 200-level Course3
STAT 200 (GQ)4PSYCH 301W4
General Education Course3General Education Course 3
Science Option Selection *13General Education Course3
B.S. Option Course (Social Science)3B.S. Option Course (Natural Sciences; Quantification)3
 16 16
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
PSYCH 200-level Course3PSYCH 200-level Course3
PSYCH 400-level Course3PSYCH 400-level Course3
General Education Course3General Education Course3
General Education Course3Science Option Course3
ENGL 202A3General Education Course3
 Elective3
 15 18
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
PSYCH 400-level Course*23PSYCH Capstone3
Science Option Course*3PSYCH 400-Level Course*23
B.S. Option Course (Natural Sciences; Quantification)3Science Option Course3
Elective3Elective3
Elective3Elective3
 15 15
Total Credits 126

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

Business Option: Psychology, B.S. at Altoona 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
PSYCH 100 (GS)†*3PSYCH 200-level Course3
ENGL 15, 30H, or ESL 153CAS 1003
General Education Course 3General Education Course (GQ)3
General Education Course 3General Education Course 3
Elective 3General Education Course 3
 15 15
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
PSYCH 200-level Course3PSYCH 200-level Course3
STAT 200 (GQ)4PSYCH 301W*4
General Education Course 3General Education Course 3
Business Option Selection Course3General Education Course 3
B.S. Option Course (Social Science)3B.S. Option Course (Natural Sciences; Quantification)3
 16 16
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
PSYCH 200-level Course*23PSYCH 200-level Course3
PSYCH 400-level Course*23PSYCH 400-level Course*23
General Education Course3General Education Course3
General Education Course3Business Option Selection Course3
ENGL 202A3General Education Course3
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
PSYCH 400-level Course3PSYCH Capstone3
Business Option Selection Course3PSYCH 400-level Course3
B.S. Option Course (Natural Sciences; Quantification)3Business Option Selection Course3
Elective3Elective3
Elective3Elective 3
 15 15
Total Credits 122

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

Career Paths

Graduates of our program enter the workforce or pursue additional education in a variety of programs, including both Master’s and PhD programs in experimental, counseling, school, and clinical psychology.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT POTENTIAL CAREER OPTIONS FOR GRADUATES OF THE PSYCHOLOGY PROGRAM

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OPPORTUNITIES FOR GRADUATE STUDIES

Professional Resources

Contact

Altoona

DIVISION OF EDUCATION, HUMAN DEVELOPMENT, AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
Elm Building 103
3000 Ivyside Park
Altoona, PA 16601
818-949-5756
alg177@psu.edu

http://altoona.psu.edu/academics/bachelors-degrees/psychology/request-information

Beaver

100 University Drive
Monaca, PA 15061
724-773-3904
klb48@psu.edu

http://beaver.psu.edu/psychology

Berks

P.O. Box 7009, Tulpehocken Road
137 Franco Building
Reading PA 19610
610-396-6143
eem139@psu.edu

https://berks.psu.edu/academics/babs-psychology

Brandywine

25 Yearsley Mill Road
Media, PA 19063
610-892-1409
jdm53@psu.edu

http://brandywine.psu.edu/psychology

Fayette

2201 University Drive
Lemont Furnace, PA 15456
724-430-4284
esb12@psu.edu

http://fayette.psu.edu/psychology

Greater Allegheny

101 Frable Building
4000 University Drive
McKeesport, PA 15132
412-675-9140
GA-Academics@lists.psu.edu

http://greaterallegheny.psu.edu/psychology-ba-or-bs

Hazleton

Memorial 103
Hazleton, PA 18202
570-450-3023
lms42@psu.edu

http://hazleton.psu.edu/psychology-degrees

Lehigh Valley

2809 Saucon Valley Road
Center Valley, PA 18034
610-285-5062
kjk13@psu.edu

https://lehighvalley.psu.edu/academics/degrees/psychology

Mont Alto

112 Wiestling Hall
Mont Alto, PA 17237
717-749-6210
r2y@psu.edu

https://montalto.psu.edu/academics/bachelors/psychology-degree

New Kensington

3550 Seventh Street Rd.
New Kensington, PA 15068
724-334-6735
rjh27@psu.edu

https://newkensington.psu.edu/ba-degree-information

Schuylkill

ACADEMIC AFFAIRS
A201C 200 University Drive
Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972
570-385-6066
crs15@psu.edu

http://www.schuylkill.psu.edu/psychology

Scranton

113 Dawson Building
Dunmore, PA 18512
570-963-2715
trw115@psu.edu

http://worthingtonscranton.psu.edu/psychology

York

210 Grumbacher Building (GISTC)
1031 Edgecomb Ave.
York, PA 17403
717-771-4028
mac13@psu.edu

https://york.psu.edu/academics/baccalaureate/psychology