Psychology, B.A. (Behrend)

Program Code: PSHBA_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 Psychology, a minimum of 120 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Electives 12
Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements 24
Requirements for the Major 43

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.

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.

Per Senate Policy 83.80.5, the college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of coursework in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned.

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

Each student must earn a grade of C or better for prescribed and additional courses in the major and for each 300- and 400-level course in the major field.

To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn a grade of C or better 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
PSYCH 100Introductory Psychology Keystone/General Education Course3
PSYCH 301WBasic Research Methods in Psychology4
PSYCH 406WAdvanced Research Projects in Psychology4
PSYCH 489Professional Development in Psychology1
Additional Courses
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 3 credits in each of the following five content categories:15
1. Biological Bases of Behavior
Introduction to Psychology of Perception Keystone/General Education Course
Neurological Bases of Human Behavior
Introduction to Psychology of Learning Keystone/General Education Course
Evolutionary Psychology
Psychology of Human Emotion
History and Systems of Psychology
Health Psychology
Comparative Psychology
Advanced Conditioning and Learning
Physiological Psychology
Behavior Genetics
Psychology of Fear and Stress
Clinical Neuropsychology
2. Social/Developmental
Introduction to Developmental Psychology Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Social Psychology Keystone/General Education Course
Adolescence
Cognitive Development
Social and Personality Development (may be counted in either Social/Developmental or Clinical/Personality, but not both)
Topics in Developmental Psychology
Development Throughout Adulthood
Advanced Social Psychology
Self and Social Judgment
Social Psychology of Interpersonal/Intergroup Relationships
Applied Social Psychology
3. Cognitive/Learning
Introduction to Psychology of Perception Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Cognitive Psychology Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Psychology of Learning Keystone/General Education Course
Animal Minds
Cognitive Development
Language and Thought
L1 Acquisition
History and Systems of Psychology
Learning and Memory
Advanced Cognitive Psychology
Advanced Conditioning and Learning
4. Clinical/Applied
Learning and Instruction Keystone/General Education Course
Human Development and Family Studies Interventions
Family Development
Introduction to Personality Psychology Keystone/General Education Course
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
Social and Personality Development (may be counted in either Social/Developmental or Clinical/Personality, but not both)
Psychology and a Sustainable World
Personality Theory
Treatment and Education in Developmental Disabilities
Engineering Psychology
Forensic Psychology
Learning and Memory
Advanced Cognitive Psychology
Abnormal Psychology
Psychology of Adjustment and Social Relationships
Behavior Modification
Psychological Intervention in Childhood
Child Psychopathology
Mental Health Practicum with Children
Introduction to Clinical Psychology
Selection and Assessment in Organizations
Work Attitudes and Motivation
Leadership in Work Settings
5. Diversity
Introduction to Psychologies of Religion Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to the Psychology of Gender Keystone/General Education Course
Cross-Cultural Psychology Keystone/General Education Course
Human Sexuality
Multicultural Psychology in America
The Psychology of Gender
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Select 3 credits of a structured practicum, internship or an approved research experience (PSYCH 294, PSYCH 296, PSYCH 494, PSYCH 495, or PSYCH 496 may be applied to this requirement)3
Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better
Select 9 credits of 400-level psychology courses from any combination of categories in consultation with adviser (except PSYCH 494, PSYCH 495, PSYCH 496)9

Program Learning Objectives

Content Knowledge:

  1. Students will demonstrate knowledge of major psychological concepts, theories, and empirical findings
  2. Students will demonstrate the ability to apply psychological concepts and theories to research and real life situations.

Thinking Skills:

  1. Students will use critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry, and the scientific approach to solve problems related to behavior and mental processes.
  2. Students will demonstrate critical thinking in the analysis, evaluation, and interpretation of information in the scientific literature to distinguish the scientific literature from other sources.

Communication Skills:

  1. Students will communicate effectively (in writing and/or orally) the results of a project or internship.
  2. Students will demonstrate the ability to effectively extract central points and summarize psychological research literature and to write in the format of psychological research.

Research Skills:

  1. Students will differentiate among the research methods used in psychology and apply the designs in evaluation or development of a research study.
  2. Students will demonstrate the ability to analyze and interpret quantitative psychological data using statistics, graphs, and data tables.
  3. Students will use technology for studying concepts and conducting research.

Diversity and Ethical Considerations:

  1. Students will show evidence of knowledge and appreciation for cultural diversity and relativity in human experience and for the complexity of human behavior and interactions.
  2. Students will demonstrate knowledge, and the application of, basic principles of scientific and professional ethics.
  3. Students will demonstrate sensitivity to ethical concerns and professionalism (including cultural considerations) in settings where applications of psychology and/or psychological research occur.

Career-related Skills:

  1. Students will demonstrate knowledge of professional options and required training for careers in the major subfields of psychology.
  2. Students will demonstrate the ability to identify personally-relevant career options to implement their psychological knowledge, skills, and values in occupational pursuits in a variety of settings.

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

Erie

Melanie Hetzel-Riggin, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology
108 Turnbull
Erie, PA 16563
814-898-6949
mdh33@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).

Psychology, B.A. at Erie 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
First Year Seminar1General Education3
ENGL 15 or 30H†‡3Psychology Area Selection3
PSYCH 100*3General Education3
General Education3General Education3
General Education1.5World Language (Level Two)4
World Langauage (Level One)4 
 15.5 16
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
Psychology Area Selection3Psychology Area Selection3
Psychology Area Selection3PSYCH 2004
CAS 1003General Education3
General Education3General Education3
World Language (Level Three)4ENGL 202A3
 16 16
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
PSYCH 301W*4PSYCH 406W*4
Psychology Area Selection3400-level Psychology selection3
Other Cultures3BA Knowledge Domain3
General Education3General Education3
400-level Psychology selection3PSYCH 489*1
 16 14
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
400-level Psychology selection3PSYCH 494 or 4953
General Education3Electives3
BA Knowledge Domain3Electives1
Electives3BA Knowledge Domain3
General Education1.5General Education3
 13.5 13
Total Credits 120

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.

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.

Additional Notes

*Choose from the following categories of courses:

Biological Bases of Behavior (chooses from PSYCH 253, 260, 261, 269, 425, 439, 441, 461, 462, 464, 475, 478)

Social/Developmental (choose from PSYCH 212,221,412,413,414,415,416,420,421,423,424)

Cognitive/Learning (choose from PSYCH 253, 256,261,268,413,426, 427,439,452,453,456,461)

Clinical/Applied (choose from EDPSY 014, HDFS 311, 315, PSYCH 238, 244, 270, 281, 370, 404, 408, 414, 419, 438, 443, 470, 471, 476, 477, 481, 481, 484, 485)

Diversity (choose from PSYCH 230,231, 232, 422, 432, 479)

Academic advising notes: The course series listed above is only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum.  The number of electives required varies per student.  Please be sure to consult with an adviser about your intended plan.

Career Paths

The B.A. in Psychology is structured within a liberal arts framework that requires study of a foreign language and offers coursework options. If you are interested in criminology and law, you can select courses in political sciences and sociology. Students interested in working with children and adolescents take courses in human development, family studies, counseling, trauma studies, and education. All psychology students design and conduct a capstone research project and may participate in outreach and mentoring through Penn State Behrend’s Susan Hirt Hagen Center for Community Outreach, Research, and Evaluation, its Prevention of Aggression Resource Center, and its Early Learning Center.

Careers

Penn State Behrend’s B.A. in Psychology degree provides you with a strong skill set that is particularly valued in the mental health and social services fields, education, social work, medicine, business, law, and basic and applied research. Recent graduates are working as elementary and special education teachers, school counselors, clinical psychologists, lawyers, research associates, developmental psychologists, industrial organizational psychologists, human resource managers, data analysts, counselors, caseworkers, and therapeutic support staff.

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

Opportunities for Graduate Studies

Psychology graduates have earned master’s and doctoral degrees in fields such as psychology, business, human factors, law, education, medicine, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. Some of the schools they have attended include Penn State, Washington University, Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University, University of California, Los Angeles, University of Pittsburgh, and Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. Additionally, Penn State Behrend offers a Master of Arts degree in Applied Clinical Psychology that includes optional preparation for the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) credential.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OPPORTUNITIES FOR GRADUATE STUDIES

Professional Resources

Contact

Erie

SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
170 Irvin Kochel Center
4951 College Drive
Erie, PA 16563
814-898-6108
HumSocSci@psu.edu

http://behrend.psu.edu/school-of-humanities-social-sciences