At which campus can I study this program?
Any Penn State Campus
This major is designed for students who are interested in a liberal arts degree with a concentration in applied psychology. The program features both active and collaborative classroom experiences in addition to intensive internship experiences, and is most appropriate for students who wish to develop a set of applied scientific and human relations skills that will prepare them for entry-level employment in a wide range of government and private human service organizations and agencies, and in business and industry. Because of the flexible and broad nature of the degree, students might also use this major as a preparation for graduate or professional school in business, human services, law, or the social sciences.
This program differs most notably from traditional majors in psychology in three ways:
- It is intended for students who may not be planning to pursue a doctoral degree in psychology that would prepare them for a career as a psychologist.
- It requires that students learn and apply skills during 12 credits of internship experiences.
- It requires that students demonstrate skill proficiency in a comprehensive assessment in order to graduate.
What is Applied Psychology?
If you enjoy interacting and helping people and you are looking for a degree where you will gain considerable real-world experience, the Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology may be the right degree for you. Applied psychology is the use of psychological methods and findings to solve practical problems. Some of the areas within Applied Psychology include clinical, counseling, industrial and organizational, forensic, school, and community psychology, just to name a few. The flexible and broad nature of the degree also allows you to use this major as preparation for graduate or professional school in business, human services, law, or the social sciences.
You Might Like This Program If...
- You are interested in earning a degree that will allow you to interact with and help others.
- You would enjoy a degree program that offers intensive internship experiences, giving you marketable skills.
- You would like the flexibility of a broad, liberal arts major that prepares you to enter a variety of fields or to enter graduate or professional school.
Entrance to Major
In order to be eligible for entrance to this major, a student must:
- attain at least a C (2.00) cumulative grade-point average for all courses taken at the University; and
- have third-semester classification.
For the Bachelor of Arts degree in Applied Psychology, a minimum of 127 credits is required:
|Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements||24|
|Requirements for the Major||50|
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.
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 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
- 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.
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
|Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better|
|PSYCH 100||Introductory Psychology||3|
|PSYCH 212||Introduction to Developmental Psychology||3|
|PSYCH 296||Independent Studies||1|
|PSYCH 301||Basic Research Methods in Psychology||4|
|PSYCH 404/EDPSY 450||Principles of Measurement||3|
|PSYCH 496||Independent Studies||2|
|Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better|
|PSYCH 200||Elementary Statistics in Psychology||4|
|or STAT 200||Elementary Statistics|
|Select 12 credits (at least 9 at the 400 level), including a minimum of 3 credits from each category, of the following:||12|
|1. Abnormal, Clinical, Personality|
|Introduction to Personality Psychology|
|The Psychology of Gender|
|Introduction to Clinical Psychology|
|2. Developmental, Cognitive, Learning|
|Learning and Instruction|
|Introduction to Cognitive Psychology|
|Introduction to Psychology of Learning|
|Topics in Developmental Psychology|
|Development Throughout Adulthood|
|Advanced Cognitive Psychology|
|3. Industrial/Organizational, Social, Interpersonal|
|Introduction to Social Psychology|
|Introduction to Industrial-Organizational Psychology|
|Advanced Social Psychology|
|Social Psychology of Interpersonal/Intergroup Relationships|
|Applied Social Psychology|
|4. Health, Wellness, Adjustment|
|Introduction to Well-being and Positive Psychology|
|Psychology of Adjustment and Social Relationships|
|Supporting Courses and Related Areas|
|Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better|
|Select 3 credits of 200-level psychology in consultation with an adviser||3|
|Select 3 credits in consultation with an adviser||3|
Program Learning Objectives
- Students will demonstrate knowledge of major psychological concepts, theories, and empirical findings.
- Students will demonstrate the ability to apply psychological concepts and theories to research and real life situations.
- Students will demonstrate knowledge about the history, values, and scientific foundations of the field of psychology.
- Students will demonstrate knowledge of the basic principles of professional ethics, including the APA Ethical Standards of Psychologists and the APA Standards of Educational and Psychological Testing.
- Students will use critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry, and the scientific approach to solve problems related to behavior and mental processes
- 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.
- Students will demonstrate the ability to formulate and defend one’s own scholarly opinion based on reading, interpreting, and synthesizing psychological literature.
- Students will communicate effectively (in writing and/or orally) the results of a project or internship.
- Students will demonstrate the ability to effectively extract central points and summarize psychological research literature and to write in the format of psychological research.
- Students will demonstrate the ability to translate psychological knowledge into everyday language.
- Students will differentiate among the research methods used in psychology and apply the designs in evaluation or development of a research study.
- Students will demonstrate the ability to analyze and interpret quantitative psychological data using statistics, graphs, and data tables.
- Students will develop awareness of personal career-related strengths and weakness based on internship site-supervisor evaluations and self-reflection.
- Students will understand career options in psychology and research related fields.
- Students will demonstrate sensitivity to ethical concerns and professionalism in all settings where applications of psychology and/or psychological research occur, including internship experiences.
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.
Erin Johnson, B.A., M.S., Psy.D
Assistant Teaching Professor and Program Coordinator
Department of Applied Psychology
Reading, PA 19610
Suggested Academic Plan
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.
|ENGL 15 or 30‡||3||CAS 100A or 100B‡||3|
|General Education Course (GQ)‡||3||PSYCH 212*||3|
|PSYCH 100‡||3||World Language Level 2||4|
|World Language Level 1||4||General Education Course||3|
|General Education Course||3||General Education Course||3|
|200 Level PSYCH Selection*||3||ENGL 202A‡||3|
|PSYCH Selection*||3||PSYCH 200 or STAT 200 (MATH 21 recommended prior to taking STAT 200, but not required.)||4|
|World Language Level 3||4||PSYCH 296*||3|
|General Education Course||3||General Education Course||3|
|General Education Course||3||General Education Course||3|
|PSYCH 495*||3||PSYCH 495*||3|
|PSYCH 301 (Course fulfills the Writing Across The Curriculum Requirement.)||4||PSYCH 404*||3|
|400 Level PSYCH Selection*||3||400 Level PSYCH Selection*||3|
|General Education Course||3||Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirement: Knowledge Domain||3|
|General Education Course||3||General Education Course (GHW)||3|
|PSYCH 495*||3||PSYCH 495*||3|
|400 Level PSYCH Selection*||3||PSYCH 496*||3|
|Support Course Selection*||3||Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirement: Knowledge Domain||3|
|Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirement: Knowledge Domain||3||Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirement: Other Cultures||3|
|Total Credits 129|
* Course requires a grade of C or better for the major
‡ Course requires a grade of C or better for General Education
# Course is an Entrance to Major requirement
† Course satisfies General Education and degree requirement
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.
A total of twelve (12) credits of internship experience is required in the junior and senior years. Internship experiences are typically scheduled in units of three (3) to six (6) credits in consultation with the Penn State Berks internship supervisor. Consult adviser for details.
Students interested in pursuing a Master in Social Work (MSW) may need to complete the following liberal arts core requirements with a final grade of a C or better in order to be admitted: English Composition, Human Biology, Humanities, Mathematics, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology. Consult adviser for details.
Applied Psychology provides an excellent academic foundation for students to enter a wide variety of careers in which they will be interacting with and helping others.
Graduates will be prepared for positions in the following fields: behavioral medicine centers, child and youth advocacy agencies, children’s homes and residential treatment centers, community action agencies, community mental health centers, correctional facilities, day care and nursery schools, domestic violence agencies, drug and alcohol treatment facilities, family services agencies, geriatric care centers and residences, psychiatric inpatient units, and rehabilitation centers. Graduates are also well prepared to enter the business world and work in human resources, management, and marketing.
Opportunities for Graduate Studies
The B.A. in Applied Psychology also prepares students for graduate study in fields such as business, counseling and clinical psychology, human and social services, industrial and organizational psychology, public policy, school psychology, social work, and law.