Psychology, B.S. (Liberal Arts)

Program Code: PSYBS_BS

Entrance to Major

In order to be eligible for entrance to the PSYBS major, a student at any location must have:

  1. attained at least a 2.00 cumulative grade-point average;
  2. completed PSYCH 100 with a grade of C or better;
  3. completed STAT 200 or PSYCH 200, at least 3 credits of GQ courses (not including STAT 200), and at least 3 credits of GS courses (not including PSYCH 100) with a grade of C or better.

Degree Requirements

For the Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, a minimum of 123 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Electives 10-13
Requirements for the Major 74-77

9 of the 45 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes: 3 credits of GWS courses and 6 credits of GQ courses.

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. For more information, check the Recommended Academic Plan for your intended program.

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
ENGL 202AEffective Writing: Writing in the Social Sciences Keystone/General Education Course3
PSYCH 100Introductory Psychology Keystone/General Education Course3
PSYCH 105Psychology as a Science and Profession3
PSYCH 301WBasic Research Methods in Psychology4
PSYCH 490Senior Seminar in Psychology3
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select 6 credits of GQ courses6
PSYCH 200Elementary Statistics in Psychology Keystone/General Education Course4
or STAT 200 Elementary Statistics Keystone/General Education Course
Select 12 credits of 200-level PSY courses (not to include PSYCH 294, PSYCH 296, or PSYCH 297). At least 3 credits must be from each group A, B, and C:12
Group A
Introduction to Psychology of Perception Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Cognitive Psychology Keystone/General Education Course
Neurological Bases of Human Behavior
Introduction to Psychology of Learning Keystone/General Education Course
Group B
Introduction to Developmental Psychology Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Social Psychology Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to the Psychology of Gender Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Personality Psychology Keystone/General Education Course
Group C
Introduction to Well-being and Positive Psychology Keystone/General Education Course
Evolutionary Psychology
Introduction to Abnormal Psychology
Introduction to Industrial-Organizational Psychology Keystone/General Education Course
Select 12 credits of PSYCH courses at the 400 level (not including PSYCH 490, and including no more than 3 credits of PSYCH 493, PSYCH 494, PSYCH 495, or PSYCH 496)12
Requirements for the Option
Requirements for the Option: Require a grade of C or better
Select an option24-27

Requirements for the Option

Life Sciences Option (24 credits)

Available at the following campuses: University Park, World Campus

Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select 15 credits from groups A, B, C, and D, including at least 3 credits from each of three different groups:15
A. Genetics
Genes, Evolution and Behavior Keystone/General Education Course
Human Genetics
Genetics and Evolution of the Human Species Keystone/General Education Course
Genetics
B. Biological Anthropology
Introductory Biological Anthropology Keystone/General Education Course
Humans as Primates Keystone/General Education Course
Biocultural Evolution
Human Evolution: The Material Evidence
Developmental and Health Genetics
Health Care and Medical Needs
Introductory Principles of Nutrition Keystone/General Education Course
C. Biological Implications
Any BBH course (except BBH 310)
Biocultural Studies of Family Organization
Introduction to Disability Culture Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Rehabilitation and Human Services
Medical Aspects of Disability
D. Biology and Chemistry
Biology: Basic Concepts and Biodiversity Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Human Physiology Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to the Biology of Aging Keystone/General Education Course
Human Anatomy and Physiology I - Lecture Keystone/General Education Course
Biology of Sex Keystone/General Education Course
Chemical Principles I Keystone/General Education Course
Experimental Chemistry I Keystone/General Education Course
Chemical Principles II Keystone/General Education Course
Experimental Chemistry II Keystone/General Education Course
Organic Chemistry I
Organic Chemistry II
Laboratory in Organic Chemistry
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better
Select 3 credits in natural sciences from department list3
Select 6 credits in social and behavioral sciences from department list6
Business Option (24 credits)

Available at the following campuses: University Park, World Campus

Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select 15 credits from at least three different groups of the following (3 credits in any category can be replaced by LA 495, but internship credits alone cannot be used to complete a category):15
Group 1, Section A
Principles of Economics Keystone/General Education Course
Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy Keystone/General Education Course
Introductory Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy Keystone/General Education Course
Intermediate Microeconomic Analysis Keystone/General Education Course (or higher-numbered ECON course)
International Political Economy
Government and the Economy
Global Political Economy
Policy Making and Evaluation
Group 1, Section B
Finance
Corporation Finance (or any higher-numbered FIN course)
Group 1, Section C
Marketing
Principles of Marketing (or any higher-numbered MKTG course)
Group 1, Section D
Financial and Managerial Accounting for Decision Making
Group 2, Section A (Management)
Management and Organization
Consumer Choices in Health Care Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Health Services Organization
Health Care Payment
Financial Decisions in Health Care Organizations
Health Services Policy Issues (or any higher-numbered HPA course)
Human Resources Fundamentals Keystone/General Education Course
Basic Management Concepts (or any higher-numbered MGMT course)
Group 2, Section B (Law and Ethics)
Supply Chains
Legal Environment of Business
Ethics in the Workplace
Ethical Leadership Keystone/General Education Course
Seminar in Business Ethics
Technology and Human Values
Seminar in Ethical Theory
Medical and Health Care Ethics
Supply Chain Management
Group 2, Section C (Labor Relations)
Introduction to Labor and Human Resources Keystone/General Education Course
Labor and Employment Relations Fundamentals
Any LER 400-level course
Group 2, Section D (Communication)
Organizational Communication Keystone/General Education Course
Group Communication Theory and Research
Organizational Communication Theory and Research Keystone/General Education Course
Advanced Business Writing
Business and Literature
Communication Skills for Leaders in Groups and Organizations
Group 3, Section A (Global View)
Social Entrepreneurship
Geography of the Global Economy
Property and the Global Environment
Global Pathways Keystone/General Education Course
Comparative Health Systems
International Business Operations
Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Liberal Arts
Group 3, Section B (Diversity)
Freedom's First Generation: African American Life and Work, from the Civil War to World War II Keystone/General Education Course
Politics of Affirmative Action
Racial and Ethnic Inequality in America
Globalization and Its Implications
Gender and International Development
Race, Gender, and Employment Keystone/General Education Course
Employment Relationship: Law and Policy Keystone/General Education Course
Employment Strategies for People with Disabilities
Work-Life Practices and Policies
LER 475
Introduction to Rehabilitation and Human Services
Group 3, Section C (History)
HIST 151
American Business History Keystone/General Education Course
History of Work in America
Group 3, Section D (Technology)
Information, People and Technology Keystone/General Education Course
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better
Select 3 credits in arts/humanities from department list3
Select 3 credits in natural sciences from department list3
Select 3 credits in social and behavioral sciences from department list3
Neuroscience Option (24-27 credits)

Available at the following campuses: University Park

Students planning to apply to medical school should select this option and choose courses to meet the following minimal requirements for most medical schools:

Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
PSYCH 260Neurological Bases of Human Behavior (also counts in category a of COMMON REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR)3
Select 15 credits from groups A, B, C, D, and E, including at least 3 credits from each of four different groups:15
A. Genetics
Biology: Basic Concepts and Biodiversity Keystone/General Education Course
Genetics and Evolution of the Human Species Keystone/General Education Course
Genetics
B. Physiology
Introduction to Human Physiology Keystone/General Education Course
Human Anatomy and Physiology I - Lecture Keystone/General Education Course
Mammalian Physiology
C. Organic Chemistry
Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry I
Organic Chemistry I
Organic Chemistry II
D. Cell Biology
Biology: Molecules and Cells Keystone/General Education Course
Neurobiology
Elementary Microbiology Keystone/General Education Course
Introductory Microbiology
Molecular and Cell Biology I
E. Other Topics
Biology of Sex Keystone/General Education Course
Biology: Function and Development of Organisms Keystone/General Education Course
Biology of Aging
Functional and Integrative Neuroscience
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better
Select 6 credits in natural sciences from department list6
Select 3 credits in social and behavioral sciences from department list3
Quantitative Skills Option (24 credits)

Available at the following campuses: University Park

Students may fulfill the requirements of the Quantitative Skills option by completing a minor in either Statistics or Computer Science and Engineering in lieu of the course requirements listed above. Students choosing this option are encouraged to consult with an adviser designated by the Department of Psychology to determine the suitability of particular courses given their quantitative backgrounds. Other courses with advanced quantitative content may be substituted in Group D with adviser's approval.

Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select a total of 15 credits from groups A, B, C, and D:15
Group A
Select at least 3 credits of the following:
Elementary Linear Algebra Keystone/General Education Course
Techniques of Calculus I Keystone/General Education Course
Techniques of Calculus II Keystone/General Education Course
Calculus With Analytic Geometry I Keystone/General Education Course
Calculus with Analytic Geometry II Keystone/General Education Course
Group B (optional) - Students may take only one of the courses in Group B for credit
Select 3 credits of the following:3
Introduction to Programming Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Programming Techniques Keystone/General Education Course
Programming for Engineers with C++ Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Spreadsheets and Databases Keystone/General Education Course
Group C, Section 1 - Students may take only one of the courses in Group C, Section 1 for credit
Select 3 credits of the following:
Elementary Probability
Introduction to Probability Theory
Introduction to Probability and Stochastic Processes for Engineering
Group C, Section 2
Select at least 3 credits of the following:
Applied Statistics in Science
Introduction to Mathematical Statistics
Stochastic Modeling
Intermediate Applied Statistics
Applied Regression Analysis
Applied Nonparametric Statistics
Group D
Communication and Information Technology II
Intermediate Programming
Principles of Measurement
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better
Select 3 credits in arts/humanities from department list3
Select 6 credits in natural sciences from department list6

Integrated B.S. in Psychology and M.S. in Human Resources and Employment Relations

Available at the following campuses: University Park

Requirements for the Integrated B.S. in Psychology and M.S. in Human Resources and Employment Relations can be found in the Graduate Bulletin.

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.
  3. Students will demonstrate knowledge about the history, values, and scientific foundations of the field of psychology.*

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.
  3. Students will demonstrate the ability to formulate and defend one’s own scholarly opinion based on reading, interpreting, and synthesizing psychological literature.*

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.
  3. Students will demonstrate the ability to translate psychological knowledge into everyday language.*

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.

Diversity and Ethical Considerations:

  1. Students will show evidence of knowledge and appreciation for cultural diversity and relativity in human.Students will 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.

* Indicates a University Park specific learning objective

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

University Park

Liberal Arts Academic Advising
814-865-2545
http://starfish.psu.edu
http://www.la.psu.edu/current-students/undergraduate-students/education/majors-and-minors

World Campus

Undergraduate Academic Advising
301 Outreach Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-863-3283
advising@outreach.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).

University Park Campus

Any Option

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, ENGL 30, ESL 15, ENGL 137H, or CAS 137H3CAS 100, ENGL 138T, or CAS 138T*3
PSYCH 100*#3PSYCH 2xx Level (Group A, B, C or Additional)*3
General Education Quanitfication (GQ)*‡#†3General Health and Wellness (GHW)1.5
First-Year Seminar3General Education Social and Behavioral Science Course#*3
Option Course*3STAT 200 or PSYCH 200*#4
 15 14.5
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
PSYCH 2xx Level (Group A, B, C or Additional)*3General Education Course3
General Education Course (Integrative Studies)3Option Course*3
General Education Quantification (GQ)*‡†3PSYCH 2xx Level (Group A, B, C or Additional)*3
General Education Course3General Education Course (Integrative Studies)3
Option Supporting Course*3General Education Course3
 General Health and Wellness (GHW)1.5
 15 16.5
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
PSYCH 2xx Level (Group A, B, C or Additional)*3PSYCH 4xx level course*3
General Education Course3PSYCH 301W*4
PSYCH 105*3Option Course*3
Elective3Option Supporting Course*3
Option Course*3Elective3
 15 16
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
PSYCH 4xx level course*3PSYCH 4xx Level Course*3
General Education Course3PSYCH 490*3
ENGL 202A*‡3Option Course*3
PSYCH 4xx level course*3Option Supporting Course*3
Elective3Elective3
 Elective1
 15 16
Total Credits 123

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.

All incoming Schreyer Honors College first-year students at University Park will take ENGL/CAS 137 in the fall semester and ENGL/CAS 138 in the spring semester. These courses carry the GWS designation and replace both ENGL 30 and CAS 100. Each course is 3 credits.

Advising Note:

All incoming first-year students must take a First-Year Seminar (FYS) during Fall or Spring of their first year. Academic advisers can provide a list of FYS being offered and help the student enroll. Most FYS in the College of the Liberal Arts are worth 3 cr. and count as a General Humanities (GH) or General Social Sciences (GS) course. For this reason, the FYS is not listed separately on this eight-semester plan; most students will be able to fulfill the FYS requirement while also fulfilling a GH or GS requirement.

Career Paths

Psychology students pursue a wide variety of careers. Many earn graduate degrees that qualify them for careers in clinical psychology, counseling psychology, school psychology, social work, or other helping professions. Others work in health, business, research, school, or government settings. Many businesses seek psychology majors for their knowledge of human behavior, research methods, and data analysis.

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

Opportunities for Graduate Studies

Some psychology students pursue research-oriented doctoral degrees, entering Ph.D. programs in a variety of areas of psychology. These degrees prepare students for careers in academic, research, business, or government settings. Others pursue the practice-oriented Psy.D. degree. Masters degrees in counseling, school psychology, social work, counselor education, and other fields prepare students for a variety of practice settings. Some psychology students also prepare for medical school or related health-services degrees. Law school or MBA programs are also possibilities.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OPPORTUNITIES FOR GRADUATE STUDIES

Professional Resources

University Park

DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY
125 Moore Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-863-1811
ugpsychupwc@psu.edu

http://psych.la.psu.edu/

World Campus

DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY
125 Moore Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-863-1811
ugpsychupwc@psu.edu

https://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/degrees-and-certificates/psychology-bachelor-of-science/overview