The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences offers undergraduate and doctoral degree programs to educate critical thinkers who can contribute to the discipline and the community. As a department, our goal is for undergraduate majors and minors to understand the science of psychology and be able to interpret it to meet the needs of a changing world.
The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences offers a variety of experiences inside and outside of the classroom which contribute to these goals, including service learning opportunities, student organizations, opportunities to participate in research, professional academic and career advising, distance education courses, multiple writing intensive (WR) courses, a departmental honors program, and an ongoing colloquium (speaker)series. We have a Careers in Psychology/Orientation to the Major course and a summer internship program in which students are placed in one of several community organizations for hands-on application of classroom learning.
The Psychology major offers opportunities to acquire and develop a number of skills valued by employers, the community and graduate school admissions committees:
1) Analytical and statistical skills for understanding, interpreting and reporting on data
2) Communication skills in writing and oral presentations
3) Problem-solving and information-search skills
4) Ability to work in and understand groups
5) Familiarity with computers and database software
6) Research and measurement/evaluation skills
7) Social awareness and the ability to understand and monitor self
8) Ability to apply psychological theory to individual, social and community problems
OUR DEGREE PROGRAMS
We offer three undergraduate degrees and a minor:
Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in the Social Sciences: the standard and most common degree program, requiring students to take supporting courses in other social science departments to provide a broad social/behavioral context for psychology study
Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in Natural Sciences: designed to facilitate use of pre-existing credits in the natural sciences for supporting classwork for transfers from other majors, and to provide students with a natural science background for focusing on the biological/mathematical context for psychology study
Bachelor of Science: designed to meet the basic science/mathmathics requirements for application to health career post-graduate training while majoring in psychology, this program requires a demanding sequence of supporting classes in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and computer programming beyond the introductory level, as well as increased hours of electives in the major
Minor in Psychology: to allow students majoring in other fields to acquire basic core knowledge of psychology.
The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences offers three degrees for majors in Psychology. Each degree program has different academic requirements in the category of supporting classes. The BA/Social Sciences is the program followed by 85% of Psychology majors and is most similar to the psychology major at other institutions. Students who are uncertain of their program should probably select this degree. The BA/Natural Sciences requires supporting classes in natural sciences instead of social sciences to benefit students transferring to the department with numerous credits in biology, chemistry or physics or who wish to take their supporting classwork in these fields. The BS degree is designed to accommodate the needs of majors who intend to pursue careers health or science fields and includes most of the required course work for a pre-med curriculum.
Students in all three programs receive the same fundamental preparation in psychology and are similarly prepared for careers after graduation. While the BS does prepare students for application to health career graduate education by meeting prerequisite requirements, there is no intent to create career tracks for the three degrees. Students should select their degree on the basis of their interests and current strengths, to maximize success in their program. Students without strong preparation and interest in the natural sciences are encouraged to select the BA/Social Sciences.
Early difficulty in supporting classes for the BS degree (Bio 240/242, Chem 201/202, Phys 221/222 or Math 205 with grades below a B-) should prompt a reconsideration of the BS program and an immediate consultation with the undergraduate advisor.