Undergraduate Studies

Requirements for a Psychology Major

The Psychology Department offers a choice of two major options: a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS). The requirements for each are detailed below. Students who are unsure which degree would be the best option for them should contact Dr. Logan (Undergraduate Advisor). All students may choose either the BA or BS. Students who enroll at SMU in Fall 2016 or later may only follow the current course plan. Students who matriculated prior to Fall 2016 may choose between the prior and current requirements. Distinction may be granted to BA or BS students who meet the admission requirements and complete the course and work requirements. Please see the Distinction tab for more information.

The current BA degree requires students to complete 12 courses: 3 foundation courses, 5 breadth courses, and 4 advanced electives in psychology.

The BS degree requires a total of 14 psychology courses and a science requirement. These are: 4 foundation courses, 5 psychology breadth courses, 3 advanced electives in psychology, 1 psychology experiential learning component, 1 advanced statistics course, and a science requirement outside of psychology.

For BA degree requirements prior to the 2016-2017 catalog, students need to complete 12 courses: 3 pre-declaration courses, 5 designated courses, and 4 advanced psychology electives to total 36 hours.

 

To see a summary file that compares the old BA, the new BA, and the new BS click here.


 

Psychology Major (BA) – 12 courses (36 hours)

1. Three Psychology Foundation courses (9 hours):

  • Introduction to Psychology (Psyc 1300)
  • Research Methods (Psyc 2301)
  • Introduction to Statistical Methods (Stat 2331 or 2301) 

Note: Students must earn a C- or better in these classes before declaring Psychology as a major.

2. Five Psychology Breadth courses (15 hours):

  (Student select one of the two courses from each of the five categories.)

  • Developmental Bases (PSYC 3332 or 4334)
  • Clinical and Health Bases (PSYC 2351 or 3360)
  • Cognitive Bases (PSYC 3310 or 4310)
    • 4310 is currently 4381 Special Topics: Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Social and Personality Bases (PSYC 3341 or 3370)
  • Biological Bases (PSYC 4320 or 4321) 

3. Four Advanced Elective courses (12 hours):

  • These are courses at or above the 3000 level.

 

Notes for BA degrees:

a. Predeclaration/Foundation courses must be completed with a C- or higher in each course before a student can declare Psychology as a major.

b. Research training and practicum courses (3099, 3199, 3299, 3399 and 4395) may be taken only on a pass-fail basis. These courses will not count toward the major.

c. All courses for the major must be taken for a grade and require a C- or higher.

d. Eighteen hours of the 36 hours needed for the major must be 3000 level or above and in residence (at SMU). 

Psychology Major (BS) - 15 courses (42-46 hours)

1. Four Psychology Foundation courses (12 hours):

  • Introduction to Psychology (PSYC 1300)
  • Research Methods (PSYC 2301)
  • Introduction to Statistical Methods (STAT 2331 or 2301)
  • Advanced Methods and Analysis (PSYC 4301)

Note: Students must earn a C- or better in these classes before declaring Psychology as a major.

2. Five Psychology Breadth courses (15 hours):

 (Select one of the two courses from each of the five categories.)

  • Developmental Bases (PSYC 3332 or 4334)
  • Clinical and Health Bases (PSYC 2351 or 3360)
  • Cognitive Bases (PSYC 3310 or 4310)
    • 4310 is currently 4381 Special Topics: Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Social and Personality Bases (PSYC 3341 or 3370)
  • Biological Bases (PSYC 4320 or 4321) 

3. Three Advanced Elective courses.

  • These are courses at or above the 3000 level.

4. One Experiential Learning (3 hours).

Students in the BS plan will be mentored in research by signing up for PSYC 3399 Research Training. Upon permission of the department, students may take PSYC 4395 Practicum/Internship as the experiential learning component

5. One Advanced Statistics Elective course at or above the 3000 level.

6. One Science Foundation course.

This course will normally be completed as part of the University Curriculum. Students will complete a science-major version of a science course with lab. A science course may be taken for the BS degree if not completed for the UC.

Notes for BS degree:

a. Predeclaration/Foundation courses must be completed with a C or higher on the first attempt in each course before a student can declare Psychology as a major.

b. Students must have a major GPA of 2.50 or higher to receive the BS degree.

c. BS students are strongly encouraged though not required to minor in Statistics.

d. Research training and practicum courses (3099, 3199, 3299, 3399 and 4395) may be taken only on a pass-fail basis. These courses will not count toward the major.

e. All courses for the major must be taken for a grade and require a C- or higher.

f. Eighteen hours of the 36 hours needed for the major must be 3000 level or above and in residence (at SMU).

Pre-2016 Psychology Major (BA); 12 courses (36 hours)

1. Three courses are required to declare a Psychology major. 

  • Introduction to Psychology (Psyc 1300)
  • Research Methods (Psyc 2301)
  • Introduction to Statistical Methods (Stat 2331 or 2301)

2. Five courses from the following seven courses:

  • Developmental Psychology (Psyc 2314)
  • Social Psychology (Psyc 3341)
  • Abnormal Psychology (Psyc 2351)
  • Memory and Cognition (Psyc 3310)
  • Health Psychology (Psyc 3360)
  • Personality (Psyc 3370)
  • Biological Psychology (Psyc 4320) 

3. Four additional Psychology courses (12 hours) at or above the 3000 level.