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)

A B.A. in psychology requires 36 course credit hours (12 courses). Prior to declaring a Bachelor of Arts with a major in psychology, students must complete a three-course foundation sequence of PSYC 1300, PSYC 3301, and STAT 2331 with no individual grade less than a C-. Research training, practicum, and independent study courses are available (PSYC 3099, PSYC 3199, PSYC 3299, PSYC 3399, and PSYC 4395) on a pass/fail basis. These courses will not count toward the required hours for the major. To earn the B.A degree, students must earn a C- or higher in all graded classes.

Requirements for the Major

Psychology Foundation (9 Credit Hours)

  • PSYC 1300 - Introduction to Psychology
  • PSYC 3301 - Research Methods in Psychology
  • STAT 2331 - Introduction to Statistical Methods

Psychology Breadth (15 Credit Hours)

Students choose one course from each of the five breadth areas in the department:

Developmental:

  • PSYC 2332 - Developmental Psychology

or

  • PSYC 4334 - Psychological Disorders of Children

Abnormal or Health:

  • PSYC 2351 - Abnormal Psychology

or

  • PSYC 3360 - Health Psychology

Social or Personality:

  • PSYC 3341 - Social Psychology

or

  • PSYC 3370 - Personality

Neurological or Physiological:

  • PSYC 4320 - Behavioral Neuroscience

or

  • PSYC 4321 - Behavioral Action of Drugs

Cognitive:

  • PSYC 3310 - Memory and Cognition

or

  • PSYC 4310 - Cognition and the Brain

Advanced PSYC Electives (12 Credit Hours)

  • Students must also complete 12 advanced hours (four courses) of psychology electives.

Total: 36 Credit Hours

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

A B.S. in psychology requires 45 or 46 course credit hours (15 courses). Prior to declaring a Bachelor of Science with a major in psychology, students must complete the four-course foundation sequence of PSYC 1300, PSYC 3301, PSYC 4301, and STAT 2331. An approved alternate analysis course may be substituted for STAT 2331 with departmental permission. The foundation courses must be completed with a C or higher on the first attempt in order to declare the B.S. degree.

Research training, practicum, and independent study courses are available (PSYC 3099, PSYC 3199, PSYC 3299, PSYC 3399, and PSYC 4395) on a pass/fail basis. These courses will not count toward the required advanced elective hours for the major. To earn the B.S. degree, students must earn a C- or higher in all breadth and elective classes and have a major GPA of 2.5.

Requirements for the Major

Psychology Foundation (12 Credit Hours)

  • PSYC 1300 - Introduction to Psychology
  • PSYC 3301 - Research Methods in Psychology
  • PSYC 4301 - Advanced Quantitative Methods in Psychology

 

  • STAT 2331 - Introduction to Statistical Methods 

or

  • approved alternate analysis course

Psychology Breadth (15 Credit Hours)

Students choose one course from each of the five breadth areas in the department:

Developmental:

  • PSYC 2332 - Developmental Psychology

or

  • PSYC 4334 - Psychological Disorders of Children

Abnormal or Health:

  • PSYC 2351 - Abnormal Psychology

or

  • PSYC 3360 - Health Psychology

Social or Personality:

  • PSYC 3341 - Social Psychology

or

  • PSYC 3370 - Personality

Neurological or Physiological:

  • PSYC 4320 - Behavioral Neuroscience

or

  • PSYC 4321 - Behavioral Action of Drugs

Cognitive:

  • PSYC 3310 - Memory and Cognition

or

  • PSYC 4310 - Cognition and the Brain

Advanced PSYC Electives (9 Credit Hours)

Students must also complete nine advanced hours (three courses) of psychology electives.

Scientific Perspective (3-4 Credit Hours)

Students must take one lab-based science course for science or engineering majors taken as part of the University Curriculum, or major elective, chosen from the following:

Anthropology:

  • ANTH 2415 - Human Evolution: Biological and Social Beginnings of Humankind

or

  • ANTH 2463 - The Science of Our Past: An Introduction to Archaeology

Biological Sciences:

  • BIOL 1301 - Introductory Biology
  • BIOL 1101 - Introductory Biology Lab

(formerly BIOL 1401)

or

  • BIOL 1302 - Introductory Biology
  • BIOL 1102 - Introductory Biology Lab

(formerly BIOL 1402)

Chemistry:

  • CHEM 1303 - General Chemistry

and

  • CHEM 1113 - General Chemistry Laboratory

Earth Sciences:

  • GEOL 1315 - Introduction to Environmental Science

Physics:

  • PHYS 1303 - Introductory Mechanics

or

  • PHYS 1307 - General Physics I

and

  • PHYS 1105 - Mechanics Laboratory

Advanced Analysis (3 Credit Hours)

In addition to the Psychology Foundation statistics course, B.S. students need to complete one additional advanced STAT elective.

Experiential Learning (3 Credit Hours)

B.S. students need to complete three hours of Research Training with a faculty mentor in the Psychology Department. Students may substitute Internship/Practicum with department approval.

  • PSYC 3399 - Research Training
  • PSYC 4395 - Practicum/Internship

Total: 45-46 Credit Hours

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.