Psychology Department

Undergraduate Program

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

The undergraduate major is a diverse 40-unit liberal arts program. It requires the completion of three laboratory courses which emphasize student-centered and active learning. Two computer-based laboratories and one wetlab provide exceptional opportunities for instruction and research. All students are also required to complete a senior seminar–either in the regular or honors program. Seminar topics vary from semester to semester and have included: Psychology and the Law; Brain Disorders: the Biology, the Behaviors, the Treatments; Evolutionary Psychology; Psychology and Spiritual Issues; and the Psychology of Human Aggression. We also encourage students to participate in internships and in research with faculty.

The knowledge objectives of our major include the biological bases of human behavior, cognitive and perceptual mechanisms, learning and memory processes, social and cultural influences on behavior, the psychological aspects of human development, etiology and treatment of abnormal behavior, determinants of personality and health, and methodology and statistics in psychology. We want students to be able to critically evaluate research, design studies and statistically analyze data, write professional reports, make oral presentations, apply computer software to research problems, and use behavioral methods to study phenomena. We value studying human behavior from a scientific perspective, the importance of cultural influences in understanding behavior, using psychology to help others, emphasizing tolerance for ambiguity and skepticism of dogma, and promoting ethical responsibility for professional conduct.

The department monitors student progress and verifies that students meet the objectives of the psychology major in a variety of ways. Written examinations, papers, projects, or other assessments of student mastery are used across all courses. In addition, laboratory courses require practical exams, demonstration of skills, or completion of laboratory projects which reflect the important objectives of the course. Finally, in the seminar we survey our students regarding their experiences in completing the psychology major, and we verify that our graduates have gained an understanding of key psychological concepts.

For more information on the major and minor, student organizations, advising, and graduate programs, please see other links on our Web site.

  • Students will have an understanding of the complexity of cultural diversity.
  • Students will communicate effectively to multiple audiences for multiple purposes.
  • Students will demonstrate information literacy competence and use computers and other technology for multiple purposes.

University-wide Content Standards to which Psychology Significantly Contributes

  • Students will identify the theoretical bases of psychology and acquire knowledge, literacy, and understanding in core and extended areas of psychology
  • Students will exercise critical thinking, problem solving strategies, and scientific methodology in their academic studies and everyday lives.
  • Students will recognize how psychological principles are used in applied settings and will use psychological principles when evaluating personal experience.
  • Students will articulate and demonstrate values espoused in the field of psychology.
Psychology class