Psychology Major

College of Professional Studies and Social Sciences

Degree BS, Psychology

Department Chair Marnie Hiester, PhD


Kelly B. Filipkowski, Assistant Professor of Psychology, BA State University of New York at Oswego; MS Florida State University; MS, PhD Syracuse University

Marnie Hiester, Professor of Psychology, BA Drew University; PhD University of Minnesota

George Hunter, Associate Professor of Psychology, BA Siena College; MS Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; MA, PhD Princeton University

Charles A. LaJeunesse, Professor of Psychology, BS, MEd, PhD University of Missouri

Alicia Nordstrom, Associate Professor of Psychology, BA University of Rochester; MS Purdue University; PhD Pennsylvania State University


The study of psychology enhances one's knowledge and understanding of human behavior, mental processes, and social interaction. As our society becomes increasingly diverse and our economy more global, this knowledge and understanding will be necessary for success in the rapidly changing workplace. Therefore, the psychology major is relevant to any occupation that involves interaction with others. It prepares students who wish to obtain baccalaureate-level positions, as well as those who wish to pursue graduate study in psychology or related fields.

The field of psychology is exceedingly diverse and career options within the field are numerous. Therefore, the psychology major was designed with two goals in mind. First, in order to ensure a solid background in the methods, theories, and content of the discipline of psychology, all majors must take a required core of psychology courses. Second, great flexibility is built into our curriculum to allow students to tailor a program of study that best meets their individual interests and career goals.

Goals and Objectives

The psychology department has adopted the goals and objectives for undergraduate psychology programs specified by the American Psychological Association:

  1. Knowledge Base of Psychology
    Students will demonstrate familiarity with the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in psychology.
  2. Research Methods in Psychology
    Students will understand and apply basic research methods in psychology, including research design, data analysis, and interpretation.
  3. Critical Thinking Skills in Psychology
    Students will respect and use critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry, and, when possible, the scientific approach to solve problems related to behavior and mental processes.
  4. Application of Psychology
    Students will understand and apply psychological principles to personal, social, and organizational issues.
  5. Values in Psychology
    Students will be able to weigh evidence, tolerate ambiguity, act ethically, and reflect other values that are the underpinnings of psychology as a discipline.
  6. Information and Technological Literacy
    Students will demonstrate information competence and the ability to use computers and other technology for many purposes.
  7. Communication Skills
    Students will be able to communicate effectively in a variety of formats.
  8. Sociocultural and International Awareness
    Students will recognize, understand, and respect the complexity of sociocultural and international diversity.
  9. Personal Development
    Students will develop insight into their own and others' behavior and mental processes and apply effective strategies for self-management and self-improvement.
  10. Career Planning and Development Students will emerge from the major with realistic ideas about how to implement their psychological knowledge, skills, and values in occupational pursuits in a variety of settings.

Admissions Requirements:

Incoming students seeking admission as psychology majors must meet the university's general admissions requirements as stated in this catalog.


In addition to the core curriculum, which includes Introduction to Psychology, students are required to complete at least 43 credits in psychology and three credits in Sociology (SOC 221 Cultural Minorities). The 43 credits in psychology must include the following courses: PSY 101 (Introductory Seminar), PSY 200 (Career Seminar), PSY 232 (Research Methods), or PSY 233 (Advanced Research Methods), PSY 250 (Social Psychology), PSY 275 (Child & Adolescent Psychology) or PSY 277 (Adult Development and Aging), PSY 285 (Communication Skills), PSY 290 (Psychopathology) or PSY 332 (Child Psychopathology), PSY 301 (Cognitive Psychology), PSY 303 (Biological Psychology), PSY 475 (Practicum) or PSY 490 (Independent Research), PSY 470 (Advanced Seminar in Psychology), one Biological/Cognitive Elective, one Social/Developmental Elective, and one Clinical/Counseling Elective. To complete their degree students must take a minimum of 26 free elective credits, which allows them to complete courses, minors, and/or certificate programs that are consistent with their interests and career goals.

Note: PSY 101 and/or PSY 200 may be waived for transfer students at the discretion of the Department Chair.

Students must achieve grades of "C-" or above in all required psychology courses. If a student earns a "D" or "F" in any required psychology course he/she must repeat that course and earn a "C-" or above.