Degree Type: B.A.
CIP Code 42.0101
Major Code PSY
Department Code PSY
Degree Website usfsm.edu/programs/psychology/

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology involves the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. Because of this focus, psychology is relevant to many other areas of study both inside and outside of the social and behavioral sciences. The undergraduate program in Psychology offers the student a well-rounded liberal arts education. In addition, the program provides excellent training for qualified students who wish to pursue graduate work in such disciplines as Clinical, Cognitive and Neural Sciences or Industrial Psychology, Education, Gerontology, Counseling, Management, Medicine, Law, and other human service programs. The undergraduate major emphasizes the breadth of psychology while allowing the student some electives to pursue in-depth a particular aspect of the field.

Mission

The curriculum for a Psychology degree from USFSM prepares graduates for the many occupations (e.g., human services, community or public relations, administration, and advertising and market research) and post-graduate degree programs open to Psychology majors. By the time our majors are ready to graduate, they are equipped with two vital skill sets. First, our majors are familiar with numerous factors influencing behavior and mental processes, and the interactions between them. These factors range from the molecular (communication in the brain) to the cultural (human diversity). Second, our majors have developed the critical thinking skills necessary for the consumption and production of psychological research. These skills include writing and familiarity with the ethics of conducting psychological research. Students will have the opportunity to take a capstone course that allows them to demonstrate these competencies.

Intended Learning Outcomes

  • Knowledge and Application: Knowledge of concepts and theories in at least 4 areas of psychology (e.g. Clinical, Industrial-Organizational, Developmental, Addiction, Motivation, Psychology-Law, Neuropsychology, Cognitive, Behavioral/Learning, Social, Physiological, and Personality), and relate them to the scientific study of behavior and mental processes, or to real-world problems.
  • Diversity: Recognition of the impact of human diversity (gender, race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, culture, age, religion, disabilities) on behavior and mental processes.
  • Ethics: Knowledge of professional ethics in the use of research subjects.
  • Critical Thinking: Ability to critically evaluate various research methods and designs, including their strengths, weaknesses, and applications to psychological inquiry, and their role in causal hypothesis testing.
  • Communication: Ability to write effectively by producing work in the APA style and standards.

Policies

Students majoring in Psychology must meet all degree requirements of USFSM and the CSM, as well as the following:

  • To continue in the program, students must have a GPA of at least 2.00 in PSY 2012, PSY 3204, and PSY 3213.

State-Mandated Common Prerequisites

The following courses are prerequisites for the major in Psychology:

State Prerequisite USFSM Course Offering
 Course Number  Course Number Credit Hours
PSY XXXX Or any other lower level Psychology class within the Psychology Inventory (i.e., CLP, DEP, EAB, EXP, INP, PCO, PPE, and PSB prefixes) DEP 2004, INP 2101  3
PSY X012 PSY 2012 3
STA XXXX STA 2023 3
BSC X0XX or BSC X20X or ZOO X010 Biology BSC 1005, BSC 2010/L, or BSC 2011/L 3 or 4

Program of Study

A minimum of 37 upper-level semester hours is required of all undergraduate majors in Psychology although students can elect to take more.

Required Degree Core (13 credit hours)

Course Number Title Credit Hours Requisites (KEY) Notes (KEY)

3000-Level Core Courses

PSY 3204 Psychological Statistics 3 PR: PSY 2012 Should be taken in the first term of upper-level course work.
PSY 3213 Research Methods in Psychology 4 PR: PSY 3204 or STA 2023 or STA 2122 or QMB 2100, with a grade of “C” or better Should be taken in the first term of upper-level coursework,

4000-Level Core Courses

CLP 4433 Psychological Tests and Measurement 3 PR: PSY 3213 with a grade of “C” or better; CI
OR
PSY 4205 Experimental Design and Analysis  3 PR: PSY 3213 with grade of “C” or better; CI
PSY 4938 Pro Seminar 3 PR: PSY 3213; Area I and Area II requirements complete; Senior Standing 6ACO, SMCC; Should be taken as late in program as possible, ideally in the final term.

Group 1 – Students must choose at least two (2) courses from the following (6 credit hours):

Course Number Title Credit Hours Requisites (KEY) Notes (KEY)
EXP 4204C Perception 3 PR: PSY 3213 with a grade of “C” or better
EXP 4404 Psychology of Learning 3 PR: PSY 3213 with a grade of “C” or better; CI
PSB 4004C Physiological Psychology 3 PR: PSY 3213 with a grade of “C” or better; CI
EXP 4304 Motivation 3 PR: PSY 3213 with a grade of “C” or better; CI
EXP 4680C Cognitive Psychology 3 PR: PSY 3213 with a grade of “C” or better; CI

Group 2 – Students should choose at least two (2) courses from the following (6 credit hours)

Course Number Title Credit Hours Requisites (KEY) Notes (KEY)
CLP 4143 Abnormal Psychology 3 PR: PSY 3213 with a grade of “C” or better; CI
INP 4004 Industrial Psychology 3 PR: PSY 3213 with a grade of “C” or better; CI SMLE
SOP 4004 Social Psychology 3 PR: PSY 3213 with a grade of “C” or better; CI
DEP 4053 Developmental Psychology 3 PR: PSY 3213 with a grade of “C” or better; CI
PPE 4003 Personality 3 PR: PSY 3213 with a grade of “C” or better; CI

Required Electives (12 credit hours)

Course Number Title Credit Hours Requisites (KEY) Notes (KEY)
PSB 3444 Drugs and Behavior 3 None
GEY 4612 Psychology of Aging 3 None
SOP 4751 Psychology Applied to Law 3 PR: PSY 3213
PSB 3842 Sleep and Dreams 3 None
EXP 4640 Psychology of Language 3 PR: PSY 3213
SOP 4777 Psychology of Human Sexuality 3 PR: PSY 2012, PSY 3204, STA 2122 and a General Biology course USFSM considers STA 2023 to be equivalent to STA 2122
PSY 4931 Selected Topics: Seminar 3 PR: PSY 3213 with a grade of “C” or better; Junior or Senior Standing, Psychology Majors only; CI May be repeated with different titles
PSY 4913 Directed Study 1-3 PR: PSY 3213 No more than three (3) credits may be applied toward the major

Electives and Minors

The requirements for the Psychology degree allow for electives outside the major. Students are encouraged to use these credits to pursue a minor that will broaden and enrich their major studies. Students may elect to pursue any minor; however, the following minors at USFSM would well complement a Psychology degree: Anthropology, Biology, Criminology, Gerontology, Leadership Studies, Religious Studies, or Sociology.