Major in Psychology

Students are encouraged to review the detailed information below and utilize the checklist in planning for your major.  You can also review course descriptions and course syllabi to inform your plan.

Note: New Departmental NR Policy for Summer 2020 Only

Although grades of NR are not normally allowed for major courses, in light of the NRO policy in place for Summer 2020, we have adopted the following departmental policy for this term.  One course with a grade of NR may be counted toward the major, whether Psychology or Neuroscience.  Courses that are not eligible for election of the NRO (Psyc 10 and Psyc 11) are not included in this policy.

Requirements for the Psychology Major


  • PSYC 1 (Introduction to Psychology)
  • PSYC 10 (Experimental Design, Methodology, and Data Analysis Procedures)

Requirements for the Psychology Major


  • PSYC 11 (Laboratory in Psychological Science)
  • Two PSYC courses numdered in the 20s*
    • One course from the set:
      • PSYC 23 (Social Psychology)
      • PSYC 24 (Abnormal Psychology)
      • PSYC 25 (Developmental Psychology)
    • One course from the set:
      • PSYC 21 (Perception)
      • PSYC 22 (Learning)
      • PSYC 28 (Cognitive Psychology)
      • PSYC 38 (Previously offered as PSYC 27) (Cognitive Neuroscience). Note that beginning with students in the class of 2024, PSYC 38 cannot be used to fulfill the requirement of a course from this set.
  • One course numbered 50 or higher
  • Three electives numbered 21-89
  • One course numbered 60-87 or PSYC 89, which constitutes the Culminating Experience. Psychology majors are expected to complete PSYC 1, PSYC 10, and PSYC 11 prior to their culminating experience.
*Note - Students who have earned credit for PSYC 6 (Introduction to Neuroscience) may choose any two PSYC courses in the 20s, even if they are from the same set.

Planning your major


Use this checklist to guide you in preparing a successful request for approval of your major plan. It is intended to help you plan, but you are also welcome to seek advice from faculty members in the department for assistance in designing an effective and satisfying major.  When you are ready to declare your Psychology major, follow the instructions from the Registrar's Office.  If you have questions about the major requirements or your major plan, please contact Professor Catherine Cramer, Chair of the PBS Undergraduate Committee.


  • Students must obtain a grade no lower than C in PSYC 1. Students who fail to obtain a C or better in PSYC 1 may still complete a major in Psychology in the event that they earn C or better in their next two Psychology courses.
  • PSYC 10 may be taken concurrently with PSYC 1.
  • As a course prerequisite to the major, PSYC 10 should be taken at or before the time of declaring the major; otherwise it must be taken in the first offering following sign-up for the major. Though we recommend against substituting, some other statistics courses are permitted, with permission, as alternatives to PSYC 10, specifically: ECON 10, GOVT 10, MATH 10 and SOCY 10. AP statistics (Math 10) may only be substituted if the departmental statistics placement test is also passed.
  • The Department recommends that majors take more upper level (50, 60 and 80 level) courses than we require for the major.
  • PSYC 88 may not be used to satisfy the Culminating requirement.
  • Beginning in 2017-18, PSYC 89 may be used to satisfy the Culminating requirement.
  • The Psychology major cannot be modified. Students who wish to have Psychology as the secondary part of a Modified Major (e.g., Biology Modified with Psychology) may do so, if the major forms a unified and coherent whole, as approved by the Chair of the Departmental Undergraduate Committee.