Degree Requirements

New Students Fall 2018 - Summer 2019

Requirements for a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology

Framework of the Degree

To ensure you receive an appropriately broad and well-balanced education at MSU, psychology majors must satisfy the requirements of three separate units that represent three administrative levels: the University, the College of Social Science, and the Department of Psychology.  You must meet the graduation requirements of each unit.  In addition, you will need to choose elective coursework to achieve the minimum number of 120 credits for a degree.  You must complete 30 credits at the 300 or 400 level.  An illustration of the degree framework is shown below:

Psy Degree Credit Distribution

The following is a brief summary of University requirements; however, the Academic Programs catalog http://reg.msu.edu/AcademicPrograms/ is the official source for University policy.

· Complete a minimum of 120 credits with a 2.0 or better cumulative MSU GPA.

· Achieve a 2.0 or better Psychology cumulative GPA at MSU.

· Complete a minimum of 30 credits at MSU with a minimum of 27 credits on the East Lansing campus after junior status.

·  Earn a minimum of 20 credits while in the major.

·  Courses used to satisfy specific degree requirements may not be taken for CR/NC .

·  No more than 10 of a student’s last 30 credits may be transferred from a 4-year accredited college/university.  PRIOR APPROVAL IS REQUIRED.

· Credits from a community college will not be accepted once junior status is achieved (56 credits).

Note:  Before taking a course at another institution, you should clearly understand the MSU Policy on transferability of courses.  For more detailed information, please go to http://transfer.msu.edu/ and consult with your academic advisor.

 

University Requirements

WRITING REQUIREMENT—The Tier I writing requirement is fulfilled by successful completion of WRA 101 or 195H.  The Tier II portion of your writing requirement is fulfilled by the completion of a designated 300-400 level course in your major.  These course titles are followed by a “W”.

MATHEMATICS REQUIREMENT—Complete one of the following*:

1. Complete two of the following courses:

     a. Mathematics 101, 102 or 103

2.  Complete both of the following:

     a.  Mathematics 103; and

     b.  One of the following courses: Mathematics 112, 114, 124, 132, 152H, or 201; or Statistics and Probability 200 or 201.  Students who place into any course in 2.b via the Mathematics Placement Exam need only complete the course in 2.b in order to fulfill the University Mathematics requirement.

3. Complete one of the following:

     a. Mathematics 110 or 116

INTEGRATIVE STUDIES REQUIREMENT—The Integrative Studies requirement includes the completion of coursework in the Arts & Humanities, the Social Sciences, and the Biological and Physical Sciences. Students must complete 24 credits in the Integrative Studies courses (IAH, ISS, ISB,  ISP, and lab). 

Integrative Studies in Arts and Humanities—8 credits

  • IAH 201-210
  • IAH 211+

Integrative Studies in Social Science—8 credits

  • ISS 2XX
  • ISS 3XX

Integrative Studies in Biological and Physical Sciences*—8 credits

  • ISB 2XX
  • ISP 2XX
  • 2 Credits of ISB/ISP Lab

DIVERSITY REQUIREMENT - Must include at least two courses in National, International, and Diversity from the following combinations: N&I; N&D; or I&D.  The letter will be found after the IAH/ISS course title. 

College of Social Science Requirements

EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING REQUIREMENT

All students within the College of Social Science must complete an experiential learning requirement.  The experiential learning requirement may be satisfied either within or outside the requirements of the major.  The requirement may be met by completing a 3 or 4-credit experiential learning course, approved by the College of Social Science Committee on Curriculum and Academic Policy or its designee.  A list of approved courses is  maintained by the College of Social Science on their website.  Many students complete this requirement by successfully completing a study abroad, a study away, an internship or by conducting research with a faculty member.

INTERDISCIPLINARY MINOR REQUIREMENT

Complete a minimum of 15 credits in one Interdisciplinary Minor from a list of minors approved by the College of Social Science Committee on Curriculum and Academic Policy.  Examples of Minors approved for this requirement include: African Studies; Asian Studies; The City: Environment, Design and Society; Law, Justice, and Public Policy; Leadership of Organizations; Human Behavior and Social Services; Youth and Society; Environment and Health; International Development.  A list of approved minors is maintained by the College of Social Science on their website.  Minor requirements can have some duplication between major and minor, but not more than two courses.  If you wish to add one of the College of Social Science minors, please meet with a psychology advisor.

Specific College of Social Science Requirements for Psychology Bachelor of Arts (BA)

SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, MATHEMATICS,REQUIREMENT (STEM)

Complete a minimum of 6 credits in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses from a list of courses approved and maintained by the College of Social Science Committee on Curriculum and Academic Policy.  Most courses offered in the College of Natural Science and the College of Engineering count toward this requirement.  Other courses approved by the College of Social Science Committee on Curriculum and Academic Policy can meet this requirement.  Please consult the CSS website for specific lists and details: http://socialscience.msu.edu/curriculum.

 

ARTS AND HUMANITIES REQUIREMENT

Complete a minimum of 6 credits in Arts and Humanities from a list of courses approved by the College of Social Science Committee on Curriculum and Academic Policy.  Most courses offered in the College of Arts and Letters count toward this requirement.   Other courses approved by the College of Social Science Committee on Curriculum and Academic Policy can meet this requirement.  A list of approved courses is maintained by the College of Social Science and is located on their website. Note: The College requires thie Arts and Humanities requirement only for BS students, however the Department of Psychology requires it for both BA and BS students.  Please consult the CSS website for specific lists and details: http://socialscience.msu.edu/curriculum.


Specific College of Social Science Requirements for Psychology Bachelor of Science (BS)

SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, MATHEMATICS,REQUIREMENT (STEM)

Complete a minimum of 15 credits in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses from a list of courses approved and maintained by the College of Social Science Committee on Curriculum and Academic Policy.  Most courses offered in the College of Natural Science and the College of Engineering count toward this requirement.  Other courses approved by the College of Social Science Committee on Curriculum and Academic Policy can meet this requirement.  Note: The College requires only 12 credits of STEM for a BS degree, but the Department of Psychology requires 15 credits.  Please consult the CSS website for specific lists and details:  http://socialscience.msu.edu/curriculum


ADDITIONAL STEM REQUIREMENTS FOR BS STUDENTS

At least 9 of the required 15 STEM credits must be fulfilled by courses on the Psychology STEM list.  Please check for prerequisites.  This is a Department of Psychology requirement and and the list of approved courses is located on the Psychology website: https://psychology.msu.edu/uploads/undergradimages/BSCourseList.pdf#asset:18569

BS MATHEMATICS REQUIREMENT

A calculus course at the level of MTH 124 or higher is required.  If this course is used to satisfy the University Mathematics requirement, then the credits may not be counted toward the College STEM credit requirement.


ARTS AND HUMANITIES REQUIREMENT

Complete a minimum of 6 credits in Arts and Humanities from a list of courses approved by the College of Social Science Committee on Curriculum and Academic Policy.  Most courses offered in the College of Arts and Letters count toward this requirement.   Other courses approved by the College of Social Science Committee on Curriculum and Academic Policy can meet this requirement.  A list of approved courses is maintained by the College of Social Science and is located on their website. Please consult the CSS website for specific lists and details: http://socialscience.msu.edu/curriculum.

Department of Psychology Requirements

Complete a minimum of 31 credits in Psychology with a minimum 2.0 PSY GPA.

Required:

  • PSY 101  Introductory Psychology
  • PSY 295  Data Analysis in Psychological Research
  • PSY 395  Design and Measurement in Psychological Research

Choose one:       

  • PSY 200  Cognitive Psychology
  • PSY 209  Brain and Behavior

Choose two:       

  • PSY 235  Social Psychology
  • PSY 236  Personality Psychology
  • PSY 244  Developmental Psychology: Infancy Through Childhood
  • PSY 255  Industrial and Organizational Psychology
  • PSY 270  Community Psychology
  • PSY 280  Abnormal Psychology

Choose one: 

  • PSY 401  Expertise and Skill (W)
  • PSY 402  Sensation and Perception (W)
  • PSY 405  History of Modern Psychology (W)
  • PSY 409  Psychobiology of Behavioral Development (W)
  • PSY 410  Neurobiology of Learning and Memory (W)
  • PSY 411  Hormones and Behavior (W)
  • PSY 413  Lab in Behavioral Neuroscience (W)
  • PSY 424  Child and Family Psychopathology (W)
  • PSY 440  Attitudes and Social Cognition (W)
  • PSY 444  Developmental Psychology: Adolescence Through Youth (W)
  • PSY 455  Advanced Topics in Organizational Psychology (W)
  • PSY 475  Personality Theories (W)
  • PSY 493* Issues in Psychology( W)

(W) indicates a Tier II Writing course.

Required:  Elective courses in Psychology to reach 31 credits. The elective courses in Psychology can come from Independent Study-PSY 490 & 491, Practicum-PSY 371/372, Internship-PSY 382 (instructor approval is required for these courses - See Get Involved Section of the website) or other PSY classes (examples listed below or additional courses taken from above categories):

  • PSY 301 Cognitive Neuroscience 
  • PSY/NEU 310  Psychology and Biology Of Human Sexuality
  • PSY 312 Introduction to Clinical Psychology
  • PSY 316  Children’s Exposure to Domestic Violence: Promoting Resiliency
  • PSY 317  Sexual Assault: Context, Interventions and Prevention
  • PSY 320 Health Psychology
  • PSY 333  The Neurobiology of Food Intake and Overeating
  • PSY 339 Psychology of Women
  • PSY 342 Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination
  • PSY/LIN 463 Introduction to Cognitive Science
  • PSY 492 Special Topics in Psychology


General Electives

General Electives are any courses that do not meet a specific course requirement.  This is your chance to explore and expand your knowledge in other areas of interest.  Psychology majors usually have 19-34 credits of General Electives depending on the degree selected.  These courses count toward the 120 minimum credits required for graduation.  Elective courses taken at the 300+ level,  also satisfy the upper level requirement.  Excess credits from University, College, or PSY requirements are also considered General Electives.  When completing electives, you can take a diversity of courses from all different disciplines.  If you would rather have them more focused, you may choose to complete a minor, additional major, or second degree.

 Some of the more popular departments Psychology majors select electives from are:

  • ACC Accounting
  • ADV Advertising
  • CEP Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education
  • COM Communication
  • EAD Educational Administration
  • FW Fisheries and Wildlife
  • HB Hospitality Business
  • IDES Interior Design
  • JRN Journalism
  • KIN Kinesiology
  • MI Media Informaiton
  • PRR Parks, Recreation and Tourism Resources
  • TE Teacher Education