PSYCHOLOGY - Dept. Code: PSY
Psychology is the study of how individuals think, behave, feel, and relate to others. Because of its broad and fundamental nature, coursework in psychology is useful to students pursuing any liberal arts major. Psychology is a good major field of study for individuals who are preparing for post-graduate study in psychology or related fields such as counseling, guidance, or social work. It is also an appropriate field of study for students pursuing medicine, law, or business.
Psychology courses meet the general education requirements in the Social Sciences (People and Society). Although the vast majority of Psychology majors are enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences, Psychology often serves as a second major for students in the School of Communication, the School of Education, the School of Nursing, etc.
While most majors sample broadly from among the Department’s offerings, students wishing to focus on a specific sub-area may select courses to provide a strong (though unofficial) specialization. There are, for instance, clusters of courses in child development, research methodology and the brain-behavior relationship. that provide a basis for such a specialized major.
The Department of Psychology seeks to provide undergraduate students with exposure to and a fundamental understanding of the psychological sciences. It seeks to deliver an integrative educational experience by promoting interactions among faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students in basic and applied psychological inquiry, advising, mentoring, and community outreach.
The Department of Psychology offers both a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree. In addition to completing the coursework for the particular degree specified by the College of Arts and Sciences, students must also meet the departmental requirements for each degree; these are described below.
Students in the School of Communication or the School of Education wishing to receive a major in Psychology must fulfill the departmental requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Psychology major track, in addition to their school’s degree and major requirements.
B.A. Departmental Requirements
The B.A. in Psychology entails 30 credits in Psychology, including PSY 110. Students must also successfully complete a course in research design/statistics PSY 204* (which counts toward the major and serves as a prerequisite for advanced methods courses). Also required are 9 Psychology credits at the 300 level or higher and 6 additional credits at the 400 level or higher.
Students wishing to pursue careers in business, education, law, human resources, religion, social work, or other related fields often choose the B.A. degree. When it includes research-oriented courses such as PSY 204, PSY 316, PSY 418, and research experience, the B.A. is also appropriate for students aspiring to graduate study in many areas within Psychology. B.A. Psychology majors must choose one minor from the list of minors published by the College of Arts and Sciences.
B.S. Departmental Requirements
The B.S. Psychology major entails 33 credits in Psychology, including PSY 110, PSY 204*, PSY 316, and PSY 418, plus 3 additional credits at the 300 level or higher and 6 additional credits at the 400 level or higher.
Psychology majors aspiring to graduate study in Psychology and related fields often pursue the B.S. degree, as do students planning to attend medical school. B.S. Psychology majors must elect a minor from among the following: Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geological Sciences, Engineering, Mathematics, Microbiology and Immunology, or Physics.
*UM alternates to PSY 204 include BIL 311; SOC 211 and 212; and MTH 224. These courses are acceptable as prerequisites for PSY 316, but do not count toward the psychology major. Thus, students opting to do these alternate courses must take another course in Psychology to total the number of credits for that major.
Grades Required to Declare and Continue
A student must have an overall and Psychology GPA of at least 2.5 to transfer from another major to Psychology, to declare Psychology as a second major, to change from Undeclared status to a Psychology major.
Students transferring from another college or university must have cumulative and PSY GPAs of at least 2.8.
Students are strongly advised not to continue as a Psychology major if, after having completed 15 credits in Psychology, the Psychology GPA is less than 2.5 (this shall include all courses taken in the major, not just the ones listed under the major). Additionally, at least a C- must be earned in the MTH prerequisites prior to enrolling in PSY 204.
Grades Required to Graduate
A grade of C- or better is required in all courses applied to the Psychology major, and the GPA in these courses must be at least 2.3.
All Psychology majors must have a minor in another discipline. See above for the stipulations pertaining to the B.A. and the B.S. degrees with a major in Psychology.
The minor in Psychology requires 15 credits in Psychology, with a grade of C- or better and a GPA of 2.0 or better for these 15 credits. No more than 3 of these credits may be in courses having no prerequisite, and no more than 3 credits may be in research courses (e.g., PSY 367). Of the 15 credits, 9 must have been completed at UM; with prior approval, 3 of these 9 credits may be taken through the UM Study Abroad Program.
The office of Undergraduate Services for Psychology (UASP) provides comprehensive advising services for all Psychology majors, minors, and those aspiring to become a major or minor. For curricular advice and for course transfer and approval, etc., students should consult an advisor in UASP. Flipse, Room 508.
Dr. Victoria Noriega is the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Psychology. firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Sean Kilpatrick is the Associate Director of Advising in UASP. email@example.com
All incoming freshmen declared Psychology majors in the College of Arts and Sciences receive their advising as a part of a year-long advising, orientation, and mentoring program known as FACT FORUM. All will be placed in a freshman experience section of FACT (Freshman Advising Contact Term). This is a one credit general elective course that is designed to integrate freshmen into the department by familiarizing them with the guidelines, opportunities, and responsibilities of a Psychology major. During the second semester, freshmen enroll in a FORUM section (Faculty Overview of Research and Undergraduate Mentoring). This one credit general elective course helps to put the curriculum in context, and stresses the importance of and opportunities for research. Advising for Spring and Fall semesters are also done in these courses. These courses are mandatory for all incoming Psychology majors.
Students wishing to declare a Psychology major after matriculation may be required to take part in an advising seminar prior to declaring the major.
Research Participation in PSY 110
As an introduction to behavioral science, students enrolled in PSY 110 may be required to participate as subjects in research studies being conducted by faculty and/or graduate students, or by reading and writing about selected research reports. For details, consult the course syllabus and/or contact the Department’s Undergraduate Academic Services for Psychology. Note: This introductory research participation requirement, by itself, is not sufficient for students interested in attending graduate school in psychology. See Research for Course Credit, below
Psychology majors must complete at least 15 upper division (300 level and above) Psychology credits in residence at UM. Additionally, the last 15 credits must be completed at UM. With prior departmental approval, 6 of these 15 may be completed through the UM Study Abroad Program.
Research Experience for Course Credit
Research is considered integral to the Psychology major. Students may earn course credit (PSY 367, PSY 368, PSY 498, and PSY 499) by working in the laboratory of a faculty member in or approved by the Department of Psychology. Before registration, written permission from the faculty mentor and the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Psychology is required. Students may also volunteer in a research laboratory: Necessary forms must be completed before working in the lab.
No more than 6 research credits (i.e., PSY 367/8 and PSY 499) may count toward the major. PSY 498 does not count toward the major or minor. Additional research credits may count toward general electives.
All courses beyond the 100-level require students to have taken the introductory or foundation course PSY 110 or an equivalent approved by the Department of Psychology. Students who have not taken a prerequisite course (or who have taken it and obtained a D or F) may not enroll in the course for which it is a prerequisite. Students without prerequisites may be dropped from the class roll.
Transfer students wanting courses taken elsewhere to count as Psychology courses at UM must obtain written Departmental approval during their first semester at UM. This is a separate process from the Admissions Evaluation of Transfer Credit. No more than one course at the 100 level (i.e., without a prerequisite) will be counted toward the major; these courses may, however, count as general electives if approved by the office of Admissions.
Regularly enrolled UM students wishing to take a Psychology course elsewhere (e.g., during the summer) must obtain prior Departmental approval if they wish it to be counted in place of a U.M. Psychology course. In some cases, transfer courses not approved as part of the major or minor may still meet other distribution or elective requirements.
Seniors will be required to take part in a senior assessment lasting up to four hours. Departmental self-assessment is mandated by SACS (The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) and is a necessary part of accreditation. These scores will not affect the student’s graduation status.
Departmental Honors in Psychology entails both excellence in regular course work and completion of a Senior Honors Thesis (PSY 498 and PSY 499), an individual research project done under the direction of a UM faculty member. Eligibility requirements for the Senior Honors Thesis in Psychology include 18 credits in psychology with a 3.3 cumulative GPA and a 3.5 Psychology GPA, completion of PSY 316 prior to enrolling in PSY 498, and usually a year of prior research with the faculty member.
To enroll in PSY 498 and PSY 499, students must obtain written approval from both the faculty mentor who will supervise the thesis and the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Psychology. These faculty members will also assess the adequacy of the thesis upon completion.
Students are expected to complete the Thesis course sequence. A grade of “IP” (i.e., incomplete in progress) is given for PSY 498 until the PSY 499 is completed and approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies.