Majors in Arts and Sciences may be completed with a minimum of 120 semester hours unless designated otherwise. At least 30 hours of course work, which represents 25% of the required 120 hours, must be at the upper division level in order to fulfill the University’s residency requirement. At least 15 of the 30 upper-division hours must be in the major or concentration area. An overall grade-point-average (GPA) of 2.0 is required for graduation. In addition, a minimum GPA of 2.0 is required in the student’s major or concentration area.
|Psychology (BA)||Credit Hours|
|A minimum of 36 semester hours in psychology including 30 hours from the undergraduate core and six hours of electives.||36|
|Basic PSY 120 or PSY 121||3|
|Experimental/Learning Courses: PSY 416, PSY 317 or 420, PSY 428, PSY 475; Choose Two||6|
|Personality/Social and Abnormal Courses: PSY 340, PSY435, PSY 440; Choose Two||6|
|Developmental Courses: PSY 350, PSY 456; Choose One||3|
|Capstone Courses PSY 412, PSY 490; Choose One||3|
|The remaining six hours of electives needed for a major may be taken from any courses not taken previously (excluding PSY 250).|
Students who are preparing for graduate study are encouraged to take all courses listed in the undergraduate core and any additional courses recommended by their faculty advisor. Student research is encouraged and students may obtain course credit for individual student research projects in PSY 494. Students pursuing a degree in Psychology also must have a minor in another discipline.
General Education Requirements For Psychology Majors
General Education Requirements for Psychology majors are specified on the College of Arts and Sciences section. Note that Area IV is partially satisfied by the major requirements specified above.
The objective of psychology, as a science, is to understand, explain, and predict the behavior of organisms. The Department of Psychology has developed and organized its course offerings to meet three major goals:
- To provide a strong foundation for those students who plan to enter a graduate school of psychology after completing their undergraduate degree requirements.
- To assist those students who are planning careers in psychology or in related fields by providing a flexible curriculum that can be designed to meet the career goals of individual students.
- To meet the needs of those students who are taking psychology courses as part of their liberal arts education.
All first-time freshmen must successfully complete CAS 100: First Year Experience as a degree requirement. Students must enroll during their first term at USA, except for summer-entry students who must enroll in the fall semester following entry.
Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s Program in Psychology
See Graduate School Bulletin for rules for all Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s Programs https://www.southalabama.edu/bulletin/current/colleges-schools/graduate-school/index.html.
The USA accelerated bachelor’s to master’s (ABM) in Psychology provides exceptional
undergraduate students the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree at
an accelerated pace in Psychology. While still an undergraduate, ABM students may
count up to 12 credit hours of graduate course work towards their graduate degree.
ABM students typically complete the master’s degree within one academic year after
completing the undergraduate degree.
Psychology majors are encouraged to apply for the Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s (ABM) Program in Psychology. This program is designed to allow the student to complete the Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and the Master’s degree in Psychology (Behavior and Brain Sciences program only) in five years.
Admission will be a competitive process. The minimum standards are:
- Have completed at least 90 credit hours
- Have completed at least 30 credit hours at USA
- Must have at least a 3.3 GPA (Cumulative and Psychology)
- Requires 2 letters of recommendation
- Must have a verifiable score on either the ACT, SAT, or GRE
Admission will be based on characteristics of the applicant and research match to
the Psychology faculty.
Once admitted into the ABM program, students must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA and remain in good standing to progress into the graduate program.
ABM students may begin taking graduate courses after completing at least 90 hours
of undergraduate credit.
Typically, during their senior undergraduate year, students will take 6 graduate credits per semester for 2 semesters (12 hours) while they are also taking undergraduate courses. Of these 12 graduate hours, 6 hours can count toward both degrees (Bachelor’s and Master’s) if the courses are completed with grades of at least B. Courses with a grade of C can count toward the undergraduate degree but not the graduate degree. Courses with a grade below C cannot count toward the undergraduate or graduate degree.
Upon completing the undergraduate degree, students will apply to the Master’s Psychology (Behavior and Brain Sciences) program. ABM students who are in good standing will be accepted into the Psychology (Behavior and Brain Sciences) Master’s program.
Completion of the Master of Science (Behavior and Brain Sciences) requires successful completion of all requirements, including at least 36 graduate credit hours. Graduate credit taken while an undergraduate that is completed with at least the grade of B will be transferred into the Master’s program upon acceptance into the program and will apply toward the 36 hours required for the Master of Science degree.
A student who withdraws or is dismissed from the ABM program may not count graduate coursework towards both degrees. Graduate courses for which an undergraduate student did not earn an “A” or “B” grade, may not be counted towards the graduate degree.
An ABM student must be a full time student and must complete all degree requirements for the master’s within three semesters of the semester in which they were admitted to the Graduate School. An exception for a fourth semester may be granted where an additional semester is required for final revisions to and submission of a defended thesis. Exceptions to the ABM policy are at the discretion of the Dean of the Graduate School.
Graduate Study In Psychology
The Department of Psychology accepts applicants to the Master of Science program (non-Clinical/Counseling) and to the Doctor of Philosophy program in Clinical/Counseling Psychology (CCP). Students admitted to the CCP program with a Bachelor’s degree will complete the Master of Science program (Clinical and Counseling Psychology).
The Master of Science degree program in Psychology (non-Clinical/Counseling) is designed to provide individuals with knowledge of current theories, principles, and methods of psychology in preparation for future work toward a doctoral degree, employment in a research setting or employment in a college teaching position. The Department of Psychology currently accepts applicants to the Master of Science degree program, with an interest in one or more areas of concentration in the Behavioral and Brain Sciences Psychology Program. The available areas of concentration include: Behavioral Statistics/Computational Modeling, Personality and Measurement, Cognitive and Perceptual Processing, Psychophysiology, Social/Developmental Psychology, and College Teaching Preparation.
Students enrolled in the Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical and Counseling Psychology have the opportunity to earn a Master's of Science in Psychology as they progress towards completion of the doctoral degree. Students interested in a graduate degree in Clinical and Counseling Psychology are encouraged to see the full program description of the doctoral program in Clinical and Counseling Psychology under the heading "The Graduate School" for more information www.southalabama.edu/ccp/.
Requirements For Admission
Students are admitted Fall Semester only. Applications to the Doctoral CCP Graduate Program should be completed by December 15. Applications to the Masters program in Behavioral and Brain Sciences should be completed by February 15. Late applications will be considered only if there are still openings available. Please note that the Psychology Graduate Program is a competitive program with a limited capacity and admits students to begin in the Fall Semester only.
In addition to the Graduate School application form and required supporting documentation, the Department of Psychology Master of Science requires submission of official GRE scores, a statement of purpose, and three letters of recommendation. Applicants to the Psychology Master of Science concentration in Behavioral and Brain Sciences typically have a minimum GPA of at least a 3.0 on all undergraduate work. In exceptional cases, applicants may be considered with at least a 2.5 GPA on all undergraduate work, or at least a 2.75 GPA on the last 60 hours of undergraduate work. Applicants typically have a minimum GRE score of 300 (verbal + quantitative). In exceptional cases, applicants may be considered with a GRE below 300.
Applicants to the Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical and Counseling Psychology should see www.southalabama.edu/ccp/.
Applicants for non-degree status in psychology are considered only in exceptional cases and will normally be admitted only if they meet regular admission standards. Following admission, non-degree students must have permission of the department chair and director of graduate studies of the college for each course they wish to enroll in. Enrollment will be approved on a space-available basis with preference being given to degree students. Non-degree students must satisfy the same prerequisites and corequisites as degree students.
Progress Toward Degree
All graduate students will be evaluated each semester to determine if they are making satisfactory progress toward completion of degree requirements. Students will be given written reports, including specific deficits, if they are not making satisfactory progress. Such students will have one semester to remedy the specific deficits listed or will be subject to dismissal from the program.
Each year the Psychology Department recommends qualified applicants to the Dean of the Graduate School for graduate assistantships. Application forms for graduate assistantships may be obtained from the Graduate School. The deadline for receipt of completed doctoral assistantship applications is December 15, and for the masters assistantship applications is February 15.