University Bulletin 2017-2018

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Minor in Psychology

If a minor is required in your degree program, at least 9 (lower and/or upper-division) hours of courses in the minor must be completed at the University.

Minor in Psychology Credit Hours
A minimum of 21 semester hours in Psychology, including  21
PSY 120 or PSY 121  
PSY 220  
PSY 221  
14 semester hours of electives (twelve of those must be in courses numbered 300 or above)   

Department of Psychology web site

Undergraduate Studies

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:

  1. To provide a strong foundation for those students who plan to enter a graduate school of psychology after completing their undergraduate degree requirements.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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

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 requires submission of a Psychology Department application form, statement of purpose,  and three letters of recommendation.
The following criteria supplement the Graduate School criteria for admission (see Categories of Admission).

Regular Admission

In addition to meeting graduate school requirements for regular admission (see Categories of Admission), applicants to the Master of Science program must meet the following criteria:

  1. Completion of at least 21 semester hours of psychology courses on the undergraduate level including at least one statistics course and one course in experimental methods/research design. In addition, the following courses are highly recommended: abnormal psychology, biological psychology, learning, personality, social psychology, developmental psychology, and history/systems of psychology.
  2. Summed score of 300 or better (1000 or better based on previous scores) on the verbal and quantitative sub tests of the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination.
  3. Three letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose.

Please note that these are the minimum requirements for admission. Admission is competitive and students who are admitted to the program may far surpass these minimums.

Provisional Standing

Applicants who do not meet all requirements for regular admission but who show evidence of promise as a graduate student may, in exceptional cases, be considered for provisional admission if space is available in the program. The graduate admissions committee will consider provisional admission on an individual basis. Students admitted provisionally may be required to make up deficiencies in their undergraduate course work without graduate credit in addition to completing the normal degree requirements listed below.
Provisional students may apply for regular standing after satisfactory completion of the first nine semester hours of recommended graduate course work in psychology. Students must also remove any undergraduate deficiencies before being approved for change of status. Students in provisional standing who receive a grade lower than "B" in any graduate or undergraduate psychology course will be recommended to the Dean of the Graduate School for academic dismissal.

Non-degree Students

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. That is, they must have a 3.0 GPA overall and in psychology, a score of 300 or better on the verbal plus quantitative sub tests of the Graduate Record Examination, and must have completed the required undergraduate course work. 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.

Graduate Assistantships

Each year the Psychology Department recommends qualified applicants to the Dean of Graduate School for graduate assistantships. Applicants must be students in Regular Standing.   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 assistantships is February 15.