undergraduate program

overview // bachelor's degree


The Department of Psychology offers a dynamic major, minor and certificate in Human Factors to undergraduate students. Our course work includes introductory courses in general psychology, psychology as a profession, statistical and research methods, and spans topics from love to drugs and behavior. Our diverse award-winning faculty are all active researchers in areas such as texting while driving, physical health and its effects on mental health, sexual attraction, gender issues and persuasion.

Psychology undergrads can do so much more than just classes. Students have the opportunity actively engage in research as research assistants or interns at local mental and behavioral health agencies. We also offer opportunities as teaching assistants, academic peer advisors, and members of our Student Advisory Group and local Psi Chi honor society chapter.

Learning Outcomes

Goal 1: Knowledge Base in Psychology

Students should demonstrate fundamental knowledge and comprehension of the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, historical trends, and empirical findings to discuss how psychological principles apply to behavioral problems. Students completing Foundation courses should demonstrate breadth of their knowledge and application of psychological ideas to simple problems; students completing a baccalaureate degree should show depth in their knowledge and application of psychological concepts and frameworks to problems of greater complexity.

  • 1.1 Describe key concepts, principles, and overarching themes in psychology
  • 1.2 Develop a working knowledge of psychology’s content domains
  • 1.3 Describe applications of psychology

Goal 2: Scientific Inquiry and Critical Thinking

The skills in this domain involve the development of scientific reasoning and problem solving, including effective research methods. Students completing Foundation courses should learn basic skills and concepts in interpreting behavior, studying research, and applying research design principles to drawing conclusions about psychological phenomena; students completing a baccalaureate degree should focus on theory use as well as designing and executing research plans.

  • 2.1 Use scientific reasoning to interpret psychological phenomena
  • 2.2 Demonstrate psychology information literacy
  • 2.3 Engage in innovative and integrative thinking and problem solving
  • 2.4 Interpret, design, and conduct basic psychological research
  • 2.5 Incorporate sociocultural factors in scientific inquiry

Goal 3: Ethical and Social Responsibility in a Diverse World

The skills in this domain involve the development of ethically and socially responsible behaviors for professional and personal settings in a landscape that involves increasing diversity. Students completing Foundation courses should become familiar with the formal regulations that govern professional ethics in psychology and begin to embrace the values that will contribute to positive outcomes in work settings and in building a society responsive to multicultural and global concerns. Students completing a baccalaureate degree should have more direct opportunities to demonstrate adherence to professional values that will help them optimize their contributions and work effectively, even with those who don’t share their heritage and traditions. This domain also promotes the adoption of personal and professional values that can strengthen community relationships and contributions.

  • 3.1 Apply ethical standards to evaluate psychological science and practice
  • 3.2 Build and enhance interpersonal relationships
  • 3.3 Adopt values that build community at local, national, and global levels

Goal 4: Communication

Students should demonstrate competence in writing, oral, and interpersonal communication skills. Students completing Foundation courses should write a cogent scientific argument, present information using a scientific approach, engage in discussion of psychological concepts, explain the ideas of others, and express their own ideas with clarity. Students completing a baccalaureate degree should produce a research study or other psychological project, explain scientific results, and present information to a professional audience. They should also develop flexible interpersonal approaches that optimize information exchange and relationship development.

  • 4.1 Demonstrate effective writing for different purposes
  • 4.2 Exhibit effective presentation skills for different purposes
  • 4.3 Interact effectively with others

Goal 5: Professional Development

The emphasis in this goal is on application of psychology-specific content and skills, effective self- reflection, project-management skills, teamwork skills, and career preparation. Foundation outcomes concentrate on the development of work habits and ethics to succeed in academic settings. The skills in this goal at the Baccalaureate level refer to abilities that sharpen student readiness for postbaccalaureate employment, graduate school, or professional school. These skills can be developed and refined both in traditional academic settings and extracurricular involvement. In addition, career professionals can be enlisted to support occupational planning and pursuit. This emerging emphasis should not be construed as obligating psychology programs to obtain employment for their graduates, but instead encourages programs to optimize the competitiveness of their graduates for securing places in the workforce.

  • 5.1 Apply psychological content and skills to career goals
  • 5.2 Exhibit self-efficacy and self-regulation
  • 5.3 Refine project-management skills
  • 5.4 Enhance teamwork capacity
  • 5.5 Develop meaningful professional direction for life after graduation

psychology major

The Psychology major is comprised of 12 courses including General Psychology and Psychology as a Science & Profession. Students are given a significant amount of flexibility to take courses which fit their interests and goals to complete the major. More information regarding the psychology major can be found in the Major Handbook. For course curriculum requirements, see the full major checklist.

psychology minor

The psychology minor requires 16 credit hours, or about five classes on average. Students who are interested in integrating a few Psychology courses into their major are encouraged to pursue a minor. Download the Minor Checklist for more information about curriculum requirements.

honors track

The Psychology Department is pleased to announce a new Departmental Honors track in Psychology. This new program will allow psychology majors to participate more fully in the offerings of the Honors College and to earn official departmental honors in psychology.
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human factors certificate

The Human Factors Certificate is a 20 credit hour, open certificate available to all majors, including Psychology. The main purpose of Human Factors is to improve human interactions with equipment, software, and other people in ways that enhance performance, increase safety, and improve user satisfaction. The certificate can also easily fit within a psychology major. Visit the Human Factors Certificate page for more information.
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Interested in psychology?

Here's how U declare.

step 1 - fulfill requirements for desired area

  • For Psychology Major - Major Checklist
    Take Psychology 1010 (or transfer credit or related AP score of 4 or better may apply), Psychology 2010 (also available as transfer from some Utah schools,), and complete 10 credit hours here at the U and obtain a U of U GPA of 2.8 or above.
  • For Psychology Minor - Minor Checklist
    Complete Psychology 1010, 10 credit hours at the U of U and obtain a U of U GPA of 2.8 or above
  • For Human Factors Certificate - Certificate Requirements
    Complete Psychology 1010, 10 credit hours at the U of U and obtain a U of U GPA of 2.8 or above

step 2 - apply online

This page was produced by the Psychology Advising Center, your undergraduate advising resource. Visit the Psychology Advising Center page for more information and tools to guide your undergraduate career.
For best results, visit your advisor regularly.