The Department of Psychology offers a dynamic major or minor in psychology, and an exceptional certificate in field of Human Factors. For students seeking a more in-depth and intensive learning experience, the department also offers an Honors Track in partnership with the Honors College.
Our Bachelor’s Program includes coursework in the areas of clinical psychology, cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology, social and personality psychology, health psychology, and more. As a hub science, our program is uniquely positioned to provide a strong platform from which students can launch successful careers into academia, or nearly any field of industry.
Our diverse and award-winning faculty are active researchers who investigate phenomena such as texting while driving, sexual attraction, group identity and discrimination, behavioral epigenetics, couple interactions, combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder, and the interactions between physical and mental health.
Students in our program have an incredible number of opportunities to get involved and develop marketable skillsets while studying the science of psychology. Many of our students work as research assistants in established laboratories, or under the direction of a faculty mentor while pursuing their own research project. Our department also encourages students to gain experience through internships, and has established an innovative award to help fund a select number of these students. In addition to research and internships, several diverse, impactful, and well respected student groups operate on campus and interface with the department, university, and community on various levels. For more information, please see: Getting Involved – Research, Internships, & Groups.
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
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
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
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
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
The Psychology Major requires an average of 12-13 courses. The major begins with General Psychology and Psychology as a Science and Profession. Students are given a significant amount of flexibility to take courses that match their interests and goals.
To apply for the Psychology Major, make an appointment with the PAC Office or apply online.
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.
To apply for the Psychology Minor, make an appointment with the PAC Office or apply online.
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.
To enroll in the Human Factors Certificate students must complete PSY 1010 (with a C or above; transfer credit or related AP score of 3 or better may apply), and complete 10 credit hours here at the U while obtaining a U of U GPA of 2.8 or above.
The Honors Track provides students the opportunity to participate more fully with the Honors College and to earn official Departmental Honors in Psychology. The track includes higher-level coursework and extensive research culminating in an honors thesis.
To enroll in the Honors Track students must first apply and be admitted into the Honors College before being accepted into this program.
Note that all students are expected to adhere to the policy on academic misconduct.