2024-2025 Undergraduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 24, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Course Catalog

Psychology, BS

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Interim Chair:

Lael J. Schooler, Ph.D.
430 Huntington Hall


Kevin Antshel, Sara E. Burke, Catherine A. Cornwell, Daniel Corral, Amy H. Criss, Joseph W. Ditre, Tanya L. Eckert, Les A. Gellis, Brett K. Jakubiak, Jessie Joyce, Michael L. Kalish, Afton Kapuscinski, David Kellen, Katie Kidwell, Lynn Lohnas, Laura V. Machia, Meredith Martin, Leonard S. Newman, Jeewon Oh, Aesoon Park, Natalie Russo, Jillian R. Scheer, Lael J. Schooler, Bradley Seymour, Linda Sun, Shannon M. Sweeney, Peter A. Vanable, Zahra Vahedi Sarah Woolf-King, Michelle Zaso, and Jeffrey C. Zemla 


Psychology is the scientific study of behavior. Professional psychologists may be researchers investigating behavior and/or practitioners, applying their knowledge and skills to individual and social problems.

The Psychology Department offers several options for students. These include a Bachelor of Arts major (B.A.), a Bachelor of Science major (B.S.), and a minor. Students planning to pursue a career in which a background in psychology is useful, such as business, communications, or social services, will find the B.A. degree to be an appropriate track. These students are encouraged to pursue experiences through part-time work or internships in their area of interest. Students interested in pursuing professional careers in psychology, social work, or other professional fields such as law will need to attend graduate school and obtain an advanced degree. These students are encouraged to consult with their academic advisor for advice on whether the B.A. or B.S. degree is most appropriate to meet their long-term goals. The B.S. degree is recommended for students planning professional careers in such fields as medicine, dentistry, and physical therapy.  All students are encouraged to utilize the career resources available in the Department of Psychology, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the University to learn about opportunities and prepare strategies to meet their goals. 

For all Arts and Sciences|Maxwell students, successful completion of a bachelor’s degree in this major requires a minimum of 120 credits, 96 of which must be Arts and Sciences|Maxwell credits, completion of the Liberal Arts Core requirements, and the requirements for this major that are listed below.

Dual Enrollments:

Students dually enrolled in Newhouse* and Arts and Sciences|Maxwell will complete a minimum of 122 credits, with at least 90 credits in Arts and Sciences|Maxwell coursework and an Arts and Sciences|Maxwell major.

*Students dually enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences|Maxwell as first year students must complete the Liberal Arts Core. Students who transfer to the dual program after their first year as singly enrolled students in the Newhouse School will satisfy general requirements for the dual degree program by completing the Newhouse Core Requirements.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Identify the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends relevant to the foundational domains of psychology, including cognitive, social, clinical, and developmental bases of behavior

2. Understand and apply basic principles related to research design, data analysis, and interpretation.  This would include the ability to formulate testable research hypotheses, design a simple study to test the hypothesis, and apply appropriate statistical tests to answer basic research questions relevant to the field of psychology

3. Demonstrate a basic understanding of the American Psychological Association (APA) ethical guidelines and their applications in the context of conducting psychological research

4. Employ the effective use of written communication in the psychological sciences.  Employ the effective use of oral communication in the psychological sciences

5. Demonstrate the ability to effectively work in the field of psychology through involvement in faculty-mentored research, community-based internships, and independent study

6. Investigate natural phenomena, including the development of predictive explanatory systems, including the study of numerical and other abstract structures and relations

Bachelor of Science in Psychology Degree

Program Requirements

The B.S. requires a minimum of 30 credits in psychology (PSY) courses numbered 300 or above.  Only PSY courses count toward the 30 required credits. Students must earn a grade point average of at least a 2.0 in all upper-division Psychology (PSY) courses taken at Syracuse University and counted towards the completion of the major (see MySlice for the GPA calculator).  No more than three credits of PSY 270 or PSY 470 (Experience Credit) may be counted toward the major.  A course may be used to satisfy only one requirement. 


Students interested in taking a psychology class at another institution and transferring it to Syracuse University to count toward either the major or minor should discuss the process with his/her academic advisor.  An electronic petition form must be completed.  Be sure to include all identifying information, such as your name and SU ID number, in the appropriate fields.

Prior to enrolling in the course, email the form and a copy of the course syllabus to the psychology department’s inbox at psychology@.syr.edu. Petitions may take up to two weeks for review. Winter intersession classes are generally not accepted as transfer credit. Students should plan their program of study in consultation with their academic advisor in order to ensure timely completion of degree requirements.

PSY 213  and PSY 252  must be taken on SU main campus, petitions will not be accepted for these classes.
Advanced electives must be taken at Syracuse University SU main campus, petitions will not be accepted for this requirement. 

Statistics Sequence

Majors must satisfy a two semester statistics sequence from the list below which also satisfies the quantitative skills requirement of the Liberal Arts Core, PSY 252 counts towards the 30 required credits in Psychology, but MAT courses do not. 

Psychology Lecture-Lab Combination

B.S. students are required to complete one psychology lecture-laboratory combination. Courses selected to complete the combination may not be used to satisfy other requirements for the major. There are no substitutions for this requirement. The department strongly recommends students take the lecture and lab during the same semester. There is no guarantee that labs will be offered in future semesters. If it is not possible to take the lecture and lab simultaneously, the lecture must be completed as a pre-requisite to the lab. The following course sequences satisfy this requirement:

Psychology Electives

The B.S. student selects additional Psychology (PSY) electives to achieve a minimum of 30 PSY credit hours numbered at the 300 level or above if needed.  

Additional Mathematics and Natural Science Requirements

Mathematics and Natural Sciences Electives

In addition to the natural science lecture-laboratory requirement and the statistics sequence requirement for the Psychology major, the B.S. student must complete three courses (a minimum of 9 credits) in mathematics and/or in the natural sciences. This requirement is intended to deepen or enhance the student’s experience and scholarly interests in the sciences. Courses that satisfy this requirement are listed below.  Courses used toward the natural science lecture-laboratory requirement cannot be used to fulfill this requirement. Courses used toward the statistics requirement cannot be used to fulfill this requirement. 

Distinction Program

Program faculty will invite majors who meet the eligibility requirements to participate in the Distinction Program. The Distinction Program offers an enhanced research and mentoring experience. Distinction candidates must, at the time of graduation, have a GPA of at least 3.6 in Psychology courses and 3.4 overall. They must also complete two required psychology distinction courses (PSY 497 and PSY 498). In addition, they will conduct faculty-sponsored empirical or theoretical research using real or simulated data on a topic that is appropriate for psychology journals. Distinction candidates must write a research paper in a style appropriate for psychology journals and receive approval of their final document from their faculty sponsor and one faculty reader. The Distinction Program provides scholars the skills and support needed to produce a project suitable for presentation at an academic conference or for publication in a psychology journal.

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