Psychology
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Concentrations

BA in Psychology

For policies governing all undergraduate degrees, see Academic Policies.

This undergraduate program offers students the option of applying to the accelerated master's degree program in psychology (CBNR concentration).  See listing for specific requirements.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Degree Requirements (Catalog Year 2016-2017)

Students must fulfill all requirements for bachelor's degrees, including Mason Core. Students pursuing a BA in psychology must complete additional college requirements for BA degrees in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Students pursuing this degree must complete 36 credits within the major, with 24 credits at the 300 and 400 level. 

Students may choose to complete a concentration in forensic psychology, human factors and applied cognition, work and organizational psychology, developmental psychology, educational psychology, or health psychology. Courses required for a concentration may simultaneously satisfy other degree requirements. The concentrations in forensic psychology, human factors and applied cognition, and work and organizational psychology meet the applied psychology requirement.

Basic courses in psychology (22-28 credits)

 Students must have a minimum GPA of 2.00 in these courses with a minimum grade of 1.67 (C-) in each one. Courses taken to fulfill these requirements may simultaneously satisfy a concentration.

One introductory course (3 credits)

PSYC 100 - Basic Concepts in Psychology Credits: 3

Three or four foundational courses (9 or 12 credits)

PSYC 231 - Social Psychology Credits: 3

PSYC 317 - Cognitive Psychology Credits: 3

plus

PSYC 211 - Developmental Psychology Credits: 3

or two of the following

PSYC 313 - Child Development Credits: 3, PSYC 314 - Adolescent Development Credits: 3, PSYC 415 - Psychological Factors in Aging Credits: 3

Two research methods courses (7 credits)

PSYC 300 - Statistics in Psychology  Credits: 4

PSYC 301 - Research Methods in Psychology Credits: 4

One or two courses in biopsychology (3 or 6 credits)

Only students who receive transfer credit for PSYC 372 may use it in place of PSYC 375 as the prerequisite for PSYC 376. Students taking PSYC 372 at Mason may not use it in place of PSYC 375.

PSYC 372 - Physiological Psychology Credits: 3

or both

PSYC 375 - Brain and Sensory Processes Credits: 3

AND PSYC 376 - Brain and Behavior Credits: 3

Notes

Students are strongly encouraged to complete PSYC 300 and PSYC 301 by their junior year. PSYC 300 is a prerequisite to several courses, and a background in research methods facilitates understanding empirical research discussed in all psychology courses.

It is strongly recommended that students fulfill the Mason Core natural science requirement by completing BIOL 103 and BIOL 104 because these courses are prerequisites to the requirement of PSYC 372 or PSYC 375 and PSYC 376.

Applied psychology courses or optional concentration

Students pursuing a BA in psychology complete two applied psychology courses chosen from the list below. 

Alternatively, students may earn a concentration in forensic psychology, human factors and applied psychology, or work and organizational psychology to satisfy this requirement.

Two courses in applied psychology (6-7 credits)

 Students pursuing the BA without concentration take 6-7 credits chosen from the list below.

PSYC 320 - Psychological Tests and Measurements Credits: 4

PSYC 325 - Abnormal Psychology Credits: 3

PSYC 333 - Industrial and Organizational Psychology Credits: 3

PSYC 340 - Human Factors Psychology Credits: 3

PSYC 379 - Applied Cross-Cultural Psychology Credits: 3

PSYC 381 - Mental Illness and Criminal Justice Credits: 3

PSYC 427 - Community Engagement for Social Change Credits: 3

OR complete a concentration in forensic psychology, human factors and applied cognition, or work and organizational psychology

Concentrations Meeting Applied Psychology Requirement (12-18 credits)

Students may satisfy the applied psychology requirement by completing a concentration in forensic psychology, human factors and applied cognition, or work and organizational psychology.

◊ Concentration in Forensic Psychology (FPSY)

Students pursuing the concentration in forensic psychology take 18 credits. Students must earn a minimum GPA of 2.00 in all course work applied to the concentration.

Specific requirements for the concentration are listed below.

Four required courses (12 credits)

PSYC 100 - Basic Concepts in Psychology Credits: 3

PSYC 325 - Abnormal Psychology Credits: 3

PSYC 380 - Introduction to Forensic Psychology Credits: 3

PSYC 381 - Mental Illness and Criminal Justice Credits: 3

Two courses (6 credits) chosen from:

PSYC 382 - Psychology of Crime Victims Credits: 3

PSYC 440 - Forensic Psychology: Science and Pseudoscience Credits: 3

PSYC 441 - Criminal Behavior: Psychological and Neurological Aspects Credits: 3

CRIM 100 - Introduction to Criminal Justice Credits: 3

PSYC 461 - Special Topics Credits: 3(with Undergraduate Associate Chair approval)

PSYC 462 - Selected Topics in Forensic Psychology Credits: 3(with Undergraduate Associate Chair approval)

Total: 18 credits

◊ Concentration in Human Factors and Applied Cognition (HF)

Students pursuing the BA with concentration in human factors and applied cognition take 12-13 credits. Students must earn a minimum GPA of 2.00 in all course work applied to the concentration.

Students who successfully complete the Psychology Department Honors Program (PSYC 490, PSYC 491, and PSYC 492) with an honors thesis/project focused on human factors or applied cognition may, with approval of their thesis committees and the associate chair for undergraduate studies, substitute their honors work for one course in the concentration.

Two required courses (6 credits)

PSYC 317 - Cognitive Psychology Credits: 3

PSYC 340 - Human Factors Psychology Credits: 3

Two courses (6-7 credits) chosen from:

PSYC 309 - Sensation, Perception, and Information Processing Credits: 4

PSYC 333 - Industrial and Organizational Psychology Credits: 3

PSYC 372 - Physiological Psychology Credits: 3

PSYC 460 - Independent Study in Psychology Credits: 1-4(with human factors and applied cognition faculty member)

PSYC 530 - Cognitive Engineering: Cognitive Science Applied to Human Factors Credits: 3(course has a prerequisite of PSYC 317)

Total: 12-13 credits

◊ Concentration in Work and Organizational Psychology (WKOP)

Students pursuing the BS with concentration take 12-13 credits. Students must earn a minimum GPA of 2.00 in all course work applied to the concentration.

Students who successfully complete the Psychology Department Honors Program (PSYC 490, PSYC 491, and PSYC 492) with an honors thesis/project focused on I/O psychology may, with approval of their thesis committees and the associate chair for undergraduate studies, substitute the honors work for one course in the concentration.

Specific requirements for the concentration are listed below.

One required applied psychology course (3 credits)

PSYC 333 - Industrial and Organizational Psychology Credits: 3

Three courses (9-10 credits) chosen from:

PSYC 320 - Psychological Tests and Measurements Credits: 4

PSYC 335 - Psychology of Creativity and Innovation Credits: 3

PSYC 435 - Personnel Training and Development: A Psychological Perspective Credits: 3

PSYC 467 - The Psychology of Working in Groups and Teams Credits: 3

PSYC 461 - Special Topics Credits: 1-3(when topic is Occupational Health Psychology or Work and Family with prior written approval)

Total: 12-13 credits

Other concentrations

Students may choose to complete a concentration in developmental psychology, educational psychology, or health psychology.

◊ Concentration in Developmental Psychology (DVLP)

The developmental psychology concentration is designed to provide students with understanding in the many ways in which peoples thinking and abilities change over time. Coursework provides for a broad foundation in psychology across the lifespan while also allowing for students to focus on a developmental period (e.g. childhood).The concentration in developmental psychology may be of interest to students who are planning to attend graduate school in developmental psychology or a related field, such as human development and family studies, school psychology, or clinical child psychology. In addition, the coursework will help prepare students to work with people directly, or to be employed in contexts (e.g., schools or agencies) that work with people.

Students pursuing the BA with this concentration take 12 credits. Students must earn a minimum GPA of 2.00 in all course work applied to the concentration.

Students who successfully complete the Psychology Department Honors Program (PSYC 490, 491, and 492) with an honors thesis/project focused on developmental psychology may, with approval of their thesis committees and the associate chair for undergraduate studies, substitute their honors work for one course in the concentration.

Students can receive the concentration in developmental psychology by completing the following:

Two required courses (6 credits)

PSYC 211 - Developmental Psychology Credits: 3

PSYC 313 - Child Development Credits: 3

Two courses (6 credits) chosen from:

PSYC 314 - Adolescent Development Credits: 3

PSYC 379 - Applied Cross-Cultural Psychology Credits: 3

PSYC 414 - Behavior Disorders of Childhood Credits: 3

PSYC 415 - Psychological Factors in Aging Credits: 3

PSYC 460 - Independent Study in Psychology Credits: 1-4(when content is developmental with prior written approval)

PSYC 461 - Special Topics Credits: 1-3(when content is developmental with prior written approval)

Total: 12 credits

◊ Concentration in Educational Psychology (EPSY)

Educational psychology as a field focuses on learning processes. This concentration focuses on the theoretical and applied aspects of learning, motivation, human development, personality, assessment, teaching, and evaluation in educational settings. Coursework enables students to apply psychological principles to the learning process in the classroom context during childhood and adolescence. The concentration in educational psychology may be of interest to students who are planning to attend graduate school in educational psychology, developmental psychology, or education. In addition, the coursework will help prepare students to work in businesses that have an educational component or in educational settings themselves.

Students pursuing the BA with concentration in educational psychology take 12 credits. Students must earn a minimum GPA of 2.00 in all course work applied to the concentration.

Two required educational psychology courses (6 credits)

PSYC 312 - Educational Psychology Credits: 3

PSYC 320 - Psychological Tests and Measurements Credits: 4

Two courses (6 credits) chosen from:

PSYC 304 - Principles of Learning Credits: 4

PSYC 313 - Child Development Credits: 3

PSYC 314 - Adolescent Development Credits: 3

PSYC 322 - Behavior Modification Credits: 3-5

PSYC 460 - Independent Study in Psychology Credits: 1-4(educational content only with department approval)

PSYC 461 - Special Topics Credits: 1-3(educational content only with department approval)

PSYC 558 - Neuronal Bases of Learning and Memory Credits: 3

Total: 12 credits

◊ Concentration in Health Psychology (HPSY)

Students pursuing the BA with concentration in health psychology take 12 credits. Students must earn a minimum GPA of 2.00 in all course work applied to the concentration.

Students who successfully complete the Psychology Department Honors Program (PSYC 490, 491, and 492) with an honors thesis/project focused on health or well-being may, with approval of their thesis committees and the associate chair for undergraduate studies, substitute their honors work for one course in the concentration.

Specific requirements for the concentration are listed below.

One required well-being course (3 credits)

PSYC 417 - Science of Well Being Credits: 3

Three courses (9 credits) chosen from:

PSYC 211 - Developmental Psychology Credits: 3

PSYC 321 - Counseling Psychology Credits: 3

PSYC 325 - Abnormal Psychology Credits: 3

PSYC 408 - Psychological Fitness Credits: 3

PSYC 461 - Special Topics Credits: 1-3(when topic is related to health and well-being and approved by the psychology department)

Total: 12 credits

Elective courses in psychology (1-8)

Students complete the 36 required credits with electives in psychology (PSYC) with the following restrictions.

  • A maximum of 6 credits of PSYC 327 and PSYC 328 may be applied to required psychology credits.
  • A maximum of 6 credits of PSYC 260, PSYC 350, and PSYC 460 may be applied to required psychology credits.
  • No more than 9 credits of PSYC 327, 328, 260, 350, and 460 can be taken without written permission of the department chair.
  • No more than 6 credits of D may be applied toward this requirement.

PSYC 465 is strongly recommended for all students who plan to attend graduate school in psychology.

Total: 36 credits

Writing-Intensive Requirement

The university requires all students to complete at least one course designated "writing intensive" in their majors at the 300 level or above. Students majoring in psychology may fulfill this requirement by successfully completing PSYC 301, PSYC 304, or PSYC 309. Students who receive transfer credit for a research methods course must take PSYC 304 or PSYC 309 unless the transfer course has been approved as writing intensive.

Note:

Students who have limited technology skills are encouraged to take IT 104.

Electives

Any remaining credits may be completed with elective courses to bring the degree total to 120.

Degree Total: Minimum 120 credits

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