Psychology
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Concentrations

BS in Psychology

The department also offers a BA in psychology and coordinates the BS in neuroscience.

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 requirements. Students pursuing this degree must complete at least 38 credits in psychology and 35 credits in supporting courses. Of the 38 credits earned through basic psychology courses, applied psychology courses and electives, 24 credits must be at the 300 and 400 level.

Students may choose to complete a concentration in developmental psychology, educational psychology, forensic psychology, health psychology, human factors and applied cognition, or work and organizational 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 (23-32 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

Three or four foundational courses (9 or 12 credits)

PSYC 231 - Social Psychology

PSYC 317 - Cognitive Psychology

plus

PSYC 211 - Developmental Psychology

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

PSYC 301 - Research Methods in Psychology

One psychology lab course (1 or 4 credits) chosen from:

The course chosen to fulfill this requirement cannot be the same course used to fulfill the technical writing requirement below.

PSYC 304 - Principles of Learning

PSYC 309 - Sensation, Perception, and Information Processing

PSYC 320 - Psychological Tests and Measurements

PSYC 373 - Physiological Psychology Laboratory

One or two courses in biopsychology (3 or 6 credits) chosen from:

Students who have a strong interest in biopsychology or cognitive neuroscience are encouraged to take PSYC 375/376 rather than PSYC 372. 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

or both

PSYC 375 - Brain and Sensory Processes and PSYC 376 - Brain and Behavior Credits: 3

Note

Students are strongly encouraged to complete PSYC 300 and 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.

Applied psychology courses or optional concentration

Students pursuing a BS in psychology complete 2 applied psychology courses chosen from the list below.

Alternatively, students may earn an approved concentration to satisfy the applied psychology requirement.

Two courses in applied psychology (6-7 credits)

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

Alternatively, students may earn an approved concentration to satisfy the applied psychology requirement.

PSYC 320 - Psychological Tests and Measurements

PSYC 325 - Abnormal Psychology

PSYC 333 - Industrial and Organizational Psychology

PSYC 340 - Human Factors Psychology

PSYC 379 - Applied Cross-Cultural Psychology

PSYC 381 - Mental Illness and Criminal Justice

PSYC 427 - Community Engagement for Social Change

 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

PSYC 325 - Abnormal Psychology

PSYC 380 - Introduction to Forensic Psychology

PSYC 381 - Mental Illness and Criminal Justice

Two courses (6 credits) chosen from:

PSYC 382 - Psychology of Crime Victims

PSYC 440 - Forensic Psychology: Science and Pseudoscience

PSYC 441 - Criminal Behavior: Psychological and Neurological Aspects

CRIM 100 - Introduction to Criminal Justice

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

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

Total: 18 credits

◊ Concentration in Human Factors and Applied Cognition (HF)

Students pursuing the BS 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

PSYC 340 - Human Factors Psychology

Two courses (6-7 credits) chosen from:

PSYC 309 - Sensation, Perception, and Information Processing

PSYC 333 - Industrial and Organizational Psychology

PSYC 372 - Physiological Psychology

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

PSYC 530 - Cognitive Engineering: Cognitive Science Applied to Human Factors (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

Three courses (9-10 credits) chosen from:

PSYC 320 - Psychological Tests and Measurements

PSYC 335 - Psychology of Creativity and Innovation

PSYC 435 - Personnel Training and Development: A Psychological Perspective

PSYC 467 - The Psychology of Working in Groups and Teams

PSYC 461 - Special Topics (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 development 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 BS 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

PSYC 313 - Child Development

Two courses (6 credits) chosen from:

PSYC 314 - Adolescent Development

PSYC 379 - Applied Cross-Cultural Psychology

PSYC 414 - Behavior Disorders of Childhood

PSYC 415 - Psychological Factors in Aging

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

PSYC 461 - Special Topics (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 BS 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

PSYC 320 - Psychological Tests and Measurements

Two courses (6 credits) chosen from:

PSYC 304 - Principles of Learning

PSYC 313 - Child Development

PSYC 314 - Adolescent Development

PSYC 322 - Behavior Modification

PSYC 460 - Independent Study in Psychology (educational content only with department approval)

PSYC 461 - Special Topics (educational content only with department approval)

PSYC 558 - Neuronal Bases of Learning and Memory

Total: 12 credits

◊ Concentration in Health Psychology (HPSY)

Students pursuing the BS 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

Three courses (9 credits) chosen from:

PSYC 211 - Developmental Psychology

PSYC 321 - Counseling Psychology

PSYC 325 - Abnormal Psychology

PSYC 408 - Psychological Fitness

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

Total: 12 credits

Psychology electives (0-9 credits)

Students complete the 38 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.

If an approved psychology course is used to meet the technical writing requirement, it may also be applied as a psychology elective.

Supporting courses (35-40 credits)

These courses broaden the requirements to include humanities and strengthen the science, quantitative and writing components of the degree.

One course (3-4 credits) in technical writing chosen from:

 The psychology classes in this list may also be applied as a psychology elective.

ENGH 388 - Professional and Technical Writing

PSYC 304 - Principles of Learning

PSYC 309 - Sensation, Perception, and Information Processing

PSYC 320 - Psychological Tests and Measurements

Four courses (14-16 credits) of natural science

Two required science courses (8 credits)

BIOL 103 - Introductory Biology I

BIOL 104 - Introductory Biology II OR BIOL 213 - Cell Structure and Function Credits: 4

Two elective science courses (6-8 credits)

Students fill this requirement with any two courses in the natural sciences.

Two courses (6-8 credits) of quantitative reasoning chosen from:

MATH 108 - Introductory Calculus with Business Applications

MATH 110 - Introductory Probability

MATH 111 - Linear Mathematical Modeling

MATH 113 - Analytic Geometry and Calculus I

MATH 114 - Analytic Geometry and Calculus II

STAT 250 - Introductory Statistics I

STAT 350 - Introductory Statistics II

One course (3 credits) in humanities

Students can choose courses from PHIL (but not PHIL 173 or 376), RELI, ARTH, AVT, MUSI, DANC, THR.

Two courses (6 credits) in social and behavioral science

Students can choose courses from ANTH, ECON, GOVT, HIST, SOCI or any non-psychology course that has been approved to meet the Mason Core requirement in social and behavioral science. Courses in psychology may not be used to fulfill this requirement.

One additional course (3 credits) in humanities or social and behavioral science

Students choose an additional course from the lists under the requirements in humanities and social sciences above (and with the same restrictions).

Note

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

Total: 70-78 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.

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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