Students study behavior as it relates to health and well-being, child and adolescent development, education, social situations, the workplace, and the use of technology. Due to Mason’s proximity to Washington, D.C. the department is especially active in research that informs public policy and national defense. Students who graduate from this program go on to work in a wide range of fields and positions, including human resources, data analysis, user interface design, and social media and marketing.
The BA in Psychology focuses on liberal arts and general education courses, including a foreign language requirement, within the psychology field.
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.
Highly-qualified students may apply to graduate with honors in the major. To be eligible for admission, psychology majors must have completed at least 50 credits and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 and a minimum GPA of 3.40 in psychology courses.
If accepted, students must take a sequence of three courses, which culminates in the successful completion and presentation of an independent honors thesis.
To graduate with honors, students must earn a minimum GPA of 3.50 in their honors courses and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 and a minimum GPA of 3.40 in psychology courses.
Total credits: minimum 120
Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.
Students may choose to complete a concentration in forensic psychology, human factors and applied cognition, work and organizational psychology, clinical 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.
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.
|PSYC 100||Basic Concepts in Psychology (Mason Core)||3|
|PSYC 231||Social Psychology (Mason Core)||3|
|PSYC 317||Cognitive Psychology||3|
|Select one option from the following:||3-6|
|Developmental Psychology (Mason Core)|
Select two from the following:
|Psychological Factors in Aging|
|Research Methods Courses 1|
|PSYC 300||Statistics in Psychology||4|
|PSYC 301||Research Methods in Psychology||4|
|Select one from the following: 3||3-6|
PSYC 375& PSYC 376
|Brain and Sensory Processes
and Brain and Behavior
|Select one from the following:||3|
|Psychology: College to Career|
|Psychology in the Community|
|Community Engagement for Social Change (Mason Core) 4|
|Clinical Practicum in Psychology 4|
|Psychology Honors II|
|RS: Psychology Honors III|
|Special Topics (with Undergraduate Associate Chair Approval)|
Students are strongly encouraged to complete PSYC 300 Statistics in Psychology and PSYC 301 Research Methods in Psychology by their junior year. PSYC 300 Statistics in Psychology 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 Introductory Biology I (Mason Core) and BIOL 107 Intro Biology II Lecture (Mason Core)/BIOL 106 Introductory Biology II Laboratory (Mason Core) because these courses are prerequisites to the requirement of PSYC 372 Biopsychology or PSYC 375 Brain and Sensory Processes and PSYC 376 Brain and Behavior.
Only students who receive transfer credit for PSYC 372 Biopsychology may use it in place of PSYC 375 Brain and Sensory Processes as the prerequisite for PSYC 376 Brain and Behavior. Students taking PSYC 372 Biopsychology at Mason may not use it in place of PSYC 375 Brain and Sensory Processes.
Alternatively, students may earn a concentration in forensic psychology, human factors and applied cognition, or work and organizational psychology to satisfy this requirement.
|Students pursuing the BA without concentration select two courses from the following:||6-7|
|Psychological Tests and Measurements|
|Industrial and Organizational Psychology|
|Human Factors Psychology|
|Applied Cross-Cultural Psychology (Mason Core)|
|Mental Illness and Criminal Justice|
|Community Engagement for Social Change (Mason Core) 1|
|Clinical Practicum in Psychology 1|
PSYC 427 may count for both the Applied Psychology and the Professional Development requirements.
Students pursuing the BA with this concentration take 12 credits. Students must earn a minimum GPA of 2.00 in all coursework applied to the concentration.
Students who successfully complete the Psychology Department Honors Program (PSYC 490 Psychology Honors I, PSYC 491 Psychology Honors II, and PSYC 492 RS: Psychology Honors III) with an honors thesis/project focused on clinical 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.
|PSYC 321||Clinical Psychology||3|
|PSYC 325||Abnormal Psychology||3|
|Select at least two psychology electives from the following||6|
|Developmental Psychology (Mason Core)|
|Social Psychology (Mason Core)|
|Therapeutic Communication Skills|
|Behavior Disorders of Childhood|
|Group Psychotherapy Techniques|
|Clinical Practicum in Psychology|
|Independent Study in Psychology|
|Special Topics 1|
Only when topic is related to clinical psychology approved by the psychology department.
Students complete the 37 required credits with electives in psychology (PSYC) with the following restrictions.
PSYC 465 Pioneering Ideas in Psychology is strongly recommended for all students who plan to attend graduate school in psychology.
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 Research Methods in Psychology, PSYC 304 Principles of Learning, or PSYC 309 Sensation, Perception, and Information Processing. Students who receive transfer credit for a research methods course must take PSYC 304 Principles of Learning or PSYC 309 Sensation, Perception, and Information Processing unless the transfer course has been approved as writing intensive.
Any remaining credits may be completed with elective courses to bring the degree total to 120.
Students seeking a bachelor’s degree must apply at least 45 credits of upper-level courses (numbered 300 or above) toward graduation requirements.
In addition to the Mason Core program, students pursuing a BA degree must complete the coursework below. Except where expressly prohibited, a course used to fulfill a college level requirement may also be used simultaneously to satisfy other requirements (Mason Core requirements or requirements for the major).
|Select 3 credits from the following:||3|
Note that the following courses may not be used to fulfill this requirement:
|Select 3 credits of social and behavioral sciences from the following (additional to the Mason Core social and behavioral sciences requirement) 1||3|
|Or choose from the following GGS courses:|
|Major World Regions (Mason Core)|
|Human Geography (Mason Core)|
|Introduction to Geoinformation Technologies|
|Geography of Resource Conservation (Mason Core)|
|Population Geography (Mason Core)|
|Geography of the United States|
|Geography of Latin America|
|Geography of Europe|
|Geography of North Africa and the Middle East|
|Geography of the Soviet Succession States|
|Geography of Virginia|
The two courses used to fulfill the combined college and Mason Core requirements must be from different disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences.
|Intermediate-level proficiency in one foreign language, fulfilled by: 1|
Or achieving a satisfactory score on an approved proficiency test
Or completing the following ASL three course sequence:
|American Sign Language (ASL) I|
|American Sign Language (ASL) II|
|American Sign Language (ASL) III|
Students who are already proficient in a second language may be eligible for a waiver of this requirement. Additional information on waivers can be found at the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.
Select 3 credits of an approved course in the study of a non-Western culture (additional to the Mason Core requirement in global understanding)
|Select 3 credits (additional to Mason Core Global Understanding requirement) 1|
|ANTH 114||Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (Mason Core)||3|
|ANTH 301||Native North Americans||3|
|ANTH 302||Peoples and Cultures of Latin America (Mason Core)||3|
|ANTH 303||Peoples and Cultures of the Andes||3|
|ANTH 306||Peoples and Cultures of Island Asia (Mason Core)||3|
|ANTH 307||Ancient Mesoamerica (Mason Core)||3|
|ANTH 308||Peoples and Cultures of the Middle East (Mason Core)||3|
|ANTH 309||Peoples and Cultures of India (Mason Core)||3|
|ANTH 313||Myth, Magic, and Mind (Mason Core)||3|
|ANTH 316||Peoples and Cultures of the Caribbean (Mason Core)||3|
|ANTH 323||Digging and Dealing in the Dead: Ethics in Archaeology||3|
|ANTH 330||Peoples and Cultures of Selected Regions: Non-Western||3|
|ANTH 332||Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Globalization (Mason Core)||3|
|ANTH 381||Medical Anthropology||3|
|ANTH 383||Cities of the Global South||3|
|ANTH 396||Issues in Anthropology: Social Sciences (Mason Core)||3|
|ARAB 360||Topics in Arabic Cultural Production||3|
|ARAB 420||Survey of Arabic Literature||3|
|ARAB 440||Topics in Arabic Religious Thought and Texts (Mason Core)||3|
|ARTH 203||Survey of Asian Art (Mason Core)||3|
|ARTH 204||Survey of Latin American Art (Mason Core)||3|
|ARTH 206||Survey of African Art (Mason Core)||3|
|ARTH 318||Art and Archaeology of Ancient Egypt||3|
|ARTH 319||Art and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East (Mason Core)||3|
|ARTH 320||Art of the Islamic World (Mason Core)||3|
|ARTH 382||Arts of India (Mason Core)||3|
|ARTH 383||Arts of Southeast Asia (Mason Core)||3|
|ARTH 384||Arts of China (Mason Core)||3|
|ARTH 385||Arts of Japan (Mason Core)||3|
|ARTH 386||The Silk Road (Mason Core)||3|
|ARTH 482||RS: Advanced Studies in Asian Art||3|
|CHIN 318||Introduction to Classical Chinese (Mason Core)||3|
|CHIN 320||Contemporary Chinese Film||3|
|CHIN 325||Major Chinese Writers (Mason Core)||3|
|DANC 118||World Dance (Mason Core)||3|
|ECON 361||Economic Development of Latin America (Mason Core)||3|
|ECON 362||African Economic Development (Mason Core)||3|
|FREN 451||Topics in Sub-Saharan Francophone Literature and Culture||3|
|FREN 454||Topics in Caribbean Francophone Literature and Culture||3|
|GGS 101||Major World Regions (Mason Core)||3|
|GGS 316||Geography of Latin America||3|
|GGS 325||Geography of North Africa and the Middle East||3|
|GGS 330||Geography of the Soviet Succession States||3|
|GGS 399||Select Topics in GGS||3|
|GOVT 328||Global Political Theory||3|
|GOVT 332||Government and Politics of the Middle East and North Africa||3|
|GOVT 333||Government and Politics of Asia||3|
|GOVT 338||Government and Politics of Russia||3|
|GOVT 340||Central Asian Politics||3|
|GOVT 341||Chinese Foreign Policy||3|
|GOVT 345||Islam and Politics||3|
|GOVT 433||Political Economy of East Asia||3|
|HIST 251||Survey of East Asian History (Mason Core)||3|
|HIST 252||Survey of East Asian History (Mason Core)||3|
|HIST 261||Survey of African History (Mason Core)||3|
|HIST 262||Survey of African History (Mason Core)||3|
|HIST 271||Survey of Latin American History (Mason Core)||3|
|HIST 272||Survey of Latin American History (Mason Core)||3|
|HIST 281||Survey of Middle Eastern Civilization (Mason Core)||3|
|HIST 282||Survey of Middle Eastern Civilization (Mason Core)||3|
|HIST 327||The Soviet Union and Russia Since World War II||3|
|HIST 328||Rise of Russia (Mason Core)||3|
|HIST 329||Modern Russia and the Soviet Union (Mason Core)||3|
|HIST 353||History of Traditional China||3|
|HIST 354||Modern China||3|
|HIST 356||Modern Japan (Mason Core)||3|
|HIST 357||Postwar Japan (Mason Core)||3|
|HIST 358||Post-1949 China (Mason Core)||3|
|HIST 360||History of South Africa (Mason Core)||3|
|HIST 364||Revolution and Radical Politics in Latin America (Mason Core)||3|
|HIST 365||Conquest and Colonization in Latin America (Mason Core)||3|
|HIST 366||Comparative Slavery||3|
|HIST 367||History, Fiction, and Film in Latin America||3|
|HIST 387||Topics in Global History (Mason Core)||3-6|
|HIST 426||The Russian Revolution||3|
|HIST 460||Modern Iran (Mason Core)||3|
|HIST 461||Arab-Israeli Conflict||3|
|HIST 462||Women in Islamic Society (Mason Core)||3|
|HIST 465||The Middle East in the 20th Century||3|
|JAPA 310||Japanese Culture in a Global World (Mason Core)||3|
|JAPA 340||Topics in Japanese Literature (Mason Core)||3|
|KORE 320||Korean Popular Culture in a Global World||3|
|MUSI 103||Musics of the World (Mason Core)||3|
|RELI 211||Religions of the West (Mason Core)||3|
|RELI 212||Religions of Asia (Mason Core)||3|
|RELI 240||Death and the Afterlife in World Religions||3|
|RELI 313||Hinduism (Mason Core)||3|
|RELI 314||Chinese Philosophies and Religious Traditions||3|
|RELI 315||Buddhism (Mason Core)||3|
|RELI 337||Mysticism: East and West||3|
|RELI 365||Muhammad: Life and Legacy||3|
|RELI 374||Islamic Thought (Mason Core)||3|
|RELI 375||Qur'an and Hadith||3|
|RELI 379||Islamic Law, Society, and Ethics||3|
|RELI 387||Islam, Democracy, and Human Rights||3|
|RELI 490||Comparative Study of Religions (Mason Core)||3|
|RUSS 353||Russian Civilization (Mason Core)||3|
|RUSS 354||Contemporary Post-Soviet Life (Mason Core)||3|
A course used to fulfill the Mason Core global understanding requirement may not be simultaneously used to satisfy this college-level requirement. A course used to fulfill this requirement may be used simultaneously to fulfill any other requirements (Mason Core requirements, college-level requirements, or requirements for the major). Additional information on waivers can be found at the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.
Some Mason Core requirements may already be fulfilled by the major requirements listed above. Students are strongly encouraged to consult their advisors to ensure they fulfill all remaining Mason Core requirements.
|Written Communication (ENGH 101)||3|
|Information Technology and Computing||3|
|Social and Behavioral Sciences||3|
|Western Civilization/World History||3|
|Written Communications (ENGH 302)||3|
Most programs include the writing-intensive course designated for the major as part of the major requirements; this course is therefore not counted towards the total required for Mason Core.
Minimum 3 credits required.