Jul 23, 2018  
2017-2018 Catalog 
2017-2018 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Psychology, BS

Department of Psychology, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

74 credits


Psychology’s attempt to understand the human condition takes many approaches. Some psychologists study brain chemistry and its relation to behavior, while others study the behavior of individuals in groups. Still others are engaged in providing counseling or psychotherapy to people who are mentally ill or who are having difficulty in coping with the demands of life. With a faculty of more than 30 people, the department offers a program of study which provides a solid foundation in the general concepts and methods of Psychology, as well as courses and programs for students in many of the more specialized areas.

The core program in general psychology is designed to ensure that all students majoring psychology will develop a sound basic preparation for advanced study, have a solid grounding in psychological research and the real world applications of research findings in the field. The program is designed to allow students flexibility in selecting courses with the assistance of their advisor. However, the design of the major ensures that each Psychology major has direct experience with research methodology, from the theoretical underpinnings through research design, implementation and data analysis, and finally to a manuscript of the entire research project.

Why Consider a Psychology Major?

Most of the major issues facing the people of the world today - hunger, overpopulation, the continuing threat of war, prejudice, pollution, drug addiction - are people problems; people have created them, and it will be people who must and will find solutions to them. Psychology, as the scientific study of mind and behavior, will help provide the answers to many of these pressing problems.

Undergraduate Advising: Upon major declaration, students are assigned a faculty advisor who works the student to develop a plan of study that meets the student’s academic and career goals.

 Contact Information

Department Chair
Dr. Larry Symons
Academic Instruction Center 440

Undergraduate Program Coordinator
Michael Valente
Academic Instruction Center 434

 Sample Careers

Counselor | Employment Agency Counselor | Training and Development Professional | Mental Health Coordinator | Human Resources Personnel | Social Service Administrator | Public Relations | Corrections Officer | Educator | Market Research Analyst | Social Service Worker | Psychologist | Foster Care and Adoptions | Data Analyst

 Major/Career Resources


How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):

Students intending to take PSY 301 and declare a major in Psychology must first declare a Psychology pre-major. The procedures for declaring the Psychology pre-major are described on the Psychology Department website. The prerequisites for a Psychology pre-major are as follows:

  1. Completion of at least 15 Psychology credits by the end of the current quarter (this includes Western credits, transfer credits, and AP classes). At least 5 of those psychology credits must be from Western.
  2. Completion of PSY 101, or transfer credit for that class, as indicated on the Transfer Equivalency Report.
  3. Completed (including classes currently enrolled in) at least 90 credits;
  4. Achieved a Western GPA (based on at least 12 credits) of 2.60 or higher. In the absence of a Western GPA, a GPA of 2.6 or higher from an equivalent four-year institution (based on at least 12 credits) or a cumulative GPA from a completed Associates degree may substitute for the Western GPA.

To declare a major in psychology, a student must have the following:

  1. Successfully completed or be currently enrolled in Psychology 301;
  2. Achieved a Western GPA (based on at least 12 credits) of 2.70 or higher. A GPA of 3.0 or higher in Western Psychology courses, including Psychology 301, may substitute for the overall 2.70 GPA.

Beginning of the third week of each quarter, an email is sent to students currently taking PSY 301 with instructions on how to declare the major. Professors teaching PSY 301 also make an announcement in their class. Student should declare the major prior to the Phase I date of registration for the following quarter.

In special cases, it may be possible to declare the major at other times as well (for example, you may not have the required GPA at the normal time for declaring, but you do achieve that GPA at the end of the quarter. You will then be able to declare at that time).

If you have met the requirements for declaring the major (see the section above), visit the Psychology Department office (Academic Instruction Center 434) and fill out the application for the major form.

Grade Requirements

A grade of C- or better is required for a student’s major or minor courses, and supporting courses for majors and minors.