Department of Psychology, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
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 over 34 individuals, all of whom hold a doctoral degree; 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 human development program is designed to provide students in the elementary education program with an in-depth understanding of theory, research, and application in developmental psychology, and a sound background in general psychology. The program is designed to allow students flexibility in selecting psychology courses with the assistance of their advisor.
This major satisfies the academic major requirement for teacher certification with an endorsement in elementary education and must be accompanied by the professional preparation program in elementary education. See the Elementary Education section of this catalog for program admission, completion, and teacher certification requirements.
Why Consider a Psychology: Human Development - Elementary Major?
Many of the major issues facing children and schools today – school readiness, achievement motivation, testing, classroom behavior, stereotyping, bullying, family and neighborhood stressors – are issues of human psychology. Psychology, as the scientific study of mind and behavior, helps provide answers to these problems, as well as contribute to the scientific understanding of how children best think and learn.
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How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):
To declare a major in Psychology: Human Development, a student must meet the following minimum requirements*:
- Completion (including currently enrolled WWU courses) of at least 90 credits;
- At least 20 of those credits must be in psychology, including:
- PSY 101 and PSY 203 completed;
- and two other courses from PSY 210, PSY 220, PSY 230, PSY 240 and PSY 250, completed or currently enrolled. Transfer credit accepted as indicated on the Transfer Equivalency Report.
- At least five PSY credits taken at Western
- Achieved a Western GPA (based on at least 12 credits) or psychology GPA (based on an average of all PSY coursework) of 2.70 or higher. In the absence of a Western GPA, a GPA of 2.70 or higher cumulative GPA from an equivalent four-year institution (based on at least 12 credits) or a completed Associates degree may substitute for the Western GPA.
*Meeting the above requirements does not guarantee admission to the Psychology major.
For students who have met the minimum requirements, admission to the major will be determined each quarter on a space-available basis after ranking candidates by GPA, from high to low. Number of admissions and GPA information from recent quarters will be posted on the Department of Psychology website.
The GPA used will be the highest of either:
- the student’s cumulative Western GPA (in the absence of a Western GPA, a cumulative GPA from a completed Associates degree may substitute for the Western GPA), or
- an average of the student’s grades from completed courses of PSY 203, PSY 210, PSY 220, PSY 230, PSY 240, and PSY 250 obtained at each of the schools attended (advanced placement classes are not included in the calculation; running start classes recorded on a community college transcript are included).
Beginning the third week of each quarter, the application to the psychology major is submitted via an online portal. The Department of Psychology website application deadlines and notification dates are posted annually. Students will be notified of major application status well in advance of Phase I registration for the subsequent quarter.
Other Departmental Information
The Department of Psychology employs all University academic policies, including but not limited to Insufficient Progress Toward Degree and Registration Holds: catalog.wwu.edu/content.php?catoid=16&navoid=3961#Insufficient_Progress_Toward_Degree_and_Registration_Holds
A grade of C (2.0) or better is required for courses in the elementary education professional program and all courses required for the endorsement.