Jul 22, 2024  
2024-25 Western Washington University Catalog 
2024-25 Western Washington University Catalog

Psychology, BS

Location(s): WWU - Bellingham

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Department of Psychology, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

75 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 40 people, the department offers a program of study that 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 in psychology will develop a sound basic preparation for advanced study, as well as 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 primary 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, helps provide the answers to many of these pressing problems.

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

 Contact Information

Department Chair
Jacqueline Rose
Academic Instruction Center 440

Undergraduate Major Coordinator
Rochelle Robinson
Academic Instruction Center 436

 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):

The Department of Psychology is deeply committed to diverse and equitable student access to a quality education and seeks to maximize students’ admission to the psychology major, while limiting wait times and maintaining a high quality of education as well as a reasonable time to degree. However, the psychology major is highly impacted, with the number of fully qualified students interested in declaring the major exceeding the available seats. We strongly encourage all students who meet the minimum requirements to apply, and students who have previously not been accepted into the major are welcome to reapply. Application review will focus not only on academic achievement, but also on students’ commitment to furthering the values of the Psychology Department.

To declare a major in psychology, a student must meet the following minimum requirements*:

  • Completion of the Major Application
  • Completion (including currently enrolled WWU courses) of at least 90 credits including:
    • PSY 101 and PSY 203 completed; 
    • two 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; and
    • at least five PSY credits taken at Western, completed or currently enrolled.
  • Achieved a Western GPA (based on at least 12 credits) or psychology GPA (based on an average of all completed PSY 210-250 and 203 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. As part of completing the above, submit an online application via the Department of Psychology website at chss.wwu.edu/psychology/declare-major. Applications will be available beginning the first week of each quarter. Application deadlines and notification dates are posted annually on the Department of Psychology website. Candidates are selected based on a variety of factors, including GPA and written responses to application questions, and 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=18&navoid=4783#Insufficient_Progress_Toward_Degree_and_Registration_Holds

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.


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