The undergraduate major in Psychology provides an introduction to the study of human behavior. This includes an understanding of the neurobiological, developmental, social, and evolutionary factors influencing our thought and behavior. Through that understanding comes the ability to modify behavior in beneficial ways. Courses are organized into three broad themes:
- Mind, Brain, and Behavior;
- Mental Health and Interventions; and
- Social, Developmental, and Organizational Studies.
The program emphasizes a strong foundation in quantitative and research methods. Beyond coursework, students will have opportunities to assist with and conduct research, an important advantage in any career path.
Students who are interested in the biological aspects of behavior tend to choose a program leading to the Bachelor of Science (BS) degree, while those interested primarily in the impact of social factors on behavior tend to choose the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree. The choice of program is made in consultation with an academic advisor.
Courses offered by this department may be found under the following acronym: PSYC
Admission to the Major
In accordance with University policy, the Department of Psychology has been designated a Limited Enrollment Program (LEP) (https://www.admissions.umd.edu/explore/limited-enrollment-programs). All first-time freshman who request psychology as a major will be directly admitted into the major. Other first-time freshman who wish to declare psychology as a major prior to the last day of classes of their first semester in residence will be allowed to do so.
In order to remain a psychology major, newly admitted freshman will be required to meet an academic performance review on or before the end of the semester in which they earned 45 University of Maryland credits. This standard includes:
- Completion of PSYC100 with a grade of "B-" or higher (if the student has Advanced Placement credit for PSYC100, the student must complete PSYC221 with a grade of "B-" or higher)
- Completion of MATH120 or MATH140 with a grade of "C-" or higher. MATH140 is highly recommended for students pursuing a B.S. in Psychology. (MATH130 is acceptable only for declared PSYC/BSCI double majors and for students who have taken the course prior to becoming a PSYC major.)
- Completion of BSCI170 (Principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology) and BSCI171 (Principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology Lab) with a minimum grade of "C-" in both courses.
- A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00 in all coursework taken at the University of Maryland.
All other students, including both internal and external transfer students, will be admitted to the program only if they have met the above LEP requirements and also have a minimum cumulative GPA based on all previous college-level coursework of 2.70 or higher.
For a more detailed discussion of LEP policies visit https://www.admissions.umd.edu and then call 301-405-5866 to consult with one of our academic advisors.
Any student denied admission or dismissed from the major may appeal to the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Psychology (http://psychology.umd.edu).
Internal transfer students may appeal to the Office of the Dean for Behavioral and Social Sciences (www.bsos.umd.edu).
External transfer students may appeal to the Office of Admissions (www.admissions.umd.edu).
Students in the B.A. and B.S. programs in Psychology will have a broad exposure to the diverse approaches to studying human behavior. They will acquire the tools and experiences necessary for successful careers utilizing their skills in the behavioral and social sciences. Their training will include a foundation in research methods, critical and creative problem solving, and effective communication. Students will also master the primary concepts and ideas representing both the breadth and depth of the fields in psychology.
Program Learning Outcomes
- Knowledge base in psychology
- Describe key concepts, principles, and overarching themes in psychology
- Develop a working knowledge of psychology's content domains
- Describe applications of psychology
- Scientific inquiry and critical thinking
- Use scientific reasoning to interpret psychological phenomena
- Engage in innovative and integrative thinking and problem solving
- Interpret, design, and conduct basic psychological research
- Understand sociocultural factors in scientific inquiry
- Understand and follow ethical practices in academic study and scientific research
- Understand the concepts and practice of ethical principles in a broad range of professional contexts
- Understand the role of academic, professional, and personal integrity in maintaining a healthy community
- Multiculturalism and diversity
- Understand the socio-cultural influences on human development and behavior
- Demonstrate critical awareness of one's own worldview, values, and biases
- Exhibit the ability to work respectfully and constructively with individuals of different backgrounds, values, and experiences
- Demonstrate the ability to integrate multicultural concepts into psychology research, theory, practice, and service to others
- Demonstrate effective writing for different purposes
- Exhibit effective presentation skills for different purposes
- Interact effectively with others
- Professional development
- Apply psychological content and skills to career goals
- Refine project management skills
- Enhance teamwork capacity
- Develop meaningful professional directions for life after graduation
For more information on the psychology learning outcomes, go to the department website: http://psychology.umd.edu.
All students must complete at least 38 credits (12 courses) in Psychology. The required courses include:
|PSYC100||Introduction to Psychology||3|
|PSYC200||Statistical Methods in Psychology||3|
|PSYC300||Research Methods in Psychology Laboratory||4|
|Select a minimum of two courses from each of the following three thematic areas: 1||18|
Mind, Brain, & Behavior
Mental Health & Interventions
Social, Developmental, & Organizational Processes
|Select two 400 level, 3 credit PSYC courses||6|
|Select one additional 4 credit PSYC lab course||4|
A detailed list of courses by theme can be found at the following link: https://psyc.umd.edu/undergraduate/courses-syllabi
- A grade of "C-" or better must be earned in all 38 credits of psychology courses used for the major, except for PSYC100 (or PSYC221, if AP credit was earned for PSYC100), in which the grade must be "B-" or higher.
- No course may be used as a prerequisite unless a grade of "C-" is earned in that course prior to its use as a prerequisite.
Bachelor of Science: Math and Science Requirement
Students pursuing the Bachelor of Science degree option must complete a minimum of 5 courses/17 credits in mathematics and science, as follows:
- At least three courses must be advanced
- At least two courses must contain a lab.
- The 5 courses/17 credits must be completed with at least a 2.0 average.
- MATH140 (highly recommended) or MATH120 (formerly MATH220) and BSCI170 plus BSCI171, may be used to satisfy part of the requirement for the B.S. degree. (MATH130 is acceptable only for declared PSYC/BSCI double majors and for students who have taken the course prior to becoming a PSYC major.)
Students should consult the following website for a list of approved advanced math and science courses for the Bachelor of Science in psychology: https://psyc.umd.edu/undergraduate/degree-requirements