Psychological Sciences, Bachelor of Science

Department of Psychological Sciences

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

The Bachelor of Science degree in Psychological Sciences provides students with opportunities for focused study in this quintessential behavioral science and builds critical thinking skills necessary for evaluating scientific research within this discipline. This degree has proven useful for careers in psychology and in many other areas including law, writing, journalism, government, education, business, entertainment and the arts. 

The BS in Psychological Sciences helps students learn about human behavior from several perspectives in the psychological sciences, the ability to apply and synthesize that knowledge within specific psychological domains, and research method skills in order to become critical evaluators of knowledge of human behavior.

  • To receive a bachelor's degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete at least 120 units of credit that minimally includes a major, the liberal studies requirements, and university requirements as listed below.

    • All of Northern Arizona University's diversity, liberal studies, junior-level writing, and capstone requirements.
    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s).
    • At least 30 units of upper-division courses, which may include transfer work.
    • At least 30 units of coursework taken through Northern Arizona University, of which at least 18 must be upper-division courses (300-level or above). This requirement is not met by credit-by-exam, retro-credits, transfer coursework, etc.
    • A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on all work attempted at Northern Arizona University.

    The full policy can be viewed here.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

  • At least 37 units of major requirements
  • Up to 9 units of major prefix courses may be used to satisfy Liberal Studies requirements; these same courses may also be used to satisfy major requirements

  • Elective courses, if needed, to reach an overall total of at least 120 units.

Students may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

Minimum Units for Completion 120
Major GPA C
Highest Mathematics Required MAT 114
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Optional
Research Optional
University Honors Program Optional
Some online/blended coursework Required
Progression Plan Link View Progression Plan

Purpose Statement

The Bachelor of Science in Psychological Sciences provides students with opportunities for focused study that builds critical thinking skills necessary for evaluating scientific research within this discipline. The ability to engage in critical analyses of psychological ideas and scientific evidence constitutes a valuable personal asset and is a key to success in many professions. 

Completion of this degree helps students understand human behavior from several perspectives in psychological science, develop their ability to apply and synthesize that knowledge in specific psychological domains (e.g., developmental, social, personality, cognitive, behavioral neuroscience, clinical), and learn the fundamentals of psychological research methods in order to be a critical evaluator of scientific knowledge of human behavior.  You will learn important skills such as problem identification and application of research findings, critical thinking skills, and communication skills (writing, visual, verbal). 

Careers that are available for students with a BS in Psychological Sciences are varied and include early childhood behavioral specialist, occupational therapy assistant, administrative assistant, science technician, case manager, and many others. The BS in Psychological Sciences degree is also valuable for students interested in pursuing a masters’ degree in applied mental health professions such as clinical mental health counseling or social work, and in other related graduate programs. Students interested in pursuing a PhD in psychology or related field can strengthen their education by taking advanced research methods (PSY 304W), and undergraduate research with a faculty mentor (PSY 279, PSY 485, PSY 486C).

Student Learning Outcomes (See Detailed Student Learning Outcomes)

  • Demonstrate a fundamental knowledge and comprehension of the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, historical trends, and empirical findings in psychology and be able to apply this knowledge.
  • Demonstrate the ability to use scientific reasoning to interpret psychological phenomena, and be an effective consumer of basic psychological research. 
  • Develop ethically and socially responsible behaviors for professional and personal settings in an increasingly diverse landscape.
  • Demonstrate competence in writing and oral communication skills.
  • Demonstrate readiness for post-baccalaureate employment, graduate school, or professional school.
  • Demonstrate knowledge, understanding and application of psychological principles to environmental sustainability issues.
  • Recognize, understand, and respect the complexity of psychosocial and cultural diversity. Demonstrate this understanding by applying theories of cultural diversity to psychological phenomena. 

Major Requirements
  • The major requires 37-38 units distributed as follows:

    • Psychological Sciences Course Requirements: 37-38 units

    Take the following 37 - 38 units, with a Grade of "C" or better in each course:

  • You may not pursue a Psychology Minor in conjunction with this degree.

General Electives
  • Additional coursework is required if, after you have met the previously described requirements, you have not yet completed a total of 120 units of credit.

    You may take these remaining courses from any of the academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. You may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren't used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.

    We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you.

Additional Information
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also successfully complete. For prerequisite information, click on the course or see your advisor.