College of Social and Behavioral Sciences2021-2022

Department of Psychological Sciences

Psychology, Bachelor of Science

This plan will not be available to new students after Summer 2022

Beginning in Fall 2022, this program is changing to the Psychological Sciences, Bachelor of Science.

The Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology 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. Additionally the flexible option of allowing completion of a minor, certificate, or foreign language allows students to personally tailor their degree for their specific future educational or career path.
The Department of Psychological Sciences enables students to develop understanding of and knowledge about human behavior from several perspectives in psychological science, the ability to apply and synthesize that knowledge within specific psychological domains (e.g., research and statistics, developmental processes, social and personality, cognitive and behavioral neuroscience, learning theory and behavioral health), and research method skills in order to become critical evaluators of knowledge of human behavior.


What Can I Do with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology?

If you find yourself fascinated about why we think, feel, and behave the way we do, consider pursuing a degree in psychological sciences. Psychologists take a scientific approach to studying behavior and mental processes, researching the ways in which life experiences, environment, culture, and biology all work together to shape the mind and brain. Our psychological sciences majors explore a wide range of topics such as compassion, creativity, health, development, interpersonal relationships, psychological disorders and treatments, cognition, neuroscience, and sexuality, and critically evaluate the research that professional psychologists use. You may also have the opportunity to complete an internship and/or fieldwork.       

Career opportunities that might be pursued:
  • Case worker, program manager, child protection worker, counselor aide, group home coordinator, social service director
  • Community relations officer, affirmative action officer, college admissions recruiter, hospital patient service representative, human resources professional
  • Administrative assistant, job analyst, public relations, sales representative, customer relations, staff training and development

With further education, one of these paths is possible:
  • Counselor
  • Mental health professional
  • Social services professional

University Requirements

  • 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 liberal studies, diversity, 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:

  • At least 37 units of major requirements
  • At least 16 units of foreign language, 15 units of a certificate, or 18 units of a minor are required.
  • Certificates with a PSY prefix will meet the 15 units of a certificate requirement

  • 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

Please note that 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 2.0
Highest Mathematics Required MAT 114
Foreign Language Optional
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Optional
University Honors Program Optional
Progression Plan Link View Progression Plan

Purpose Statement

The Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology 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. 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. Careers that are available for students with a bachelor's degree in psychology are varied, and include human resource professional, case manager, early childhood behavioral specialist, occupational therapy assistant, administrative assistant, science technician, and many others. Students successfully completing this degree should be prepared to enter the workforce after graduation, and those that engage in undergraduate research should also be competitive for graduate studies in applied mental health professions such as clinical mental health counseling or social work, and in other related graduate programs.
This degree enables students to develop an understanding of and knowledge about human behavior from several perspectives in psychological science, the ability to apply and synthesize that knowledge within specific psychological domains (e.g., developmental, social, personality, cognitive, behavioral neuroscience, clinical), and research method skills in order to become a critical evaluator of scientific knowledge of human behavior. In addition students will have the opportunity to develop transferable skills (e.g., read with comprehension and identify major points, write in a particular style, work as a productive member of a team) that will provide further preparation for workforce entry or continued education at the graduate level. Both Psychology and Psychological Science majors complete a core sequence of courses including introductory psychology, a set of lower division breadth courses, introduction to statistics, research methods in psychology, a set of upper division depth courses, and a capstone course. However, Psychology majors are not required to complete additional training in research, as are Psychological Science majors. Instead, Psychology majors have the flexibility to complete a minor, certificate, or foreign language so that they may personally tailor their degree to fit their future educational and career goals.

Student Learning Outcomes  (See Detailed Student Learning Outcomes)

  1. 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.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to use scientific reasoning to interpret psychological phenomena, as well as the ability to design and conduct and/or be an effective consumer of basic psychological research. 
  3. Develop ethically and socially responsible behaviors for professional and personal settings in an increasingly diverse landscape.
  4. Demonstrate competence in writing and in oral and interpersonal communication skills.
  5. Demonstrate student readiness for post-baccalaureate employment, graduate school, or professional school.
  6. Environmental Sustainability: Understand and apply psychological principles to environmental sustainability issues.
  7. Diversity Education: Recognize, understand, and respect the complexity of psychosocial and cultural diversity and incorporate this awareness into the understanding of psychological phenomena, application of psychological sciences, and the process of scientific inquiry.


Major Requirements
  • This major requires 52 to 62 units distributed as follows:

    • Psychological Sciences Common Course Requirements: 38 units
    • Select One – Minor, Foreign Language, Certificate: 15 to 25 units
      • Minor: 18 to 24 units
      • A Foreign Language: 16 units 
      • Certificate: 15 to 25 units

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

    • PSY 101, PSY 202, PSY 230, PSY 290 (10 units)
    • Select from: PSY 215, PSY 227, PSY 240, PSY 250, PSY 255, PSY 260, PSY 277, PSY 280 (9 units)
    • Four or more upper-division PSY courses (12 units).  These could include up to 6 units of applied and internship classes (e.g., 408, legislative internship, etc.), but cannot include classes used to fulfill certificate requirements.
    • Select one capstone course: PSY 404C, PSY 408C, PSY 487C, PSY 490C. To fulfill the senior capstone requirement, you must also complete an online survey while you are enrolled in one of these capstone courses. (3 units)
    • PSY 303W or any Junior-Level Writing Course (3 units)
    • Please note that of the 37 units required for this major, 15 units must be upper-division courses. Three units of PSY 408C will count toward the 15-unit upper-division requirement. Finally, you can only count up to 6 units of individualized courses within the 37-unit major.
    • In addition, at least 15 of the 37 units required for this major must be from courses offered by Northern Arizona University. These 15 units may not include individualized courses.

  • Additional Requirements - Complete ONE of the following:

Minor Requirements
  • The minor must have at least 18 units from those described in this catalog. In consultation with your advisor, you should select a minor that's appropriate for your career aspirations and educational needs. Your minor advisor will advise you about this part of your academic plan.

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

Foreign Language Requirement
  • You must demonstrate proficiency in a language other than English that is equivalent to four terms of university coursework in the same language. You may satisfy this requirement by taking language courses or through credit by exam. 

Certificate Requirements
  • The certificate must have at least 15 units from those described in this catalog. In consultation with your advisor, you should select a certificate that is appropriate for your career aspirations and educational needs.  Recommended, but not required, certificates include Speech-Language Pathology Assistant (also online), Certified Police Manger (online), Innovative Thinking and Problem Solving, and Non-Profit and Social Entrepreneurship. Be aware some courses may have prerequisites you must also take. A PSY certificate can be used to meet this requirement.

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

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 academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you. (Please note that you may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren't used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.)

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