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Director of Undergraduate Studies:

Richard Carlson

For information on
The Undergraduate Program
please contact
(814) 863-1811
ugpsychupwc@psu.edu

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Undergraduate Office
Department of Psychology 
125 Moore Building 
The Pennsylvania State University 
University Park, PA 16802-3106

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You are here: Home / Undergraduate / Psychology Department policy on PSYBA and PSYBS degrees

Psychology Department policy on PSYBA and PSYBS degrees

** PSYCH designations refer ONLY to courses offered Spring 2007 or later.

The purpose of this policy is to clarify the requirements for earning a PSYBA or PSYBS degree from the University Park campus. The guiding principle is that granting a degree indicates that a student has completed coursework sufficient for the University Park Psychology faculty to certify academic competence in psychology, as outlined in our curriculum. The criteria listed below represent interpretations of our curriculum in light of current University and College policies, not changes to that curriculum. Those policies include the following:

  • Students in the PSYBA or PSYBS program (like students in other degree programs offered only at UP) must transfer to University Park no later than the beginning of the semester after they earn their 60th credit.
  • Students must complete the Entrance to Major requirements in order to be accepted into the Psychology Major. These requirements include earning a 'C' or higher in the following courses: STAT 200 or PSYCH200, PSYCH 100, 3.0 credits of GQ (other than STAT 200), and 3.0 credits of GS (other than PSYCH 100).
  • No more than 91 credits earned while enrolled in another College may be applied to a degree granted by the College of Liberal Arts. The current College interpretation of this policy is as a residency requirement; that is, what counts is where the student is registered, not just their declared major.

The following points constitute the Department's policy on granting PSYBA or PSYBS degrees. They apply to all students, including those who do a Change of Location to University Park from other Penn State locations or from other colleges or universities, and to students wishing to transfer courses from other colleges and universities. The goal of the policy is to ensure that students receiving degrees from the UP department have completed a reasonable proportion of their psychology coursework in the department, while allowing a significant amount of coursework from other locations to be applied to the degree requirements.

  1. Twenty-four credits of Psychology courses, including at least 9 credits at the 300 or 400 levels, must be completed in the Psychology Department at University Park. Distance Education or World Campus courses may not be counted toward this 24-credit minimum. This corresponds to the College of The Liberal Arts competency in a major policy: http://laus.la.psu.edu/current-students/academics/academic-policies-and-procedures/policies/establishing-competency-in-a-major
  2. Independent study, internship, and thesis credits (PSYCH 494/495/496) can be used to fulfill 3.0 credits at the 400-level for the major for all students who entered the major Fall 2004 or after. Any credits taken thereafter in those areas will be applied to elective credits. NOTE: For students who entered the major prior to FALL 2004, PSYCH 494/495/496 credits may only be used to fulfill elective credits.
  3. Special topics (PSYCH 297/497) courses may be accepted toward the major requirements by substitution based on written request made in advance to the Psychology Director of Undergraduate Studies. In instances where a newly offered Special Topics course has been evaluated, notice will go out through the listserv.
  4. Substitutions for non-psychology courses specified in the PSYBS option requirements will be allowed only for courses that have similar or greater scope, and similar or greater depth, as the courses for which they are to be substituted. Such substitutions generally require review of the syllabus for the proposed course. Substitution requests should be made in advance to the Psychology Director of Undergraduate Studies.
  5. Requests for changes of assignment from University Park to a non-UP campus will be approved by the Psychology Department only after all psychology course requirements have been completed, or if the minimum requirements described above have been met and the student has spent a minimum of three semesters of full-time enrollment at UP. The Non-psychology courses required by PSYBS options are not included in this policythese may be completed at a non-UP campus after psychology course requirements have been completed. 

(approved by the UP Psychology faculty)

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