Degree Requirements

2018 - 2019

Psychology Majors

Students should select a psychology department faculty member as their primary or secondary advisor when they declare a major or minor in psychology.

Students may obtain either a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Psychology at Denison University.

Requirements for the B.A. in Psychology

The B.A. degree in Psychology requires the completion of ten courses in Psychology. Required courses for the B.A. are:

  • PSYC 100 - Introduction to Psychology
    • Students who earn a 4 or 5 on the AP Psychology exam will receive credit toward graduation only. Psychology majors/minors (including those with an AP Psychology exam score of 4 or 5) must still complete PSYC 100 - Introduction to Psychology at Denison or an equivalent Introductory Psychology course that includes a rigorous laboratory. Majors/minors with transfer credit from another university (PSYC 199 - Introductory Topics in Psychology do not need to complete PSYC 100 - Introduction to Psychology. They may begin with PSYC 200 - Research Methods and Statistics or an elective. However, majors/minors with PSYC 199 - Introductory Topics in Psychology credit who do not complete PSYC 100 - Introduction to Psychologyat Denison must complete one additional Psychology elective. PSYC 199 - Introductory Topics in Psychologydoes not satisfy a Science (Y) GE. 
    • Transfer Credit: Students may waive the PSYC 100 - Introduction to Psychology requirement with approved PSYC 199 - Introductory Topics in Psychology credit from an Introductory Psychology transfer college or university course. Note, however, thatPSYC 199 - Introductory Topics in Psychology does not fulfill a Y (Science) GE and does not count toward the courses for the major/minor. Thus, students with PSYC 199 - Introductory Topics in Psychology credit will need to complete one additional PSYC elective course to meet the required number of courses for the B.A. degree (see below for more information on Elective Courses). If a student with PSYC 199 - Introductory Topics in Psychology credit elects to take PSYC 100 - Introduction to Psychology at Denison, the PSYC 199 - Introductory Topics in Psychology credit will be forfeited.
  • PSYC 200 - Research Methods and Statistics
  • Two Combinations of Topical Psychology Course Plus Research Course (a Total of 4 Courses)
    • PSYC 200 - Research Methods and Statistics is a prerequisite for any research course.
    • Research courses must be taken concurrently with their accompanying topical courses. The first topical/research course combination taken must be at the 200-level; the second topical/research course combination taken must be at the 300-level. Specific courses that fulfill the topical/research course combinations are listed below (these courses vary be semester):

    • 200-Level Topical/Research Course Combination Options

      PSYC 210
      & PSYC 211
      Development in Infancy and Childhood
      and Research in Development in Infancy and Childhood
      PSYC 215
      & PSYC 216
      Adult Development and Aging
      and Research in Adult Development and Aging
      PSYC 220
      & PSYC 221
      Social Psychology
      and Research in Social Psychology
      PSYC 225
      & PSYC 226
      Environmental Psychology
      and Research in Environmental Psychology
      PSYC 230
      & PSYC 231
      Organizational Psychology
      and Research in Organizational Psychology
      PSYC 240
      & PSYC 241
      Theories of Personality
      and Research in Personality Psychology
      PSYC 245
      & PSYC 246
      Adolescence
      and Research in Adolescence
      PSYC 250
      & PSYC 251
      Abnormal Psychology
      and Research in Abnormal Psychology
      PSYC 265
      & PSYC 266
      Cultural Psychology
      and Research in Cultural Psychology
      PSYC 270
      & PSYC 271
      Health Psychology
      and Research in Health Psychology
      PSYC 290
      & PSYC 291
      Psychology of Thinking
      and Research in Psyc of Thinking
      Psychology 200 and successful completion of the National Institutes of Health's human-participant training are prerequisites for all 200-Level Topical/Research Course Combination Options
    • 300-Level Topical/Research Course Combination Options
      PSYC 310
      & PSYC 311
      Psychology of Learning
      and Research in Psychology of Learning
      PSYC 330
      & PSYC 331
      Cognitive Psychology
      and Research in Cognitive Psychology
      PSYC 340
      & PSYC 341
      Sensation and Perception
      and Research in Sensation and Perception
      PSYC 350
      & PSYC 351
      Biological Psychology
      and Research in Biological Psychology
      PSYC 355
      & PSYC 356
      Clinical Psychology
      and Research in Clinical Psychology
      A 200-Level Topical/Research Course Combination and successful completion of the National Institutes of Health's human-participant training are prerequisites for all 300-Level Topical/Research Course Combination Options. As of Fall 2016 the Psychology Department’s 300-level Research courses satisfy a writing competency ("W") General Education (GE) requirement.
  • Two Psychology Elective Courses
    • These 2 courses must be chosen from Psychology course offerings at the 200, 300, or 400- level. PSYC 100 or PSYC 199 credit is usually the only prerequisite for PSYC elective coursesPSYC 202 - Field Experience in Psychology, PSYC 451 - Senior Research-PSYC 452 - Senior Research, PSYC 361 - Directed Study-PSYC 362 - Directed Study, and PSYC 363 - Independent Study-PSYC 364 - Independent Study do not count toward the elective courses required for the major.
    • Transfer Courses & Off-Campus Study: Denison University works to make study abroad possible for all students. The Psychology Department encourages students to study abroad during their junior year. A maximum of one elective Psychology course for the B.A. major can be fulfilled with transfer course credit from either an Off-Campus Study program or another U.S. college or university. In order for a transfer course to count toward this requirement for the major or minor, the transfer course must be equivalent to 3-4 credit hours in a Psychology course at Denison, and must have been reviewed and approved, in advance, by the Psychology Department Chair. To request review of a potential transfer course, please submit to the Psychology Department Chair the Off-Campus Study transfer credit form along with a complete and current syllabus from the transfer course. Transfer and Off-Campus Study courses cannot be approved without a syllabus reviewed by the department chair.
    • Additional Psychology courses taken from an Off-Campus Study program will not count toward the Psychology major or minor, but may be eligible for credits toward graduation at Denison.
    • Other Psychology courses taken from another U.S. college or university may not be eligible to fulfill course requirements for the Psychology major or minor at Denison; eligibility decisions are made on a course-by-course basis by the Psychology Department at Denison.

    • Some Denison students studying abroad conduct independent research or internships as part of their study abroad experience. We encourage students to visit the Off-Campus Study office to explore options. Students who conduct human subjects research while abroad must follow the policies described on the University IRB website in MyDenison at Campus Resources => Provost => Institutional Review Board (IRB) - for Research involving Human Participants,, and then scroll down to "Off-Campus Study & Human Subjects Research."

    • Students with PSYC 199 - Introductory Topics in Psychology credit will need to complete one additional PSYC elective course (for a total of 3 elective courses) to meet the required number of courses for the B.A. major (see section above on Introduction to Psychology for more information).
  • One 300-level Psychology Seminar Course (PSYC 300 - Seminars or PSYC 301 - Seminar: Psychology of Women)
    • One 200-level PSYC Research Course is a prerequisite for all PSYC seminar courses.
    • PSYC seminars are open to students in their junior and senior years.
  • PSYC 410 - History and Systems of Psychology
    • This course is open to students in the junior or senior year.

The flexibility of the B.A. requirements places maximum responsibility upon the student to select a course of study most compatible with their future goals. For example, PSYC 370 - Advanced Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences is helpful for many upper-level courses and is required for admission into many graduate schools. It is either a prerequisite for, or must be taken concurrently with,PSYC 451 - Senior Research-PSYC 452 - Senior Research. Students contemplating graduate school are strongly encouraged to become involved in research activities in the department (e.g., Directed Study, Senior Research, Research Assistant, Denison Summer Science Scholars). Students interested in the intersection of biology and behavior may be attracted to the Neuroscience Concentration. Students interested in the application of psychology to organizations and businesses may be drawn to the Organizational Studies (OS) Program. All students are encouraged to work closely with their advisors in developing an appropriate set of career steps and program of courses in the major.

Requirements for the B.S. in Psychology

The B.S. degree in Psychology requires the completion of eleven courses in Psychology and also four cognate courses from the Natural Sciences Division departments outside Psychology (excluding Astronomy and Neuroscience); Environmental Studies is not in the Natural Sciences Division. Required courses for the B.S. are:

  • PSYC 100 - Introduction to Psychology
    • Please see the notes under the B.A. degree regarding AP Credit and Transfer Credit.
  • PSYC 200 - Research Methods and Statistics
  • Three Psychology Topical Course Plus Research Course Combinations (Fulfill a Total of 6 Courses)
    • PSYC 200 - Research Methods and Statistics is a prerequisite for any research course.
    • Research courses must be taken concurrently with their accompanying topical courses. The first topical/research course combination taken must be at the 200-level; the second and third topical/research course combinations taken must be at the 300-level. Specific courses that fulfill the topical/research course combinations are listed under the B.A. degree.
    • As of Fall 2016 the Psychology Department’s 300-level Research courses satisfy a writing ("W") General Education (GE) requirement.
  • One 300-level Psychology Seminar Course PSYC 300 - Seminars or PSYC 301 - Seminar: Psychology of Women)
    • One 200-level PSYC Research Course is a prerequisite for all PSYC seminar courses.
    • PSYC seminars are open to students in their junior and senior years.
  • PSYC 370 - Advanced Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences
    • PSYC 200 - Research Methods and Statistics is a prerequisite for this course.
    • This course is typically offered only in the fall semester.
  • PSYC 410 - History and Systems of Psychology
    • This course is open to students in the junior or senior year.
  • Four Cognate Courses in the Natural Sciences Division (Outside of PSYC)
    • This requirement may be fulfilled by taking two courses from two different departments or by taking all four courses from a single department.
    • Each of the four courses must be courses that meet the requirements for the major in that department. For purposes of the Psychology B.S. cognate requirements, Computer Science and Mathematics courses are considered as being from different departments.
    • Courses offered by disciplines without a major (e.g., Astronomy or Neuroscience) do not meet this cognate requirement. Courses from Environmental Studies and other Departments/Programs outside the Natural Sciences Division do not meet this cognate requirement.
    • Other details about the Psychology B.S. degree requirements appear in the B.A. Major sections above.

Psychology Minor

Students with a major in another department will find a minor in psychology to be a significant contribution to their education. In order to best complement the major area of study, students should carefully select those psychology courses that have the most direct relevance to that major. These choices should be made in consultation with a member of the psychology faculty.

A minor in psychology requires the completion of seven courses in Psychology. Required courses for the minor are:

  • PSYC 100 - Introduction to Psychology
    • Please see the notes under the B.A. degree regarding AP Credit and Transfer Credit.
  • PSYC 200 - Research Methods and Statistics
  • One 200-level Psychology Topical Course Plus Research Course Combination (Fulfills a Total of 2 Courses)
    • PSYC 200 - Research Methods and Statistics is a prerequisite for any research course.
    • Research courses must be taken concurrently with their accompanying topical courses. Specific courses that fulfill the 200-level topical/research course combination are listed under the B.A. degree.
  • Three Psychology Elective Courses

These 3 courses must be chosen from Psychology course offerings at the 200, 300, or 400- level. PSYC100 or PSYC 199 credit is usually the only prerequisite for PSYC elective courses.

PSYC 202 - Field Experience in Psychology, PSYC 451 - Senior Research-PSYC 452 - Senior Research, PSYC 361 - Directed Study-PSYC 362 - Directed Study), and PSYC 363 - Independent Study-PSYC 364 - Independent Study) do not count toward the elective courses required for the minor.

  • Please see the notes under the B.A. degree regarding Transfer Courses and PSYC 199 - Introductory Topics in Psychology credit.

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