Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services
Department of Psychology
Graduate School Preparation
The psychology major has been designed so that students take classes that will help them compete in applying for graduate school. Students planning to apply to graduate school need to become actively involved with faculty research, form an association with Psi Chi, and enroll in independent research and readings courses.
Students are encouraged to become involved with the faculty in independent research or applied experiences. Involvement in these experiences is associated with greater chances of successful graduate school admission and/or competitive post-baccalaureate employment, especially for students who pursue this involvement early in their undergraduate careers.
Psychology students have achieved remarkable success in procuring funding to support student-initiated research projects via Utah State University’s competitive University Research Cooperative Opportunity (URCO) mechanism and the national honor society of psychology (Psi Chi).
Students have been first authors or co-authors on numerous scholarly presentations at regional, national, and international conferences in psychology (e.g., Association of Behavior Analysis, American Psychological Association, European Conference of Developmental Psychology, International Society for the Study of Behavioral Development, Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Society for Research in Adolescence, and Society for Research in Human Development). Students have competed successfully each year for awards that recognize their achievements. Together with the faculty, the students have published in premier research journals in psychology (e.g., Developmental Psychology, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Clinical Psychology, Journal of Experimental Psychology, and Sex Roles) and books in psychology.
The Department of Psychology and Utah State University actively support students’ efforts by awarding matching funding to support the attendance of conferences at which they can present their accepted conference presentations.
Breadth Social Sciences (BSS):
Depth Social Sciences (DSS):
Communications Intensive (CI):
Quantitative Intensive (QI):
Although these courses may be applied toward fulfilling the University Studies breadth, depth, communications intensive, and quantitative intensive requirements, students must be prepared to complete additional writing or library assignments, as required for University Studies.
General Undergraduate Psychology Major:
Required Courses (25 credits), plus
Core Domains(13 credits),
Specialization (6 credits), and
Apprenticeship (3 credits)
Requirements for a psychology major consist of a broad preparation of 25 credits of specified coursework, plus a minimum of 19 credits of approved Psychology elective courses, and 3 credits of an apprenticeship, which allows for integration of coursework knowledge (theory) through application, for a total of 47 credits. At least 20 Psychology credits must be upper-division, 12 of which must be taken at USU.
A. Required Courses (25 credits)
B. Core Domain (13 credits)
Biological Basis of Behavior: Select 3 credits from the following:
Learning and Cognition: Select 4 credits from the following:
Socioculture Influences: Select 3 credits from the following:
Persons and Society: Select 3 credits from the following:
C. Specialization Courses (6 credits minimum)
Select at least 6 credits from the following. (A course from the Core Domain list may count as fulfilling the Specialization requirement if and only if it has not been counted as a Core Domain requirement.)
D. Required Apprenticeship Course (3 credits)
A minor in another area is required. A minimum overall USU GPA of 2.75 is required for graduation, with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in Psychology. Students must receive a grade of C- or better in all psychology courses (USU and transfer) in order to have them counted toward major requirements. (Students desiring licensure for teaching in secondary schools must also meet the requirements of the Secondary Education Program of the School of Teacher Education and Leadership.)
Meeting these minimum requirements alone is insufficient to prepare for competitive employment opportunities or to secure admission to graduate school. Students who are planning to secure optimal employment or graduate admissions need to first affiliate with a faculty mentor, as well as become involved in research or applied experiences with the faculty member, as soon as they know they will pursue a major in psychology. These students should enroll in one of PSY 5900 , PSY 5910 , or PSY 5930 as soon as they have identified a mentor and have met Utah State University’s admission requirements for the Department of Psychology Pre-psychology Major designation. They should pursue their own creative research opportunity experience with the faculty member and enroll in PSY 4910 during the second semester of their junior year and absolutely no later than the first semester of their senior year. They should plan to enroll in an additional section of PSY 5900 , PSY 5910 , or PSY 5930 during their senior year.
Minimum University Requirements