Psychology Requirements

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The undergraduate program in psychology provides a broad general education in the study of human behavior and mental processes. Students gain valuable knowledge and skills that prepare then to pursue lifelong learning and personal enrichment as well as enter the work force or pursue advanced studies.

Graduates of the psychology program who have entered the work force immediately have found employment in a wide variety of settings, ranging from sales and personnel work in the business sector, to positions with the human service agencies of local, state, and federal governments. Graduates who have gone on to advanced study have successfully prepared themselves for professional careers in such fields as business, law, medicine, and psychology.

Students planning to apply to medical or law schools after completing a major in psychology should plan their programs of study in close consultation with the pre-medical or pre-law advisors on campus. Students planning to apply for admission to graduate study in psychology should plan their undergraduate program of study very carefully in consultation with Psychology program faculty and advisors. At least two years, and as many as six years, of graduate study are required for qualification as a professional psychologist.

Students who enter the University with a major in psychology or change their major to psychology are invited to meet with the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Psychology program after their arrival at the University in order to discuss their interests and plans of study.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology Degree Requirements

Degree RequirementsCredit Hours
University Core Curriculum Requirements (PSYC 102 is required to satisfy social science and degree requirements) 39
Requirements for Major in Psychology 1 49-52
PSYC 102 (with a grade of C- or better) (3)
PSYC 202 (with a grade of C- or better) 1
Any MATH course that meets University Core Curriculum Requirements; MATH 102 recommended (3)
PSYC 211, PSYC 311 (passed with a grade of C- or better, completion of 211 before senior year recommended) 8
Cross-Cultural Perspectives Requirement - Two Courses in International Studies or Foreign Languages 6
Critical Thinking and Communication Skills Requirement - Two of the following courses: 6
BAT 200, CMST 325, CMST 280, CMST 380, CMST 411, CS 201, CS 202, ECON 308; ECON 113, ENGL 291, IMAE 315, IST 207, IST 209, MATH 139, MGMT 208, PHIL 104, PHIL 105, PHIL 415, SOC 415, WED 304
Psychology Electives 29-32
Ten courses (or 29 to 32 credits) from the list below. At least six courses (or 12 to 14 credits) must be from Groups A, B, and C, with at least one course from each of these three groups. A minimum of three courses must be chosen at the 400-level from among the total offerings in the A, B, and C Groups and PSYC 489 in Group D.
Group A: PSYC 233, PSYC 237, PSYC 250, PSYC 301, PSYC 303, PSYC 304, PSYC 305, PSYC 306, PSYC 307, PSYC 331, PSYC 333, PSYC 334, PSYC 431, PSYC 432, PSYC 440, PSYC 451, PSYC 453, PSYC 461, PSYC 464, PSYC 470, CI 403
Group B: PSYC 302, PSYC 308, PSYC 309, PSYC 310, PSYC 312, PSYC 345, PSYC 402, PSYC 407, PSYC 409, PSYC 410, PSYC 415, PSYC 416, PSYC 417, PSYC 419, PSYC 443, PSYC 445, PSYC 471
Group C: PSYC 223, PSYC 314, PSYC 320, PSYCH 322, PSYC 323, PSYC 328, PSYC 337, PSYC 340, PSYC 405, PSYC 411, PSYC 420, PSYC 421, PSYC 425, PSYC 441, PSYC 465, PSYC 480
Group D: PSYC 207,  PSYC 222, PSYC 389, PSYC 391, PSYC 392, PSYC 393, PSYC 394, PSYC 489, PSYC 499A, PSYC 499B, QUAN 402, MATH 282, BAT 200, ENGL 291
Of all credits that a student completes for PSYC 391, PSYC 392, PSYC 393, and PSYC 394, a maximum of six hours may count toward the major. A total of twelve hours of these courses may count toward the 120 hours to graduate.
Electives 29-32
Total 120

1 Courses in parenthesis will also count toward the 39 hours of University Core Curriculum requirements. All courses counted toward the Psychology Major must have a combined GPA of 2.0.

Parent Training Specialization

Psychology majors intending to pursue careers as mental health counselors and therapists providing services to children and families may wish to pursue a specialization in Parent Training. The specialization includes course work focused on psychological development across the child and adolescent lifespan, child and adolescent psychopathology, training in helping skills, and evidence-based parenting strategies to promote positive relationships and develop effective disciplinary techniques.

B.A. Psychology - Parent Training Specialization Degree Requirements

Degree RequirementsCredit Hours
University Core Curriculum Requirements (PSYC 102 is required to satisfy social science and degree requirements) 39
Requirements for Major in Psychology 1 49-52
PSYC 102 (with a grade of C- or better) (3)
PSYC 202 (with a grade of C- or better) 1
Any MATH course that meets University Core Curriculum Requirements; MATH 102 recommended (3)
PSYC 211, PSYC 311 (passed with a grade of C- or better, completion of PSYC 211 before senior year recommended) 8
Cross-Cultural Perspectives Requirement - Two Courses in International Studies or Foreign Languages 6
Critical Thinking and Communication Skills Requirement - Two of the following courses: 6
BAT 200, CMST 325, CMST 280, CMST 380, CMST 411, CS 201, CS 202, ECON 308; ECON 113, ENGL 291, IMAE 315, IST 207, IST 209, MATH 139, MGMT 208, PHIL 104, PHIL 105, PHIL 415, SOC 415, WED 302
Specialization requirements: PSYC 301, PSYC 451 or PSYC 391, PSYC 250 or  PSYC 303, PSYC 432, PSYC 425, PSYC 441 or PSYC 393 18
Psychology Electives 11-14
Four additional courses (or 11 or 14 credits) from the list below. At least six courses for the Major in total must be from Groups A, B, and C, with at least one course from each of these three groups.
Group A: PSYC 233, PSYC 237, PSYC 250; PSYC 301, PSYC 303, PSYC 304, PSYC 305, PSYC 306, PSYC 307, PSYC 331, PSYC 333, PSYC 334, PSYC 431, PSYC 432, PSYC 440, PSYC 451, PSYC 453, PSYC 461, PSYC 464, PSYC 470, CI 403
Group B: PSYC 302, PSYC 308, PSYC 309, PSYC 310, PSYC 312, PSYC 345, PSYC 402, PSYC 407, PSYC 409, PSYC 410, PSYC 415, PSYC 416, PSYC 417, PSYC 419, PSYC 443, PSYC 445, PSYC 471
Group C: PSYC 223, PSYC 314, PSYC 320, PSYC 322, PSYC 323, PSYC 328, PSYC 337, PSYC 340, PSYC 405, PSYC 411, PSYC 420, PSYC 421, PSYC 441, PSYC 465, PSYC 480
Group D: PSYC 222, PSYC 389, PSYC 391, PSYC 392, PSYC 393, PSYC 394, PSYC 489, PSYC 499A,B, QUAN 402, MATH 282
Of all credits that a student completes for PSYC 391, PSYC 392, PSYC 393, and PSYC 394, a maximum of six hours may count toward the major. A total of twelve hours of these courses may count toward the 120 hours to graduate.
Electives 29-32
Total 120

1 Courses in parenthesis will also count toward the 39 hours of University Core Curriculum requirements. All courses counted toward the Psychology Major must have a combined GPA of 2.0.

Neuroscience Minor

The Neuroscience Minor in Psychology is an interdisciplinary course of study that will provide students an understanding of the neural foundations underlying behavior. Students will be required to take coursework in different areas of neuroscience. In addition, students will be required to participate in ongoing research in a laboratory of their choosing. Students from many different majors will find the neuroscience courses addressing brain and behavior appealing and practical for their future professions. The students will come to understand that neuroscience spans levels from the molecular to the psychological in both humans and other animals.

A minor in neuroscience requires the successful completion of 19 semester hours in courses listed within the minor with a combined GPA of 2.0 or greater and a minimum GPA of 2.0 in both PSYC 302 and PSYC 415. The minor requires PSYC 302-3, PSYC 415-4, and PSYC 392-6 (13 credit hours combined) and six credit hours of approved elective courses (three credit hours must be at the 400 level). The list of approved elective courses will be routinely updated to include timely special topics courses. Please contact the Neuroscience Minor Coordinator for a current list of approved courses.

Courses taken at other institutions may apply towards the minor only if those courses are acceptable for transfer credit with the home department that offers the course. No more than two transfer courses can count toward the minor. No more than two courses can count towards both the Psychology major and the Neuroscience minor.

Neuroscience Minor requirements: PSYC 302 (C- or better), PSYC 415 (C- or better), PSYC 392 (six credit hours)

Electives: Two additional courses from the list below; one course must be at the 400-level: PSYC 222, PSYC 304, PSYC 308, PSYC 309, PSYC 310, PSYC 312, PSYC 314, PSYC 331, PSYC 402, PSYC 416, PSYC 417, PSYC 419, PSYC 489 (with approval of Neuroscience Minor Coordinator).

Psychology Minor

A minor in Psychology requires the successful completion of at least 15 semester hours (five courses) in courses with the PSYC prefix as listed under the major requirements. A maximum of six hours from PSYC 391, 392, 393, or 394 may count towards the minor. Courses in other programs that can count toward the Major (e.g., QUAN 402) do not fulfill minor requirements. All courses counted toward the Psychology Minor must have a combined GPA of 2.0. Students completing a minor in psychology for purposes of qualifying to teach psychology in the State of Illinois must complete a minimum of 20 semester hours in psychology.

Courses taken at other institutions may count towards the minor only if those courses are acceptable for transfer credit in psychology. No more than two transfer courses can count toward a minor.

Transfer Credit

Credit for a course in psychology successfully completed at another accredited institution will be transferred to meet major or minor requirements in psychology at SIU Carbondale, subject to the following conditions:

  1. The course number must bear a prefix clearly indicating the course is a psychology course or a course from a closely related field. Examples are PSYCH and PSYC.
  2. Credit for a course completed at a community or junior college is not transferable if the corresponding course at SIU is offered at the 400-level.
  3. A C- or higher must have been earned in the course.
  4. No more than five transfer courses can count for the major, and no more than two transfer courses can count toward a minor.
  5. All transfers of credit to meet major or minor requirements in psychology must be explicitly approved by the psychology program.

Courses from other institutions that do not meet these conditions may still be acceptable for elective credit to meet general University requirements. Students should consult their program or college advisor about such courses.

Senior Honors Program

A small number of students are selected each year for the honors program. Selection criteria are promising academic performance, expressed interest, and capacity of program to take new students. Emphasis is on small seminar and individual research work by the student. Concurrent membership in the University Honors Program is strongly encouraged.