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Psychology, B.A.

Psychology is the science of behavior. Students majoring in psychology learn how human behavior depends on biological factors, developmental status, cognitive processes and social conditions. Psychological science encompasses various methods to address diverse topics, from brain function to cultural influences. The discoveries of psychology improve understanding of the human experience and the quality of life.

As one of the most popular majors at Saint Louis University, psychology provides students with multiple avenues to explore their interests and develop their abilities through research, service and study. For the B.A.in Psychology, translating and applying psychological science is emphasized. SLU also offers a B.S. in Psychology

The SLU Department of Psychology’s mission is to broadly educate students in the discipline of psychology and its applications. Faculty accomplish this by integrating empirical science, theory and practice focused on the evidence-based understanding of behaviors and experiences of individuals and groups, including the family, organizations and institutions.

SLU faculty encourage intellectual curiosity, critical thinking and ethical responsibility. A commitment to value-based, holistic education and an enthusiasm for psychology is realized in the products of research, in program graduates, and in service to others locally, nationally and globally. The faculty seeks to improve the human condition and promote human welfare through understanding past knowledge, discovering new knowledge, and disseminating that knowledge through teaching, publications and service. The faculty educate students to be professionals and challenge them to be ethically responsible, to be committed to serving others and respect human diversity in all its forms.

Additional program highlights include:

  • Psychology majors are mentored by individual faculty members who support students’ discernment of and successful progress toward professional goals.
  • Psychology majors build evidence-based habits of mind and research skills through working with faculty and graduate students investigating a wide variety of psychological phenomena.
  • Psychology majors can take science out of the ivory tower to foster social justice in diverse communities and neighborhoods as members of a social advocacy learning community, at nearby service-learning practicum sites, or through values-based research activities.

Curriculum Overview

The undergraduate psychology program offers students three options: a Bachelor of Arts, a Bachelor of Science and a minor in psychology. Each introduces students to the study of psychology while developing capacities for evidence-based reasoning, quantitative thinking and psychological inquiry.

Majors receive a strong education in preparation for entry-level employment, with strengths in understanding people and evidence-based reasoning. The B.A. degree further prepares students to enter graduate programs for professional training in psychology or related fields, such as preparing for a therapist or counselor career. Students may also use the B.A. degree in psychology as pre-professional training in medicine, physical therapy, occupational therapy, social work, education and law.

Fieldwork and Research Opportunities

Students may gain volunteer experience in various practicum settings, including mental health, research, consulting, schools and community service organizations. In addition, students may seek out opportunities as undergraduate research assistants working in a faculty member’s research lab.

Careers

SLU graduates have used their psychology degree as pre-professional training to go on to the fields of medicine, physical therapy, occupational therapy, social work, education and law. Strengths in understanding and reasoning about human behavior will also prepare students for entry-level positions in many additional fields.

An undergraduate degree in psychology can also prepare students to continue as a graduate student with plans to become a psychologist, a profession that requires doctoral-level training.

Admission Requirements

Begin Your Application

Saint Louis University also accepts the Common Application.

Freshman

All applications are thoroughly reviewed with the highest degree of individual care and consideration to all credentials that are submitted. Solid academic performance in college preparatory coursework is a primary concern in reviewing a freshman applicant’s file.

To be considered for admission to any Saint Louis University undergraduate program, applicants must be graduating from an accredited high school, have an acceptable HiSET exam score or take the General Education Development (GED) test. 

Transfer

Applicants must be a graduate of an accredited high school or have an acceptable score on the GED.

Students who have attempted fewer than 24 semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must follow the above freshmen admission requirements. Students who have completed 24 or more semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must submit transcripts from all previously attended college(s).

In reviewing a transfer applicant’s file, the Office of Admission holistically examines the student’s academic performance in college-level coursework as an indicator of the student’s ability to meet the academic rigors of Saint Louis University. Where applicable, transfer students will be evaluated on any courses outlined in the continuation standards of their preferred major.

International Applicants

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students along with the following:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Proof of financial support must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the time at Saint Louis University
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include the courses taken and/or lectures attended, practical laboratory work, the maximum and minimum grades attainable, the grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations, and any honors or degrees received. WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

There are two principal ways to help finance a Saint Louis University education:

  • Scholarships: Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, service, leadership and financial need.
  • Financial Aid: Financial aid is provided in the form of grants and loans, some of which require repayment.

For priority consideration for merit-based scholarships, apply for admission by Dec. 1 and complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1.

For information on other scholarships and financial aid, visit www.slu.edu/financial-aid.

  1. Students will demonstrate comprehension of the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, historical trends, and empirical findings in psychology in their application to complex problems.
  2. Students will demonstrate their ability to discern the quality of research conducted by others and apply their research knowledge through an evidence-based psychology project.
  3. Students will demonstrate their abilities to recognize ethically and socially responsible behaviors and engage in such behaviors through applied experiences and through an evidence-based psychology project.
  4. Students will demonstrate competence in writing and in oral and interpersonal communication skills through an evidence-based psychology project.
  5. Students will demonstrate their ability to manage, present, and reflect on a major evidence-based psychology project.

B.A. in psychology students must complete a minimum total of 34 credits for the major.

 PSY 2050 Foundations of Research Methods and Statistics and a capstone course must be taken from the student's home department.

University Undergraduate Core32-35
Major Requirements
Psychology Introductory Courses
PSY 1010General Psychology3
PSY 2050Foundations of Research Methods and Statistics4
Required Breadth Courses
Select a minimum of one course in each of the four areas below:12
Cognitive Neuroscience
Select 3 credit hours with the "PSY Cog Neuro Cluster" attribute, such as:
PSY 3100
Brain, Mind, & Society
PSY 3120
Cognitive Psychology
Developmental Psychology
Select 3 credit hours with the "PSY Dev Cluster" attribute, such as:
PSY 3210
Developmental Psych: Child
PSY 3230
Developmental Psychology: Adolescence
Social & Organizational Psychology
Select 3 credit hours with the "PSY Soc Org Cluster" attribute, such as:
PSY 3300
Social Psychology
PSY 3410
Organizational Psychology
Mental Health and Wellbeing in Applied Contexts
Select 3 credit hours with the "PSY Health Applied Cluster" attribute, such as:
PSY 3460
Abnormal Psychology
PSY 3470
Occupational Health Psychology
Capstone Course
PSY 4969Critical Thinking About Psychology *3
Psychology Electives **
Select 6 credit hours with the “Psychology Elective -- BA” attribute, such as: 6
PSY 2010
Disciplines & Practices in Psychology
PSY 3120
Cognitive Psychology
PSY 4340
African American Psychology
Psychology Advanced Elective
Select 3 credits with the "Psychology Advanced Elective" attribute,such as: 3
PSY 4340
African American Psychology
PSY 4490
Teams in Organizations
Learning Through Applications
Select 3 credits with the "Applications of Psych Science" attribute.3
General Requirements51-54
Total Credits120
*

PSY 4969 is the default capstone option for B.A. students.  Students may alternatively contract individual practicum or research capstone projects with faculty, although these options may not always be available.

**

PSY-ELE courses may only count with Dept. approval.

Non-Course Requirements

Mentoring Matters: Attendance at two Mentoring Matters events, or equivalent, is required for all psychology majors. Completion is strongly recommended by the end of the second year after declaring the major.

Continuation Standards

Students who fail to earn C in PSY 1010 or whose SLU PSY GPA is below 2.0 will be placed on probation and have a maximum of 2 consecutive semesters to resolve either or both issues. Additionally, students who fail to complete PSY2050 within 3 consecutive semesters after declaring the major will be immediately dismissed from the program.

Graduation Requirements

  • Complete a minimum of 120 credits (excluding pre-college level courses numbered below 1000).
  • Complete the University Undergraduate Core curriculum requirements.
  • Complete major requirements: minimum 30 credits required.
  • Complete remaining credits with a second major, minor, certificate and/or electives to reach the minimum of 120 credits required for graduation.
  • Achieve at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average, a 2.00 grade point average in the major(s) and a 2.00 grade point average in the minor/certificate, or related elective credits.
  • Complete department-/program-specific academic and performance requirements.
  • Complete at least 50% of the coursework for the major and 75% for the minor/certificate through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
  • Complete 30 of the final 36 credits through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
  • Complete an online degree application by the required University deadline.

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester.  Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
PSY 1010 General Psychology (Critical course:  satisfies CORE 3600) 1 3
UNIV 1010 Enhancing First-Year Success 1
CORE 1000 Ignite First Year Seminar 2-3
CORE 1500 Cura Personalis 1: Self in Community 1
General Electives 6
 Credits13-14
Spring
Psychology Breadth Requirement 2 3
Psychology First-Year Mentoring Matters (Participation) 3  
CORE 1600 Ultimate Questions: Theology 3
CORE 1900 Eloquentia Perfecta 1: Written and Visual Communication 3
General Electives 6
 Credits15
Year Two
Fall
PSY 2050 Foundations of Research Methods and Statistics (Critical course:  satisfies CORE 3200) 5 4
Psychology Breadth Requirement 3 3
CORE 1200 Eloquentia Perfecta 2: Oral and Visual Communication 3
CORE 1700 Ultimate Questions: Philosophy 3
General Electives 3
 Credits16
Spring
Psychology General Elective 4 3
Psychology Breadth Requirement 3 3
Psychology Second-Year Mentoring Matters (Participation) 5  
CORE 3800 Ways of Thinking: Natural and Applied Sciences 3
CORE 2500 Cura Personalis 2: Self in Contemplation 3
General Electives 3
 Credits15
Year Three
Fall
PSY Learning Through Applications 6 3
Psychology Breadth Requirement 3
CORE 3400 Ways of Thinking: Aesthetics, History, and Culture 3
CORE 2800 Eloquentia Perfecta 3: Creative Expression 3
General Electives 6
 Credits18
Spring
PSY 4969 Critical Thinking About Psychology 3
General Electives 12
 Credits15
Year Four
Fall
Psychology Advanced Elective 3
CORE 3500 Cura Personalis 3: Self in the World 3
General Electives 9
 Credits15
Spring
General Electives 8 12
Optional Psychology Elective 8 1-3
 Credits13-15
 Total Credits120-123
1

A grade of "C" or better required for majors and minors (or program probation begins).

2

See information in the program notes.

3

Spring only; during first year as a psychology major.

4

Recommended elective PSY 2010 Disciplines & Practices in Psychology (3 cr).

5

Spring only; during second year after declaring major.

6

A maximum of 3 total credits is needed to fulfill the Learning Psychology Through Applications requirement. These credits may be distributed across semesters, where appropriate.

7

PSY4969 is the default capstone option for B.A. students. Students may
alternatively contract individual practicum or research capstone projects with faculty, although these options may not always be available.

8

If needed or desired.

Program Notes

The B.A. in Psychology requires a minimum of 34 credits.

Approved Psychology Breadth Requirements

At least one course from each of the four topical areas listed must be taken.  

Topical Cluster 1: Cognitive Neuroscience
Select 3 credit hours with the "PSY Cog Neuro Cluster" attribute, such as:
PSY 3100Brain, Mind, & Society3
PSY 3120Cognitive Psychology3
Topical Cluster 2: Developmental Psychology
Select 3 credit hours with the "PSY Dev Cluster" attribute, such as:
PSY 3210Developmental Psych: Child3
PSY 3230Developmental Psychology: Adolescence3
Topical Cluster 3: Social & Organizational Psychology
Select 3 credit hours with the "PSY Soc Org Cluster" attribute, such as:
PSY 3300Social Psychology3
PSY 3410Organizational Psychology3
Topical Cluster 4: Mental Health and Wellbeing in Applied Contexts
Select 3 credit hours with the "PSY Health Applied Cluster" attribute, such as:
PSY 3460Abnormal Psychology3
PSY 3470Occupational Health Psychology3

Students can complete all or part of the psychology major at SLU’s campus in Madrid. 
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