Skip to main content
Menu Search & Directory

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 a wide range of 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, training in psychology provides students with multiple avenues to explore their own interests and develop their abilities through research, service and study. Areas of study include cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology, social/personality psychology and applied psychology.

The 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 graduates and in service to others locally, nationally and globally. The faculty seek to contribute to the improvement of the human condition and to 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 to 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 that are integrated with expectations of compassionate community engagement.
  • Psychology majors build evidence-based habits of mind and research skills through rigorous coursework, individual research projects, and as research assistants working with faculty and graduate students investigating a wide variety of psychological phenomena, such as eating behaviors, gambling, stress, intergroup relations, close relationships, ADHD, social categorization, stigma and stereotyping, parent-child discourse, PTSD, sleep, aging, organizational development, assessment and consulting.
  • 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 liberal arts education in preparation for entry-level employment, with strengths in understanding people and evidence-based reasoning. The B.A. and B.S. degrees further prepare students to enter graduate programs for professional training as psychologists for which a Ph.D. is needed. Students may also use the B.A. and B.S. degrees 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 a variety of practicum settings, including mental health, research, consulting, schools and community service organizations. In addition to completing multiple courses in research methodology and statistics, students may seek out opportunities as undergraduate research assistants working in a faculty member’s research lab.

Students can also gain valuable, hands-on experience with faculty or graduate research projects, as well as conducting their own research through capstone research projects and by volunteering at human services sites through capstone practicum projects.

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 the student financial services office online at https://www.slu.edu/financial-aid.

  1. Graduates will be able to demonstrate their knowledge of psychology concepts, principles, and over-arching themes that constitute the empirical knowledge base in the domains of social, developmental and clinical/abnormal psychology.
  2. Graduates will be able to demonstrate their ability to apply psychological concepts, principles and skills to their capstone projects.

B.A. in psychology students must complete a minimum total of 31 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.

Core Requirements
College core requirements57-66
For additional information about core courses
Psychology Introductory Courses
PSY 1010General Psychology3
PSY 2050Foundations of Research Methods and Statistics4
Required Area Courses
Select a minimum of one course in each of the four areas below:12
Cognitive Neuroscience
PSY 3100
Brain, Mind & Society
PSY 3120
Cognitive Psychology
PSY 3130
Physiological Psychology
PSY 3150
Introduction to Neuroscience 2: Cognitive and Behavioral
PSY 3160
Learning & Memory
PSY 4140
Psychopharmacology
PSY 4150
Science of Sleep
PSY 4710
Studies in Cognition/Neuroscience
Developmental Psychology
PSY 3210
Developmental Psych: Child
PSY 3230
Developmental Psychology: Adolescence
PSY 4270
Cross-Cultural Psychology of Human Development
PSY 4720
Studies in Developmental Psychology
Personality / Social Psychology
PSY 3300
Social Psychology
PSY 3310
Personality Theory
PSY 4320
Close Relationships
PSY 4330
Psychology of Oppression
PSY 4340
African American Psychology
PSY 4350
Health Psychology
PSY 4390
Abnormal Psychology
Applied Psychology
PSY 3450
Counseling for the Helping Professions
PSY 3470
Occupational Health Psychology
PSY 4410
Organizational Psychology
PSY 4430
Psychology of Trauma
PSY 4440
Sports Psychology
PSY 4480
Psychology and Law
PSY 4490
Teams in Organizations
PSY 4730
Studies in Applied Psychology
Capstone Course
Select one of the following:3-4
PSY 4960
Advanced Research Methodology and Statistics
PSY 4965
Capstone Practicum Project
PSY 4967
Capstone Research Project
PSY 4969
Critical Thinking About Psychology
Psychology Electives *
Select 8-9 credit hours with the “Psychology Elective -- BA” attribute, such as: 8-9
PSY 2010
Disciplines & Practices in Psychology
PSY 3120
Cognitive Psychology
PSY 4340
African American Psychology
PSY 4800
Undergraduate Research
PSY 4965
Capstone Practicum Project
General Requirements22-33
Total Credits120
*

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

To continue as a psychology major, students must earn a "C" or better in PSY 1010 General Psychology (3 cr) and maintain a SLU psychology GPA of 2.00.

Bachelor of Arts Core Curriculum Requirements

Please note: beginning in Fall 2022, all incoming SLU undergraduates—regardless of major, program, college or school—will complete the University Core curriculum. You can find more information about SLU’s common Core here: https://www.slu.edu/core/index.php
Core Components and Credits
Foundations of Discourse3
Diversity in the U.S.3
Global Citizenship3
Foreign Language0-9
Fine Arts3
Literature6
Mathematics3
Natural Science6
Philosophy9
Social Science6
Theology9
World History6
Total Credits57-66

Graduation Requirements

  • Complete a minimum of 120 credits (excluding pre-college level courses numbered below 1000).
  • Complete either the College of Arts and Sciences Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science 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.
  • Courses listed under the intensive English program do not count toward graduation requirements. EAP 1500 College Composition for International Students (3 cr), EAP 1900 Rhetoric & Research Strategies (3 cr) and EAP 2850 Nation, Identity and Literature (3 cr) count toward graduation requirements as equivalents to Department of English courses.

    In addition to those courses, six credits from EAP/MLNG courses at the 1000 level or higher may count toward graduation requirements
  • 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 1 3
UNIV 1010 Enhancing First-Year Success 1
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits16
Spring
Recommended Psychology Elective 2 3
Psychology Area Requirement 3 3
Psychology First-Year Mentoring Matters (Participation) 4  
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits15
Year Two
Fall
PSY 2050 Foundations of Research Methods and Statistics 5 4
Psychology Area Requirement 3 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits16
Spring
Psychology Area Requirement 3 3
Psychology Area Requirement 3 3
Psychology Second-Year Mentoring Matters (Participation) 6  
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits15
Year Three
Fall
Psychology elective 7 3-4
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits15-16
Spring
Psychology Capstone 8 3-4
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits12-13
Year Four
Fall
Psychology Area Requirement 3 3
A&S Core 3
Elective 9 3
Elective 9 3
Elective 9 3
 Credits15
Spring
Elective 9 3
Elective 9 3
Elective 9 3
Elective 9 3
Elective 9 3
Elective 9 3
 Credits18
 Total Credits122-124
1

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

2

Spring only. Recommended elective PSY 2010 Disciplines & Practices in Psychology (3 cr) (should be taken before PSY 3060 Applications of Research Methods and Statistics (0,4 cr)).

3

See information in the program notes.

4

Spring only; during first year as a psychology major.

5

Grade of "B-" or better needed before PSY 3060 Applications of Research Methods and Statistics (0,4 cr).

6

Spring only; during second year after declaring major.

7

If taking PSY 3060 Applications of Research Methods and Statistics (0,4 cr) as elective: fall only; must be taken in consecutive semester before PSY 4960 Advanced Research Methodology and Statistics (0,4 cr).

8

If taking PSY 4960 Advanced Research Methodology and Statistics (0,4 cr): spring only; must be taken in consecutive semester after PSY 3060 Applications of Research Methods and Statistics (0,4 cr).

9

If needed or desired.

Program Notes

The B.A. major in psychology requires a minimum of 31 credits.

Approved Psychology Area Requirements

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

Topical Area 1: Cognitive Neuroscience
PSY 3100Brain, Mind & Society3
PSY 3120Cognitive Psychology3
PSY 3130Physiological Psychology3
PSY 3150Introduction to Neuroscience 2: Cognitive and Behavioral3
PSY 3160Learning & Memory3
PSY 4140Psychopharmacology3
PSY 4150Science of Sleep3
PSY 4710Studies in Cognition/Neuroscience1-3
Topical Area 2: Developmental Psychology
PSY 3210Developmental Psych: Child3
PSY 3230Developmental Psychology: Adolescence3
PSY 4270Cross-Cultural Psychology of Human Development3
PSY 4720Studies in Developmental Psychology3
Topical Area 3: Social/Personality
PSY 3300Social Psychology3
PSY 3310Personality Theory3
PSY 4320Close Relationships3
PSY 4330Psychology of Oppression3
PSY 4340African American Psychology3
PSY 4350Health Psychology3
PSY 4390Abnormal Psychology3
Topical Area 4: Applied Psychology
PSY 3450Counseling for the Helping Professions3
PSY 3470Occupational Health Psychology3
PSY 4410Organizational Psychology3
PSY 4430Psychology of Trauma3
PSY 4440Sports Psychology3
PSY 4460Marital Relations, Sexuality & Parenting3
PSY 4480Psychology and Law3
PSY 4490Teams in Organizations3
PSY 4730Studies in Applied Psychology1-3

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