Bachelor of Science in Psychology

School of Behavioral Sciences and Education

The Psychology major emphasizes the scientific study of human behavior in areas such as cognition, development, learning, physiology, personality, and social processes. The curriculum is designed to provide students with a broad background in psychological theory and research and to develop the analytical and critical thinking skills necessary to be good consumers of scientific information.

The Psychology program exposes students to a number of areas of psychology but allows flexibility in the specific courses that are taken in each sub-area. Students are also required to obtain applied experience by completing an internship or by assisting faculty with their research. Elective credits can be used for additional internship or research experience.

The Psychology program prepares students for careers in local, state, and federal government and for entry-level psychological services positions in human service, applied behavior, human resources, and related fields. The Psychology program also provides a strong background for graduate education at both the master's and the doctoral level in counseling, social work, and many areas of psychology.

For a B.S. degree in Psychology, a minimum of 122 credits is required.

Entry to Major Requirements:
Entry to the Psychology major requires a 2.00 cumulative grade-point average and an average of C (2.00) or better in any courses already taken in the major.

Career Opportunities

Career opportunities for bachelor's-level Psychology graduates can be found in the numerous areas that require the knowledge of human behavior emphasized in Psychology coursework. Common placements are in local, state, and federal government, human services, applied behavior, human resources, and related fields.

Job Titles

The following are some of the positions available for undergraduate Psychology graduates: Community Relations Officer, Affirmative Action Officer, Recreation Worker, Probation and Parole Officer, Corrections Officer, Sales Representative, Daycare Center Supervisor, Research Assistant, Social Work Assistant, Case Management Aide, Child Abuse Worker, Community Outreach Worker, Therapeutic Support Staff, and Employment Assistant Specialist.

Job Outlook

According to projections by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most bachelor's-level Psychology graduates will move toward positions in human service, where an increase of 18 percent in job growth is expected in some areas. Other employment fields for Psychology graduates, including entry-level management, human resources, and sales, anticipate growth between 14 and 16 percent.

Graduate School

Graduate study in Psychology is encouraged, and the Psychology program provides the background for graduate education at both the master's and the doctoral levels. Students with this goal are encouraged to speak with their faculty adviser as soon as possible to receive guidance toward a course of study.

Applied Experience

All Psychology majors are required to obtain three credits of an applied experience by completing an internship (PSYC 395) or by assisting faculty with their research (PSYC 494).


Membership in clubs and organizations can be a rewarding educational and social experience. Two groups of particular interest to Psychology majors are the Psychology Club and Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in Psychology. The Psychology Club is open to all interested students, whereas Psi Chi has established membership requirements. Students may also choose to become affiliates of the Eastern and/or the American Psychological Association. Additional information regarding these opportuni- ties is available in the Psychology Program Handbook.

Student Handbook

This page is not a part of the official Penn State University Bulletin.