Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of General Studies in Psychology

Bachelor of Arts – Requires four semesters of a second language
Bachelor of General Studies – Requires a major and a minor

Psychology examines all aspects of human behavior: Why do people behave the way they do? What makes people happy or unhappy? What are the relationships between the mind and the brain? Majoring in psychology allows you to explore the behavior of people and how their minds work, and then apply that knowledge to the modern world.

Students have many reasons for wanting to major in psychology. Some are simply fond of observing the behavior of others around them, fascinated with the results of their observations and curious to learn why people behave as they do. Some plan to become psychologists themselves or to enter one of the many professions where a background in psychology can be useful -- such as, business, teaching, medicine, nursing, law, social work, the ministry, counseling, student services, child development, administration, or human resources.

Our department offers a wide variety of psychology courses from which to choose and additional experiences and opportunities are available beyond the classroom. There are many chances to engage in extracurricular enrichment, including Psi Chi, a research-focused Honors Program, research assistantships and volunteer opportunities in faculty labs.

Our scientific approach to understanding human behavior equips students with a solid foundation of analytical, research and interpersonal skills for careers in many fields with a human service emphasis. 

Learn more about career paths available to psychology majors:
What are you going to do with that degree?
Where do college graduates work?

Undergraduate Admission

Admission to KU

All students applying for admission must send high school and college transcripts to the Office of Admissions. Unless they are college transfer students with at least 24 hours of credit, prospective students must send ACT or SAT scores to the Office of Admissions. Prospective first-year students should be aware that KU has qualified admission requirements that all new first-year students must meet to be admitted. Consult the Office of Admissions for application deadlines and specific admission requirements.

Visit the Office of International Student and Scholar Services for information about international admissions.

Students considering transferring to KU may see how their college-level course work will transfer on the Office of Admissions website.

Admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Admission to the College is a different process from admission to a major field. Some CLAS departments have admission requirements. See individual department/program sections for departmental admission requirements.

Requirements for the B.A. or B.G.S. Major

B.A. or B.G.S. Major in Psychology

Psychology Major Course Requirements

Psychology Prerequisite or Co-Requisite Knowledge (3)
Majors must complete courses as specified in each of the following area. These hours do not contribute to the minimum number of hours required for the major.
College Algebra or Pre-Calculus. Satisfied by:
MATH 101College Algebra3
or MATH 104 Precalculus Mathematics
Psychology Core Knowledge and Skills (25)
Majors must complete a course in each of the following 9 areas:
Orientation Seminar in Psychology. Satisfied by:
PSYC 102Orientation Seminar in Psychology1
General Psychology. Satisfied by:
PSYC 104General Psychology3
or PSYC 105 General Psychology, Honors
Research Methods in Psychology. Satisfied by:
PSYC 200Research Methods in Psychology3
or PSYC 201 Research Methods in Psychology, Honors
Statistics in Psychological Research. Satisfied by:
PSYC 210Statistics in Psychological Research3
or PSYC 211 Statistics in Psychological Research, Honors
Note: A student may not take more than 3 of the following core courses before being admitted to the major.
Cognitive Psychology. Satisfied by:
PSYC 318Cognitive Psychology3
or PSYC 319 Cognitive Psychology, Honors
Child Development. Satisfied by:
PSYC 333Child Development3
or PSYC 334 Child Development, Honors
Abnormal Psychology. Satisfied by:
PSYC 350Abnormal Psychology3
or PSYC 351 Abnormal Psychology, Honors
Social Psychology. Satisfied by:
PSYC 360Social Psychology3
or PSYC 361 Social Psychology, Honors
Biological Psychology. One course required:3
Behavioral Neuroscience
Behavior Neuroscience, Honors
Cognitive Neuroscience
Clinical Neuroscience
Clinical Neuroscience, Honors
Diversity, Equity, and Ethical Behavior (3)
Majors must complete 3 hours. Choose one of the following:3
Stereotyping and Prejudice Across Cultures
Psychology and Social Issues
Culture and Psychology
Psychological Significance of Physical Illness and Disability
Psychology Required Electives (9)
Majors must complete 9 hours, at least 6 of these hours must be completed with courses numbered 300 or higher. 9

Psychology Major Hours & Major GPA

While completing all required courses, majors must also meet each of the following hour and grade-point average minimum standards:

Major Hours
Satisfied by 37 hours of major courses. Note: No more than 3 hours of PSYC 480, PSYC 481, or PSYC 483 may count toward the minimum hours required for the major. (No more than a 6-hour combination of these courses may be counted toward the major.)

Major Hours in Residence
Satisfied by a minimum of 15 hours of KU resident credit in the major. 

Major Junior/Senior (300+) Hours
Satisfied by a minimum of 24 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the major.

Major Junior/Senior Graduation GPA
Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.

A sample 4-year plan for the BA degree in Psychology can be found here: Psychology, or by using the left-side navigation.

Sample 4-year plans for the BGS degree in Psychology and the BS in Behavioral Neuroscience can be found using the left-side navigation.

Departmental Honors

Students may inquire about departmental honors as soon as they are admitted to the undergraduate major. The department website has details. Participation usually begins in the senior year. A 3.25 grade-point average overall and a 3.5 grade-point average in psychology courses are required. Students follow individualized courses of study arranged through the director. Students who complete PSYC 460, individual research, and a paper under the direction of an instructor may graduate with departmental honors.