Psychology majors have a wide range of interests. Anyone preparing for a career that involves contact with other people can benefit from taking classes in psychology. Among the common pre-professional concentrations for psychology majors are pre-medical, pre-physical therapy, pre-law, pre-occupational therapy, and pre-physical therapy. Many psychology majors have interests in communication studies such as advertising and public relations. Others have interests in business and can apply their knowledge of psychology to marketing, management, or organizational behavior. Psychology majors can approach the study of behavior from a variety of perspectives ranging from humanistic psychology, which focuses on human growth and potential, to biological bases of behavior, which focuses on relations among body, brain, and behavior. Written and oral communication skills are essential to success in psychology and related fields.

Admission into the Major

Students are expected to formally declare a major no later than the fourth semester of full-time enrollment (or at 61 semester hours for transfer students). Students can declare a major by completing the Change of Major/Minor Application online under the Student tab of myBama.

Special Opportunities

The psychology department honors program is designed to afford qualified majors the opportunity to participate in activities to prepare for graduate training in psychology. The two-year program is research-oriented and involves interactions with selected faculty and peers in an enriched and accelerated academic environment. Completion of the program is contingent on the submission of an independently conducted research project equivalent in quality to a master’s thesis. Psychology majors who are in the second semester of the sophomore year with nine hours of coursework in psychology (including PY 101 Intro To Psychology, PY 211 Elem Statistical Methods and a 300-level course) to be completed by the end of the semester may apply for admission to the psychology department honors program. A completed application and interview by the Departmental Honors Committee are required before acceptance. To be accepted, it is recommended that a student must have at least a 3.5 GPA in psychology coursework and a 3.3 cumulative GPA; however, meeting these standards does not guarantee admission.

Students earning the bachelor of science (BS) degree with a major in psychology must complete all University, College and departmental degree requirements. These include the general education requirements, the following major requirements, all requirements for an approved minor and other sufficient credits to total a minimum of 120 applicable semester hours.

Code and Title Hours
Major Courses
PY 101Intro To Psychology3
PY 211Elem Statistical Methods3
PY 321Professional Issues1
PY 355General Experimental Psycholog3
PY 356Research Laboratory2
PY 370History & Systems3
Select one seminar sequence: 16
Junior Honors Seminar
and Senior Seminar In Psychology
Junior Seminar
and Senior Seminar In Psychology
Senior Seminar In Psychology
and Senior Seminar In Psychology
Credit Hours Subtotal: 21
Select three hours of PY elective 300 or 400 level3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 3
Area Requirement
Select three courses from three content areas9
Credit Hours Subtotal: 9
Ancillary Courses
Grades in ancillary courses are not computed into the major GPA. The major in psychology requires successful completion of the following courses outside the major:
MATH 125 or Calculus I4
MATH 145 Honors Calculus I
Select eight hours of the following:8
Intro Biology Non Maj I
Intro Biology Non Maj II
Principles Of Biology I
and Laboratory Biology I
Principles Biology II
and Biology II Laboratory
Honors General Biology I
Honors Gen Biology II
General Chemistry
General Chemistry
Introductory Chemistry
Introductory Org Chem
Honors General Chemistry
Honors General Chemistry
General Physics I
General Physics II
General Physics W/Calc I
General Physics W/Calc II
Honors Gen Ph W/Calculus
Honors Gen Ph W/Calculus II
Credit Hours Subtotal: 12
Total Hours45

Grade Point Average

A 2.0 grade point average in the major is required for completion of the degree. Please see the Grades and Grade Points section of this catalog for an explanation on grade point average calculations.

Upper-level Residency

A minimum of 12 hours of 300- and 400-level courses in the major must be earned on this campus.

Required Minor

This major requires the completion of a minor.

Additional Major Requirements

Majors must receive a minimum grade of C- in PY 211 Elem Statistical Methods. Students are responsible for ensuring that they have met all University, College, major and minor requirements. However, each student must meet with an adviser in the major department for academic planning and to be approved for registration each semester. College advisers are also available for additional assistance with minor, college and University requirements.


PY 101 Intro To Psychology or PY 105 Honors Intro Psychology is a prerequisite for all higher-numbered psychology courses. Unless otherwise stated, all 400-level PY courses have as a prerequisite 12 hours in the psychology department, including PY 355 General Experimental Psycholog and PY 356 Research LaboratoryPY 355 General Experimental Psycholog and PY 356 Research Laboratory require a grade of C- in PY 211 Elem Statistical Methods as a prerequisite.

Area Requirement

Students must complete courses from three of the following content areas for a total of nine hours. At least one course should be at the 400 level. 


Code and Title Hours
PY 352Developmental Psych3
PY 365Psychology Of Aging3
PY 461Child Psychology3


Code and Title Hours
PY 361Psychology Of Learning3
PY 470Intro Cognitive Psychlgy3


Code and Title Hours
PY 358Abnormal Psychology3
PY 368Intro To Personality3
PY 372Social Psychology3

Biologically Based

Code and Title Hours
PY 313Sensation and Perception3
PY 413Physiological Psych3

Psychology majors choose from a wide range of occupations in business, academics, mental health/ social services, human resources, human relations and behavioral/medical research. A good resource for evaluating possible job opportunities for persons with a bachelors, masters or doctorate degree can be found at:

Types of Jobs Accepted

Many psychology majors apply to a variety of graduate programs. There are Ph.D. and masters programs in both clinical and non-clinical aspects of psychology in graduate psychology departments. Doctorates and masters degrees may also be earned in school psychology and counseling in many colleges of education, human development and social work.

Learn more about opportunities in this field at the Career Center