VCU Bulletins

Psychology, Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

Special requirements

The Bachelor of Science in Psychology curriculum requires a minimum of 120 credits, with at least 30 credits in psychology courses. A maximum of 40 credits in psychology (this limit does not apply to PSYC courses numbered 490 and above) can be presented for the degree. At least 15 of the 30 minimum-required credits must be completed at VCU. All students must complete the psychology core requirements (PSYC 101, 214 and 317) and collateral requirements (BIOL 101 and BIOZ 101; BIOL 103 or 201 or an approved biology course; and STAT 210).

For the standard curriculum, students must complete the Psychology core, PSYC 451 History of Psychology, at least one course from each of the following four domains or content areas, and at least two psychology electives.

  • Developmental: PSYC 301 Child Psychology or PSYC 304 Life Span Developmental Psychology (cannot take both for credit toward a degree); PSYC 302 Psychology of Adolescence; PSYC 306 Psychology of Adult Development; PSYC/LFSC 307 Community Solutions: Multiple Perspectives; GRTY 410 Introduction to Gerontology
  • Social/personality: PSYC 309 Personality; PSYC 321 Social Psychology; PSYC/AFAM 322 Personality and Behavior of the African American; PSYC 323 Interpersonal Relations; PSYC/RELS 333 Psychology and Religious Experience; PSYC/GSWS 335 Psychology of Women; PSYC/SOCY 341 Group Dynamics
  • Physiological/learning: PSYC 401 Physiological Psychology; PSYC 406 Perception; PSYC 410 Principles of Learning and Cognition
  • Self-development/applied psychology: PSYC 303 Personal Adjustment; PSYC 308 Stress and its Management; PSYC 310 Industrial Psychology; PSYC 318 Principals of Psychological Tests and Measurement; PSYC 340 Intro to the Helping Relationship; PSYC 407 Psychology of the Abnormal; PSYC 412 Health Psychology; PSYC 426 Child Psychopathology

Core courses must be taken sequentially and ideally should be completed by the end of the junior year. Core courses are PSYC 101 with a minimum grade of C; PSYC 214 with a minimum grade of C (PSYC 214 also has the prerequisite requirement of STAT 210 or its equivalent with a minimum grade of C); and PSYC 317 with a minimum grade of C (PSYC 317 also has the prerequisite requirement of PSYC 214 or its equivalent with a minimum grade of C).

PSYC 451 History of Psychology is the capstone course and must be taken in the senior year.

Students must achieve a minimum cumulative VCU GPA of 2.0 and also achieve a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the major in order to graduate.

The Bachelor of Science in Psychology curriculum reflects the discipline’s major functions — scientific research, teaching, acting as a healing profession and raising philosophical questions about the assumptions, values and ideals of human beings and their societies, which reflects psychology’s origin in philosophy. Through a core set of requirements the student systematically develops understanding and skill in scientific methods of inquiry, focusing on the human mind and behavior. To fulfill the degree requirements, students may pursue the standard curriculum by selecting courses from four content areas that introduce students to the healing and philosophical sides of psychology and provide a broad understanding of the field as a whole; or the student may apply to one of several more focused concentrations that draw upon the special strengths of the VCU Department of Psychology.

Degree requirements for Psychology, Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

Learning outcomes

Upon completing this program, students will know and know how to do the following:

  • Understanding of content domain
    The curriculum of the B.S. in Psychology is designed to provide students with an accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date understanding of psychological concepts, principles and findings in the key domains of the field, including developmental processes, social processes, physiological and behavioral processes, and mental health and well-being.
  • Development of intellectual domain
    The curriculum of the B.S. in Psychology fosters the development of the intellectual skills required to generate theories, do research, communicate ideas and information to others, evaluate conclusions statistically and locate the information needed for these intellectual pursuits. Students will learn to think scientifically, understand the relationships between theories, observations and conclusions, and skillfully evaluate the empirical support for various theories and findings.
  • Development of affective and interpersonal domain
    Students seeking the B.S. in Psychology learn a number of practical, applied life skills pertaining to personal adjustment, relations with others and cross-cultural awareness.
General Education requirements (32-46 credits) Credits
University Core Education Curriculum (minimum 21 credits)
UNIV 111 Focused Inquiry I 3
UNIV 112 Focused Inquiry II 3
UNIV 200 Inquiry and the Craft of Argument 3
Approved humanities/fine arts 3
Approved natural/physical sciences 3-4
Approved quantitative literacy 3-4
Approved social/behavioral sciences 3-4
Additional College of Humanities and Sciences requirements (11-23 credits)  
HUMS 202 Choices in a Consumer Society 1
Approved H&S diverse and global communities 3
Approved H&S general education electives 6-8
Approved H&S human, social and political behavior (fulfills University Core social/behavioral sciences)  
Approved H&S literature and civilization (fulfills University Core humanities/fine arts)  
Approved H&S science and technology (fulfills University Core natural/physical sciences)  
Experiential fine arts (course offered by the School of the Arts) 1-3
Foreign language through the 102 level (by course or placement) 0-8
Collateral requirements (10-11 credits)  
BIOL 101 and BIOZ 101 Biological Concepts and Biological Concepts Laboratory 4
BIOL/ENVS 103 Environmental Science or BIOL 201 Human Biology 3-4
STAT 210 Basic Practice of Statistics 3
Major requirements (30-31 credits)  
PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology 3-4
PSYC 214 Applications of Statistics 3
PSYC 317 Experimental Methods 3
PSYC 451 History of Psychology (capstone) 3
Course in developmental domain 3
Course in social/personality domain 3
Course in physiological/learning domain 3
Course in Self-development/applied psychology domain 3
Psychology electives 6
Open electives (32-48 credits)  
Open electives 32-48
Total minimum requirement 120

Click here to download a sample outline. [PDF]



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Last update: 6/25/2013

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