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. Behavioral science encompasses a wide range of methods and 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, 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. The faculty accomplish this by integrating empirical science, theory and practice focused toward the evidence-based understanding of the behavior and experience of individuals and groups, including the family, organizations and institutions.
The 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, publication 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 (e.g., eating behaviors, gambling, stress, intergroup relations, close relationships, ADHD, social categorization, stigma and stereotyping, parent-child discourse, PTSD, sleep, aging and 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.
The undergraduate psychology program offers students three degree options: a B.A., a B.S. 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 preprofessional training in medicine, physical therapy, occupational therapy, social work, education and law.
Fieldwork and Research Opportunities
Students can also gain valuable, hands-on experience by assisting 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.
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 to be undergraduate research assistants working in a faculty member’s research lab.
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 or 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 a Ph.D.
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 course work is a primary concern in reviewing a freshman applicant’s file. College admission test scores (ACT or SAT) are used as an additional indicator of the student’s ability to meet the academic rigors of Saint Louis University and are used as qualifiers for certain University scholarship programs. To be considered for admission to any Saint Louis University undergraduate program, the applicant must be graduating from an accredited high school or have an acceptable score on the General Education Development (GED) test.
Applicants must be a graduate of an accredited high school or have an acceptable score on the GED. An official high school transcript and official test scores are required only of those students who have attempted fewer than 24 transferable semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit. Those having completed 24 or more of college credit need only submit a transcript from 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.
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: awarded based on academic achievement, service, leadership and financial need.
- Financial Aid: provided in the form of grants and loans, some of which require repayment.
For priority consideration for merit-based scholarships, applicants should 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 http://finaid.slu.edu.
- 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.
- Graduates will be able to demonstrate their ability to apply psychological concepts, principles and skills to their capstone projects.
Minimum residency requirement: 15 departmental credits including PSY 2050 Foundations of Research Methods and Statistics and a Capstone course.
|College core requirements||57-66|
|For additional information about core courses|
|PSY 1010||General Psychology||3|
|PSY 2050||Foundations of Research Methods and Statistics||4|
|Required Area Courses|
|Select a minimum of one course in each of the four areas below:||12|
|Brain, Mind & Society|
|Learning & Memory|
|Science of Sleep|
|Studies: Experimental Psych|
|Developmental Psych: Child|
|Developmental Psychology: Adolescence|
|Personality / Social Psychology|
|Psychology of Oppression|
|African American Psychology|
|Studies: Social Psychology|
|Counseling for the Helping Professions|
|Psychological Tests & Measurements|
|Psychology and Law|
|Studies: Applied Psychology|
|Psychology Elective Courses|
|Select 8-9 credit hours in additional departmental courses (3000-level, 4000-level, or PSY 2010 Disciplines and Practices in Psychology (3)) to meet the 31 credit minimum for the major||8-9|
|Select one of the following:||3-4|
|Adv. Res Meth & Stats|
|Capstone Practicum Project|
|Capstone Research Project|
|Critical Thinking about Psych|
Mentoring Matters (first-year majors and second-year majors)
Attendance at Mentoring Matters is required for all Psychology majors during their first and second year as a major. Each year, students participate in a 90-minute Mentoring Matters session scheduled in February.
To continue as a Psychology major, students must earn a C or better in PSY 1010 General Psychology (3 cr) and maintain a Psychology GPA of 2.00.
|Core Components and Credits|
|Foundations of Discourse||3|
|Diversity in the U.S.||3|
- Complete a minimum of 120 credits (excluding pre-college level courses [numbered below 1000]).
- 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 Introduction to Literature for International Students (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 Dept/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.
|Critical course: PSY 1010||General Psychology 1||3|
|UNIV 1010||Enhancing First-Year Success||1|
|Critical course: PSY 2010||Disciplines & Practices in Psychology 2||3|
|Psychology Area Requirement 3||3|
|Psychology First-Year Mentoring Matters (Participation) 4|
|Critical course: PSY 2050||Foundations of Research Methods and Statistics 5||4|
|Psychology Area Requirement 3||3|
|Psychology Area Requirement 3||3|
|Psychology Area Requirement 3||3|
|Psychology Second-Year Mentoring Matters (Participation) 6|
|Psychology elective 7||3-4|
|Psychology Capstone 8||3-4|
|Psychology Elective 3||3|
A grade of C or better required for majors and minors (or program probation begins)
Spring only. Recommended elective (should be taken before PSY 3060 Applications of Research Methods and Statistics (0,4 cr))
See information in Program Notes
Spring only; during first year as a psychology major
Grade of B- or better needed before PSY 3060 Applications of Research Methods and Statistics (0,4 cr)
Spring only; during second year after declaring major
If needed or desired
The B.A. major in psychology requires a minimum of 31 credits. A minimum of 15 credits (including PSY 2050 Foundations of Research Methods and Statistics (0,4 cr), one Capstone course and satisfaction of two Mentoring Matters co-curricular requirements) must be taken from the department.
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 3100||Brain, Mind & Society||3|
|PSY 3120||Cognitive Psychology||3|
|PSY 3130||Physiological Psychology||3|
|PSY 3160||Learning & Memory||3|
|PSY 4130||Cognitive Neuroscience||3|
|PSY 4150||Science of Sleep||3|
|PSY 4710||Studies: Experimental Psych||1-3|
Topical Area 2: Developmental Psychology
|PSY 3210||Developmental Psych: Child||3|
|PSY 3230||Developmental Psychology: Adolescence||3|
|PSY 4270||Cross-Cultural Psychology||3|
|PSY 4720||Studies: Developmental||3|
Topical Area 3: Social/Personality
|PSY 3300||Social Psychology||3|
|PSY 3310||Personality Theory||3|
|PSY 4320||Close Relationships||3|
|PSY 4330||Psychology of Oppression||3|
|PSY 4340||African American Psychology||3|
|PSY 4350||Health Psychology||3|
|PSY 4390||Abnormal Psychology||3|
|PSY 4750||Studies: Social Psychology||1-3|
Topical Area 4: Applied Psychology
|PSY 3450||Counseling for the Helping Professions||3|
|PSY 4410||Organizational Psychology||3|
|PSY 4420||Psychological Tests & Measurements||3|
|PSY 4460||Marital Relations, Sexuality & Parenting||3|
|PSY 4480||Psychology and Law||3|
|PSY 4730||Studies: Applied Psychology||1-3|
Approved Psychology Electives
Select 8-9 credits in additional departmental courses (3000-level, 4000-level, or PSY 2010 Disciplines and Practices in Psychology (3)) to meet the 31 credit minimum for the major.
Approved Psychology Capstone Courses
PSY 4965 Capstone Practicum Project (3 cr) (offered Spring and occasionally Fall semesters, instructor permission required)
PSY 4967 Capstone Research Project (3 cr) (offered occasionally Fall semester, instructor permission required)
PSY 4969 Critical Thinking about Psych (3 cr) (offered Fall and Spring semesters)