Psychology major requirements
Students at UMass can major in psychology three different ways. The most common method is the B.A. (Bachelor of Arts). Students with a strong science background, and many science and math courses, can select the B.S. (Bachelor of Sciences). Those with an interest in neurosciences can select the B.S. - Neurosciences track. For the specific course requirements for each of these options, see below:
Psychology major requirements checklist (B.A. and B.S.) available at right
B.S.- Neuroscience track requirements checklist available at right
Recent changes to the major
- Beginning spring of 2014, completion of Math 101 AND 102 or higher will be a pre-requisite for enrolling in Psych 240 (Math 102 may be in progress at the time of registration). Transfer credit from equivalent college or advanced placement courses will also meet this requirement. Fulfilling lower-level math courses or passing the R1 exemption test will no longer qualify students to take psych 240. Details are available at the psych advising office in Tobin 501.
- Students entering UMass in the Fall of 2010 or later AND completing requirements in Fall of 2012 or later must compete the Integrative Experience (IE) Gen Ed within their primary major. The Psych IE is Psych 494RI and will be offered beginning Fall of 2012.
Beginning in the 2008-09 academic year, the following pre-requisites will apply:
Students must receive a "C" or better in Psych. 100 to enroll into Psych 240.
Students must fulfill the R1 General Education requirement before enrolling in Psych 240.
Students must receive a "C" or better in Psych 240 to enroll in Psych 241.
Beginning October 1, 2009, students wishing to become Psychology majors must be currently registered in a course that fulfills the R1 general education requirement or have completed their R1 general education requirements BEFORE they can sign into the major. The R1 can be fulfilled with completion of an R1 course(s) or by passing the R1 exemption test.◊
Students who have enrolled at UMass as psychology majors should complete the R1 general education requirement as early as possible (by taking an appropriate course(s) or passing the R1 exemption test◊). Completion of the R1 is a pre-requisite for enrolling in Psychology 240.
◊ To learn more about the R1 exemption test and dates when it will be offered see: http://www.math.umass.edu/Undergrad/r1_exempt.html
Other requirements for the psychology major
There are limitations on the number of transfer credits that can be applied to the major. This and other general information about the major can be seen on the official catalog page from the Guide to Undergraduate Programs.
All UMass students must complete the General Education requirements.
- In the fall of 2009 Psychology entered the College of Natural Sciences (CNS). Therefore, all psychology majors must fulfill the requirements for CNS. For more information about college-level requirements or to inquire about whether you have satisfied the requirement, consult the CNS Advising office in Morrill. More detail is also available on the CNS Degree Requirements page.
Majors pursuing a B.A. must satisfy the CNS foreign language requirement. Students who are certified by the Disability Services Office as having a significant hearing impairment or documented learning disability that seriously limits the acquisition of foreign language skills may qualify for special accommodation. These students should meet with their academic dean in the CNS Advising Center.
The CNS foreign language requirement is satisfied by demonstrating foreign language proficiency at the intermediate level in one of the following ways:
a) Completion of a foreign language course at the fourth semester level (Intermediate II or Intermediate Intensive courses numbered 240-249). Intermediate II courses may be graded on a Pass/Fail basis.
b) Degree credit equivalent to such a course earned through an appropriate score on a College Board Foreign Language Achievement Test (SAT II) or a College Board Advanced Placement Test.
c) Proficiency demonstrated in a test designed by a University of Massachusetts Amherst language department, or a test administered and validated by a local faculty member if the language is not one offered by a department at the university.
d) Satisfactory completion in high school or college of either a fourth-level foreign language course, or of a third-level course in one language and a second-level course in another language.
e) Successful completion of one year in a high school in which English is not the language of instruction.
f) Successful completion of a semester or year’s study abroad program that leads to foreign language proficiency at the fourth semester (Intermediate II) level as approved by the appropriate language department.
Majors pursuing a B.S. must complete 60 credits of courses taught in departments in the College of Natural Sciences. See the CNS website for courses that can apply. Students on the Neuroscience Track are fulfilling a B.S. and must complete the 60 credit B.S. requirement as well as the specific Neuroscience Track requirements.
Psychology minor requirements