Psychology Major (B.A.)

Psychology Major (B.A.)
Psychology student taking notes in class

What is psychology?

Psychology is the study of the mind and human and animal behavior – what motivates us to do the things that we do? In this degree program, you’ll learn scientific research and analysis methods while studying how we learn and develop, how we interact socially, how our minds affect the way we perceive things, and how we identify and define abnormal behavior. You’ll have the opportunity to study areas such as counseling, the effects of both recreational and therapeutic drugs, the psychology of crime and justice and the psychology of consciousness. Like many of our students, you might continue on to graduate study in a number of areas within the field.

Why study psychology at UNH?

As a student in the psychology degree program at UNH, you’ll test your interests intellectually in the classroom and through hands-on internships and research experiences. You’ll be able to earn academic credit for work experience in the field of counseling, and you’ll have the opportunity to present your research at the annual Haslerud Conference on campus. The Psychology Department prides itself on its careful student advising and support, and the Psychology Club is a student-run organization promoting activities of interest to psychology students.

Potential careers

  • Academic or career counselor
  • Art therapist
  • Business executive
  • Clinical psychologist
  • Counselor
  • Criminal psychologist
  • Genetics counselor
  • Lawyer
  • Mental health coordinator
  • School psychologist
  • Social worker
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Curriculum & Requirements

The psychology major provides students with a broad education, while also allowing some specialization. The program exposes students to the scientific study of behavior and encourages an increased understanding of the behavior of humans and animals.

Students who wish to declare psychology as a major after enrolling in the University should consult with the department's academic counselor for application procedures and criteria.

Degree Requirements

Minimum Credit Requirement: 128 credits
Minimum Residency Requirement: 32 credits must be taken at UNH
Minimum GPA: 2.0 required for conferral*
Core Curriculum Required: Discovery & Writing Program Requirements
Foreign Language Requirement: Yes

All Major, Option and Elective Requirements as indicated.
*Major GPA requirements as indicated.

Major Requirements

Students majoring in psychology must complete 44 credits with a minimum grade of C- in each course and a 2.0 overall average in all major requirements.

PSYC 400Psychology Freshmen Advising Seminar (Required for first semester freshmen)1
Core Courses
PSYC 401Introduction to Psychology4
PSYC 402Statistics in Psychology4
PSYC 502Research Methods in Psychology4
Breadth (500-level) courses
Select two of the following courses from Group I:8
PSYC 511
Sensation and Perception
PSYC 512
Psychology of Primates
PSYC 513
Cognitive Psychology
PSYC 521
Behavior Analysis
PSYC 522
Behaviorism (offered in Manchester only)
PSYC 531
Select two of the following courses from Group II:8
PSYC 552
Social Psychology
PSYC 553
PSYC 561
Abnormal Behavior
PSYC 571
Pioneers of Psychology (offered in Manchester only)
PSYC 581
Child Development
Depth (700-level) courses
Select two of the following courses from Group I:8
PSYC 705
Tests and Measurement
PSYC 710
Visual Perception
PSYC 712
Psychology of Language
PSYC 713
Psychology of Consciousness
PSYC 716
Cognitive Neuroscience
PSYC 720
Animal Cognition
PSYC 722
Behaviorism, Culture, and Contemporary Society
PSYC 731
Brain and Behavior
PSYC 733
Drugs and Behavior
PSYC 735
Neurobiology of Mood Disorders
PSYC 736
Attention Disorders
PSYC 737
Behavioral Medicine
Special Topics (examples:Fundamentals of Substance Abuse, Neuroscience of Memory, Fundamentals of Cognitive Science, Neurobiology of Spatial Cognition & Memory)
Select two of the following courses from Group II:8
PSYC 705
Tests and Measurement
PSYC 755
Psychology and Law
PSYC 756
Psychology of Crime and Justice
PSYC 757
Psychology of Happiness
PSYC 758
Health Psychology
PSYC 762
PSYC 780
Prenatal Development and Infancy
PSYC 783
Cognitive Development
PSYC 785
Social Development
PSYC 791
Special Topics (examples: Culture and Human Development, Autobiographical Memory, Emotion & the Embodied Mind, Sport & Performance Psychology, Ecopsychology, Socio & Moral Judgement Development. Scientific Study of Groups & Bias)
or PSYC 791W
Special Topics
PSYC 793
Total Credits45

Note: Most offerings have one or more prerequisite courses. Students (with the help of their adviser) are expected to select breadth courses that will later enable them to select depth courses appropriate to their interests and career goals.

The Discovery Program capstone requirement, taken during the senior year, may be fulfilled by completing one of the following options:

  1. The honors-in-major program with an honors project; honors seminar, and research presentation (PSYC 799 Senior Honors Thesis);
  2. a 4-credit capstone designated independent study project (PSYC 795 Independent Study);
  3. PSYC 793 Internship;
  4. Capstone-designated 700-level course.

The psychology department does not accept other departments' statistics courses toward the psychology major. Students who have taken a statistics course other than PSYC 402 Statistics in Psychology must pass a competency exam in order to declare the major and/or register for PSYC 402 Statistics in Psychology.

Major department courses may not be used to satisfy Discovery category requirements except for PSYC 402 Statistics in Psychology, which may be used to satisfy the QR Discovery requirement and the major requirement.  PSYC 401 Introduction to Psychology cannot be used to fulfill a Social Science; PSYC 571 Pioneers of Psychology cannot be used to fulfill a Historical Perspective. In the case that Psychology is a second major, major courses can be counted toward the Discovery requirements.

Transfer Students

Transfer students who elect to major in psychology must complete at least 24 credits in the program at UNH to qualify for the degree in psychology. Transfer students must earn a total of 44 approved credits for completion of the psychology major. The distribution of these credits will be determined by the department's academic counselor. Transfer students should note that courses are allotted only the number of credits granted by the original institution (after adjustments for semester-hour equivalents). Thus, students transferring from an institution at which courses carry less than four credits each must make up for any credit deficit created by acceptance of transfer credits into the psychology major. Only courses taken in a psychology department can be transferred into the psychology major. Of the four 700-level courses required for the major, at least three must be taken at UNH.

Additional Notes

Specific course selections should be discussed with advisers. Exceptions to the requirements for the major require compelling circumstances and a petition to the department.

Psychology majors planning to go on to graduate study in psychology are advised to include PSYC 705 Tests and Measurement among their courses.

Candidates for a degree must satisfy all of the University Discovery Program requirements in addition to satisfying the requirements of each individual major program. Bachelor of arts candidates must also satisfy the foreign language proficiency requirement.

  • Demonstrate fundamental knowledge and comprehension of the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, historical trends, and empirical findings in psychology.
  • Understand basic research methods in psychology including design, data analysis, and interpretation; and utilize this knowledge to conduct their own psychological research, with an appreciation of the ethical issues involved in human and non-human research.
  • Engage in scientific reasoning and problem solving so that they can evaluate the quality and implications of scientific research.
  • Write empirical research reports and literature reviews in American Psychological Association style and present findings from scientific research.

Explore Program Details

You may take any 700 level Psychology course in your senior year for Capstone credit.

  1. At the beginning of the semester, ask your professor about the possibility of taking the course for Capstone credit.  Remember that your professor is not obligated to designate a course for Capstone credit.  Please be respectful in approaching your professor, and if the answer is no, please accept this decision.
  2. Meet and discuss with your professor what you will be doing to constitute your Capstone experience.  In some cases, it will be an extra assignment; in others it will involve the expansion of existing class work.  Your professor will use his/her professional discretion to determine what constitutes as your Capstone experience.
  3. Fill out the Capstone Designation Form (found in the Psychology office); both you and your professor will need to sign it.  Submit the form to the Psychology Department Office.
  4. The Psychology Department will register you for PSYC 798: Capstone, a 0 credit course so that it reflects on your degree evaluation.

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