Department of Psychology

Psychology Programs (2021-2022 Catalog)

Psychology, B.A.

The Department of Psychology offers a four-year degree as well as courses for students majoring in allied fields or who would like an orientation to the field of psychology as part of their general education. Courses are designed to create awareness of fundamental principles of psychology, psychological research, and the means by which psychological knowledge is acquired. The emphasis is upon scientific inquiry into basic phenomena and principles of behavior, not upon development of clinical skills.

Minimum number of credits (exclusive of the University’s Core Curriculum) required for the major: 45

Students must achieve a 2.0 grade point average and grades of C- or better in all courses that count toward fulfillment of the major requirements.

Students who plan to major in Psychology should successfully complete PSY 100 - Introduction to Psychology no later than the end of the sophomore year. Psychology majors also should complete PSY 205 - Experimental Methodology and PSY 206 - Methodology Lab no later than the end of the junior year.

In addition to meeting Departmental requirements for a major leading to a baccalaureate degree, students also must complete the University’s Core Curriculum requirements.

Successful completion of PSY 100 - Introduction to Psychology is the prerequisite for all other psychology (PSY) courses except PSY 201 - Statistics in Psychology.

Additional prerequisites for PSY 205PSY 206PSY 323PSY 325PSY 326PSY 363, and PSY 371 are listed in the course descriptions.

With permission of a faculty sponsor, junior and senior psychology majors may elect to participate in PSY 400 - Independent Study. No more than 12 credits may be earned at the 400 level, including the directed study options listed below.

With permission of a faculty sponsor, students may elect to participate in directed study in one or more of the following courses: PSY 401 - Research ApprenticeshipPSY 405 - Teaching Apprenticeship, and PSY 410 - Internship/Field Experience.

The Department recommends that students who wish to take a more extensive program or who plan to enter graduate school elect, in consultation with their major advisor, other courses in psychology and also include study in related fields, such as mathematics, biology, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, computer science, health sciences, and social work.

Psychology majors who plan to attend graduate school should keep in mind that Graduate Record Examinations must be taken no later than December of the senior year. Students should plan to complete as many psychology courses as possible by the end of the fall semester of the senior year.

When a student repeats a course and earns a grade of A, B, C, D, F, H, P, or LP, the initial grade appears on the transcript but only the later grade is used in computing the grade point average or for credit. No required course in which a student earns an unsatisfactory grade (below C-) can be repeated more than one time. Students earning an unsatisfactory grade in the repeated course will be dropped from the major. Students will have the option of appealing this decision; each student’s appeal will be reviewed by the department chair, who will then notify the department on this matter. Guidelines for readmission to the major will be provided to students who are dropped. Courses intended to repeat University of Southern Maine courses may be taken at other institutions; such courses will be accepted in accordance with the University’s transfer policy. The transfer course accepted as a USM equivalent will receive USM credit but will not be calculated in the original GPA; the original USM course that was repeated will remain on the student’s transcript but will be removed from both the credit and GPA calculations.

The USM Core Curriculum is a coherent, integrative, and rigorous liberal education that enables our graduates to be world-minded, intentional, life-long learners and captures your general education degree requirements. 

Please Note: Core requirements may be part of your major and/or minor, and Core may have been fufilled with transfer credit. Please consult your MaineStreet Degree Progress Report (DPR) and review your degree progress with your Advisor.  For additional information, access the USM Core webpage.

Psychology Minor

Students majoring in other fields are eligible to earn a minor in Psychology, which will demonstrate that they have taken a rigorous and comprehensive set of courses within the discipline. Such students are looking to broaden their educational experience with a designated program of study. This background can complement professional preparation of students in a diverse number of fields ranging from social and behavioral sciences, social services and human resources, applied health science, and business.

Minimum number of credits required for the minor: 18

A grade of C- or better is required in all courses accepted for the minor.

Successful completion of PSY 100 - Introduction to Psychology is the prerequisite for all other psychology (PSY) courses except PSY 201 - Statistics in Psychology. No more than 3 credits total of PSY 401 - Research ApprenticeshipPSY 405 - Teaching Apprenticeship, or PSY 410 - Internship/Field Experience may be used toward the 18 required credits. Students electing to take PSY 205 - Experimental Methodology will effectively complete a 21-credit minor, due to the three-credit PSY 206 - Methodology Lab corequisite requirement.

A minimum of 12 psychology credits must be taken at USM. A student who wishes to include as part of their minor any transfer course not established as equivalent to a USM psychology course must have the course approved by the Department of Psychology.