College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Department of Psychology

Psychology Major 2014-2015

Requirements for Graduation

Psychology Department Faculty and Staff

Administrative Specialist: Carol Montgomery
Professors: Bohannon, Dale, Morris, Padgett
Associate Professors: Giesler, Gingerich, Lineweaver, Martin
Assistant Professors: O'Malley
Visiting Assistant Professor:  Butler

Requirements for Psychology Major

Our program emphasizes the basic principles of behavior, cognition and emotion as established by scientific procedures. Psychology majors make an intensive study of the content and methods of psychology in preparation for graduate training and professional pursuits. The knowledge and skills they acquire help them pursue careers in such fields as psychology, social work, counseling, management, human resources, public relations, sales, and health administration. Every student planning a major in psychology should begin the program in the first year if at all possible and should work closely with a departmental advisor. At Butler, the psychology major is integrated with an interdisciplinary liberal arts and sciences education.

The Goals of the Curriculum

  1. to provide a substantial breadth of exposure to the psychological literature, endowing each student with a common core of psychological knowledge,
  2. to provide each student with basic methodological skills,
  3. to provide an intensive, sophisticated knowledge of at least one specialty within psychology.

The Structure of the Major (Total credit hours required = 39; 41 if NW220 is taken)
One of PS101 (Introduction to Psychology: 3 credit hours), SW250 (Psychological Inquiry: 3 credit hours) or NW220 (Behavioral Science:  5 credit hours) is a prerequisite for almost all upper-level courses
PS202 Learning (3 credit hours)
PS235 Biological Bases of Behavior (3 credit hours)
PS320 Life Span Developmental Psychology (3 credit hours)
PS350 Social Psychology (3 credit hours)
PS385 Cognitive Processes (3 credit hours)
PS440W Psychology of Personality (3 credit hours)

Methodological Core (9 credit hours)
PS210 Research Methods/Statistics I (3 credit hours)
PS211 Research Methods/Statistics II (3 credit hours)
PS310 Advanced Statistics in Psychology (3 credit hours) NOTE: You should make every effort to take Statistics during your or junior year.

Advanced/Specialized Courses (9 credit hours)
PS300-400 level course (3 credit hours)
PS400 level course (3 credit hours)
PS400 level seminar (3 credit hours)

The following elective courses may be useful for a psychology major:

100-level elective courses:
PS105 Careers in Psychology (1 credit hour; Pass/Fail). This course explores careers in psychology and related fields, and the preparation required for each field. This course counts for 1 hour credit toward the degree, but the credit does not apply toward the psychology major.

300-level elective courses:
PS305 Psychology of Gender (3 credit hours)
PS333 Human Sexuality (3 credit hours)
PS360 Industrial/Organizational Psychology (3 credit hours)
PS391 Internship (1 credit hour; may be repeated up to 6 credit hours)
PS396 Directed Research (1 credit hour; may be repeated up to 6 credit hours)

400-level elective courses:
PS412 Advanced Applied Neuroscience (3 credit hours)
PS415 Psychological Testing (3 credit hours)
PS420 History of Psychology (3 credit hours)
PS441 Abnormal Psychology (3 credit hours)
PS443 Intervention in the Community/Psychotherapy (3 credit hours)
PS475 Advanced Seminar in Cognitive Psychology (3 credit hours)
PS476 Advanced Seminar in Biopsychology (3 credit hours)
PS477 Advanced Seminar in Social Psychology (3 credit hours)
PS478 Advanced Seminar in Developmental Psychology (3 credit hours)
PS479 Advanced Seminar in Applied Psychology (3 credit hours)
PS496 Independent Study (1 credit hour; may be repeated up to 6 credit hours)
PS499 Honors Thesis (3 credit hours)

Capstone course:  Five seminar courses (taught on a rotating basis) enable the students to pursue their interests in particular topics at an advanced level.  They are:  PS475: Seminar in Cognitive Psychology, PS476: Seminar in Biopsychology, PS477: Seminar in Social Psychology, PS478: Seminar in Developmental Psychology, and PS479: Seminar in Applied Psychology.  Each seminar examines a major issue or theme within the designated field.  However, the specific topic for each seminar will vary from semester to semester.  For example, the Cognitive Psychology seminar may concern memory processes on one occasion, and language process on another.

Note regarding course sequencing: It is not possible to prescribe a single sequence of courses for all students. Any student's course sequence will depend on that student's initial placement in mathematics, English and foreign language courses - and on whether that student has received credit for Advanced Placement Examinations or previous college courses.

Discuss your interests and career/academic objectives with your advisor. It is important that you select courses which serve your specific needs, and help to attain your specific goals. We offer an elective course, PS105 (Careers in Psychology) to provide you with information about psychology and related fields.  For more information regarding a career in psychology, the American Psychological Association has an online brochure that covers the differences among the various degrees available in psychology, types of careers, and what psychologists do. It is intended to help answer your questions about what it is like to work in psychology and what educational requirements are needed. It may be found at  It may help answer your questions about what it is like to work in psychology and what educational requirements are needed.

As a psychology major, you should attempt to complete as many of the University Core requirements as possible by the end of your sophomore year.  You should also consider adding another major (30-55 credit hours) or a minor (18-24 credit hours).  You may complete a "Combined Major."  The combined major is a specialized degree in which you take the "core" courses in each of two related fields.  For example, the combined Psychology/Sociology Major provides strong preparation for a student interested in pursuing a graduate degree in psychology, social work, criminal justice, counseling, or law.  Currently, Psychology students may enroll in combined majors with Anthropology, Philosophy, and Sociology (either the Social Work or the Criminology track).

Minors in Biology, Business Administration, Computer Science, a Modern Foreign Language or Philosophy are particularly good additions to a Psychology major. We encourage each psychology major to complete at least one semester of research experience in a professor's lab group (PS396, PS496).

We advise you to give serious thought to studying abroad, and to completing one or more internship placements. Those students considering graduate school in psychology should carry out an Honors Theses (PS499) and take the History of Psychology course (PS420).

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Requirements

  1. A demonstrated proficiency in a foreign language. Usually one meets this requirement by completing 6 credit hours of courses numbered 200 or above. A placement test administered by the Modern Languages Department will determine the particular courses you are required to take.  Note: American Sign Language (ASL) qualifies as a modern language.
  2. Computer competency requirement. The student meets this requirement by taking PS210, PS211 and PS310.

University-wide Minimum Requirements

  1. 120 credit hours are required to graduate in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
    NOTE: Students must obtain the LAS Dean's permission to take more than 18 credit hours/semester without receiving special permission.
  2. At least 40 of the 120 hours must be earned in courses numbered 300 or above.
  3. The overall GPA for the 120 hours must be at least 2.00.
  4. Normally, a student is required to take his or her final 30 credit hours of academic work at Butler University.
  5. The following University Core Curriculum  requirements must be completed:

    Areas of Inquiry

    • TI Texts and Ideas
    • PCA Perspectives in the Creative Arts
    • PWB Physical Well Being
    • SW Social World
    • NW Natural World
    • AR Analytical Reasoning

    General Requirements

    • FYS Freshman Writing Seminar (6 credit hours)
    • GHS Global and Historical Studies (6 credit hours)
    • BCR Butler Cultural Requirements (8 events)
    • I or S Indianapolis Community Requirement (1 course)
    • W Writing across the Curriculum (1 course)
    • C Speaking across the Curriculum (1 course)

    For example, NW261-BI-I01 (Food:  Pasture, Table, Body & Mind) is a Natural World course that satisfies the Indianapolis Community Requirements and PS391S-01 (Internship) is a Psychology course that includes Service Learning and thus satisfies the Indianapolis Community Requirement.

  1. The student must have completed a major's program. A semester grade of "D [that is, D+, D, D-]" or "P" does NOT count toward required hours for a major or minor. With the written approval of his/her advisor, a student may repeat any course ONCE. Only the most recent grade will count towards the student's grade point average (see your advisor for details).
  2. The student's academic work must be certified by the Registrar as having fulfilled all requirements.

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