Psychological and Brain Science Major Requirements
Students at UMass can major in psychology three different ways.
1. Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) The most common method is the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.).
2. Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Students with a strong science background, and many science and math courses, can select the Bachelor of Science (B.S.).
3. Neuroscience Those with an interest in neurosciences can select the B.S. and declare the Neuroscience track.
B.A. and B.S. Department Major Requirements
• Students must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the Psychology major and overall.
• Courses taken P/F may not be counted towards the major with the exception of internships, research assistantships, and teaching assistantships.
1. Psychology 100: Introductory Psychology
• Psychology 100 is a prerequisite for all other psychology courses numbered 200 and above.
• A grade of C or better in Psych 100 is a required prerequisite for entering Psychology 240. Students may pre-register in Psych 240 while completing Psych 100, but if the final grade is not C or better, the registration will be cancelled.
2. Psychology 240: Statistics in Psychology
• Statistics 240 will only be accepted in lieu of Psych 240 if taken prior to fall 2014.
• Students must have completed a math prerequisite for entering Psych 240: Math 101&102 or higher, Stat 111, Stat 240, or AP Stat credit.
• A grade of C or better in Psych 240 is a required prerequisite for entering Psychology 241. Students may pre-register in Psych 241 while completing Psych 240, but if the final grade is not C or better, the registration will be cancelled.
3. Psychology 241: Methods of Inquiry in Psychology
• For successful completion of the major within 4 years, Methods should be completed by the end of the Junior year.
4. One Core A Course: Psychology 315. Cognitive Psychology OR Psychology 320.Learn and Think
• Psychology 240 and 241 are prerequisites for entering the Core A courses.
5. Core B Course: Psych 330 Behavioral Neuroscience
6. Two Core C Courses:
Psychology 350 Developmental Psychology
Psychology 360 Social Psychology
Psychology 380 Abnormal Psychology
7. Junior Writing:
Psychology 392A Junior Year Writing Seminar OR Complete
two honors courses in psychology
8. One advanced Psychology lab, seminar, or small course (minimum 3 credits):
Choose from Psychology: 391*, 430, 480, 486, 491*, 530, 535, 580, 581, 586, 591*.
• With few, if any, exceptions, completion of Psychology 240 and 241 are prerequisites for entering these classes.
*These classes generally have letters following in SPIRE, so do not look up by “is exactly.” Use "begins with" as your search criterion.
9. Two Psychology electives numbered 200 and above.
• Each must be minimum of 3 credits and one must be a graded, non-independent study course.
10. Psych 494RI Interdisciplinary Directions in Psychology (Integrative Experience Requirement)
• Psychology 241 and fulfillment of the Jr writing requirement are pre-requisites for this course. Under certain circumstances, pre-requisite requirements may be flexible. See Psych Advising (Tobin 501).
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.
- 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