Psychology Program Requirements

These requirements are from an excerpt from the University Academic Catalog, which outlines the requirements for a student to earn the distinction of being a Castleton University graduate. The complete catalog is available online.

This major is designed for students interested in combining their study of psychology with another academic discipline or broader training in the liberal arts. It provides training that will allow students to apply the lessons of psychology to any career, or pursue a career within the field.

Graduates of the Bachelor of Arts program in Psychological Science will be able to meet the following learning goals, which are a combination of field-specific knowledge and application as well as "soft skills" that develop through a strong liberal arts program. These goals are adapted from the American Psychological Association recommendations for undergraduate study in psychology.

Goal 1: Knowledge Base in Psychology

1.1 Describe key concepts, principles, and overarching themes in psychology

1.2 Use and evaluate theories to explain and predict behavior, including advantages and limitations in the selected frameworks

1.3 Compare, contrast, and critique psychology's major subdisciplines

1.4 Summarize important aspects of the history of psychology, including key figures, central concerns, and theoretical conflicts

Goal 2: Scientific Inquiry & Critical Thinking

2.1 Read and summarize complex ideas, including future directions, from psychological sources and research accurately

2.2 Identify and develop a comprehensive strategy for locating and using relevant scholarship (e.g. databases, credible journals) to address psychological questions

2.3 Design and conduct complex studies to test a hypothesis based on operational definitions

2.4 Apply knowledge of research skills necessary to be an informed consumer of research or critic regarding unsupported claims about behavior

2.5 Evaluate the effectiveness of research methods in addressing a research question

Goal 3: Ethical and Social Responsibility in a Diverse World

3.1 Apply ethical standards to evaluate psychological science and practice

3.2 Develop psychology-based strategies to facilitate social change to diminish discriminatory practices

3.3 Pursue personal opportunities to promote civic, social, and global outcomes that benefit the community

3.4 Articulate psychology's role in developing, designing, and disseminating public policy

3.5 Seek opportunity to serve others through volunteer service, practica, and apprenticeship experiences

Goal 4: Communication

4.1 Craft clear and concise written communications to address specific audiences (e.g. lay, peer, professional)

4.2 Use grammar appropriate to professional standards and conventions (e.g. APA writing style)

4.3 Create coherent and integrated oral arguments based on a review of the pertinent psychological literature

4.4 Deliver complex presentations within appropriate constraints

4.5 Interact sensitively with people of diverse abilities, backgrounds and cultural perspectives

Goal 5: Professional Development

5.1 Recognize the value and application of research and problem-solving skills in providing evidence beyond personal opinion to support proposed solutions

5.2 Accurately self-assess performance quality by melding external standards and expectations with their own performance criteria

5.3 Incorporate feedback from educators, mentors, supervisors, and experts to improve performance

5.4 Collaborate successfully on complex group projects

5.5 Formulate career plan contingencies based on accurate self-assessment of abilities, achievement, motivation, and work habits

To complete the BA in Psychological Science, students must complete the following coursework:

All required psychology courses must be completed with a grade of 2.0 or better, with the exception of PSY 3151 and 3152, for which there is no grade requirement.

Complete the following courses (35 cr):

Code Course Credits

PSY 1012

Introduction to Psychological Science

A survey of a wide variety of topics studied by psychological scientists. The course objective is to introduce students to the terms, concepts and methods of psychological science.

Restrictions This course is equivalent to Introduction to Psychology; students will not receive credit for both courses.

This course fulfills the Social and Behavioral Understanding Frame of Reference.

Every semester


PSY 1050

Human Growth and Development

A survey of human developmental psychology from the prenatal period to late adulthood. The major focus is on theoretical and practical implications of developmental research for cognitive, personality and social development. Special attention will be given to interactions between maturation and experience.

Every semester


PSY 3010

Theories of Personality

Examination of individual differences in human behavior. Heavy emphasis is placed on research findings pertaining to the learning, experiential and cognitive factors contributing to personality development.

Every semester


PSY 3040

Cognitive Psychology

Examines research on topics central to cognitive science: perception, attention, memory, thought and language. A cognitive lab will provide hands-on demonstrations of important experiments in cognitive psychology.

Prerequisite: PSY 1012 or instructor approval



PSY 3070

Abnormal Psychology

The description and classification of deviant behaviors. The continuity between normal and varying degrees of maladjustment is stressed.

Prerequisite: PSY 1012 or permission of instructor



PSY 3151

Psychological Research I

Introduction to the scientific method as applied to behavior. Emphasis is on the development of scientific attitudes as well as the development of the basic research skills of data collection, analysis and interpretation. This course fulfills the Gen Ed computing requirement for Psychology majors.

Prerequisite: PSY 3040 or PSY 3410 or instructor permission



PSY 3152

Psychological Research II

Fosters further development of scientific attitudes and research skills. Student research conducted in PSY 3151 is refined and prepared for publication. This course fulfills the Gen Ed computing requirement for Psychology majors.

Prerequisite: PSY 3151.



PSY 3410


This course focuses on the brain and nervous system, with an eye towards the neural mechanisms of behavior. Topics include the cellular and anatomical divisions of the nervous system, molecular mechanisms of neurotransmission, sensory and motor systems, neurodevelopment, plasticity, and emotion. The lab portion of this course covers basic neuroanatomy, electrophysiology, and other techniques for the study of the brain and behavior.

Prerequisite: PSY 1012 or instructor permission

Fee Fee $50



PSY 4240

Psychology Proseminar

  • and complete one 4000-level PSY course 3 cr
  • and complete a minimum of one PSY elective 3 cr

In this course students will hear presentations about their work from visiting psychologists. It will provide an opportunity to interact with professionals in the field and view the breadth of their work. This course will also provide instruction on writing a resume and applying to jobs or graduate programs.

Prerequisite: PSY 3151 or instructor permission



(Total credits required for the BA in Psychological Science: 35)

And complete the University's Gen Ed requirements

Click here for General Education Requirements.