Senate Document Number    9611S


Date of Senate Approval      04/28/11


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Statement of Faculty Senate Action:

APC Document 81:                                          Change Requirements for Major in Psychology


Effective Date:  Fall 2011



1.  Delete:           On page 245, under Major in Psychology:


                          I.      Required courses in the major – 31-32 hours, including:  PSYC 100, 201, 202; two courses from PSYC 200, 216, 225; either PSYC 317 or 332; either PSYC 390 or 412;

                        II.      Required courses outside the major – None.  Computer Science courses are recommended.

                      III.      Other departmental requirements – Students must complete either PSYC 390 or 412 with a grade of C or higher to demonstrate both major and oral competency in Psychology.  Successful completion of PSYC 201 and 202 fulfills the computer competency requirements for Psychology majors.


:      On page 245, in place of deleted entry:


                          I.      Required courses in the major—36 hours, including: PSYC 100, 201, 202, 412; three courses from PSYC 200, 208, 214, 216, 290; two courses from the following 4-hour lab courses:  329, 332, 334, 342, 362, 366; 6 additional hours of non-laboratory courses at 300-400 level. 

                        II.      Required courses outside the major – None.  Biology, Computer Science and Spanish courses are recommended.

                      III.      Other departmental requirements – Students demonstrate major competency by successfully completing the Psychology Major Competency Exam. Oral competency is demonstrated in a presentation forum approved by the observing faculty member. Computer competency is demonstrated by the successful completion of a designated project.    



The current major requires students to complete two out of three 200-level core courses. The proposed major requires three out of five 200-level core courses. The change increases student choice among core topics, and provides an opportunity to involve more departmental faculty in teaching core courses.  All 200-level core courses can be taught by at least two department faculty, increasing the department’s scheduling flexibility and improving student access to an array of courses each academic year.  No increase in faculty resources will be required by this change, as the Department has reduced the need for sections of Introductory Psychology as a result of an APC document last year, thereby freeing more faculty to teach 200 and 300-level courses.


The current major requires 5 courses, or 16-17 hours, at the 300-400 level: two 4-credit hour courses (lab and capstone) plus 9 hours of PSYC electives.  The proposed major continues to require 5 courses, but increases the 300-400 level credits to 18 hours:  three, four-credit courses (two labs and capstone) plus 6 hours of PSYC electives.  Although majors may take additional lab courses, the six hours of electives at the 300-400 level may not include additional completed lab-courses in PSYC.



Requiring an additional 200-level course in the major provides a broader foundation for students in the core areas of the discipline, as these courses survey major content areas in the field.  The change is consistent with the American Psychological Association’s recommendation of increased breadth of content at the sophomore level. 


The inclusion of an additional lab course as part of the major requirements reflects the department’s and university’s commitment to hands-on, engaged learning experiences, and the discipline’s emphasis on research and analysis of information. It is based on two principles that have governed our curriculum revision over the past three years:  a) Our students need additional instruction and exposure to the scientific method, as the basis for the discovery of knowledge in this discipline; and b) As our students move into upper-class ranks and the 300-level courses, instruction should be more intensive and individualized.