Psychology (BS)

In the field of Psychology we seek to understand human thought and behavior, addressing questions with relevance to virtually every aspect of modern life. Psychology research identifies the links between the mind, the body and the social world, and is behind the design of everything from smartphones and children’s toys to online networks and public health ads. Psychology also includes the more well-known domain of counseling, which helps individuals lead happier and healthier lives. Our department faculty have been acknowledged with numerous teaching, research and service awards, and the department recently ranked among the top 50 clinical psychology programs in the United States. Federally funded research projects include work in such diverse areas as helping adolescents cope with type I diabetes, distracted driving due to cell phone use, the impact of genetic testing on prevention behaviors, treatment for trauma and suicidal thinking, space perception in virtual environments, children and emotions, and reducing human error in medical settings.

Our undergraduate program offers a wide spectrum of classes and experiences and is one of the largest majors on the Utah campus. Courses required for the major come from 5 core areas (Cognition, Behavioral Neuroscience, Clinical, Developmental, and Social Psychology); a variety of courses are available within each core area, many of which reflect the interdisciplinary nature of the field, such as Health Psychology, Human Performance and Engineering, Cognitive Neuropsychology, and Environment and Behavior. Training in statistics and research methods is central to the major, and there are many opportunities for students to gain research experience. The department also offers a Human Factors Certificate, which provides special training in how we can improve human interactions with equipment, software, and other people in order to enhance performance, increase safety, and improve user satisfaction.

Upon graduation, psychology majors can work in education, advertising, marketing, human resources, usability testing, survey/polling firms, or as psychiatric technicians, case workers, and research assistants in social science labs & firms.  For more information about career opportunities, see the attached summary, or contact our Psychology Advisor (, or our Career Advising Representative (Ella Butler,

Our program also provides excellent preparation for advanced degrees in psychology or related fields such as school counseling or social work, and many students go on to graduate work in Medicine, Law, Public Policy, or Business.

Course sequence for a BS in Psychology

A minimum of 41 credit hours in Psychology are required to complete a Psychology BS; at least 25 of those credit hours must be upper division (3000 or above). The initial required courses include Psychology 1010, 2010, 3000 and 3010. In addition, at least one course from four of the five Core Areas must be completed. The remaining credit hours can include other core courses or elective courses. Many elective courses provide more advanced or specialized study of a topic, or may involve hands-on training. In addition, 12 “allied” credit hours from courses in a wide range of related fields (e.g., Biology, Communications, Economics, Social Work) are also required.

At UAC the required courses listed above should be taken in the first two years. In the 2nd and 3rd years, a mix of core courses and electives will be available. We also encourage students to complete some Allied hours from among Social Work or Communications courses while at UAC.

Year 1
Psych 1010 Introductory Psychology
Year 2
Psych 2010 Psychology as a Science and a Profession
Psych 3000 Statistical Methods in Psychology
Psych 3010 Research Methods in Psychology
SAMPLE CORE COURSE OPTIONS (at least 1 from 4 of the 5 core areas)
Social Core
Psych 3140 Social Psychology
Psych 3460 Health Psychology
Cognitive Core
Psych 3120 Cognition Psychology
Psych 3150 Sensation and Perception
Behavioral Neuroscience Core
Psych 3140 Cognitive Neuropsychology
Psych 3711 Brain and Behavior
Developmental Core
Psych 3215 Development in Infancy and Early Childhood
Psych 3220 Childhood and Adolescent Development
Clinical Core
Psych 3320 Survey of Clinical Psychology
Psych 3400 Psychology of Abnormal Behavior
Remaining credit hours can be completed with either additional core courses or with electives. Here are some examples of these more specialized courses.

Psych 3171 Human Factors and Ergonomics
Psych 3270 Applied Developmental Psychology
Psych 3333 Stress Management
Psych 3700 Drugs and Behavior
Psych 3960 Psychology and Social Issues
Psych 3450 Cross Cultural Psychology
Psych 4800 Research Experience
Psych 4810 Fieldwork/Internship

The 12 required allied hours can be drawn from a wide range of fields including Biology, Communications, Economics, Political Science, Social Work, and many others. Here are some examples from those offered at UAC.

Comm 1020 Principles of Public Speaking
Comm 3550 Principles of Visual Communications
SW 1010 Social Work as a Profession
SW 3601 Social Work Global Ethics