Bachelor of Science in Psychology

As an alternative to the Bachelor of Arts degree, the Bachelor of Science in Psychology is designed to offer students a more extensive scientific program that may better prepare them for graduate study or employment in research fields. Students interested in mathematics-based or physiology-based areas of psychology have the opportunity to develop more breadth and depth in the fields that complement their area of interest within psychology. To accomplish this goal, the curriculum for the Bachelor of Science in Psychology puts more emphasis on natural sciences and less on language arts.

A student may not earn both the Bachelor of Arts with a major in psychology and the Bachelor of Science in Psychology.

A total of 120 semester hours is required. Thirty-six hours must be in upper-division courses. At least 60 hours, including 18 hours of upper-division coursework, must be completed in residence at the University; at least 24 of the last 30 hours must be completed in residence at the University. Provided these residence rules are met, credit may be earned by examination, by extension, by correspondence (up to 30 percent of the hours required for the degree), or, with the approval of the dean, by work transferred from another institution. Up to 16 semester hours of classroom and/or correspondence coursework may be taken on the pass/fail basis; this coursework may be counted only as electives.

Students in this degree program may pursue any of the honors programs available to Bachelor of Arts, Plan I, students. These programs are described in the section Liberal Arts Honors Programs, Plan I.

All students must complete the University’s Core Curriculum. In the process of fulfilling the core curriculum and other degree requirements, all students are expected to complete the Skills and Experience flags:

  1. Writing: three flagged courses beyond Rhetoric and Writing 306 or its equivalent
  2. Quantitative Reasoning: one flagged course
  3. Global Cultures: one flagged course
  4. Cultural Diversity in the United States: one flagged course
  5. Ethics and Leadership: one flagged course
  6. Independent Inquiry: one flagged course

Courses that may be used to fulfill core curriculum and flag requirements are identified in the Course Schedule. They may be used simultaneously to fulfill other requirements, unless otherwise specified. Please note, students may not earn the cultural diversity and global cultures flags from the same course. Students are encouraged to discuss options with a departmental academic adviser. 

The specific requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Psychology consist of prescribed work, the major, the minor, and electives. Only in the following cases may a single course be counted toward more than one requirement:

  1. A course that fulfills a core curriculum requirement may also be counted toward any specific requirement of the BSPsy unless otherwise stated below.
  2. Courses counted toward the prescribed work may also be counted toward the major.
  3. Up to three hours of coursework counted toward the prescribed work or toward the core curriculum may also be counted toward the minor.
  4. A course that fulfills another requirement may also be used to fulfill a flag requirement.

The student must fulfill the University's General Requirements for graduation and the requirements given in the sections Special Requirements of the College of Liberal Arts and Applicability of Certain Courses. University graduation requirements include a grade point average of at least 2.00 in all courses taken at the University (including credit by examination, correspondence, and extension) for which a grade or symbol other than Q, W, X, or CR is recorded; for this degree, the student must also earn a grade point average of at least 2.00 in courses taken at the University and counted toward the major requirement.

More information about grades and the grade point average is given in the General Information Catalog.

Prescribed Work

  1. Writing and Literature: English 316L, 316M316N, or 316P, and two courses beyond Rhetoric and Writing 306 or the equivalent that carry a writing flag. One of these courses must be upper-division. Courses that carry a writing flag are identified in the Course Schedule. They may be used simultaneously to fulfill other requirements, unless otherwise specified.
     
  2. Foreign language/culture: Students must complete one of the following options:
    1. Second-semester-level proficiency, or the equivalent, in a foreign language.
    2. First-semester-level proficiency, or the equivalent, in a foreign language and a three-semester-hour course in the culture of the same language area.
    3. Two three-hour foreign culture courses chosen from a list available in the college’s Student Division and the Department of Psychology.

    Courses taken to attain the required level of proficiency in a foreign language are not electives and may not be taken on the pass/fail basis.

  3. Social science: Three semester hours chosen from a list of approved courses, in addition to the course used to fulfill the social and behavioral sciences requirement of the core curriculum. Courses on the approved list are primarily in anthropology, economics, geography, linguistics, psychology, and sociology, but not every course in these fields is approved. Courses that are approved to count toward any core curriculum area other than social and behavioral sciences may not be counted toward this requirement.
     

    The list is available each semester in the Student Division and on the College of Liberal Arts website.

  4. Mathematics and natural science: At least 25 semester hours of coursework as outlined below. Some of the courses that fulfill this requirement may also be counted toward the requirements of the core curriculum. No course may be counted toward both requirement 4c and 4d.
    1. Mathematics 408C or 408K or a more advanced calculus course
    2. Mathematics 316 or a more advanced Mathematics course in probability
    3. 16 to 18 hours, consisting of two of the following sequences:
      1. Biology 311C, 311D, and 325
      2. Chemistry 301, 302, and 204
      3. Computer Science 303E, 313E, and one of the following: Computer Science 323E, 324E, 326E, 327E, 329E
      4. Physics 317K, 117M, 317L, and 117N; or 301, 101L, 316, and 116L; or 303K, 103M, 303L, and 103N; or 302K, 102M, 302L, and 102N
    4. One of the following:
      1. Three additional hours in mathematics. Mathematics 301, 302, 303D, 303F, 316K, and 316L may not be used to fulfill this requirement.
      2. Three hours in biology, chemistry, computer science, or physics. Only the courses listed in requirement 4c above and more advanced courses may be used to fulfill this requirement.
  5. Cultural expression, human experience, and thought: Three semester hours of approved coursework. The course must be in a field of study taught in the College of Liberal Arts. A course counted toward any requirement of the core curriculum may not also be counted toward this requirement. A course counted toward the foreign language/culture requirement, above, may not also be counted toward this requirement. 
     

    A list of approved courses is available each semester in the Student Division and on the College of Liberal Arts website.

Major Requirements

Twenty-eight semester hours of psychology, including Psychology 301 and 418, each with a grade of at least C, and at least 18 semester hours of upper-division coursework. Of these 28 hours, 18 hours, including Psychology 418 and at least six hours of upper-division coursework, must be completed in residence at the University. Also included in these 28 hours must be at least six hours in each of the following two categories. A list of the courses in each area is available at http://www.psy.utexas.edu/ and in the Department of Psychology Undergraduate Office.

  1. Clinical/social/developmental/evolutionary psychology
  1. Cognition/language/neuroscience/perception

Psychology majors must earn a grade of at least C in Psychology 418 to register for upper-division psychology courses. Students may not enroll in Psychology 418 more than twice.

Psychology 357 and 359 may not be counted toward the 28 hours in psychology required for the major.

The Minor 

Students must also fulfill the requirements of a minor. The minor consists of a specific number of semester hours of coursework completed outside the student’s major field. The requirements of the minor are established by the offering department. Only one minor may be declared per major. Before planning to use a course to fulfill the minor requirement, the student should consult the department that offers the course.

At least nine of the hours required for the minor must include coursework not used to satisfy the requirements of the student’s major. Courses used to fulfill the requirements for a minor must be taken on the letter-grade basis, and half of the required semester hours must be taken in residence.

Electives

In addition to the core curriculum, prescribed work, major, and minor, the student must complete enough elective coursework to provide the 120 semester hours required for the degree. These 120 hours may include no more than 12 hours of conference courses and internship courses combined as described in Conference Courses and Internship Courses; 12 hours of Bible courses; nine hours of designated coursework in air force science, military science, or naval science; 16 hours completed on the pass/fail basis; 36 hours in any one field of study in the College of Liberal Arts or the College of Natural Sciences (including psychology); and 36 hours in any other single college or school of the University. Mathematics courses at the level of college algebra may not count toward elective hours.