• Psychology

    Psychology courses acquaint students with basic principles of learning, motivation, development, and interpersonal relationships, providing a foundation for effective living and a background for a variety of career opportunities. The major provides students with a wide range of marketable and graduate study skills that include interpersonal awareness, problem-solving, research, and computer literacy.

    Baccalaureate degree holders are prepared for entry-level positions in a broad range of areas including health and social services, mental health, organizational leadership and management, community relations, education, human resources, program development, public affairs, social science research, and programs for women. Psychology is recognized in Massachusetts as a certificate academic major for early childhood and elementary education students. Those who major in psychology are able to develop an expertise in one of the department's areas of concentration: mental health services or developmental process. Those with bachelor's degrees in psychology work in the same fields as do psychologists with graduate degrees. Some of the department's alumni:

    • Counsel or teach people in group homes, nursing homes, and clinics
    • Are case managers in insurance companies
    • Plan and execute research
    • Help young people in juvenile courts, schools and recreational programs
    • Are behavior specialists
    • Counsel drug addicts and victims of abuse
    The Psychology Department provides solid preparation for graduate work in psychology by helping students develop specializations and providing opportunities for the development of excellent research skills. The department offers an Honors Program and an internship program and operates a state-of-the-art computer laboratory. Psi Chi, the national honor society in psychology, is available to outstanding students who major in the discipline.

    The minor program offers an opportunity for students wishing to develop a core understanding of psychology. The minor is not meant for students whose primary interest is the study of psychology; instead, it is a complement to other fields of study where knowledge of psychology and its methods would be beneficial.

    Admission Requirements:
    Admission is open to any student who is interested in psychology and who can maintain a 2.0 grade point average in the required and elective psychology courses.

    Standards for Minimum Academic Performance in the Psychology Major:

    The psychology major requires a minimum grade of C- in all courses applied to the major. Courses may be repeated. The C- minimum grade does not apply to psychology courses beyond those applied to the major (4 specified, 4 from specified areas, and 4 elective courses). Students must maintain a minimum overall GPA of 2.0 in the major, consistent with Worcester State University policy.

    Requirements for a Major in Psychology:
    The psychology major requires successful completion of 12 courses in psychology. Four of these courses are specific core requirements; 4 are from specified areas and the remaining 4 are electives. The minimum of 37 credits must include the following 4 core courses:
    • PS 101 General Psychology
    • PS 205 Research Methods
    • PS 275 Psychological Statistics
    • PS 307 Applied Research Methods
    and at least 4 courses (12 credits) from the following, including 1 from each of 4 different areas:

    Area 1 — Developmental
    1. PS 210 Developmental Psychology
    2. PS 312 Psychology of Adolescence
    3. PS 322 Psychology of Aging
    Area 2 — Social Psychology
    1. PS 250 Social Psychology
    2. PS 252 Applied Social Psychology
    Area 3 — Personality and Abnormal Psychology
    1. PS 330 Theories of Personality
    2. PS 335 Abnormal Psychology
    3. PS 340 Introduction to Psychometrics
    Area 4 — Learning and Cognition
    1. PS 325 Psychology of Learning
    2. PS 345 Cognitive Psychology
    Area 5 — Biopsychosocial Processes
    1. PS 280 Sensation and Perception
    2. PS 380 Physiological Psychology
    3. PS 222 Introduction to Health Psychology
    and 12 credits in psychology electives. At least 3 courses (9 credits) must be at a 300 and/or 400 level, and all 3 courses must be taken at Worcester State University.

    Evening Psychology:

    The required core courses for the psychology major may be completed with evening or summer courses. Many core courses are offered in the evening during each academic year as well as some elective courses. Internships and independent study courses, however, are only offered in fall and spring day courses.

    Honors Program:
    The Honors Program is designed to increase opportunities for students of outstanding ability to engage in independent work and prepare for more challenging futures. It is especially recommended for students planning to pursue graduate education.

    The Honors project must be completed and presented to the faculty sponsor. Students are required to make an oral presentation on the project in a session open to all faculty and students in the department. 
    Admission to the Honors Program is by application. The admission requirements, closing date for application and instructions for completing the application process may be obtained from the department office.


    Students may choose to simply major in psychology without a particular specialization (by completing the requirements for a major in psychology) or may choose to major in psychology with a specialization by completing the requirements for a concentration in mental-health services or developmental processes. They may also specialize by completing the requirements for an Interdisciplinary concentration in women's studies.

    Requirements for a Major in Psychology, Concentration in Mental Health Services: 40 credits
    This concentration prepares students for graduate school and/or employment in agencies serving the mental-health needs of special populations, including people with mental disabilities, addiction, and cognitive, emotional, and behavioral problems. In addition to the 4 core and 4 area courses in psychology, the following courses are required:
    • PS 330 Theories of Personality
    • PS 335 Abnormal Psychology
    • PS 340 Introduction to Psychometrics
    • PS 400 Internship in Psychology (3 hours) or PS 318 Behavior Management or PS 315 Physical and Sexual Abuse
    • PS 435 Clinical Psychology
    • PS 492 Seminar in Mental Health
    Requirements for a Major in Psychology, Concentration in Developmental Processes: 37 to 43 credits
    This concentration provides background for students planning careers related to developmental disabilities, special education, child and adolescent services, or hospital and nursing home programs for the disabled or aging. Developmental process is especially recommended for students in education.

    The 4 core and 4 specified area psychology courses are required plus:
    • PS 210 Developmental Psychology
    • PS 312 Psychology of Adolescence or PS 322 Psychology of Aging
    • PS 325 Psychology of Learning or PS 345 Cognitive Psychology
    • PS 380 Physiological Psychology
    • PS 410 Seminar in Developmental Processes  

     and 3 electives selected from the following:

    • PS 310 Development of Exceptional Children and Youth
    • PS 318 Behavior Management
    • PS 320 Development of Thinking and Knowing
    • PS 355 Social and Personality Development
    • PS 400 Internship in Psychology
    PS 400 Internship in Psychology is recommended for any student who has not had an appropriate fieldwork experience. 
    Requirements for a Major in Psychology, Interdisciplinary Concentration in Women's Studies: 15 credits.
    Psychology majors may elect an interdisciplinary concentration in women's studies beyond the requirements of the psychology major. Five courses may be selected from any course with a "WO" prefix, from at least 2 disciplines.

    Minor in Psychology:

    Students may choose to minor in psychology without a particular specialization (by completing the requirements for a minor in psychology).

    Requirements for a Minor in Psychology:

    The psychology minor requires successful completion of 6 courses in psychology. The minimum 18 credits must include:
    • PS 101 General Psychology
    • 15 credits in psychology electives