May 19, 2024  
2011-2012 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2017 
2011-2012 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2017 [Archived Catalog]

Psychology (BS)

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Affiliation: School of Social & Cultural Studies

There are three overall objectives of the Psychology program: to provide a broad-based education in the discipline, to instruct students in the scientific method, and to prepare students for success in graduate school and in the workplace.

Provide a broad-based education in the discipline: Psychology has long been recognized as a liberal arts and sciences discipline. This recognition is a consequence of Psychology’s study of human behavior (alone, in groups, interacting with the environment) and conscious experience (attitudes, emotions, and thoughts). The psychology curriculum at Truman State University reflects the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science’s recognition of the subject matter of the discipline.

Instruct students in the scientific method: In trying to understand the domains addressed by the discipline, Psychology employs the scientific method and statistical inference and analysis to gather and assess data. Upon graduation from Truman State University, students should understand and appreciate the rationale and methodology of scientific inquiry.

Prepare students for success in graduate school and in the workplace: Major courses are geared toward preparation for graduate school. The content areas in psychology reflect those sampled by the Graduate Record Exam Advanced Test in Psychology. Students are encouraged to become involved in psychological research and internship opportunities that are available. In addition, the variety of courses offered provides students with a broad perspective on human behavior and thought that may be applied across multiple workplace settings.

The psychology curriculum includes physiological bases of behavior such as the brain and nervous system, sensory mechanisms, and perception; learning, memory, concept formation, thinking, language, and problem-solving; development, personality and abnormal behavior; psychological testing; and the influence of social contexts on the individual. In addition, opportunity is provided for students to become involved in psychological research.

An overall cumulative GPA of 2.00 and a cumulative GPA of 2.25 in the major is required to graduate with a degree in psychology.


Any student can graduate with Honors in Psychology under the following criteria:

  1. Outstanding mastery of psychology concepts and principles as indicated by ALL of the following: a) Cumulative GPA of 3.5 b) Psychology Major GPA of 3.75 c) Earn an A in Senior Capstone Course (Psychological Research) and d) Score at the 80th percentile or above on the senior exit exam in psychology.
  2. Significant psychological research involvement as indicated by at least ONE of the following: a) publication or a peer-reviewed journal article, b) presentation of a least one (non-capstone) research project at the Student Research Conference or c) presentation of research at a conference off-campus.
  3. Significant service to the department as indicated by at least ONE of the following: a) serve as an officer of Psi Chi or the Psychology Club b) Serve on a student panel or assist at a Prospective Student Visit Day or Majors Day c) Serve as a webmaster for the Psychology Department d) serve as a lab manager for a psychology professor d) serve as a member of the Psychology Student Advisory Council, or e) other significant service to the department.

To receive honors, students need to complete an application for department honors to the current Department Honors Coordinator, Dr. Terry Palmer. The full list of potential recipients will be shared with the Psychology  Department Faculty for their approval.


Liberal Studies Program Requirements: 31-57 Credit Hours

Missouri Statute Requirement: 1-3 Credit Hours

Bachelor of Science Requirement: 6 Credit Hours

At least six hours of quantitative or formal reasoning-based coursework from computer science, chemistry, mathematics, statistics, biology, or physics.


The Psychology BS major consists of two (2) parts: Required Support and Major Requirements. Each student must complete both parts.

Part I: Required Support: 21 Credit Hours

Complete a 15 hour minor in another area OR 15 hours in non-psychology classes in another area OR 15 hours Internship, as approved by advisor: 15

A 2.75 overall GPA is required for internships.

Part II: Major Requirements: 34 Credit Hours

Choose one class from each group: 18 Credit Hours

DEVELOPMENTAL/SOCIAL (Group I): 3 Credit Hours

BIOLOGICAL (Group 2): 3 Credit Hours

COGNITIVE/BEHAVIORAL (Group 3): 3 Credit Hours

CLINICAL/PERSONALITY (Group 4): 3 Credit hours

ADVANCED TOPICS (Group 6): 3 Credit Hours

Elective in Psychology: 3 Credit Hours

  • Take one course with a PSYC designation: 3 Credit Hours

Electives to Total: 120 Credit Hours

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