Penn State's online bachelor of science degree in psychology is designed for students interested in learning about behavior, normal and abnormal, how it's studied, and how it relates to different areas. Graduates are prepared for various positions in human services, industrial settings, or laboratories. Some may go on to professional school, e.g., medical school or law school, or continue their training in psychology, working toward a master's or a doctoral degree.
The bachelor of science degree requires students to complete a minimum of 123 credits. To earn this degree you must successfully complete:
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
- 50 credits required for the major
- 16 prescribed course credits
- 34 additional major course credits
- 24 additional option and supporting course credits
- 15 business option credits
- 9 supporting course and related areas credits
- 36 General Education credits
- 13 elective credits
The 24 credits of business courses focus on economics, finance, management, law, and accounting, making this degree ideal for professionals who wish to combine their interests in business and psychology.
Students may take an internship for credit. Enrollment in PSYCH 495 is by permission and requires approval of an internship placement and plan of study. A maximum of 3 credits of PSYCH 495 may be applied to 400-level course requirements for the psychology major. Three credits requires a minimum of 120 hours of work, plus an academic component. Enrollment is limited to 10 students and will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Please read the program guidelines before submitting the internship form.
Course List - Bachelor of Science in Psychology
A student enrolled in this major must receive a grade of C or better in all courses required for the major.
Requirements for the major (50 credits)
|Introductory Psychology||PSYCH 100||Introduction to general psychology; principles of human behavior and their applications.||3 credits|
|Psychology as a Science and Profession||PSYCH 105||Overview of history and methods of psychology as a science and profession; applications and ethical issues in psychology.
Prerequisite: PSYCH 100
|Effective Writing: Writing in the Social Sciences||ENGL 202A||Instruction in writing persuasive arguments about significant issues in the social sciences. (A student may take only one course for credit from ENGL 202A, 202B, 202C, and 202D.)
Prerequisite: ENGL 15 and fourth semester standing
|Basic Research Methods in Psychology||PSYCH 301W||Introduction to methods of psychological research, with special attention to hypothesis formation and testing, threats to validity, and data presentation.
Prerequisite: PSYCH 100 and PSYCH 200 or STAT 200
|Senior Seminar in Psychology||PSYCH 490||Capstone experience for senior psychology majors; review of current research literature; topics vary.
Prerequisite: PSYCH 301W and 6 credits in 400-level PSYCH courses
|General Quantitative Courses (GQ)||6 credits|
Prerequisite: PSYCH 100 and MATH 21
STAT 200 (cannot double count as GQ)
Prerequisite: Placement into MATH 21 or higher
|200-level PSYCH Courses. Choose from: a). 253, 256, 260, 261 b). 212, 221, 231, 238 c). 243, 269, 270, 281 (3 credits each)
Prerequisite: PSYCH 100
|400-level PSYCH Courses
Prerequisite: Refer to Course Catalog in LionPATH for specific prerequisites
Additional Option and Supporting Courses (24 credits)
The B.S. in Psychology offers two options. Additional and supporting course requirements vary based on the selected option.
Business Option — Select 15 total credits from at least 3 different groups:
|Financial and Managerial Accounting for Decision Making||ACCTG 211||4 credits|
|Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy||ECON 102||3 credits|
|Introductory Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy||ECON 104||3 credits|
|Labor Economics||ECON 315||3 credits|
|Corporation Finance||FIN 301||3 credits|
|Policy Making and Evaluation||PL SC 490||3 credits|
|Principals of Marketing||MKTG 301||3 credits|
|Global Marketing||MKTG 445||3 credits|
|Social, Legal, and Ethical Environment of Business||B LAW 243 (B A 243)||4 credits|
|Organizational Communication||CAS 352||3 credits|
|Introduction to Health Services Organizations||H P A 101||3 credits|
|Employment Relations||LER 100||3 credits|
|The Law of Labor-Management Relations||LER 401||4 credits|
|Human Resources Ethics||LER 460||3 credits|
|Basic Management Concepts||MGMT 301W||3 credits|
|Leadership and Motivation||MGMT 321||3 credits|
|Management and Organization||MGMT 331||3 credits|
|Ethical Leadership||PHIL 119||3 credits|
|Supply Chain Management||SCM 301||3 credits|
|History of Work in America||LER 458Y||3 credits|
|Work and Occupations||SOC 455||3 credits|
|Gender, Occupations, and Professions||SOC 456 (WMNST 456)||3 credits|
|Arts (GA)/Humanities (GH)||3 credits|
|Natural Sciences (GN)||3 credits|
|Social & Behavior Sciences (GS)||3 credits|
Life Sciences option — Select 15 total credits from at least 3 different groups:
|Genetics and Evolution of the Human Species||BIOL 133||3 credits|
|Introductory Biological Anthropology||ANTH 021||3 credits|
|Humans as Primates||ANTH 022||3 credits|
|Introduction to Biobehavioral Health||BB H 101||3 credits|
|Drugs, Behavior, and Health||BB H 143||3 credits|
|Introduction to Health and Human Sexuality||BB H 146||3 credits|
|Introductory Physiology||BIOL 141||3 credits|
|Introduction to the Biology of Aging||BIOL 155||3 credits|
|Biology of Sex||BIOL 177||3 credits|
|Natural Sciences (GN)||3 credits|
|Social & Behavior Sciences (GS)||6 credits|
|Arts — GA||6 credits|
|Humanities — GH||6 credits|
|Health and Physical Activity — GHA||3 credits|
|Natural Sciences — GN||9 credits|
|Social and Behavioral Sciences — GS||6 credits|
|Writing and Speaking — GWS||9 credits|
|Quantification — GQ||6 credits|
Electives (10–13 credits)
You can choose your electives from the World Campus Course Catalog.
Please note: Among the above degree requirements, students should incorporate at least 3 credits in US cultures, 3 credits in international (IL) cultures, and 3 credits in writing across the curriculum courses. The above course list includes only courses offered by World Campus. An official degree audit or the recommended academic plan for this program may include additional course options and detailed requirements. All students are expected to complete at least 36 Penn State credits to earn this degree. Please consult an academic adviser for details.
See course start and end periods and semesters offered on the Penn State World Campus student resources website.