Courses

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.

Internships

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.

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)

Prescribed Courses (13 credits)
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Effective Writing: Writing in the Social Sciences ENG 202A Introduces students to the types of writing that social scientists typically do in the workplace, including research proposals, proper citation practices, literature reviews, and research reports. 3 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
3 credits
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
4 credits
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
3 credits
Additional Major Courses (37 credits)
Description Credits
General Quantitative Courses (GQ) 6 credits
PSYCH 200

Prerequisite: PSYCH 100 and MATH 21

or

STAT 200 (cannot double count as GQ)

Prerequisite: Placement into MATH 21 or higher
4 credits
200-level PSYCH Courses. Choose from: a). 253, 256, 260, or 261 b). 212, 221, 231, or 238 c). 243, 269, 270, or 281 (3 credits each)

Prerequisite: PSYCH 100
12 credits
400-level PSYCH Courses

Prerequisite: Refer to Course Catalog in LionPATH for specific prerequisites
12 credits

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
Life Sciences option

Business Option

Select 15 total credits from at least 3 different groups:

Economics/Finance/Marketing/Accounting
Title Abbreviation Credits
Financial and Managerial Accounting for Decision Making ACCTG 211 4 credits
Finance  BA 301 3 credits
Marketing BA 303 3 credits
Principles of Economics ECON 14 3 credits
Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy ECON 102 3 credits
Introductory Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy ECON 104 3 credits
Intermediate Microeconomic Analysis (or higher-numbered ECON course) ECON 302 3 credits
Corporation Finance (or higher-numbered FIN course) FIN 301 3 credits
International Political Economy PL SC 412 3 credits
Government and the Economy PL SC 444 3 credits
Global Political Economy PL SC 481 3 credits
Policy Making and Evaluation PL SC 490 3 credits
Principals of Marketing (or higher-numbered MKTG course) MKTG 301 3 credits
Management/Law and Ethics/Labor Relations/Communications
Title Abbreviation 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
Global View/Gender and Race/History
Title Abbreviation 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
Business option supporting courses and related areas (9 credits)
Description Credits
Arts (GA)/Humanities (GH) 3 credits
Natural Sciences (GN) 3 credits
Social & Behavior Sciences (GS) 3 credits

Psychology department list of supporting courses

Life Sciences option

Select 15 total credits from at least 3 different groups:

Genetics
Title Abbreviation Credits
Genes, Evolution and Behavior ANTH 218 3 credits
Human Genetics ANTH 460 3 credits

Genetics and Evolution of the Human Species

or

Genetics

BIOL 133 

 

BIOL 222

3 credits

 

3 credits

Biological Anthropology
Title Abbreviation Credits
Introductory Biological Anthropology ANTH 021 3 credits
Humans as Primates ANTH 022 3 credits
Biocultural Evolution ANTH 40 3 credits
Human Evolution: The Material Evidence ANTH 401 3 credits
Developmental and Health Genetics BBH 410 3 credits
Health Care and Medical Needs HPA 310 3 credits
Introductory Principles of Nutrition  NUTR 251 3 credits
Biobehavioral Implications
Title Abbreviation Credits
Any BBH course (except BBH 310)     
Introduction to Disability Culture RHS 100 3 credits
Introduction to Rehabilitation and Human Services RHS 300 3 credits
Medical Aspects of Disability RHS 403 3 credits
Biology and Chemistry
Title Abbreviation Credits
Biology: Basic Concepts and Biodiversity BIOL 110 3 credits
Introductory Physiology BIOL 141 3 credits
Introduction to the Biology of Aging BIOL 155 3 credits
Human Anatomy and Physiology I - Lecture BIOL 161 3 credits
Biology of Sex BIOL 177 3 credits
Chemical Principles I  CHEM 110 3 credits
Experimental Chemistry I CHEM 111 3 credits
Chemical Principles II CHEM 112 3 credits
Experimental Chemistry II  CHEM 113 3 credits
Organic Chemistry I CHEM 210 3 credits
Organic Chemistry II CHEM 212 3 credits
Laboratory in Organic Chemistry CHEM 213 3 credits
Life Sciences option supporting courses and related areas (9 credits)
Description Credits
Natural Sciences (GN) 3 credits
Social & Behavior Sciences (GS) 6 credits

Psychology department list of supporting courses

General Education (45 credits**)
Description Credits
Arts – GA 6 credits
Humanities – GH 6 credits
Health and Wellness – GHW 3 credits
Natural Sciences – GN 9 credits
Social and Behavioral Sciences – GS 6 credits
Writing and Speaking – GWS* 9 credits
Quantification – GQ* 6 credits
Integrative Studies (6 credits)***

*A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

**12 credits are included in the requirements for the major.

***This requirement only applies to students starting in summer 2018 or later. Learn more about the Integrative Studies options and consult your academic adviser when choosing courses to fulfill these requirements. 

Electives (10–13 credits)

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.

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.