Jul 20, 2024  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Psychology Major, B.S.

The major in Psychology is designed to help prepare students who are pursuing a career that involves working with people and/or understanding people’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior.  The major provides students with a foundation in the science of behavior and mental processes, and the application of psychological principles to real-world problems. The coursework in the major exposes students to the major methods and subspecialties within the field of psychology, offering a broad foundational base. Students are also offered opportunities for applied experiences in the completion of the major, to allow specialized and practical training in the discipline. The major prepares students for post-graduate study or entry into the workplace upon graduation.

Subtotal: 16

Content Areas

In addition, students must take one course in each of the following areas.

Psychology Electives

A minimum of 15 additional semester hours in psychology courses selected in consultation with and approved by a  Department of Psychological Sciences advisor. No more than 9 of these hours may be  PSY 2950  courses, and no more than 6 of these hours may be PSY 4980 - Independent Study  and no more than 6 hours may be in  PSY 3970 - Practicum  and no more than 6 hours may be in  PSY 3980 - Internship in Psychology  and/or PSY 4650 - Advanced Internship in Psychology  , combined. 

Subtotal: 15

Clinical and Counseling Concentration (optional)

The Clinical and Counseling Concentration in the Psychology Major is designed to better meet the needs of students who plan on a career and/or graduate school in the mental health field. The curriculum combines the foundational courses from the psychology major with the core courses from the clinical and counseling area. Coursework examines the personal and interpersonal functioning of individuals, therapeutic skills, assessment/diagnosis, treatment and intervention. In addition to coursework, students are required to complete an internship at an approved facility as their senior experience.

The goals of the Clinical & Counseling Concentration in the Psychology Major are to:

  • Prepare students for successful job placement and/or graduate admissions in clinical and counseling psychology
  • Educate students on the basic principles, major theories, significant research findings, current issues, and emerging concepts in the field of mental health. This will include a focus on:
    • cognitive, behavioral, and emotional functioning of individuals
    • identification, assessment and understanding of personality, clinical disorders and other mental health problems
    • therapeutic skills
    • treatment and interventions
    • research methods
    • ethics
    • psychological well-being
    • working with diverse populations from a multicultural perspective
  • Provide students with the opportunity to apply and build on their learning through an approved internship in the community
  • Strengthen institutional linkages between MSU Denver and 1) local facilities that provide psychological services, and 2) clinical and counseling graduate schools.

Subtotal: 16

Subtotal: 12

Content Areas

In addition, students must take one course in each of the following areas.

Psychology Electives

Students must complete an additional 6 credits (i.e., 2 courses) of PSY-prefix courses, making a total of 43 hours in psychology. Any PSY course, with the exception of PSY8888, may be used toward meeting this requirement. No more than 3 hours in PSY 3980 - Internship in Psychology may be used for the Clinical & Counseling Concentration.

Total Hours Required for the Major: 42


This additional requirement may be applied toward General Studies, the minor, or degree electives.

Students considering advanced degrees should be aware that, in addition to course work in the areas listed above, graduate programs often have specific undergraduate course prerequisites. Required or recommended courses, depending on the graduate program, include Theories of Personality, Abnormal Psychology, Psychology of Learning, Child Psychology, Behavioral Neuroscience, Organizational Psychology, Sensation and Perception, Internship in Psychology, Teaching of Psychology, and Advanced Statistics. Therefore, students should consult with a  Department of Psychological Sciences advisor to choose appropriate psychology electives.

All students must complete a minimum of 15 semester hours of upper-division PSY coursework for the psychology major. In meeting the requirements for the psychology major (described above), transfer students must take a minimum of 15 semester hours of psychology course work at MSU Denver, of which at least 9 must be upper-division credits.

Transfer students must have completed both semesters of a two-semester introductory psychology course for equivalence to exist. Three semester hours will count toward the major or minor; three semester hours will count as general electives (i.e., PSY 8888) to graduate. If a student has taken only one semester of a two-semester introductory course and takes PSY 1001 at MSU Denver, the transfer introductory credits will not count toward the degree. 

A grade of “D-” or better is required for each course in this program to count toward the bachelor’s degree. Students should note that programs differ in the minimum grade required. Psychology majors must have a GPA of 2.00 in their major and an overall GPA of 2.00 to graduate.

Senior experience courses in the Department of Psychological Sciences require Psychology Majors to complete the Majors Field Test (MFT) prior to receiving a grade in the course. The MFT is taken at the Testing Center. Should a student elect to take multiple senior experience courses, or to repeat the same senior experience, the MFT need only be completed in the 1st course.

The Department of Psychological Sciences does not accept correspondence study courses toward the total number of semester hours required for a major or minor. However, correspondence study credit can count toward the degree.

Students who wish to use psychology courses to fulfill General Studies, University degree requirements, or an interdisciplinary major or minor must earn additional hours to fulfill the total hours for either the interdisciplinary major or minor in psychology. Psychology majors cannot use psychology courses to fulfill General Studies requirements. The only exceptions are: PSY 4320 - Advanced Psychological Research Methods , PSY 4330 - Psychology in the “Real World”: Thinking Like a Psychologist , PSY 4510 - History and Systems of Psychology , and PSY 4650 - Advanced Internship in Psychology , which may be used as a Senior Experience without being replaced in the major or minor; and PSY 3030 - Multicultural Psychology , or  PSY 3700 - Psychology of Group Prejudice , which may be used to meet the Multicultural requirement without being replaced in the major or minor. Please consult with an advisor.