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Undergraduate Studies

The department offers a BA in Psychology, a co-major and minor in Neuroscience, and a co-major and minor in art therapy.

Psychology Major

The Psychology undergraduate curriculum is structured to provide students with four key elements:

  • An overview of the range of topics that make up the discipline of psychology
  • Skills in constructing evidence-based arguments using critical and quantitative reasoning
  • Concentration in an area of focus within the discipline
  • A capstone experience
student and professor conducting experiment

Why Psychology?

Psychology is a versatile major.

Our discipline encompasses all of the many different factors that affect human thoughts, feelings, behavior, and development. We study changes in the brain, how families affect children, how people form impressions of other people, how people make decisions, and how communities and cultures affect people’s lives. The breadth of coverage in our discipline provides you with the background to face many different challenges in the world today that require an understanding of human behavior. It also gives you a perspective on why you are who you are and helps you discover who you want to become.

Introduction to the Psychology Major

What career options are available?

You will gain multiple skill sets that are valuable to employers through your training in psychology. For these reasons, psychology majors have many career options, including in public affairs, education, business, sales, service industries, health fields, biological sciences, computer programming, human resources, and writing.
graduation cap

Skill sets

  • writing and communication
  • problem-solving
  • data analysis
  • leadership and mentoring
  • teamwork
Explore careers

Learning Outcomes

The Psychology Department expects that graduating students in the major will reach the following 5 goals:


  • Describe key concepts, principles, and overarching themes in psychology
  • Develop a working knowledge of psychology's content domains
  • Describe applications of psychology


  • Use scientific reasoning to interpret psychological phenomena
  • Demonstrate psychology information literacy
  • Engage in innovative and integrative thinking  and problem solving
  • Interpret, design, and conduct basic psychological research
  • Incorporate sociocultural factors in scientific inquiry


  • Evaluate psychological science and practice based on ethical and multiculturally informed standards
  • Demonstrate understanding of the impact of culture on cognition, emotion, and behavior
  • Apply ethical and multiculturally informed standards in psychology coursework and interactions


  • Demonstrate effective writing for different purposes
  • Exhibit effective presentation skills for different purposes
  • Interact effectively with others


  • Apply psychological content and skills to career goals
  • Exhibit self-efficacy and self-regulation
  • Refine project-management skills
  • Enhance teamwork capacity
  • Develop meaningful professional direction for life after graduation

Roadmap to Psychology Major

The following are suggested course schedules that represent a common and recommended way to fulfill the Psychology Major requirements. You should consult with your advisor about your specific goals and plans. Using the Checklist for Majors, identify a primary and a backup topic sequence.

4-Year Plan

Year Fall Semester Spring Semester
1st Year PSY 111
STA 261
PSY 2XX (Primary Topic Sequence)
2nd Year PSY 293
PSY 2XX (Backup Topic Sequence)
PSY 294
PSY 2XX (Breadth)
3rd Year PSY 3XX (Topic Sequence)
PSY 2XX (Breadth)
PSY 3XX or 4XX (Topic Sequence)
PSY 2XX (Breadth)
4th Year PSY 410 (Capstone)
PSY 3XX or 4XX (to complete at least 2 courses at or above 300 and additional 2 at or above 400)

3-Year Plan

Year Fall Semester Spring Semester
1st Year PSY 111
STA 261
PSY 293
PSY 2XX (Primary Topic Sequence)
2nd Year PSY 294
PSY 2XX (Backup Topic Sequence)
PSY 3XX (Topic Sequence)
PSY 2XX (Breadth)
PSY 2XX (Breadth)
3rd Year PSY 3XX or 4XX (Topic Sequence)
PSY 2XX (Breadth)
PSY 410 (Capstone)
PSY 3XX or 4XX (to complete at least 2 courses at or above 300 and additional 2 at or above 400)

Departmental Honors

The Department of Psychology encourages eligible students to engage first-hand in the research process by conducting an honors thesis in psychology. In the Departmental Honors Program, advanced students work closely with a faculty advisor to develop and conduct an original research project.

Why Complete Honors in Psychology

In classes, you might hear about ongoing research at Miami University, or if you participate in a lab, you might help with various aspects of the research process. The honors thesis provides an opportunity for you to take your engagement in research to the next level. Now, you will be joining the research community by contributing your own ideas and findings about psychological processes and phenomena.

Conducting an honors thesis is excellent preparation for graduate study, even in areas outside of psychology. Postgraduate programs value independent scholarship, ability to solve problems, cooperative work with other people, experience in statistical analyses, and original writing, all of which are frequently core aspects of an honors thesis experience.


To be eligible for departmental honors in Psychology, you should apply in the fall semester of your junior year. The requirements are as follows:

  • GPA of at least 3.25 in psychology and overall
  • Endorsement of faculty advisor
  • Brief description of thesis topic

Components of the Honors Sequence In Psychology

The honors sequence in psychology consists of these components, to be completed during the junior and senior years:

  • Close work with faculty advisor on designing project, collecting and analyzing data, and writing APA-style paper.
  • Thesis evaluated by faculty advisor and two other readers; or evaluation by faculty advisor and submission to COMPASS (with thesis advisor permission).
  • Presentation of project results in a public forum (e.g., Hinkle Poster Session, Undergraduate Research Forum); or successful publication in COMPASS.
  • Enrollment in PSY 400 in Spring of junior year is encouraged (not required).

Contact for More Information

Email Dr. Heather Claypool, for more information.

Example Honors Project

Miami University student Cynthia Wang presented her honors project, "Fine Print and the Law: Assessing the Comprehensibility of Online Legal Documents" at the Society for Computation in Psychology conference.


Department of Psychology

90 North Patterson Avenue
Oxford, OH 45056