Undergraduate FAQ

Psychology Major Curriculum

  • The only statable difference between the B.A. and the B.S. is that the B.S. requires completion of Math 125 (Calculus).
  • There are no other science requirements for the B.S. compared to the B.A., and there are currently no known outcome differences in regards to graduate school acceptance or job security.
  • Students in a pre-health concentration are likely to pursue the B.S., as they will be taking Math 125 as prerequisite for their subsequent graduate programs.
  • The B.S. may also be useful for neuroscience minors or students who wish to pursue Neuroscience in graduate school.
  • Math 125 (Calculus) requires Math 112 & 113 or Math 115 as prerequisites.

  • PY 101/105 is required for all other psychology courses.
  • A minimum of Math 100 must be completed before taking PY 211.
  • A C- or higher in PY 211 and a minimum of 9 PY credit hours must be completed before taking PY 355.
  • PY 355 must be completed before taking any 400-level psychology course.

The Psychology undergraduate curriculum has 4 subject areas with 3 courses each:

  • Developmental
    • PY 352: Developmental Psychology
    • PY 365: Psychology of Aging
    • PY 461: Child Psychology
  • Learning/Cognition
    • PY 361: Psychology of Learning
    • PY 381: Cognitive Neuroscience
    • PY 470: Intro to Cognitive Psychology
  • Sociocultural/Personality
    • PY 358: Abnormal Psychology
    • PY 368: Intro to Personality
    • PY 372: Social Psychology
  • Biologically-Based
    • PY 313: Sensation & Perception
    • PY 353: Biological Basis for Psychological Disorders
    • PY 413: Physiological Psychology

Psychology majors are required to take courses from 3 of the 4 subject areas. One of those three should be a 400-level course (PY 413, 461, or 470). However, students can take more than 3 subject area classes while fulfilling their degree requirements.

400-level subject area courses are NEVER offered during the Summer terms.

  • Unless you are in the PY Honors program, you will take one 391 course and one 491 course. Students in the PY Honors program take PY 379 instead of PY 391.
  • PY 391s are junior-level seminars, and PY 491 are senior-level seminars. These courses are taught on topics specific to faculty member’s areas of expertise and research.
  • Several sections of PY 391 and PY 491 are offered each fall and spring semester, and a few are offered in the summer terms. The course topics vary according to the section number (e.g., PY 391-001: topic 1, PY 391-002: topic 2…)
  • The PY 391 and PY 491 topics are posted on the Resources for Undergrads page under the “Undergraduate” tab on our departmental website prior to registration each semester.
  • PY 391 and PY 491 are restricted to psychology majors.
  • PY 391 and 491 courses must be taken with different instructors.
  • In rare situations, a student may fulfill their seminar requirements by taking two PY 491 courses; however, this is not encouraged.

  • Students may take PY 451 credit for work in research labs.
  • PY 451 can be taken each semester for 1, 2, or 3 credit hours. The number of hours will be decided in collaboration with your faculty mentor.
  • You can take a maximum of 6 credits of PY 451.
  • We recommend students look through the faculty listings on our website to learn about their research interests and how to proceed if you are interested in working in their lab (e.g., some faculty have specific forms or applications for undergraduate students, others request to be emailed by the interested student).

  • As a psychology major (BA or BS), you are required to have 8 credits in Biology (BSC), Chemistry (CH), or Physics (PH). We recommend you take these as your Natural Science credits for your general education requirements.
  • As a BS psychology major, you are required to complete Calculus (MATH 125).

Psychology and Neuroscience Minors

  • Psychology minor requires 18 credits; at least 6 credits must be at the 300 level or higher.
  • A&S does NOT allow a singular class to count for both a major & minor; hours must be additive.

  • Neuroscience Minor requires 18 credits at the 300/400 level.
  • The neuroscience minor is an interdepartmental initiative; as such, students will take courses in multiple departments; students can take a maximum of 3 courses in each department.
  • The neuroscience minor takes advanced planning as some classes are not taught very often, and there are prerequisites for some of the course options.
  • Related to the prerequisites, it is recommended that students interested in this minor take the Principles of Biology course sequence (BSC 114, 115, 116, & 117, or the equivalent) for NS credits toward their general education science requirement.
  • Contact Dr. Rajesh Kana for more specific questions, potential substitutions, etc.

Other FAQs

This primarily depends on what your interests and goals are; but in general, after PY 101, we recommend Statistics (PY 211), Research Methods (PY 355), and if interested in clinical work, Abnormal Psychology (PY 358).

All majors in the College of Arts & Sciences will need to fill this requirement in one of two ways:

  • Take 2 History (HY) courses in sequence with one another (e.g., World History – HY 117/118, Latin America Sequence – HY 111/112, American Civilization – HY 103/104, etc.)
  • Take ANY 2 Literature courses designated as “L” courses. You can find Core Curriculum designations here.

Most students can change their majors/minors on MyBama. If a student is a double-major, they will need to see a department (ours or one of their other majors), to make changes to their degree.

  • It depends. The Office of the University Registrar (OUR) evaluates syllabi of courses taken at other institutions and has the ability to approve courses for credit at UA.
  • If a course has previously been approved, there is typically established precedent for that course to be accepted. Those courses can be found using the Transfer Course Equivalency table on OUR’s website.
  • To request that a course be evaluated and added to these tables, email transfercredit@ua.edu. You should provide the name and location of the institution, the course id and title, and any supporting documentation such as a syllabus or course outline. A Transfer Credit Evaluator will review the information and inform you of the UA equivalency.
  • Courses taken at a 2-year institution can only transfer in at the 100/200 level. Courses taken at another 4-year institution can transfer in at any level.
  • There is a brief video on Transient Letters here.