Psychology - Requirements

B.A. with a Major in Psychology

The curriculum for a B.A. degree in psychology is:

Required Courses

Suggested Time

PY 101 General Psychology

Semester 1 or 2

PY 261 Biological Bases of Behavior

Semester 2 or 3

PY 211/212 Developmental Psychology for Majors with or without Lab

Semester 2 or 3

PY 201 Statistics for the Life Sciences

Semester 3 or 4

PY 202 Research Methods

Semester 4 or 5

One Senior Seminar

Semester 7 or 8

Students must also complete four elective courses including at least one from each of the two groups listed below.

Group I

  • PY 221 Social Psychology
  • PY 231 Abnormal Psychology for Majors
  • PY 232 Theories of Personality

Group II

  • PY 251 Cognitive Psychology
  • PY 252 Learning and Applied Behavior Analysis
  • PY 262 Sensation and Perception

Permission of instructor is required prior to taking PY 291, PY 295, PY 391-392, and PY 395. Students are allowed a maximum of two applied internships and one teaching internship. Students may take PY 295 only once and PY 395 only once.

In their senior year, psychology majors may be required to participate in a departmental assessment, such as an exit questionnaire, interview, focus group, or Major Field Test in Psychology.

Core Course Recommendations

  • Mathematics: MA 121-122 in the first and second semesters is recommended.
  • Science: Biology is strongly recommended.

B.S. with a Major in Psychology

The psychology courses that constitute the curriculum for a B.S. degree in psychology are identical to those required for the B.A. degree. Additionally, the B.S. requires a year of math at least at the level of MA 119-120, along with the following courses:

Required Courses

Suggested Time

CH 111-112 General Inorganic Chemistry I and II

Year 1

BI 170-171 General Biology

Year 2

CH 211-212 Organic Chemistry I and II

Year 2

PS 15-16 General Physics I and II

Year 3

Minor in Psychology

For a 15-credit minor in psychology (which would also fulfill the behavioral and social science core requirement), students in other majors:

  • complete PY 101 General Psychology
  • complete four additional psychology courses

Students contemplating a minor are urged to consult with a member of the psychology faculty regarding course choices.

Minor in Behavioral Neuroscience

Students who are not majoring in Psychology may complete a minor in Behavioral Neuroscience as follows:

Required courses:

  • PY 261 Biological Bases of Behavior
  • PY 236 Human Neuropsychology

Plus three additional courses from the list below:

  • PY 251 Cognitive Psychology
  • PY 252 Learning and Applied Behavior Analysis
  • PY 262 Sensation and Perception
  • PY 272 Hormones and Behavior
  • PY 274 Drugs and Behavior
  • PY 281 Special Topics in Psychology (with an emphasis on Behavioral Neuroscience)
  • PY 295 Supervised Research (with a project in Behavioral Neuroscience)
  • PY 361 Senior Seminar: Current Issues in Behavioral Neuroscience
  • PY 365 Neuroanatomy and Behavior lecture and lab
  • PY 381 Special Topics in Psychology: Senior Seminar (with an emphasis on Behavioral Neuroscience)
  • PY 395 Independent Research (with a project in Behavioral Neuroscience)

Psychology majors with an interest in Behavioral Neuroscience should focus on these courses when completing the major.

Master's Degree Program in Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Fairfield now offers a Five Year Bachelor's/Master's Degree Program in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, designed for students interested in a pathway other than an MBA to work in organizations.