Dec 01, 2022  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Psychology Pathway Guide

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Click here for more information about transferring to SMU.

Preparation for Transfer as a Psychology Major

The following sequences are suggested courses to take in your semesters prior to transferring to SMU as a psychology major. For students attending a Texas public community college or university, Texas Common Course Numbers (TCCNS) are listed.  If you are transferring from a college or university outside of Texas, click on the SMU course for a course description which may be used to select/compare courses at your current institution.

UC listings refer to SMU’s University Curriculum, which all undergraduates are required to complete. Refer to the University Curriculum Transfer Guide for a list of courses satisfying UC components. Interactive equivalency guides organized by transfer institution are available on the Transfer and Transition Services’ website.

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B.A. in Psychology / B.S. in Psychology

Semester I

Semester II

Semester III

Semester IV


*The second language requirement may be satisfied by (1) transferring two terms of college courses in the same world language, (2) placing out of four terms of a world language by taking an SMU placement test or through AP or IB credit, or (3) being literate in a native language other than English.

Welcome to the Department of Psychology

Psychology is the study of human behavior and cognition.  Students in psychology learn the basis of human behavior (both normal and abnormal), so that they can obtain a better understanding of oneself and others.  

A degree in psychology equips students with a solid academic foundation, which SMU graduates find useful as they embark upon a variety of careers. Students who study psychology gain a variety of transferable skills including critical thinking,  analytical problem solving, decision making and interpersonal communication skills. 

Faculty and Research

The Psychology Department  has an outstanding, energetic faculty committed to both research and teaching. The research interests of faculty members fall into three broad areas: psychopathology, biological and health psychology, and family psychology.  

Many of our faculty members are internationally recognized scholars who regularly publish their research in top academic outlets and receive grant support for their research. Our faculty serve on review boards for the field’s top academic journals, on committees that review federal grant applications, and in administrative roles in prestigious scientific societies. Over half have been honored by a national and/or international scientific organization (e.g., American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, Anxiety Disorders Association of America and the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies).

Students may work for faculty members as research assistants (RAs).   This is a great opportunity to learn about cutting-edge research, help conduct actual studies, and interact with professors and graduate students. Students who are interested in graduate school are highly encouraged to participate.

Psychology Graduates

According to USA Today, SMU tops the list of colleges with the highest paid graduates in psychology.  

Students with undergraduate degrees in psychology follow a variety of career paths, including advertising, marketing, real estate, social media, media relations, public affairs and human resources.  Many work as teachers in early childhood, elementary and secondary education.

Students also successfully compete for admission into a variety of graduate and professional schools in areas such as law, health professions, psychology, social work and educational/school/sports psychology.

Majoring in Psychology

The Psychology Department offers a Bachelor of Arts  or a Bachelor of Science in Psychology . BA majors complete a total of 12 courses (36 hours).  BS majors complete 15 courses (45 or 46 hours).

Top students in the major may also complete a departmental distinction research project and graduate with a degree in Psychology with Distinction. This research is in addition to the Research Training offered by the department.

Psychology B.A. Admission Requirements

Undergraduate students pursuing a B.A. in Psychology must complete a three-course foundation sequence prior to declaring the major including:

These foundation courses must be completed with no individual grade less than a C-.

Psychology B.S. Admission Requirements

Undergraduate students pursuing a B.S. in Psychology must complete a four-course foundation sequence prior to declaring the major including:

These foundation courses must be completed with a C or higher on the first attempt of the courses.

Minoring in Psychology

To receive a Minor in Psychology , students must complete 6 courses (18 credit hours).

Preparing for a Smooth Transition

A seamless transfer to SMU and the Psychology Department requires planning. Transfer students who take time to prepare for their move to SMU are some of our most successful students. The following are a few important points to remember:

  • Completion of introductory psychology prior to transfer is strongly recommended.
  • Transfer courses in psychology after the intro level are reviewed to determine applicability and appropriateness.
  • Students interested in the BS degree need to plan coursework early to ensure completion within four years.
  • The second language requirement of the University Curriculum  may be satisfied by 1) transferring two terms of college courses in the same world language, 2) placing out of four terms of world language by taking an SMU placement test or through AP or IB credit, or 3) being literate in a native language other than English.
  • SMU accepts AP scores of 4 or 5.
  • Compare Course Descriptions found in SMU’s University Catalog to course descriptions at your current institution to maximize your awarded transfer credits. 
  • For additional information on the Psychology major, visit our department homepage or email undergraduate advisor, Dr. Chris Logan.
  • For more information about transferring to SMU, click here or call 214-768-3417.

SMU Degree

A degree from SMU is typically comprised of a minimum of 122 hours, 60 of which must be completed through SMU, 42 of which must be in courses at the 3000 and higher levels. Components of the degree include:

  • Courses in your major
  • Courses required for the University Curriculum (UC)  
  • Elective courses.  These electives may also be used to add a second major or minor.

The University Curriculum (UC)

The University Curriculum is required of all undergraduate students and consists of three main components: 

  1. Foundations - 6 hours of Discernment and Discourse courses, 3 hours of Quantitative Foundation courses, 2 hours of Personal Responsibility and Wellness courses, proficiency in a second language and 3 hours of a Ways of Knowing course (offered only at SMU)
  2. Breadth and Depth - 7 Breadth and 3 Depth courses which may double count with majors and minors
  3. Proficiencies and Experiences - 6 Proficiencies and Experiences requirements, met through Breadth and Depth coursework or approved, noncredit activities.

Apply Now!

Click here for more information about transferring to SMU.

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