Jul 21, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Psychology Pathway Guide

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.

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

Save all of your course syllabi!

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 Common 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.

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.

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

SCHs = Semester Credit Hours

First Year

WRTR 10XX - First Year Writing I ENGL 1301 3
STAT 2331 - Introduction to Statistical Methods   MATH 1342 3
PSYC 1300 - Introduction to Psychology   PSYC 2301 3
CC Breadth Course - Creativity and Aesthetics Choose One: ARTS 1301, ARTS 1316, ARTS 2316 , ARTS 2326, ARTS 2333, ARTS 2346, ARTS 2356, DRAM 1351, HUMA 1315, MUSI 1306 3
World Language Course* 4
  SCHs 16
Spring TCCN SCHs
WRTR 10YY - First Year Writing II  ENGL 1302 3
SPCH 10XX SPCH 1315 3
CC Breadth Course - Historical Contexts Choose One: ARTS 1303, ARTS 1304, HIST 1301, HIST 1302, HIST 2321, HIST 2322 3
CC Breadth Course - Social and Behavioral Sciences Choose One: ANTH 2351, GOVT 2305, GOVT 2371, PSYC 2319, PSYC 2320, SOCI 1301 3
World Language Course* 4
  SCHs 16

Second Year

ECO 1311 - Principles of Microeconomics: Consumers, Firms, and Markets   ECON 2302 3
CC Breadth Course - Literary Analysis and Interpretation Choose One: ENGL 2321, ENGL 2322, ENGL 2323, ENGL 2326, ENGL 2327, ENGL 2328, ENGL 2331, ENGL 2332, ENGL 2333 3
CC Breadth Course - Exploring Science Choose One: BIOL 1406, BIOL 1407, BIOL 1408, BIOL 1411, BIOL 2401, BIOL 2402, CHEM 1405, CHEM 1411, CHEM 1412, ENVR 1401, ENVR 1402, GEOL 1401, GEOL 1403, GEOL 1405, GEOL 1445, PHYS 1401, PHYS 1402, PHYS 1403, PHYS 1405, PHYS 1404, PHYS 1407, PHYS 1415, PHYS 1417, PHYS 2425, PHYS 2426 4
Second major, minor or elective courses 6
  SCHs 16
Spring TCCN SCHs
CC Breadth Course - Philosophical, Religious and Ethical Inquiry Choose One: PHIL 1301, PHIL 1304, PHIL 2303, PHIL 2306 3
CC Breadth Course - Technological Advances and Society Choose One: COSC 1301/1401, BCIS 1305, COSC 1309 3
Second major, minor or elective courses 9
  SCHs 15


*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.

Minoring in Psychology

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

SMU Degree

A degree from SMU is typically comprised of a minimum of 120 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 Common Curriculum (CC)  
  • Elective courses. These electives may also be used to add a second major or minor.

The Common Curriculum (CC)

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

  1. Foundations - 6 hours of Writing courses, 3 hours of Quantitative Reasoning courses, proficiency in a second language. 
  2. Breadth - 7 Breadth courses which may double count with majors and minors.
  3. Proficiencies and Experiences - 8 Proficiencies and Experiences requirements, met through coursework or approved, noncredit activities.

NOTE: If you transfer with 23 or fewer credit hours and/or transfer in your first year out of high school, transfer work earned prior to high school graduation (dual/concurrent credit) will not satisfy CC requirements.


Apply Now!

Click here for more information about transferring to SMU.