You are here

Information for Prospective Students

The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at The University of Iowa is pleased that you are interested in our program. You can find lots of useful information about our two undergraduate degree programs, research opportunities, internship opportunities and careers by selecting the other links at the left.  

The section below is intended to provide answers to questions such as "What classes should I take while I'm still at my current school if I'm planning to attend The University of Iowa?".  

For High School Students

Don’t worry too much about taking classes for the Psychology major while you are still in high school. Enjoy your high school years. The most important classes to take in high school are rigorous classes that prepare you for college-level work. 

Completing four years of a foreign language while in high school is an excellent idea. Doing so will remove the requirement to take foreign language coursework once you arrive at The University of Iowa. 

If your high school offers AP Psychology and if you earn a 4 or 5 on the AP Psychology exam, you will earn credit for Elementary Psychology – the first course in the Psychology major sequence.

If your high school allows students to take classes at a local community college you may earn credit for Elementary Psychology by completing the introductory level Psychology course. You may also be able to take courses which are equivalent to our Introduction to Social Psychology and Introduction to Developmental Sciences courses. These count as lower-level courses for the major.

If your high school offers AP Statistics and you earn a 4 or 5 on the AP Statistics exam, you will earn credit towards the major--either for the cognate requirement for the B.A. degree or the math/statistics/computer science requirement for the B.S. You may also be able to earn credit if you take a statistics class through your local community college. 

For Students Transferring from a Community College

Psychology courses offered at community colleges often include an introductory course and courses in social psychology and developmental science. In general, developmental psychology courses which focus on childhood development will transfer to the Psychology major. Developmental courses which explore development through the lifespan are equivalent to a College of Nursing course and will not count towards the Psychology major. Some community colleges will offer a course in abnormal psychology. While this may be a beneficial course to take, it will not fulfill any requirements for the Psychology major.

Students are encouraged to complete their foreign language requirement prior to transferring to The University of Iowa. Students may also want to consider taking an appropriate statistics course and, if pursuing the B.S. degree in psychology, courses to fulfill the Calculus and Natural Sciences requirements for that program.

Transfer students who elect to take many General Education courses at their community college will be able to spend the majority of their time at The University of Iowa devoted to Psychology coursework. This may allow students to explore other programs of study (second majors, minors, or certificates) in addition to Psychology.

To determine how specific courses would transfer to UI, students should use the transfer course equivalency guide. 
Click here to access the equivalency guide.  

For Students Transferring from a Four-Year School

Students transferring from four-year institutions may be able to satisfy requirements for the Psychology major with their previous coursework. However, transfer students must take at least 18 semester hours of coursework from the Psychology department and at least 30 total hours from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa in order to graduate.

If transfer students would like to have their previous Psychology courses evaluated for the major, students should send course syllabi to either Deb Johnson or Megan Gioielli, the departmental academic advisors.

To determine how additional courses would transfer to UI, students should use the transfer course equivalency guide.
Click here to access the equivalency guide. 


If you would like to visit the department, please contact the Admissions Visitor Center at 319-335-1566 or read more about campus visit options here.