Earn a BA in Psychology

Understanding human behavior, thoughts, and decision-making will empower you to be an outstanding helper, leader, employee, and colleague.

The BA track of the psychology major prepares students to enter the workforce or pursue a graduate degree. You’ll learn from top researchers and educators and be empowered to apply your psychological knowledge in a wide variety of careers including management, marketing, social services, human resources, health care, and other people-centered fields.


Requirements & Program Planning

The B.A. program requires 34 semester hours of psychology and is intended for those students who are pursuing a broad undergraduate education with a special emphasis in psychology. Students planning to enter a graduate program in a field that emphasizes applied preparation more heavily than research training may wish to choose the B.A. program. The B.A. program may be combined with specialized work in one or more other disciplines (e.g., education, social work, business, journalism, nursing). Transfer students and students who have changed majors after already fulfilling most of the General Education Program may find the B.A. program particularly suitable. The B.A. program involves an introductory psychology course, a behavioral neuroscience course, two courses in research methods and data analysis, and lower and upper level courses in psychology. Students entering the B.A. program must also complete either a statistics or a computer science course and at least 9 semester hours of coursework at The University of Iowa in a second area of concentration. Courses used to satisfy the second area of concentration may not be used to satisfy the College of Liberal Arts General Education Program, but a second major or a minor in any discipline will satisfy the requirement.

Course Number Course Name S.H
PSY:1001 Elementary Psychology 3
PSY:2701 Introduction to Behavioral Neuroscience 4
PSY:2811 Research Methods and Data Analysis in Psychology I 3
PSY:2812 Research Methods and Data Analysis in Psychology II 3

Lower Level Courses (complete all four)
Prerequisite: Completion of PSY:1001

PSY:2301 Intro to Clinical Psychology 3
PSY:2401 Intro to Developmental Science 3
PSY:2501 Intro to Social Psychology 3
PSY:2601 Intro to Cognitive Psychology 3
Upper Level Electives (select three courses)

Note: Not all courses are available each semester (or summer session).
Prerequisite: C- or better in PSY:2811 and C- or better in the specified lower-level prerequisite and completion of the Psychology Core.

Cognate Requirement (select one from the list below)

CS:1020 Principles of Computing 3
CS:1110 Introduction to Computer Science 3
STAT:1020/PSQF:1020 Elementary Statistics and Inference 3
STAT:1030 Stats for Business 4
STAT:3510 Biostatistics 3
STAT:4143/PSQF:4143 Intro to Statistical Methods 3
BIOS:4120 Intro to Biostatistics 3

Second Area of Concentration

At least 9 s.h. of graded coursework at the University of Iowa in a single department beyond courses used to satisfy the College of Liberal Arts General Education Program requirements. Transfer coursework form other institutions may not be used for the Second Area of Concentration.

Course Sequence for the B.A. Program

First year students should enroll in Elementary Psychology and General Education courses. From there, students continue to work on General Education courses and a combination of Research Methods and Data Analysis courses and lower level Psychology courses. Finally, students complete upper-level Psychology electives.

It is important for students to compete the Psychology Core as early as possible as it is not possible to move on to upper-level major coursework until these courses are completed.

Please note that students must earn a C- or better in Research Methods and Data Analysis I (PSY:2811) and the corresponding lower level course prior to enrolling in more advanced courses.

Enriching the B.A. Program

Students in the B.A. program who plan graduate study in psychology or a related discipline should consider enriching their preparation with electives, minors, certificates or experiential learning. Students should consult carefully with their adviser in planning.