University of Southern California
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Please note: Due to late revisions, some text on this page differs from what appears in the printed version of the USC Catalogue. The changes appear below as highlighted text, with corresponding explanations appearing in the right margin.

Undergraduate Degrees

Major Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

Grade Requirement
A grade of C- or higher is required to count a class toward major requirements.

Required courses, Lower divisionUnits
MATH 116*Mathematics for the Social Sciences4
PSYC 100Introduction to Psychology4
PSYC 274**Statistics I4

*At least one math course of 2.67 units or more is required. MATH 116 or a course of a comparable or higher level is required. Students with a strong math background may profit from a more advanced class.

Twenty-eight upper division psychology units are required, including:

Required courses, Upper divisionUnits
PSYC 314L**Research Methods4

**It is recommended that no more than two upper division psychology courses be taken prior to the completion of PSYC 274 and PSYC 314.

One course from each of four of the following five lists is also required:

PSYC 301LCognitive Processes4
PSYC 304LSensation and Perception4
PSYC 305Learning and Memory4

PSYC 339L is available for credit for this bachelor’s degree beginning fall 2009.
PSYC 336LDevelopmental Psychology4
PSYC 337LAdult Development and Aging4
PSYC 339LOrigins of the Mind4

PSYC 360Abnormal Psychology4
PSYC 361Introduction to Clinical Psychology4
PSYC 461Seminar in Abnormal Psychology4

PSYC 320Principles of Psychobiology4
PSYC 326Behavioral Neuroscience4
PSYC 404LPsychophysiology of Emotion4
PSYC 420Animal Behavior4
PSYC 426Motivated Behaviors4

PSYC 355Social Psychology4
PSYC 359Interpersonal Relations4

Two 400-level psychology courses other than 490x totaling eight units are also required. PSYC 461 may not count toward this requirement if it is being used to satisfy the clinical category above. PSYC 404, PSYC 420 and PSYC 426 may not count toward this requirement if used to satisfy the biological category above.

An additional psychology course, either upper or lower division of at least 2.67 units is required.

Bachelor of Arts, Social Sciences, with an Emphasis in Psychology Requirements

The required courses are: PSYC 100, one math class of 2.67 units or more (MATH 116 is recommended; students with a strong math background may profit from a more advanced course); PSYC 274; and eight upper division courses in departments in the social sciences, including five in the Department of Psychology and three outside the department but within the division. These may be any 300- or 400-numbered courses.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts with a Combined Major in Linguistics and Psychology

For the lower division: LING 210, PSYC 100 and PSYC 274 are required. For the upper division the following courses are required: LING 301 and LING 302; PSYC 314L; two courses selected from LING 380, LING 401, LING 402, LING 403, LING 405, LING 407, LING 406/PSYC 406, LING 410, LING 415, LING 466 and LING 485; three additional courses selected from PSYC 301L, PSYC 326, PSYC 336L, PSYC 337L, PSYC 424, PSYC 433, PSYC 406/LING 406. See Department of Linguistics.

Minor in Psychology

The minor requires six courses: PSYC 100 and five additional courses:

One course is required in each of three of the five topic areas listed under Major Requirements. PSYC 314L may be used to fulfill one of these topic areas.

Two elective PSYC courses. One must be upper division, 300-level or higher.

  1. Students must complete at least 16 upper division PSYC units.
  2. No more than four units of PSYC 490x is applicable to the minor.
  3. Each of the six courses must be at least 2.67 units.

Minor in Psychology and Law

This interdisciplinary minor brings together courses in psychology that focus on the social, clinical, cognitive and societal aspects of psychology and how it relates to law. This knowledge is augmented with courses from the Gould School of Law that identify the relationship between mental health, social psychology and law.

Twenty-four units are required for the minor. A minimum of four courses (16 units) must be unique to the minor. Psychology majors and students majoring in social sciences with an emphasis in psychology may "double count" up to two courses toward the major and minor; however, they must take a minimum of four courses that do not apply to the major.

Required courses
PSYC 100 or LAW 200 (PSYC 100 is a prerequisite to upper division PSYC classes). Psychology majors must take both courses.

Elective Requirements
At least two upper division courses in Psychology taken from the following list: PSYC 301, PSYC 304, PSYC 355, PSYC 360, PSYC 454, PSYC 463, PSYC 465.

At least two upper division Law classes from the following list: LAW 402, LAW 403, LAW 404.

No more than one course from the following list may be used to complete the four unique courses requirement: ANTH 355, ANTH 371, SOCI 350, SOCI 351, SOCI 353.

Minor in Consumer Behavior

This interdisciplinary minor explores consumer thinking from the perspective of psychology, marketing, economics, anthropology, sociology and other departments interested in popular culture. Why do people form the attitudes and impressions they do? How do individual factors, culture, mass media, economics and social trends influence people's decisions? See Interdisciplinary Programs.

Minor in Critical Approaches to Leadership

See the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies.

Honors Program

The department offers an honors program for outstanding students in the B.A., Psychology major who desire advanced research training in preparation for graduate work in the social sciences or in professional schools. The primary focus of the honors program is the completion of a research study under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Students are admitted to the program in the fall semester of their junior year. To be eligible for admission, a student must have an overall GPA of at least 3.5 at the time of application to the program. This program is not available to students majoring in Social Sciences with an emphasis in Psychology. Students in the honors program complete all major requirements, including PSYC 380 Junior Honors Seminar during the spring semester of their junior year and PSYC 480 Senior Honors Seminar during the spring semester of their senior year. Students complete an honors thesis proposal as part of the Junior Honors Seminar and must submit a completed senior honors thesis by April 1 of the senior year. Students are also expected to have an overall GPA of at least 3.5 at the time of graduation. For further information, contact the undergraduate advisor.

Progressive Degree Program in Psychology

This progressive degree program permits superior students to complete all requirements for both the B.A. and the M.A. degrees in psychology in five years. Students may apply on completion of 64 units of course work, but not later than the end of their junior year (or the completion of 96 units). To be eligible for admission, students must have at least a 3.5 overall GPA and must have completed PSYC 274 Statistics and PSYC 314 Research Methods with at least a B+ in each. The application for admission to a progressive degree program must be accompanied by an approved course plan proposal and letters of recommendation from two USC faculty members (at least one in the Department of Psychology who agrees to mentor the student). The requirements for both the B.A. and M.A. degrees must be satisfied. Further details about progressive degrees can be found here.

Psi Chi

Psi Chi is the national honor society in psychology. Membership is open to graduate and undergraduate men and women who meet the minimum qualifications. Psi Chi is a member of the Association of the College Honor Societies and is an affiliate of the American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Society.