Undergraduate Bulletin

Spring 2024

Requirements for the Majors in Psychology (PSY)

Completion of the major for either a B.S. or a B.A. in Psychology requires 58 to 67 credits.

All courses required for either the B.S. or B.A. degree must be passed with a letter grade of C or higher.

Study within Psychology

For both degree programs, 34 to 35 credits in psychology to be distributed as follows:

1. Core Program

2. Survey Courses in Psychology

One course from Group A, one from Group B, and a third course from Group A or B:

Group A

  • PSY 220  Survey in Developmental Psychology
  • PSY 230  Survey in Clinical Psychology
  • PSY 240  Survey in Social Psychology

Group B

  • PSY 250  Survey in Biopsychology
  • PSY 260  Survey in Cognition and Perception

3. Five PSY courses

For the B.A. student:

  1. One course numbered 200 or higher, excluding PSY 201PSY 273, PSY 283, PSY 310, PSY 399, PSY 447, PSY 475, PSY 476, PSY 487, PSY 488, PSY 495-496, the discontinued PSY 300, and 200-level survey courses used to satisfy requirement #2.            
  2. Four more courses from among advanced courses numbered PSY 301 to 383, excluding  PSY 310.           

For the B.S. student:

  1. One course numbered 200 or higher, excluding PSY 201   PSY 273   , PSY 283, PSY 310, PSY 399, PSY 447, PSY 475, PSY 476, PSY 487, PSY 488, PSY 495-496, the discontinued PSY 300, and 200-level survey courses used to satisfy requirement #2.
  2. A laboratory course (PSY 380-383;  PSY 386; PSY 389).           
  3. An advanced statistics (PSY 301 or AMS 315) or one of the following courses (PSY 355; PSY 356; PSY 368; BIO 334; BIO 338). The same BIO course cannot be used to fulfill the Biology concentration requirement.     
  4. Two more courses numbered 300 or higher, excluding  PSY 310, PSY 399, PSY 447, PSY 475, PSY 476, PSY 487, PSY 488, PSY 495-496, and the discontinued PSY 300.    

4. Upper-Division Writing Requirement

For students pursuing the Stony Brook Curriculum (SBC)   a course that satisfies the    "Write Effectively within One's Discipline" (WRTD)    learning objective must be completed in order to graduate. This WRTD requirement will routinely be satisfied by completing PSY 310. However, in special cases, co-registration for the 0-credit PSY 459 while completing a substantial paper or writing sample in another Psychology course will satisfy the WRTD requirement. A student must obtain the permission of the course instructor prior to registering for PSY 459

Although not required for B.A. or B.S. degrees, the Department strongly recommends that any student planning to attend graduate school should gain research experience by becoming a research assistant (PSY 273). Undergraduate Research Opportunities can be found through the Department of Psychology Web page.

5. Courses Outside the Psychology Department

In addition to the 34 to 35 credits in psychology, students must also complete 24 to 32 credits of courses outside the Department. This requirement differs in some aspects between the B.S. and B.A. degrees.

For the B.A. Student

One 3-4 credit course from each of the 4 categories below:

  1. Mathematics: Choose one course from the following: AMS 101,    MAT 118   , MAT 122, MAT 123 (or MAT 119/MAT 123), MAT 125 (or MAT 130/MAT 125), MAT 126, MAT 131, MAT 132 or any higher AMS, CSE, or MAT course approved by the department. Note:    PSY 201    (or equivalent introductory statistics course) does not satisfy this requirement. Students who pass the Mathematics Placement Exam at Level 4 or above are not required to complete a course in this category.   
  2. Biology: Any one-semester BIO course. Note: ANP 101, HAN 200, or HAN 202 may be used as a substitute to fulfill this requirement. 
  3. Philosophy: Any one-semester PHI course   
  4. Social Sciences: Any one-semester ANT, HIS, POL, or SOC course except  SOC 201  or SOC 202 or  POL 201.
  5. A 12-credit (minimum four courses) concentration in one of the course subjects listed below. At least two courses must be upper-division (numbered between 300 and 499). Practica, research, and internship courses do not satisfy this requirement. The concentration requirement may also be satisfied by an approved minor or a second major in any department or program. 
  • Africana Studies (AFS)           
  • Anthropology (ANT) (see Note 1)      
  • Applied Mathematics and Statistics (AMS)           
  • Biology (BIO)  (see Note 1)             
  • Computer Science (CSE)     
  • Economics (ECO)     
  • History (HIS)      
  • Linguistics (LIN)   
  • Marketing (MKT) (requires completion of two required courses: BUS 348   Principles of Marketing and BUS 448 Marketing Strategy; one elective from: BUS 334 Consumer Advertising and Promotion or BUS 302 Social Media Marketing Strategy or BUS 378: Marketing Ethics, Public Policy, & Social Change;and another elective from: BUS 359 Consumer Behavior or BUS 358 Marketing Research or independent study in research BUS 487)
  • Mathematics (MAT) (see Note 1)        
  • Philosophy (PHI) (see Note 1)            
  • Political Science (POL) (see Note 1)      
  • Sociology (SOC) (see Note 1)      
  • Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies  (WST)
  • Writing (requires completion of    WRT 305    Writing for the Health Professions or    WRT 380    Advance Research Writing plus three other upper-division writing courses)

Note 1: If a student completes a concentration in Anthropology, Biology, Mathematics, Philosophy, Political Science, or Sociology, the concentration will automatically satisfy the associated requirement listed in requirements 1 to 4 above for the B.A. student (e.g. completion of the Biology concentration also satisfies requirement number 2).

For the B.S. Student

All three categories below are required.

1. Mathematics:

1. Calculus I (MAT 119/MAT 123MAT 123, MAT 125 (or MAT 130/MAT 125), MAT 131, MAT 141, or AMS 151) and       
2. Calculus II (MAT 126, 132, 142, or  AMS 161)

Note: Passing the mathematics placement examination at level 8 or higher also satisfies this requirement. Ideally students should take courses in sequential pairs (i.e.,  MAT 125, 126).

2. Biology:

  1. Select two of the following lecture courses:  BIO 201 , 202, 203
  2. Select two of the following lab courses: BIO 204 , 205, 207     

Note: Students who elect the Biology concentration need only take one course from Category A and     BIO 204 , for a total of one lecture and one lab course.

3. Any two concentrations selected from the following five choices:

1. Biology: Two BIO or biology-related courses selected from the following: BIO 208, 302, 310, 312, 314, 315, 317, 320, 321, 325, 327, 328, 332, 334, 335, 336, 337, 338, 339, 350, 351, 354, 358, 359, 361, BCP 401. The following course pair counts as ONE course:  HBM 320 & 321.        
2. Chemistry: CHE 131/133, CHE 132/134. Note: CHE 129+130 (together) may be used as a substitute for CHE 131 
3. Mathematics: Two courses selected from MAT courses numbered 200 or above; and 300-level AMS courses except AMS 310, 312, 315. 
4. Physics: PHY 121 and 122; or  PHY 125, 126, and 127; or  PHY 131/133 and 132/134; or  PHY 141  and 142.  
5. Computer Science:  CSE 114  and  CSE 215.

Notes for B.A. and B.S. students:

1. Transfer students must take at least 12 credits of psychology in residence at Stony Brook.
2. No more than six credits from among  PSY 273, 283, 447, and 487 may be taken in one semester. Other restrictions on applying these courses toward graduation requirements exist; consult the Undergraduate Psychology Office and see also Course Credit and Grading Option Limits in the "Academic Policies and Regulations" chapter.
3. Students interested in a major in Psychology should meet with a Psychology Department Under­graduate Advisor (Room B-109). Additional meetings should be scheduled periodically to review progress toward fulfilling Depart­ment requirements.
4. Psychology courses may be repeated only ONE time.

Honors Program in Psychology

The Psychology honors program features:

1) a faculty mentor and
2) collaborative research with faculty which results in a senior thesis.

Departmental majors with a 3.50 g.p.a. in psychology courses, with a 3.20 cumulative g.p.a, and with the agreement of a faculty mentor to supervise the student’s independent project may apply to enroll in the Psychology honors program at the end of their junior year. The student, after asking a faculty member to be a sponsor, must submit a proposal to the Psychology Department describing the research project that is to be the subject of the honors thesis. If the project is approved by the Department, the student may enroll in PSY 495 and PSY 496 in the fall and spring semesters of the senior year, respectively. The student's major paper or research project must be completed no later than two weeks prior to the end of the second semester and submitted to the Department. If the honors program is completed with distinction and the student has achieved a 3.5 g.p.a. in all psychology courses taken in the senior year, honors are conferred.

Conferral of honors in Psychology requires the following:

  1. A cumulative g.p.a. of 3.00 and a 3.50 g.p.a. in psychology.
  2. Successful completion of a senior thesis while enrolled in  PSY 495  and 496, see below.

The Psychology honors program is followed for two semesters. During the senior year they enroll in  PSY 495  (first semester) and 496 (second semester) Senior Honors Seminar.