Department of Psychology

Contact Information: 
Campus Location: 1009 Behavioral Sciences Building (BSB) 
(312) 996–3036 
psch.uic.edu

Administration: 
Head, Michael E. Ragozzino

Introduction

Students interested in an education that emphasizes an understanding of human behavior should consider a major in psychology. Psychology as a major/minor can lead to a broad range of career possibilities. An education that focuses on behavior principles is valuable for anyone whose future involves interacting with others.

Psychologists pursue careers in such areas as clinical services, health services, business, industry, testing, education, and behavioral research. There are plenty of career opportunities for students with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, particularly in the areas of social work, healthcare, business, and human resources. Career opportunities in some specializations may require a master’s degree, while career opportunities in others require a doctorate. Therefore, students should take time to examine their own interests, values, and goals in addition to job requirements and career options in their area of interest before embarking on an educational journey in psychology.

The Department of Psychology offers two undergraduate degrees

  1. The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Liberal Arts and Sciences, Major in Psychology is appropriate for students who wish to gain a strong base of knowledge for understanding the theories and scientific method of psychology. Students considering graduate study in a research-oriented psychology program or who plan to pursue an advanced degree in another discipline where a degree in a scientific discipline is required or preferred (e.g., medicine, occupational therapy) may choose this major.
  2. The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Liberal Arts and Sciences, Major in Applied Psychology is appropriate for students who not only want  a strong base in the core curriculum in psychology, but also an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the field. The BA path is suited to students who plan to attend professional school in psychology or plan on entering the workforce upon graduation. Students in the Major in Applied Psychology take an additional 8 hours as described in the Major in Applied Psychology catalog page. 

Students may graduate with Distinction, High Distinction, or Highest Distinction in either the Applied or General concentrations. Students who are considering attending graduate school should consider following the program for majoring with Distinction, High Distinction, or Highest Distinction. See below for details.

Preparatory Courses

Students may declare a major in Psychology or Applied Psychology at any time. The first courses students should complete for either degree path are the following preparatory courses, which are prerequisites for enrollment in many upper-level psychology courses.

Courses
PSCH 100Introduction to Psychology a4
PSCH 242Introduction to Research in Psychology3
ENGL 161Academic Writing II: Writing for Inquiry and Research3
One of the following courses:
Intermediate Algebra
Mathematical Reasoning (or the equivalent or higher)

Students must earn a minimum 2.40/4.00 GPA in these courses AND receive a grade of C or higher in each of the four courses. Students who do not meet these requirements will be put on probation in the major. To be reinstated to full status in the major, students must (a) retake the course(s) in which they scored less than a C and earn a C or higher in that course(s), and (b) if that does not raise their GPA in the 4 preparatory courses to 2.40, students must also complete two other psychology courses at UIC and earn a 3.00/4.00 GPA. Students must complete those two additional courses within one semester of being notified that they are on probation. If a student has completed additional psychology courses while taking the four required preparatory courses, those additional courses will be counted in the calculation of the GPA to remove the student from probation.

Distinction

Departmental Distinction

In addition to completing the degree requirements for either the BS, Major in Psychology or BA, Major in Applied Psychology, a candidate for Departmental Distinction must earn a 3.50/4.00 cumulative GPA in psychology courses and a 3.40/4.00 cumulative overall GPA. The GPA will be calculated using all of the credits that are being applied to the degree—from UIC and from any transfer institution. The actual awarding of distinction is made when credentials are evaluated for graduation.

High Departmental Distinction

In addition to completing the degree requirements for either the BS, Major in Psychology or BA, Major in Applied Psychology, the candidate for High Departmental Distinction must meet the requirements for Departmental Distinction. The candidate must also complete PSCH 443 and either one additional laboratory course in psychology (PSCH 313, PSCH 321, PSCH 331, PSCH 333, PSCH 351, PSCH 353, PSCH 361, PSCH 363, PSCH 367) or 3 hours of PSCH 396. The actual awarding of distinction is made when credentials are evaluated for graduation.

Highest Departmental Distinction

In addition to completing the degree requirements for either the BS, Major in Psychology or BA, Major in Applied Psychology, the candidate for Highest Departmental Distinction must meet the requirements for Departmental Distinction. The candidate must also complete PSCH 443 and an independent research project in PSCH 399 (3 credits), under the supervision of a faculty advisor.

The proposal for a Highest Distinction independent research project should be submitted to the Psychology Department Advising Office after approval by the faculty advisor and the Director of Undergraduate Studies. The student’s final report of the independent research project must be reviewed by the Departmental Reading Committee. The form for proposing this project is available in the Psychology Department Advising Office and online. The actual awarding of distinction is made when credentials are evaluated for graduation.