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College of Humanities & Sciences

Psychology Department

Undergraduate Program Requirements

The Department of Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University stresses both graduate and undergraduate education. The department's 40 plus faculty members teach a range of entry-level, mid-range and advanced courses in both basic areas of psychology (research design and analysis, developmental, social, psychobiology) and applied areas (abnormal processes, stress and adjustment, industrial psychology). Psychology is housed within the College of Humanities and Sciences, and graduates of the undergraduate program receive a Bachelor of Science degree with broad training in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, as well as a specialization in psychology.


VCU has published its official Undergraduate Bulletin online.

Summary of Degree Requirements – Bachelor of Science in Psychology

The Bachelor of Science in Psychology requires a minimum of 120 credits, with at least 30 of those credits in psychology. However, no more than 40 credits in psychology may be presented for graduation for the Bachelor of Science degree. This limit does not apply to courses numbered 490 and above. At least 15 of the 30 required credits must be taken at VCU. An overall GPA of 2.0 is required in psychology courses.

The required core curriculum consists of an introduction to psychology (PSYC 101), a study of statistical applications in the psychology field (PSYC 214), and an overview of experimental methods (PSYC 317). A minimum grade of "C" is required in each. Refer to the Undergraduate Bulletin (above under the heading 'Curriculum') or the undergraduate psychology advising office for prerequisites to these courses.

It is important to note that students must complete these courses in a sequence: STAT 210 (or approved equivalent) must be completed with a grade of "C" or better before taking PSYC 214, which in turn must be completed with a grade of "C" or better before taking PSYC 317. Students should start this sequence as early in their college career as possible. PSYC 101 is the prerequisite for all other psychology courses.

In the standard curriculum, students complete at least one course from each of the following four content areas:

  • Developmental
  • Physiological/Learning
  • Self-development/Applied
  • Social/Personality

*Plus two PSYC electives of their choosing from the domains above. 

Psychology majors are also required to complete a senior capstone course in the history of psychology (PSYC 451). Students must be at senior level and have earned at least 85 credits toward their degree before they register for this course.

Concentrations in Psychology

Although the majority of psychology majors complete the standard curriculum, there are five concentrations available. Students may request to add one of the concentrations listed below in lieu of the standard curriculum by completing the Change of Major/Minor/Concentration form* and returning it to PSYUGRAD Advising for an advisor's signature. (*Email for the link to the form.)

At the point of declaration, they must have successfully completed PSYC 101 and PSYC 214 with a "C" grade or better in each, The Graduate School Concentration provides a broad training in the core areas of scientific psychology intended to prepare students for the GRE and successful application to graduate school. The other concentrations represent curricula focused on special strengths of the Department of Psychology, and may prepare the student for psychological work not requiring the Ph.D. Download the psychology chapter of the Undergraduate Bulletin (above under the heading 'Curriculum') for each concentration's specific requirements:

  • Addiction Studies Concentration
  • Life Science Concentration
  • Graduate School Concentration
  • Applied Psychology Concentration
  • Urban Psychology Concentration

Minor in Psychology

A minor in psychology consists of 18 credits in psychology, including PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology; one course from each of the four content areas: Developmental, Social/Personality, Physiological/Learning and Self-development/Applied Psychology; and one additional course. PSYC 201 Career Development in Psychology cannot be used to meet this requirement. At least nine of the 18 credits must be taken at VCU.

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