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Psychology (BA)

Offered by the Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences.

Admission to the Program

Formal admission to the major requires departmental approval.

  • 120 credit hours with a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or better
  • Completion of college writing requirement
  • Completion of university mathematics requirement

General Education Requirements

  • A total of ten courses, consisting of two courses from each of the five foundational areas
  • At least one course from Area Five: The Natural and Mathematical Sciences must include a laboratory science component
  • No more than two courses may be taken in the same discipline

Major Requirements

Course Requirements

Required (11 credit hours)

Research Methods (3-4 credit hours)

One course from the following:

Bio-Psychology (3 credit hours)

One course from the following:

Learning and Cognition (3 credit hours)

One course from the following:

The Individual, the Situation, and Psychological Health (6 credit hours)

Two courses from the following:

Electives (14-15 credit hours)

  • 14-15 credit hours in psychology elective courses to complete the required credit hours. Students will be advised concerning 300-500-level courses available as electives.

Note: No more than a combined total of 6 credit hours of PSYC-390 Independent Reading Course in Psychology, PSYC-490 Independent Study Project in Psychology, and PSYC-491 Internship, will apply toward fulfilling major requirements.

Combined BA and MA in Psychology

American University offers students the opportunity to earn both undergraduate and graduate degrees through its combined bachelor's/master's programs. See Combined Bachelor's and Master's Degrees for more information.

This program enables qualified students to earn, in a continuous plan of study, both the BA and MA in Psychology.


  • Students should apply for the program no later than the first semester of the senior year and no earlier than the first semester of the junior year. Students must have a minimum 3.00 grade point average in psychology and statistics courses and must have completed at least half of the credit hours required for the BA in Psychology, including STAT-202 Basic Statistics, before applying to the program. Students must submit a completed graduate application form, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores for the General examination (Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytic), two letters of recommendation, and copies of all college transcripts.
  • All requirements for the BA in Psychology.
    • Undergraduate students may apply up to 9 credit hours of approved graduate-level coursework to satisfy the requirements for both degrees.
  • All requirements for the MA in Psychology including a minimum of 18 credit hours completed in residence in graduate status after the undergraduate degree has been awarded. Students must finish the master's degree requirements within three years from the date of first enrollment in the master's program.