Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of programs do we offer?

PLU offers both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science psychology degree.  Explore the differences between the Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Sciences major as you explore fields within psychology through our suggested Careers web links.

The PLU catalog provides both full course descriptions as well as explanations of the requirements for the B.A. and B.S. psychology degrees here.  In addition, we have developed a Major Milestones handout (on legal size paper) for your use in planning your academic program.

What courses should I take and when?

The typical student entering PLU as a freshman may take several courses in psychology before deciding whether or not to major in psychology or which major is best.  Although every student is unique, check out the schedules for typical or recommended course sequences for the Bachelor of Science and the Bachelor of Arts psychology degrees. Please note that students should complete Psychology 101 and at least one elective before enrolling the in the psychology section of STAT 232.

A typical course sequence for transfer students will depend upon whether or not the student is completing the B.A. or the B.S. major.  Transfer students entering PLU with an Associate of Arts degree who wish to complete the B.S. program should enroll in STAT 232 Statistics–Psychology section during their first term at PLU in order to successfully complete our program in a timely manner.

What Capstone Experience is required?

All psychology majors will complete PSYC 499, which includes presenting their research at a research conference held at the end of the fall and spring terms.  In addition to this capstone requirement, students also complete an experiential learning requirement.

How do I get minor in psychology?

The minor is designed to supplement another major in the liberal arts or a degree program in a professional school.  It consists of 20 credit hours (8 of which must be taken in residence).  Statistics 232 (psychology) with accompanying lab may be used as part of the 20 hour requirement.

If you decide to obtain a minor in psychology, please contact the department chair.

Note:  Psychology 110, 111, and 113 do not count toward the major or minor.

Contact faculty members or the chair of the PSYC department with questions.

How do I know if Psychology is the right major for me?

Take an active role in determining your future by completing inventories such as the Myers-Briggs and explore the wide range of career opportunities available in such resources as:

Occupational Outlook Handbook

APA Education and Careers pages

These links will help provide further information.

Pursuing Psychology Careers @ U. of N. Iowa

What is the difference between the B.Sc. (Bachelor of Science) and the B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) degree in psychology at PLU? What's best for me?

Explore the requirements for our Degree Programs and examine the Course Descriptions in PLU’s catalog.

The focus of the B.S. degree is upon experimental research.  This really excites some students, many of whom are interested in pre-med or health fields for graduate study.  However, students who are graduate school bound also enroll in our B.A. program.  For example, students who are more interested in social issues often combine psychology with a sociology degree, an interdisciplinary studies major, or a communications minor in social justice.  If you enjoy interdisciplinary courses, a psychology degree that complements another discipline may be of interest to you, since this shows flexibility and multi-dimensional thinking.

Closely examine the timeframe for completion of your academic program, seek out internship and service learning opportunities that will help you explore applications, and discuss the possibilities with a faculty member you have enjoyed having as a professor.

What is the difference between a Masters and a Doctoral degree? Should I get a MSW, MS, PhD, PsyD, EdD?

We have numerous materials on 3-day reserve in our library.  Click on course reserves, then Department of Psychology.  There are publications on graduate study in psychology, jobs for undergraduates, and explanations of the various fields of study within psychology as a discipline.  For a partial listing of recent alumni and their current activities, check out our alumni page.

The links below provide further insight and direction.

Marky Lloyd’s Careers in Psychology Page

Rider University

Educational Directories Unlimited, Inc.  ( a leading online source of graduate school information)

What specialties are available once I decide I want a graduate degree?

Check out the following:

Divisions of APA

Psychology Job Market 

Want to know more about applying to graduate schools or what you can do with an undergraduate major in psychology? If your questions did not get answered with the information at the left, click here to go to some major resources available through APA.