Major in Psychological Sciences


If you’re looking for someone to speak with about your education and career path, the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences has an advising center to meet your needs. The SBS Office of Academic Services and Advising has staff specifically trained to assist those interested in a major in psychological sciences. Students are also encouraged to seek faculty mentors within the department who can guide students to courses that best fit their academic and career goals.

Progression Plan

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Progression plan graphic

The degree progression for psychological sciences guides students through introductory, foundational, breadth and depth courses that will ensure each student has the opportunity to learn the skills and knowledge identified as most critical by the American Psychological Association.  These priorities are reflected in the learning goals of the Department of Psychological Sciences. Students are encouraged to identify and sequence courses within the major that will create a strong foundation for future academic and career goals. Although there are a number of courses all majors must take, additional courses are offered in a variety of content areas.

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Degree Planning Prereq Chart

The graphic above outlines possible paths through a degree in psychological sciences and visually maps out courses to ensure that students are aware of course pre-requisites needed as they make their way through the major. Arrows from course to course show pre-requisites that are needed to progress in the major. 
For example, the graphic below shows that PSY 240 (Developmental Psychology) is a pre-requisite for higher level developmental courses PSY 340 and PSY 344. Further, because this line passes through the large grey bar, both PSY 230 and PSY 302W (our foundational courses) are also required before enrolling in these higher level courses. 
You will also notice that in the example graphic below, PSY 240 has a small ‘m’ next to it. This signifies that this course also qualifies as a part of a minor in Psychological Sciences. Additional information about this minor can be found in the NAU catalog. Note: All courses that fall below the PSY 230/PSY 302W bar have prerequsites of both Statistics (230) and Research Methods (302W).
Prog plan example

Should I get a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science Degree?

Students should review the requirements below for either a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree. Although many of the requirements are similar, there are stark differences in the emphasis within each degree. B.A. students are expected to complete additional foreign language requirements. B.S. students are expected to complete additional science requirements. 
A Statement from the NAU Psychological Sciences Advisors: 
“Typically, I recommend that students pursue a BS in Psychological Sciences.  As we know, many Psychological Sciences majors pursue graduate coursework and the BS typically proves as better preparation.  As this degree is heavily rooted in science and critical thinking, we are always encouraging students to take science classes and improve their skills in the scientific method.  Too, the science component of the BS degree allows for a student to examine Psychological Sciences from various perspectives which allows for more critical thinking in the sciences.  The additional component of research in the different scientific fields also serves as a benefit to our BS students as they are well versed in critical research and evaluation.
 It is rare that I recommend that a student pursue a BA in Psychological Sciences due to the limited amount of science required.  As a student moves into graduate coursework, we really want them to have a strong background in research.  Sometimes, I see a student who is fluent in a second language, majoring in a second language, or wanting to work with a population who speaks a different language and that is more appropriate for the BA, but even then, I recommend a student take additional science coursework to bolster their research skills for their graduate programs. 
Ultimately, we do ask that students turn to their faculty if they are unsure of which degree is more beneficial to them.  While we’re happy to do the major advising, your faculty is always the expert in your field!”

Degree Information in the Academic Catalog

Psychological Sciences, Bachelor of Arts

Psychological Sciences, Bachelor of Science