2023-24 Catalogs

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BA in Psychology

Degree Program Description

The study of Psychology aims to understand the mind, behavior, and mental health. The Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (BA) degree is for online students interested in studying human behavior in preparation for either employment after completion of the undergraduate psychology degree, or in preparation for applied psychology and other related graduate programs (e.g., counseling, social work, management). Regardless of a student’s ultimate goals, our faculty members believe that students will be best served by completing a rigorous research-oriented program of study. Therefore, students should expect their instructors to take a scientific approach to the particular psychological content of each course. Psychology majors work in diverse fields such as community and social services, human resources, management and business, health care, student affairs and services, law enforcement, education, and scientific research.

Major Program Requirements

The Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the University of Missouri-Columbia (MU) is administered in coordination with the BA in Psychology at the University of Missouri- St. Louis (UMSL). Students earning this degree through MU must complete all MU degree, college, and University graduation requirements. Students are reminded to check the MU and UMSL undergraduate catalogs for course descriptions and prerequisite information. 

Major Core Requirements

  • The psychology major requires a minimum of 30 credit hours in psychology coursework and 3 credit hours of statistics.
  • All courses that count toward the psychology major requirements must be completed with a grade of C- or higher. This includes STAT 1200 (MU), MATH 1105 (UMSL) or their equivalent.
  • Students must complete a research methods sequence of PSYCH 3010 (MU) and PSYCH 3020 (MU) or PSYCH 2219 (UMSL) and PSYCH 2201 (UMSL). Both courses in the sequence must be completed at the same campus. PSYCH 3020 (MU) or PSYCH 2201 (UMSL) must be completed before the capstone at MU or UMSL.
  • Students must complete at least 12 hours in psychology courses numbered 3000 or above.
  • Students must complete at least 3 hours of psychology classes that are designated Writing Intensive. 
  • Students may use no more than 12 hours of Special Problems Courses, Special Readings Courses, or Internship Courses PSYCH 2950, PSYCH 4940, PSYCH 4950 & PSYCH 4960 toward graduation. Within the 12 hours, no more than 9 hours may be Special Problems Courses.  (i.e., psychology research credit hours). A student may complete either 6 hours of PSYCH 2950 and 3 hours of PSYCH 4950, or they may complete 3 hours of PSYCH 2950 and 6 hours of PSYCH 4950
PSYCH 1000General Psychology (or PSYCH 1003-UMSL)3
PSYCH 1030Exploring Psychology Careers (or PSYCH 1000-UMSL)1
STAT 1200Introductory Statistical Reasoning (or Math 1105-UMSL)3
PSYCH 3010Research Methods in Psychology I (or PSYCH 2219-UMSL)3
PSYCH 3020Research Methods in Psychology II (or PSYCH 2201-UMSL)3
PSYCH 4010Topics in Psychology Capstone (or other psychology capstone lab course)2-6

Distribution Areas

Psychology majors are required to complete 12 hours in distribution courses, 6 hours in each of 2 distribution areas. This ensures students will have exposure to a wide range of psychological theory and research. In addition, students choose two additional Psychology courses to receive further education according to their interest. Although the distribution areas are presented below as distinct areas of study, a great deal of overlap exists among them. Students should understand the ways in which the various areas complement one another and gain the ability to integrate information learned in different areas. 

Clinical/Social/Developmental Distribution

This distribution area studies the nature and causes of individuals thoughts, feelings and behavior in social situations. It analyzes the cultural and biological influences on age-related changes in cognition, emotion, and social behavior that take place throughout an individual’s lifespan. It focuses on scientific study of the causes of mental disorders as well as methods for assessing and alleviating mental health problems. It also is concerned with the study of mental health and wellness, including strategies for preventing the development of mental disorders. A full list of courses that would fulfill this distribution area, but not necessarily offered online, are listed in the Psychological Sciences-BA catalog. Courses in this distribution area offered in an online format include:

PSYCH 2310Social Psychology (or PSYCH 2160-UMSL)3
PSYCH 2410Developmental Psychology (or PSYCH 2268-UMSL)3
PSYCH 2510Survey of Psychopathology (or PSYCH 2245-UMSL)3
PSYCH 2511Military and Veterans Psychology3
PSYCH 2520Introduction to Addiction Science3
PSYCH 3370The Science of Mindfulness3
or PSYCH 3370W The Science of Mindfulness - Writing Intensive
PSYCH 3451Psychology of Gender3
PSYCH 3510Introduction to Clinical Psychology3
PSYCH 3830Health Psychology (or Psych 3500-UMSL)3
PSYCH 4563Behavioral and Technology Addictions3
PSYCH 4830Psychology of Women3

NOTE:  Due to overlap in course content, a student may receive credit for only one of the following courses: PSYCH 2410 (or PSYCH 22680-UMSL) or PSYCH 2410H, or ESC_PS 2500.

NOTE: Due to overlap in course content, a student may not receive credit for both PSYCH 3350 and ESC_PS 4200.

Cognitive/Neuroscience Distribution

This distribution area studies that mechanisms of the mind and how they are altered by experience. It also examines the biological basis of the behavior of humans and animals. A full list of courses that would fulfill this distribution area, but not necessarily offered online, are listed in the Psychological Sciences-BA catalog. Courses in this distribution area offered in an online format include:

PSYCH 2210Mind, Brain, and Behavior (or PSYCH 2211-UMSL)3
PSYCH 2220Drugs and Behavior (or PSYCH 2200-UMSL)3
PSYCH 3160Perception and Thought3
PSYCH 3830Health Psychology (or PSYCH 3500-UMSL)3
PSYCH 3870Sleep and Sleep Disorders3
PSYCH 4110Perception3
PSYCH 4210Physiological Psychology3

NOTE: A student may not receive credit for PSYCH 2210 if it is taken after PSYCH 4210.

Psychology Electives (2000-level or above) 6 credit hours

Students must complete 6 credit hours of psychology elective courses numbered 2000 or above. Up to 3 credit hours may include special problems (e.g., PSYCH 2950 or PSYCH 4950), readings (e.g., PSYCH 4960) or internship (e.g., PSYCH 4940). Capstone Labs may not be counted in this area. Elective courses for this requirement can include those listed from the Cognitive/Neuroscience Distribution Area or Clinical/Social/Developmental Distribution Area. Additional elective courses available in an online format include:

PSYCH 3861Forensic Psychology3

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Degree Audit

The degree audit is an automated report reflecting a student’s academic progress toward the completion of a degree. 

MU students can request a degree audit by logging in to myDegreePlanner. Students may also access myDegreePlanner via myZou, in the Student Center, click on the Academic Progress Tile, then select Request Degree Audit. The audit automatically pulls in the student’s MU course work, transfer courses and courses in progress. This is available to current students, admitted students, and those who last attended less than three terms ago.

Past MU students can request a degree audit by contacting the Academic Advising Unit of the division in which they were last enrolled at MU. For contact information, go to https://advising.missouri.edu/contact/.

Prospective students, can access a preliminary MU degree audit via https://www.transferology.com. Information on the college credits already earned will have to be manually entered before it can be evaluated against current degree requirements.

For additional details on degree audits, go to https://registrar.missouri.edu/degrees-audits/degree-audits/.

Major and Career Exploration

The University of Missouri has many resources to assist you in exploring majors and career possibilities. For guidance, visit the Majors and Careers website or view specific resources below.

  • If you are considering a change of major or are exploring multiple majors, schedule an appointment with an advisor in the Discovery Center by calling (573)884-9700 or through MU Connect Discovery Center service in you success network.

  • If you have decided on a major, visit an academic advisor in the School or College that you are interested in to discuss the process of declaring the major

  • If you would like to learn more about your career interests, abilities, values and talents, visit the MU Career Center. No Appointment is necessary to explore career options with one of our staff members.

For additional major and career exploration resources, visit Major & Career Exploration in the catalog.

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