May 21, 2022  
2021-2022 Scripps Catalog 
2021-2022 Scripps Catalog

Psychology Major

Requirements for the Major

A major in Psychology requires a minimum of nine upper-division courses plus a senior thesis. Upper-division psychology courses are those at Scripps above the 100 level and all those on other campuses requiring Introduction to Psychology as a prerequisite. PSYC052 SC  is prerequisite to all upper-division psychology courses. Students may petition the psychology faculty to fulfill this requirement by taking a suitable course elsewhere, by completion of a high school AP Psychology course and receiving a score of 4 or 5, or IB HL Psychology course and score of 5, 6, or 7, or by special examination.

In addition to taking PSYC052 or an approved equivalent, Psychology majors will:

  • Demonstrate knowledge in research methods and statistics by taking the following courses at Scripps:
  • Take at least six upper-division courses in Psychology. Within those six courses, the following requirements must be met:
    • Take at least one upper-division course in each of the following two areas:
      1. Human function in a social context including courses such as: human development, personality, abnormal, cultural, or social psychology.
      2. Basic processes including courses such as: cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience, perception, psychopharmacology, learning, or physiological psychology.
    • At least two of the six upper-division courses must be taken at Scripps.
  • Complete a senior thesis.

Ideally, electives will constitute a sequence carefully planned with the student's adviser. Students intending to pursue graduate studies in psychology are advised to select courses in mathematics, history and systems in psychology, and laboratory courses in psychology, biology, and physiology.

Honors Requirements

Outstanding senior psychology majors may be granted Honors in Psychology at graduation. To earn honors, students must have:

  • Earned a major grade point average of at least 3.67;
  • Cumulative grade point average of 10.5;
  • Completed PSYC143 SC  or PSYC144 SC  or PSYC145 SC  or PSYC182 SC /NEUR182 SC ;
  • Presented an exceptional senior thesis earning a grade of A or A- on a 1- or 2-semester thesis;
  • Demonstrated breadth of study in psychology; and
  • Mentored research and/or teaching experience in psychology.