Mar 04, 2024  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Psychology, B.S.

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Dr. Kevin J. Apple, Department Head
Phone: (540) 568-6114
Location: Miller Hall, Room 1120

J. Andre, K. Apple, S. Baker, K. Barron, D. Daniel, W. Evans, P. Gibson, M. Hall, C. Harris, N. Kerr Lawrence, S. Lovell, C. Lyons, M. Reis-Bergan, B. Saville, M. Stoloff, T. Zinn

Associate Professors
J. Dyche, D. Holt, J. Irons, K. Jakobsen, J. Kurtz, M. Lee

Assistant Professors
K. Fogler, K. Melchiori, M. Shoup-Knox, D. Szwedo, J. Taft-Young

K. DuVall

Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Psychology is to educate students in, and contribute to, the science of psychology.


The vision of the Department of Psychology is to sustain and advance a nationally recognized department focused on promoting scientific proficiency within the cross disciplinary field of psychology. To that end, the curriculum is designed to provide students with a strong foundation in psychological science that reflects multiple perspectives within the discipline. The hallmarks of our program are learning opportunities that promote the skills necessary to conduct and evaluate research and to interpret findings. The department trains our students to be responsive to emerging trends and apply their knowledge of psychological science as responsible global citizens.

The Department of Psychology is a dynamic contributor to the General Education program and the university community through the delivery of high quality courses and other educational experiences emphasizing psychological science. We also contribute to the M.A. program in psychological science. Our faculty strive to create and implement creative and effective pedagogy, embracing the dual role of teacher/scholar. The department will foster a collegial and collaborative environment within which divergent opinions as well as cultural diversity are respected, valued and promoted.

Co-curricular Activities and Organizations

  • Active Minds. This organization promotes mental health, awareness and education and works to reduce the stigma of mental illness.
  • Psi Chi. The local chapter of the national honor society in psychology is open to students with a strong interest in psychology and an exceptional academic record.
  • Psychology Club. This club is open to all students with an interest in psychology.
  • Psychology Service Organization. This organization strives to meet the needs of the JMU and local communities by sponsoring and participating in service projects.

Special Admission Requirements

Students interested in completing the intermediate and advanced courses required for the psychology major must meet the department’s progression standards and be fully admitted to the major.

Students who meet all of the following criteria will be allowed to change their status from declared to fully admitted and will be permitted to make progress in the psychology major beyond a few preliminary courses. Equivalent courses completed at another university for which the student has earned JMU approved transfer credit are acceptable.

  • Complete PSYC 101. General Psychology , with a grade of “C-” or better. Equivalent courses completed at other institutions that transfer to JMU are acceptable.
  • Complete MATH 220 , MATH 205 , MATH 231 , MATH 235  or another acceptable math course ( with a grade of “C-” or better. Equivalent courses completed at other institutions that transfer to JMU are acceptable.
  • Complete any one of the following:
  • Complete any General Education Psychology course (PSYC 101 , PSYC 122  or PSYC 160 ) with a grade of “B” or higher.  Earning a 4 on the AP Psychology exam meets this requirement. With departmental approval, grades from other institutions can fulfill this requirement.
  • Complete an online orientation and application, available from the Department of Psychology website.

Students should apply for full admission to the major when they make the decision to pursue a psychology degree. Admission decisions are made at the end of each semester and during the summer. Students not admitted to the major may reapply the following semester.


All psychology courses taken must carry a grade of “C-” or better to apply to the major. A psychology course completed with a grade of “D” may be credited toward graduation requirements but may not be included in courses credited toward the psychology major.


Psychology majors must complete PSYC 101  and two statistics and research methodology courses (PSYC 210 -PSYC 211  or PSYC 212 -PSYC 213 ) before enrolling in courses numbered 330 and above. The prerequisites for PSYC 210  and PSYC 212  are any mathematics course numbered 205 or above and PSYC 101 . Most psychology courses numbered 330 and above have specific prerequisites. See course listings for details. Non-psychology students may enroll in the 300- and 400-level courses only if they have fulfilled course prerequisites.

Registration and Assessment

During registration, psychology majors will be given priority for course selection. Graduating majors must participate in assessment activities. Assessment information helps the faculty modify the curriculum to meet student needs.

Degree and Major Requirements

A student must complete a minimum of 41 PSYC credits and at least 60 non-PSYC credits.

Degree and Major Requirements

Degree Requirements

Required Courses

  • General Education  41 Credit Hours 1
  • Quantitative requirement (in addition to General Education ) 3 Credit Hours
  • Scientific Literacy requirement (in addition to General Education ) 3-4 Credit Hours
  • Major requirements (including cognate, listed below) 47-51 Credit Hours
  • Electives 18-32 Credit Hours
Total: 120 Credit Hours


1 The General Education  program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.

Major Requirements

The courses and cognate described below are required of all students pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree, regardless of whether psychology is their first or second major.

SS Content Core – Psychology as a Social Science: 9 Credit Hours

Choose at least three of the following:

NS Content Core – Psychology as a Natural Science: 6 Credit Hours

Choose at least two of the following:

Psychology electives: 9 Credit Hours

At least three hours must be at the 400 level

Capstone course: 3 Credit Hours

Prior approval is required for students to enroll in more than one capstone course.

Choose one of the following:

Total: 44 Credit Hours


1 PSYC 210  and PSYC 211  are offered every semester; PSYC 212  is offered only during the fall semester; PSYC 213  is offered only during the spring semester.

2 Some sections of this course may meet the sociocultural awareness requirement depending on the content; when this course does meet the requirement, it will be listed in the notes section of the course listing in MyMadison.

Cognate Requirements

Quantitative Competency: 6-9 Credit Hours

(This may include credit hours that count toward General Education and degree requirements.)

Choose one of the following:

  • Two 200-level MATH courses
  • One 200-level MATH course and six credits of additional MATH courses at any level

Scientific Literacy: 6-8 Credit Hours

(These courses are taken in addition to the General Education requirement. They may count toward the B.S. degree requirement, second major and/or minor requirements.)

  • Choose at least two courses from the list of courses meeting B.S. degree scientific literacy requirements.

Recommended Schedule for Majors

The following program sample is intended as a guide. Courses must be taken in the sequence outlined; however, the semester during which a particular course is taken depends on a number of factors, including readiness to take MATH 220 , the semester the psychology major is started and other majors or minors the student is completing.

Students are encouraged to meet regularly with their psychology academic adviser to plan their personal course schedule. Because of course sequencing requirements, even with the most compressed program, a minimum of five semesters (or four semesters and summer school) is required to complete the psychology major.

First Year

First Semester

Total: 15 Credit Hours

Second Semester

  • General Education, B.A./B.S. degree requirement, B.S. Psychology Cognate and/or minor program courses 15 Credit Hours
Total: 15 Credit Hours

Second Year

First Semester

Total: 16 Credit Hours

Second Semester

Total: 16 Credit Hours

Third Year


  • SS content core courses 9 Credit Hours
  • NS content core courses 9 Credit Hours
  • Minor program courses or electives 12 Credit Hours

Total: 30 Credit Hours

Fourth Year


  • Psychology Upper level Specialty Content Course 3 Credit Hours
  • Psychology 400 level elective 3 Credit Hours
  • Psychology capstone course 3 Credit Hours
  • Psychology, minor program or elective courses 21 Credit Hours

Total: 30 Credit Hours


1 A preliminary math course may be suggested after placement examinations. If suggested, the preliminary course should be taken first semester and MATH 220  second semester. Other 200-level mathematics courses may be substituted for MATH 220  . Any MATH course numbered 205 or above is an acceptable prerequisite for the psychology major.

2 Any MATH course numbered 205 or above is a prerequisite for PSYC 210  and PSYC 212 MATH 220  is recommended.

3 PSYC 210  is a prerequisite for PSYC 211 .

4 PSYC 212  is a prerequisite for PSYC 213 .

Recommended Courses

The following courses are recommended for all psychology majors especially those who plan to pursue advanced study at the graduate level after earning their bachelor’s degrees.

Taking an advanced statistics course is highly recommended. Consider the following:

Additional Information

A minor or a selection of courses from other departments that complements the psychology major for the professional field you are pursuing might be very helpful. Discuss your professional goals with your faculty adviser and ask for recommendations. Consider taking courses that emphasize writing skills, quantitative skills, critical thinking and analysis and/or oral communication.

Students should discuss their career aspirations with their academic adviser throughout their academic program. Students interested in applying to graduate school should discuss the necessary preparation with their adviser early in their academic program. Students are encouraged to visit the department’s Peer Advising Office in Miller Hall where materials are available about career and graduate school opportunities. 

Other Psychology Programs

Graduate Programs

The Department of Graduate Psychology at James Madison University offers the following graduate degree programs:

Master of Arts

  • Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • Psychological Sciences
  • School Psychology

Master of Education

  • School Counseling
  • College Student Personnel Administration

Educational Specialist

  • Counseling Psychology
  • School Psychology

Doctor of Philosophy

  • Assessment and Measurement
  • Counseling and Supervision

Doctor of Psychology

  • Combined/Integrated Program in Clinical and School Psychology

Additional information about these programs, including admission requirements and procedures, is available at

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