Jump to other news and events
Purdue signature


What Majors are offered?

Two majors are available at Purdue for undergraduate students interested in psychology. Both major provide a broad foundation in psychology along with flexibility in course selection. You will learn about applied and basic aspects of psychology as well as have a chance to take advance courses that give an authentic experience in diverse areas of psychology.

The Psychological Sciences Major (PSYS) provides maximum flexibility in course selection, and is often chosen by students interested in careers as therapists or in other human services areas.

The Brain and Behavioral Sciences Major (BBS) is especially appropriate for students interested in the more science or math-oriented areas of psychology. This program is also popular with students who want careers in medicine.

What courses are required for the Majors?

Both majors consist of 120 total credit hours. This includes 12 psychology courses beginning with courses in elementary psychology (PSY 12000), methods of psychological research (PSY 20300) and statistics (PSY 20100). Students choose 4 foundational courses that provide a broad view of different areas of psychology. For the PSYS major stutdents choose 5 upper-level courses from any area of the department, while students in the BBS major choose 5 upper-level courses that focus on mathematical and biological bases of behavior.

A cumulative GPA of 2.3 is required for all PSY courses used to meet major requirements.

Foundational Learning Outcomes, Selectives and Study Abroad

In addition to Psychology courses, students must meet the University's Foundational Learning Outcomes and develop other critical skills. Study abroad is highly encouraged to meet the department's Cultural/International Diversity selective requirement.

What opportunites are available outside the classroom?

Get involved in research

Our faculty are world-reknowned researchers known for their discoveries in psychologcial sciences, and you will have an opportunity to get directly involved assisting faculty and graduate students in their research. Students may enroll in PSY 39000 to receive academic credit and PSY 39000 may be taken several times so that you can gain more experience. Some students choose to work with different professors each time to gain more varied experience, while others will stay in the same lab and help with the various phases of one project. Student involvement can include the preparation of experiment materials, conducting experiment sessions, scoring data, or any other research-related activity.

Do an internship

Psychology internships offer students the opportunity to bolster their classroom education with experience in an applied setting. Internships involve performing work related to your area of interest in an outside organization. Rather than focusing on what you know, internships emphasize how you can use that knowledge. Credit-bearing internships (PSY 49200) also involve an academic component that is supervised by a faculty member. Internships generally last for a semester or summer.

Study abroad

Expand your cultural horizons by studying abroad. You might choose a program in Singapore or Dublin, Ireland that features pre-approved psychology classes or select from any of the programs available to Purdue students.

What can I do with a Major in Psychology?

Many of our graduates go directly into careers with majors in Psychological Sciences or Brain and Behavioral Sciences. Some of our recent graduates are currently employed in helping professions as case managers, probation officers,and life skils specialists. Others work in businesses as human resource assistants, marketing specialists and employee recruiters. The research skills developed by our majors are used by our graduates with jobs as research coordinators, research analysts, and project managers. Our graduates are also highly successful in pursuing advanced degress in graduate and professional schools in psychology, medicine, business and law. The breadth of our program along with their flexibility of allows students to tailor their degrees to achieve their long-term career goals.