Major in Psychology Requirements


All courses taken to satisfy the requirements for a major in psychology, including the mandatory statistics courses, must be passed with a grade of C- or above.


Courses taken under the undifferentiated grading option (pass/no pass) will not be accepted toward fulfilling departmental major requirements.


In addition to meeting the general university degree requirements, the student majoring in psychology must meet the following requirements in the Department of Psychology:



Credits Required





NB Stat 243






NB Stat 244






Psy 200






Psy 204






Psy 321






Psy Elective 410-498






Psy Elective 300/400

Additional Upper-Division elective credits (300 and 400 level), excluding courses numbered 399 to 409.






Psy Elective 200+

Elective credits **only for freshmen as of Fall 2010** from PSY 200 and above  (including 399-409)

*4 (for Catalog on or after Fall 2010)





Total (catalog year before fall 2010)






Total (catalog year 2010 and after)

*60 (for Catalog on or after Fall 2010)







What is my catalog year? Why does it matter?

Your catalog year is the year and term you started taking college classes AFTER graduating high school, at any college, Portland State or otherwise. If you started taking college classes while in high school, you have to choose the term AFTER you graduated high school.


This is important because degree requirements may change from year to year. If you are already working toward a degree, these changes may not effect you. Make sure you know the degree requirements of your catalog year and choose the same catalog year each time you run your DARS and when you apply for graduation.


I’ve been told the psychology major at PSU is elective heavy. What does this mean?

What comes to mind when you think of psychology? A lot of people think therapist, psychiatrist or social worker. However, psychology is a diverse science as well as a helping profession. Because psychology is such a broad topic, the psychology major at PSU allows the students to explore psychology broadly and to focus on specific areas of psychology that interest them. Having a broad education in psychology is important no matter what field of psychology you plan to work in and the major at PSU aims to offer that diversity in the curriculum.


Are there specialized pathways, concentrations, or certificates in psychology that I can explore?

In pursuing elective coursework, choose among different Pathways Through Psychology that focus your studies on specific areas and applications of psychology, including Community Psychology, Education, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Research Methods, Neuropsychology/Neuroscience, and Social Psychology.

Why do I have to take Statistics?

Portland State University’s psychology major is research heavy. In order to understand psychological research methods, an applied understanding of statistics is necessary. Don’t worry, it’s sounds harder than it is and there are a lot of FREE! resources to help students who have a harder time with math and the new concepts introduced, like supplemental instruction and tutoring. Also, the psychology peer advisers can give you some quick, helpful tips! Visit us during our drop in hours at Cramer Hall 360 from 9am to 5pm Monday-Friday



Supplemental Instruction

Visit the Placement Exam page for more prerequisites information for taking the exam.


What is the difference between Psy 200 and Psy 204?

They are both introductory psychology classes. Psychology 200 is psychology as a natural science, what’s going on in the brain and a little bit of physiology and anatomy of the brain. Psychology 204 is psychology as a social science and focuses on how we interact with others, and our behaviors and attitudes as a result of being a social being.