College of Natural Sciences Colorado State University Department of Psychology

The Psychology Major

The Psychology Major: The bachelor of science degree consists of a balanced program that includes psychology, mathematics, natural sciences, behavioral and social sciences, arts and humanities, and a large number of free electives. The program is designed as a broad liberal arts degree, including preprofessional preparation for graduate training in psychology.  The curriculum's flexibility permits you to mold a curriculum toward one or more possible career goals: a) entry into the graduate study of psychology, b) a semiprofessional job in psychological settings or related human services areas, c) postgraduate study in an area outside psychology.

Concentrations:In addition to completing the general psychology requirements, students may opt to declare a concentration in Industrial/Organizational Psychology or Mind, Brain, and Behavior. These concentrations require a declaration and completion of specialized courses overviewed in the checksheets below.

Please review this file for Mind, Brain and Behavior concentration: Mind, Brain and Behavior concentration.
Please review this file for Industrial Organizational concentration: Industrial Organizational concentration.

Concentration in Addiction Counseling

The Psychology Department also offers an undergraduate Concentration in Addiction Counseling. This concentration allows undergraduate Psychology majors to meet the requirements of the state of Colorado for certification as a Certified Addiction Counselor I (CAC-I).  The Concentration in Addiction Counseling requires an application and acceptance to the program before an undergraduate student may begin their studies in the program.  The CAC-I Concentration is designed to be completed during the spring semester of the junior year and the summer sessions between junior and senior year. It is anticipated that 30 students will be accepted into the program each academic year.  More information on the CAC-I program is available here. The application for the CAC-I program is available here.

Please review this file for Concentration in Addiction Counseling (CAC-I): Concentration in Addiction Counseling.

Clinical/Counseling Psychology Concentration

The primary objective of the Clinical/Counseling Psychology Concentration is to prepare students for jobs and careers in counseling and the mental health professions. This Concentration draws on the knowledge attained throughout the major, with a focus on the application of that content knowledge to such jobs and careers. Students attain an understanding of the client-therapist interaction, assessment and diagnosis, intervention and treatment, and various multicultural and ethical issues that come into play in working with clients.
The Capstone courses of PSY 330 Clinical and Counseling Psychology in combination with PSY 488 Field Placement, provide students with the initial knowledge and experience for pursuing a career or advanced training in clinical/counseling psychology and related professions.

This Concentration draws on students' knowledge pertaining to human behavior, as attained throughout the major, with a focus on applications of this knowledge toward working with clients in counseling and mental health settings. It synthesizes learned content pertaining to abnormal psychology, behavioral change, brain-behavior relationships, learning and cognition, personality, and social behavior. A fundamental element is that the Concentration considers individuals (and families) with respect to their role in society, with the intent of ultimately helping people better function in society, as well as the local cultures and units in which they live and work.

Please review this file for Clinical/Counseling Psychology Concentration: Clinical/Counseling Psychology Concentration.

A Second Major: If you are enrolled in another program at Colorado State University, and, by the time of graduation you can meet all the requirements of the psychology major in addition to the requirements of your designated major, your diploma will carry the indication of the second major in psychology.

Elective Coursework: You may choose various psychology courses as electives while majoring in any other department.  There is usually space for non-majors in a wide range of undergraduate course offerings.

Online: Our online psychology bachelor's degree features an innovative and well-rounded curriculum that carries a strong science and liberal arts influence and will help you develop a number of important skills required in a broad range of occupations. Skills such as written and oral communication, cooperation, and analytical and critical thinking, combined with a strong background in the sciences and liberal arts demonstrates versatility, giving you the ability to pursue a variety of career paths. Information on this degree is available here.

Faculty: The Department of Psychology has approximately 30 psychologists on its teaching staff, including several who are internationally known in their specialties. All hold the doctoral degree and their research, service, and teaching interests cover a wide range of topics.  Although part of their time is spent in research activities and in training graduate students, the department provides high-quality teaching and mentoring to undergraduates. Several faculty members have won awards for excellence in teaching.

Career Opportunities: About 40 percent of psychologists in the United States work in college and university settings. Clinics, hospitals and schools employ another 23 percent, while about 14 percent of America's psychologists work for governmental agencies. The rest are either self-employed or are associated with business and industry. For more information, please see our web page: "What can I do with a degree in psychology?"

The major work activities of psychologists consist of research, teaching, or psychotherapy and counseling, with many engaged in some combination of these activities. Some are involved in administrative or consulting work. What a given psychologist does depends on his or her specialty, training, interests and the work setting. Each year, a number of our seniors are accepted into graduate schools and begin a specialization in clinical, counseling, experimental, industrial/organizational or one of several other areas of psychology.

Although you will need an advanced degree to become a psychologist, many opportunities exist for graduates with a bachelor's degree in psychology, including working in mental health and other human service fields. Psychology may also be used as a background for careers in law enforcement or other positions in industry, public service, business, government and other professions.

The Psychology Major Requirements

General Requirements: The University has certain core courses that are required of all students regardless of their majors. These courses are called the All University Core Curriculum (AUCC). In addition to these core courses, the Department of Psychology has a program of study required for a Bachelors of Science Degree in Psychology. Both the AUCC core courses and psychology requirements are incorporated in the DARS system at Colorado State University (DARS can be viewed by logging into RamWeb) so that students have only one place to look for all their course requirements.

In order to receive a degree at Colorado State University, a student must complete a minimum of 120 credits that must include 42 upper division credits. Upper division credits are given for those courses numbered 300 or higher. A minimum of 30 credits has to be completed in residency at CSU. Basically, this means that if a student transfers into CSU from another university and transfers in enough credits to be close to the 120 required, they will still have to complete 30 credits here at CSU before a degree will be conferred. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in order to graduate.

Math and Composition Placement Exams

Math Placement Exam

The University requires all students to satisfactorily complete a minimum of three credits of math. The Department of Psychology requires students to complete the college algebra sequence MATH 117, MATH 118, MATH 124 (all three courses are for one credit each). Since college algebra is a prerequisite for other required courses, it is preferred that students complete the math during their first year. All students must successfully pass the Math Placement Exam before they will be allowed to register for any math course. Detailed instructions on how to prepare for the exam, times, and places can be found on the Math Department's web page.

Note: Three credits of math must be completed by the end of the sophomore year or the University will place a “Hold” on registration.

Composition Placement

Students who score 600 or higher on the SAT verbal or 26 or higher on the ACT English section of the exam are eligible to take CO150 (Intermediate College Composition) and should sign up for the course their first or second semester at Colorado State University.

Students who score lower than 600 on the SAT verbal or lower than 26 on the ACT English, must take the Composition Challenge Exam to be placed in a composition course.

For information regarding this exam visit this site, contact the English Department, Room 359 in the Eddy Building 491-6428 or Sue Russell at 491-1898.

Note: CO150 must be successfully completed by the end of the sophomore year or the University will place a “Hold” on registration.

Repeat/Delete Policy

The Repeat/Delete Policy is a one-time per course grading option that may be used by undergraduate students who want to repeat a course. For the most up-to-date information on the Repeat/Delete policy and to print out the mandatory form please visit this site.

Courses that Require a Grade of "C" or Higher

The Department of Psychology requires all psychology majors to obtain a minimum grade of “C” or higher in each of the following courses:

PSY 100 General Psychology
PSY 210 Psychology of the Individual in Context
PSY 250 Research Methods in Psychology
PSY 252 Mind, Brain, and Behavior
PSY401 History and Systems of Psychology
Three PSY lecture-lab pairings
PSY Upper Division Electives


- Files are in PDF format!

Please review this file of the course requirements for the Psychology Major: Psychology Majors Starting Fall 2009 or later.

Please review this file for Mind, Brain and Behavior concentration: Mind, Brain and Behavior concentration.

Please review this file for Industrial Organizational concentration: Industrial Organizational concentration.

Please review this file for Concentration in Addiction Counseling (CAC-I): Concentration in Addiction Counseling.

The DARS system at Colorado State University is designed to give student an up-to-date look at their completed course requirements. To access the DARS system, visit: Under the Records heading, click on Degree Audit Submit, or Degree Audit View to access the DARS system.

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