Psychology is a science that provides critical insights into human behavior. Psychologists investigate how behavior is modified in the face of psychiatric disorders or disease and how the brain gives rise to the rich tapestry of behaviors that govern our day-to-day experiences.
A psychology major gives you much career flexibility because of its emphasis on reasoning, problem solving, critical thinking, communication, research and writing. In addition to becoming a counselor or therapist, many students go into human resources, sales, marketing, business management, law, medicine, social work, real estate, social services, and more – all fields that require comprehensive knowledge of human behavior.
Many students go on to graduate school to pursue specialized training. This may lead to a career as a counselor, therapist, or research scientist. In most states, a master's degree is required to become a licensed practitioner. At UWM, our Psychology major can be tailored: the Bachelor of Arts route is ideal for students planning a career in human services while the Bachelor of Science route focuses on neuroscience and is well-suited for students looking to go into a graduate research program or medical school.
The version of the major that leads to a Bachelor of Arts can be completed entirely on-line if that is desired.
Psychology students at UWM have a distinct advantage – they can participate in research as undergraduates, sometimes even as soon as freshman year. In psychology labs, students work directly with faculty and graduate students on their current research projects, and sometimes contribute as co-authors to peer-reviewed presentations or publications. In addition, a number of psychology students complete Field Placements. The Field Placement is similar to an internship and permits students to step out of the traditional classroom setting and volunteer with a community organization that has a mission consistent with the psychology degree. In each case, our students acquire fundamental skills, have opportunities to explore and refine their interests, and establish meaningful connections that permit them to make informed decisions about their future pursuits.
Psychology Major Requirements
The Department of Psychology offers a major in psychology leading to either the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree. Except for an advanced natural science credit requirement for the BS, the psychology requirements for the BS and BA degrees are the same; however, students should check the general requirements for the degree (e.g., general education requirements) carefully as they differ for the BA and BS. Students opting for the BS will need to complete at least 30 credits in approved advanced L&S natural science courses, at least 15 of which must be completed in Psychology.
Complete 120 credits including 90 credits in the College of Letters & Science and with 36 of the 90 credits in L&S upper-level (numbered above 300) courses and 30 of those 36 credits in designated Advanced Natural Science courses. The College requires that students must complete in residence at UWM at least 15 credits in upper-division (numbered 300 or above) courses in their major. Students are also required to complete University-wide General Education Requirements and the specific L&S requirements listed below.
To complete a major, students must satisfy all the requirements of the major as stated in this catalog. Students who declare their majors within five years of entering the UW System as a degree candidate may satisfy the requirements outlined in any catalog issued since the time they entered. Credits used to satisfy the major also may be used to satisfy other degree requirements.
University General Education Requirements (GER)
|Oral and Written Communication
|Achieve a grade of C or better in the following course:
|College Writing and Research (or equivalent)
|Course designated as OWC-B; may be completed through a major-specific course requirement
|Earn at least 3 credits with a grade of C or higher in one of the following courses or an equivalent course, or achieve a placement code of at least 30 on the mathematics placement test (or other appropriate test, as determined by the Mathematical Sciences Department)
|Mathematical Literacy for College Students II
|Contemporary Applications of Mathematics
|Introduction to College Algebra
|Algebraic Literacy II
|Introduction to Logic - Critical Reasoning 1
or PHILOS 111
|Introduction to Logic - Critical Reasoning
Or equivalent course
|Course designated as QL-B; may be completed through a major-specific course requirement
|Select 3 credits
|Select 6 credits
|Select 6 credits
|Select 6 credits (At least two courses including one lab)
|UWM Foreign Language Requirement
|Complete Foreign Language Requirement through:
Two years (high school) of a single foreign language
Two semesters (college) of a single foreign language
|UWM Cultural Diversity Requirement
|One course from the Arts, Humanities, or Social Sciences must also satisfy UWM's Cultural Diversity requirement
Math 111 and Philosophy 111 are jointly offered and count as repeats of one another. Students cannot receive credit for both courses.
College of Letters & Science Requirements
I. English Composition Requirement
Students must satisfy the English Composition Requirement with one of the following options:
1) Completing ENGLISH 102 with a grade of C or higher; or
2) placing beyond English 102 on the English Placement Test (EPT) (or other assessment as determined by the English Department); or
3) transferring a course of at least 2.5 equivalent credits from another institution that is equivalent to English 102, or a UWM higher-level expository writing course, with a grade of C or higher.
Note: This requirement is the same as the University General Education Requirement for Oral and Written Communication Part A. The College of Letters & Science does not have a specific requirement for a writing course beyond English 102, but students must complete the university-wide requirement for Oral and Written Communication Part B listed above.
II. Mathematics and Formal Reasoning
To satisfy the Mathematics and Formal Reasoning Requirement, Bachelors of Sciences degree students must satisfy the following two requirements:
1. Complete one of the following courses or an equivalent course:
|Survey in Calculus and Analytic Geometry I
|Calculus with Life Sciences Applications
|Honors Calculus I
|Calculus and Analytic Geometry I
2. Complete one course (at least 3 credits) at the 200 level or above chosen from courses in Mathematics, PHILOS 211, or Letters and Science statistics courses:
|Complete one of the following:
3 or more credits in any 200-level or above Math course
|Introduction to Statistics in African and African Diaspora Studies
|Introduction to Anthropological Statistics
|Quantitative Analysis in Geography
|The Quantitative Analysis of Historical Data
|Elementary Statistical Analysis
|Political Data Analysis
|Introduction to Statistical Thinking in Sociology
Note: This requirement is NOT the same as the University General Education Requirement for Quantitative Literacy Part B. To complete the BS, students must take one of the L&S approved courses. Not all of the courses listed here will satisfy the QL-B requirement.
III. Foreign Language Requirement
Two courses (minimum of 6 credits) in a language (including American Sign Language) other than English at the 100 level or above are required.
Placement testing may be used to satisfy all or part of this requirement. Language courses (including American Sign Language) other than English taken in high school may be used to satisfy all or part of this requirement. One year of high school language equates to one semester of college work.
Completion of the L&S Language Requirement also satisfies the university-wide Foreign Language GER, but not vice versa.
IV. International Requirement
See Approved Courses for the L&S International Requirement for course options.
|Completed in one of the following ways:
Complete 3 courses (min. 9 cr) in a single foreign language (not including literature-in-translation or American Sign Language) at the 3rd semester level and above
Complete 3 non-language courses (min. 9 credits) with an international content chosen from at least 2 curricular areas.
Complete 9 credits in combination of the two options above.
V. Breadth Requirement
Along with completing the University General Education Requirements of 3 credits in the Arts (A); 6 credits in the Humanities (HU), Social Sciences (SS), and Natural Sciences (NS/NS+); and a course with the Cultural Diversity (CD/+) designation, L&S students must complete the Breadth requirement.
|Select 3 credits
|Complete 12 credits of L&S courses with Humanities Breadth designation; no more than 6 credits from a single subject area. *
|Complete 12 credits of L&S Courses with Social Science Breadth designation; no more than 6 credits from a single curricular area. *
|Complete 12 credits of L&S Courses with Natural Sciences Breadth designation, including laboratory or field courses from three different curricular areas. *
|Complete 3 credits in a course with Cultural Diversity (CD) designation. **
Students should check their course selections carefully with the list of approved L&S Breadth Courses. Students are advised to select at least 6 credits worth of courses in each of the Humanities, Social Science, and Natural Sciences areas that can satisfy both the campus-wide General Education Requirements and the L&S Breadth requirement.
Students are advised to select a course that satisfies the Cultural Diversity requirement as well as a Humanities or Social Science breadth/GER requirement.
VI. The Major
The College requires that students attain at least a 2.0 GPA in all credits in the major attempted at UWM. In addition, students must attain a 2.0 GPA on all major credits attempted, including any transfer work. Individual departments or programs may require higher GPAs for graduation. Some departmental majors require courses from other departments. Contact your major department for information on whether those credits will count as part of the major GPA. The College requires that students must complete in residence at UWM at least 15 credits in upper-division (numbered 300 or above) courses in their major.
Within their majors, students must complete a research experience approved by the L&S faculty. A list of courses satisfying the research requirement in each major can be found here.
VII. The Minor
The College requires that students attain at least a 2.0 GPA in all credits in the minor attempted at UWM. In addition, students must attain a 2.0 GPA on all minor credits attempted, including any transfer work. Individual departments or programs may require higher GPAs for graduation.
Declaring the Major
To be accepted as a major in psychology, students must have completed PSYCH 101 and 15 university credits.
Psychology Major Requirements
The College of Letters and Science requires that students attain at least a 2.0 GPA on all credits in the major attempted at UWM. In addition, students must attain a 2.0 GPA on all major credits attempted, including any transfer work. The undergraduate major consists of at least 32 credits in psychology, at least 15 of them at the advanced level (300 or above) taken in residence at UWM, including the following core courses:
|Introduction to Psychology
|Select one of the following:
Or other statistics course as approved by department
|Research Methods in Psychology
|Select one of the following:
|Current Topics in Psychology:
|Introduction to Conditioning and Learning
|Social Psychology: Psychological Perspectives
|Select one of the following:
Select one advanced laboratory course and four Systems and Foundations courses (16 credits)
Select two advanced laboratory courses and three Systems and Foundations courses (17 credits)
The College of Letters and Science requires that students complete a research experience in their major. The Department of Psychology has structured its advanced laboratory courses to satisfy that requirement. In these laboratory courses, students run multiple experiments, collect and analyze data quantitatively, and write up the results in a standard journal article format, integrating the results with a critical survey of relevant professional literature. The Systems and Foundations courses are non-laboratory, upper-level courses designed to provide in-depth knowledge on specific topics in psychology. Students are welcome to take additional Systems and Foundations courses as electives.
|Applied Behavior Analysis
|Conditioning and Learning
|Advanced Physiological Psychology
|Experimental Child Psychology
|Experimental Social Psychology
The following courses offered by other academic units may be used to fulfill requirements of the undergraduate major in psychology:
|BIO SCI 455
|Cellular, Molecular and Developmental Neurobiology
|BUS ADM 442
Letters & Science Advising
During your time at UWM, you may have multiple members of your success team, including advisors, peer mentors, and success coaches. Letters and Science students typically work with at least two different types of advisors as they pursue their degrees: professional College Advisors and Faculty Advisors. L&S College Advisors advise across your entire degree program while departmental Faculty Advisors focus on the major.
College Advisors are located in Holton Hall and serve as your primary advisor. They are your point person for your questions about navigating college and completing your degree. College Advisors will:
- assist you in defining your academic and life goals;
- help you create an educational plan that is consistent with those goals;
- assist you in understanding curriculum, major and degree requirements for graduation, as well as university policies and procedures;
- provide you with information about campus and community resources and refer you to those resources as appropriate; and
- monitor your progress toward graduation and completion of requirements.
Faculty Advisors mentor students in the major and assist them in maximizing their development in the program. You will begin working with a Faculty Advisor when you declare your major. Faculty Advisors are an important partner and will:
- help you understand major requirements and course offerings in the department;
- explain opportunities for internships and undergraduate research and guide you in obtaining those experiences; and
- serve as an excellent resource as you consider potential graduate programs and career paths in your field.
Students are encouraged to meet with both their College Advisor and Faculty Advisor at least once each semester. Appointments are available in-person, by phone or by video.
Currently enrolled students should use the Navigate website to make an appointment with your assigned advisor or call (414) 229-4654 if you do not currently have an assigned Letters & Science advisor. Prospective students who haven't enrolled in classes yet should call (414) 229-7711 or email email@example.com.
Honors in the Major
Psychology majors who meet the following criteria are awarded Honors in the Major:
- A 3.000 cumulative GPA on all credits attempted;
- A 3.500 GPA on all credits that count toward the major; and
- A 3.500 GPA on all advanced credits that count toward the major.
College of Letters and Science Dean's Honor List
GPA of 3.750 or above, earned on a full-time student's GPA on 12 or more graded credits in a given semester.
Honors College Degree and Honors College Degree with Distinction
Granted to graduating seniors who complete Honors College requirements, as listed in the Honors College section of this site.
Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.500 or above, based on a minimum of 40 graded UWM credits earned prior to the final semester, will receive all-university commencement honors and be awarded the traditional gold cord at the December or May Honors Convocation. Please note that for honors calculation, the GPA is not rounded and is truncated at the third decimal (e.g., 3.499).
Earned on a minimum of 60 graded UWM credits: Cum Laude - 3.500 or above; Magna Cum Laude - 3.650 or above; Summa Cum Laude - 3.800 or above.