University General Course Catalog 2020-2021 
    May 28, 2023  

Psychology (Research Specialization), B.A.

Undergraduate students in the Department of Psychology are encouraged and able to participate in the scholarly and applied work of psychology at many different levels – from taking a wide variety of psychology courses (most of which are taught by Ph.D.-holding faculty members) to actively participating in research laboratories to working in one of our many applied projects. We provide a tremendous breadth of training to our students, preparing them well for graduate school and careers in psychology.

The psychology major research specialization is targeted for students who plan to continue with graduate studies in psychology. Students must take a wider variety of courses that are either required or greatly desired by graduate school admission committees.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • demonstrate familiarity with the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings and historic trends in psychology.
  • demonstrate an appreciation for the relevance of psychology to human affairs, and an ability to think critically and analytically about how psychological matters relate to day-to-day human affairs.
  • display effective written and oral communicative skills.
  • show diversity awareness by clearly demonstrating that they recognize, understand, and respect community diversity.

Contact Information

438 Mack Social Science
(775) 784-6828

College of Science Academic Advisors:

Transfer to the University of Nevada, Reno

Use the transfer agreement  and the degree planner (available by clicking Print degree planner icon at the top right of this page) to build your plan for graduation with your advisor. Course substitutions not identified on the transfer agreement require UNR advisor approval.

If a major-to-major transfer agreement is not available for your transfer institution, please check the General Core agreement  if available. If neither is available, access Transferology to assist in your planning.

Graduation Requirements

Total Units: 120
Cumulative GPA: 2.0
University GPA: 2.0
Major GPA: 2.0
Residency Requirement: 30 Upper-Division Units at UNR
Major Residency Requirement: 15 Upper-Division Units in the major at UNR
Upper-Division Requirement: 40 Upper-Division Units
Half Program Units/4 Year Institution: 60 Units

I. Core General Education Requirements (24-27 units)

NOTE: Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter of this catalog for information regarding  the “Core English and Math Completion Policy  .”

Students in this major must meet all Core Objectives (CO1 through CO14). Courses satisfying Core Objectives are designated (e.g., CO9) in General Catalog curricula and course descriptions.

A. Composition & Communication; Critical Analysis & Use of Information (3-6 units) - CO1, CO3

B. Quantitative Reasoning (3 units minimum) - CO2

Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter for a list of approved CO2 courses .

C. Physical & Natural Phenomena (6 units minimum) - CO4, CO4L

Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter for a list of approved CO4/CO4L courses .

D. Cultures, Societies, & Individuals (3 units) - CO6

E. Artistic Composition, Interpretation, & Expression (3 units) - CO7

Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter for a list of approved CO7 courses .

F. History & Culture; Constitution (6 units) - CO5, CO8

Refer to the Core Curriculum   chapter in this catalog.

II. Additional Core Requirements (6 units maximum)

Students must take courses that satisfy the following Core Objectives. Some or all of these Core Objectives may be satisfied in the Major Requirements (Section IV).  Refer to the Core Curriculum  chapter in this catalog.

A. Science, Technology & Society Course - CO9

B. Diversity & Equity Course - CO10

Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter for a list of approved CO10 courses . (Major Requirement courses may satisfy CO10) 

C. Global Context Course - CO11

Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter for a list of approved CO11 courses .

D. Ethics Course - CO12

E. Capstone Integration & Synthesis Course - CO13

The following courses count in the Major Requirement:

F. Application Course - CO14

III. Additional College Requirements (0-14 units)

Units may vary depending on initial course placement in foreign language coursework.

A. Foreign Language (0-14 units)

Successful completion of the foreign language requirement may be accomplished through one of four options:

  1. complete a fourth semester college course in a foreign language or in American Sign Language;
  2. demonstrate proficiency through placement examination or other means determined by the Department of World Languages and Literatures, including minimum CBAPE, SAT II, or IB scores
  3. show transcript evidence of successful completion of four years of high school coursework in the same foreign language; or
  4. participate in a Studies Abroad program pre-approved by the college to meet the foreign language requirement.

IV. Major Requirements–Research Specialization (37 units)

Students may enter the program at any time, but must have and then maintain a minimum 3.0 grade-point average in psychology. Courses in the major may not be taken pass-fail. Students must maintain a 2.75 overall grade-point average. 

A. Introductory Requirements (10 units)

B. Content Area (15 units)

Select one course (3 units each) from each content area:

D. Electives (9 units)

Except for introductory courses ( PSY 101  or PSY 240  ) and PSY 210 , all psychology course, not already used to meet a requirement above, may be considered an elective. 

At least 21 units in the major field must be upper-division.

V. Minor Requirements (18-21 units)

The Psychology Department accepts any minor approved by the College of Liberal Arts.

VI. Electives (9-29 units)

VII. Recommended Schedule–Research Specialization

This is a possible sequence of courses. Please review this with an advisor to make sure you are making the best scheduling choices for yourself.

A. First Year

Fall Semester (16 units)

  • Prerequisite Core English  (3 units) *
  • Quantitative Reasoning (3 units) CO2*
  • First Semester Foreign Language (4 units)
  • Artistic Composition, Interpretation, & Expression (3 units) CO7
  • (3 units) CO6

  • NOTE: * English and Math course placement is based on test scores. Please consult the Core Curriculum  chapter in this catalog.

Spring Semester (16-17 units)

B. Second Year

Fall Semester (15-16 units)

Spring Semester (15 units)

C. Third Year

Fall Semester (16 units)

  • (4 units) CO9, CO14 (pending CO9, CO14 approval) 
  • PSY Content Area Course (3 units)
  • PSY Direct Learning (3 units)
  • Minor (3 units)
  • Diversity & Equity Course (3 units) CO10

Spring Semester (15 units)

  • PSY Content Area Course (3 units)
  • PSY Context Area Course (3 units)(choose a CO13 course)
  • PSY Elective (3 units) 
  • Minor (6 units)

D. Fourth Year

Fall Semester (13 units)

  • PSY Elective (3 units)
  • Global Context Course (3 units) CO11
  • Minor (3 units)
  • General Elective (4 units)

Spring Semester (12-14 units)

  • PSY Elective (3 units)
  • Minor (3 units)
  • General Electives (6-8 units)