Resources for Psychology Majors Heading link
Find important information that will assist you with course registration, possible career paths, awards and scholarships, and much more!
Program (Degree) Requirements
Learn more about the degree requirements for each major offered by the department. To earn a Bachelor’s degree in LAS from UIC, students are required to complete university, college, and department degree requirements.
A minor is structured very similar to the major in psycholoy, with the exception that fewer courses are required.
High Departmental Distinction
In addition to completing the degree requirements for either the BS, Major in Psychology or BA, Major in Applied Psychology, the candidate for High Departmental Distinction must meet the requirements for Departmental Distinction. The candidate must also complete PSCH 443 and either one additional laboratory course in psychology (PSCH 313, PSCH 321, PSCH 331, PSCH 333, PSCH 351, PSCH 353, PSCH 361, PSCH 363, PSCH 367) or 3 hours of PSCH 396. The actual awarding of distinction is made when credentials are evaluated for graduation.
Highest Departmental Distinction
In addition to completing the degree requirements for either the BS, Major in Psychology or BA, Major in Applied Psychology, the candidate for Highest Departmental Distinction must meet the requirements for Departmental Distinction. The candidate must also complete PSCH 443 and an independent research project in PSCH 399 (3 credits), under the supervision of a faculty advisor.
The proposal for a Highest Distinction independent research project should be submitted to the Psychology Department Advising Office after approval by the faculty advisor and the Director of Undergraduate Studies. The student’s final report of the independent research project must be reviewed by the Departmental Reading Committee. The form for proposing this project is available in the Psychology Department Advising Office and online. The actual awarding of distinction is made when credentials are evaluated for graduation.
Contact your academic advisor to learn more about beginning this process.
University Degree Requirements
UIC has several degree requirements that apply to all students pursuing an undergraduate degree, regardless of major. University degree requirements serve as minimum standards; many colleges set higher standards than the minimum required by the university. A student must always fulfill the degree requirements outlined by the major college.
University degree requirements bring a level of consistency and quality to all undergraduate degrees awarded at UIC. By setting standards that are met or exceeded by the colleges, the university ensures the integrity of all the degrees it awards.
University degree requirements include the following:
- General Education Requirements (see the General Education section of the catalog)
- Grade Point Average Requirement
- Enrollment Residence Requirement
- Semester Hour Requirement
The minimum university degree requirements are outlined below. Important Note: Students should consult their college section of the catalog for specific information on how to meet the degree requirements set by the college.
Course Descriptions and Prerequisites
Learn more about the courses being offered by the Department of Psychology at UIC. Be sure to read each course description thoroughly to ensure you enroll in the proper lecture/discussion sections, are meeting the elective requirements, or understand what prerequisite courses must be competed prior to registering.
View the 2021-2023 Undergraduate Catalog here.
If you are looking for old course syllabi you will find them here!
Departmental Approval for Course Registration
Departmental Approval is a procedure in the online registration system to assure that students have the appropriate declared major or prerequisites to take a specific course. Students can discover if Departmental Approval is required, because the need for approval is listed in the Online Schedule of Courses. If students attempt to register without having first obtained electronic departmental approval, students will be unable to register and will receive the error message Departmental Approval Required. Requests for departmental approval may be made by filling out this web-based form.
Departmental Approval is used for the following reasons, which will vary depending on the particular case:
- To ensure students have taken the required prerequisite courses and in the appropriate order. For instance, certain courses can not be taken concurrently.
- To make sure students have selected the appropriate course based on their major.
- For example, only Applied Psychology students are eligible to take PSCH 385 (internship).
- To assist students who have double majors with psychology as their second or third major. Please note that when a students’ first major is not psychology, any course that has a declared major as a requirement can not be registered for without department approval.
- To verify prerequisites taken at another college or university.
- To confirm prerequisites taken in another department (i.e.- Sociology 300 taken in place of PSCH 242 with approval, as a prerequisite for PSCH 343).
- To hold a course closed if it is over-enrolled. Please note seats may appear available, but in actuality the seat is being held for a graduating student.
In the case of PSCH 100: these sections are not approved yet for any student and will show an enrollment of ‘0’. The Departmental Approval is used to hold the course pending opening. This course does not require an actual approval to enroll so a request for approval is unnecessary. That is, if the section is opened, it will be opened to all students. So, if you see a ‘0’ for enrollment, do not e-mail for approval but do e-mail to express your interest in an additional course being made available if the other sections are already full.
Career and Post-Graduate Opportunities
Before you complete your degree we want you to have a plan in place. While we encourage all of our students to utilize the UIC Career Center, we’ve taken the initiative to put together some resources that will assist you with post-graduate opportunities.
What can you do with a degree in Psychology? UIC LAS Career Snaps
UIC Careers – Resume, Cover Letters, LinkedIn and more!
Career advice from an Alumna
Thinking about Graduate School?
Take a look at these resources to help you with your graduate school inquiries. Some people get a job with a B.A. in Psychology. Others go on to seek higher degrees. Graduate study in psychology is a big decision and commitment and is not to be taken lightly. By taking on an advanced degree you are aiming for a higher level professional career and you will be putting yourself to the test academically, financially, and mentally. You may ask yourself: “What should I go for, a Masters or a Ph.D.”? The most important question though is: ” What do you want to be?” This will inform the kind of advanced degree you need to pursue. Another important question is: “Did you enjoy undergraduate studies, reading, and writing papers under pressure?” If the answer is “no,” graduate school is probably not for you.
- Free GRE Test Prep (Graduate Records Exam for Graduate School Admission)
What You Will Need Before Applying to Graduate School
Program requirements will differ depending on institution, length of degree, prestige and competition. You will need to check each program individually to see what is expected. The following is a typical list of things they will require:
- A BA in Psychology.
- Optimistically, a minimum of 3.0 GPA overall; realistically, at least 3.4.
- At least 3 letters of recommendation from professors who can write a detailed, positive letter about your academic skills. Here is a link to what Professor Bette Bottoms (the former Director of Undergraduate Studies) requires of students requesting a recommendation letter from her Recommendation Requirements . This can be taken as a good guide for any professor you might approach.
- High GRE scores (on the verbal and quantutative subtests); sometimes also the Subject test in Psychology. This is often crucial, and necessitates much study and practice. Start practicing and studying early!
- An articulate statement of purpose for each program you will apply to. Please read our former Director of Undergraduate Studies’ essay on writing a compelling personal statement here.
- A desire to work with specific faculty members in a particular program or a very coherent argument about why the program is a good fit for you.
- Research experience: good for any program, especially PhD programs.
- Real world work or volunteer experience in social service related areas, if interested in the therapeutic path.
What to Look for in a Graduate Program
- Good fit is this what you really want to study and the way to study it?
- Faculty with whom you want to work with and whose research interests match yours
- Realistic admission requirements (GPA/GRE minimums)
- Level of financial support-general affordability
- Is the locale affordable to live and study in?
- Is financial aid provided automatically if accepted, or is it competitive?
- What is the nature of that aid?
- Assistant Instructorship (Teaching Assistantship)
- Graduate Assistantship
- Research Assistantship
- Testimonials and statistics about career achievements of graduates
- Facilities of campus/institution
- Geographical location
More detailed support in regard to these questions and concerns can be had by making an appointment with the Undergraduate Advisor or the Director of Undergraduate Studies. We can help you navigate your search for a good matching program and the process of seeking admission. We have a small but growing library of reference books on topics such as graduate admission (completing applications, cultivating letters of reference, writing a personal statement etc,.) and career paths (What to study to have the career you want!). The reference library is located in the Undergraduate Advisors office and the books are available for brief loans to students.
Take a look at some of these additional resources that will assist you with your academics, leadership development, networking, and securing funding for your education.
- UIC Student Academic Grievance Policy
- UIC Student Resources
- American Psychological Association Resources
Nancy Hirschberg Memorial Prize for Undergraduate Excellence in Psychology
Two awards established in memorial of Nancy Hirschberg, a former faculty member, are available for Psychology majors. The deadline for applications this year is October 21, 2022.
- The first is an annual prize for the best paper or report written by an undergraduate in Psychology 397 (independent study), 399 (independent research), or in one of the laboratory courses. Nominations for the Hirschberg Prize are made by faculty members. Eligible papers should be the work of one undergraduate (that is, projects planned and/or carried out by groups of students are not eligible) and may be either reports of empirical research or integrative reviews of previously published research. Winners are announced at the Awards Banquet and given a cash prize.
- The second is the Nancy Hirschberg Memorial Grant for Undergraduate Research. It is awarded annually to support excellent undergraduate research in the field of Psychology. The application will consist of (a) a letter of support from the faculty advisor, and (b) a research proposal, budget, and budget justification of 1500 words or less. Award decisions will be made by a committee of two faculty members appointed by the Director of Undergraduate Studies. The committee will have discretion over the number and dollar amount of grants awarded in any given year. That decision, however, shall be guided by the principle of encouraging high quality research from the largest number of undergraduates.
To learn more about this prize, please connect with your academic advisor.
BA in Applied Psychology v. BS in Psychology Heading link
|BA in Applied Psychology||Credit Hours: 36 Required Courses: ENGL 161, MATH 090 118 or the equivalent, PSCH 100, 242, 343, 340, and 385 Required Categories: bio-based and psycho-social based PSCH, PSCH 381, 382, and 386 *Students must take one course from the category, a full list can be found in the course catalog.||The Applied Psychology degree program is designed to equip students with the necessary hands-on knowledge and skills needed to begin graduate programs in psychology in a field requiring licensure for interpersonal intervention. Some students also apply for Post-Baccalaureate programs to assist them with cultivating the necessary skills needed to gain admission into graduate programs.|
|BS in Psychology||Credit Hours: 28 Required Courses: ENGL 161, MATH 090 or MATH 118 or the equivalent, PSCH 100, 242, and 343 Required Categories: Writing in the Discipline, bio-based and psycho-social based PSCH||The BS in Psychology degree is most beneficial for students who have a pre-heath educational goal, those who plan to work outside the field of psychology, students who are determine to complete their degree without additional time constraints, and those who are already working full time in a field related to psychology.|