Major Requirements

The 2014-2015 academic catalog states that each psychology major is required to take 44 credits (within their major) from a core of courses plus electives. A student pursuing a psychology major is allowed a great amount of freedom in deciding what classes to take to fulfill the major requirements. Essentially, each student decides how to complete the major. However, students pursuing a psychology major must also follow a few set guidelines.

This section is designed to assist psychology majors in making decisions about what classes to take, and when to take them. It can work as a rough outline for the fulfillment of psychology major requirements at St. Ben's and St. John's.

Before we start, it is important to note that your advisor is of great importance throughout this process. It is an excellent idea to talk with him/her about what classes to take, and the appropriate time to take them. The psychology professors are very knowledgeable about the major's requirements, and most importantly, they know a great deal about what classes to take depending on what you want to do after graduation.


A student pursuing a degree in psychology must start with PSYC 111--Introduction to Psychology. Next, one should take PSYC 221--Applied Behavioral Statistics and then proceed to take PSYC 235--Research Methods. These three courses must be successfully completed prior to accemptance to the major; however, applications to the major will still be accepted under the condition that these courses will be successfully completed.

It is strongly recommended PSYC 111, PSYC 221, and PSYC 235 be completed, in this order, by the end of your sophomore year.  (Some students may find themselves ahead of this general schedule which is fine; it will just allow them more flexibility in class registration during their junior and senior years).  It is recommended that one should register for one other psychology class by the end of your sophomore year.  This is not completely necessary, but again, it will allow for more flexibility later.

When the above three courses have been successfully completed, or are in the process of being completed, one may start to take upper division psychology classes.  It is recommended you talk to your advisor if you have questions concerning your eligibility for a class. Page #5 of the handbook also contains additional useful information. In any case, it is important that the guidelines are followed very carefully.  The courses are categorized, and students need to be sure to take the specified amount from each category.

Graduation General Requirements, Scholastic Attainment

The number of credits required for graduation is 124 with a grade point average of 2.00 in the major and minor fields and overall. Of these, at least 40 credits must be earned in upper-division courses.

At least 45 of the 124 credits required for a degree must be earned from Saint Benedict's or Saint John's. At least half of the credits required for the major (and minor), excluding supporting courses, must be earned from Saint Benedict's or Saint John's.

(College of Saint Benedict & Saint John's University Academic Catalog 20011-2012, p. 4)

The following curriculum guidelines apply to students who began at CSB/SJU after the Fall 2003.


Required of all Majors:
PSYC-111: Introduction to Psychology
PSYC-221: Applied Behavioral Statistics
PSYC-235: Research Methods

Majors also need:
At least 12 credits from Group 1
At least 4 credits from Group 2
Plus electives for a total of 44 psychology credits

Group 1 Courses:
PSYC-230: Principles of Learning and Behavior
PSYC-330: Sensation and Perception
PSYC-331: Cognitive Processes
PSYC-340: Physiological Psychology
PSYC-350: Social Psychology

Group 2 Courses:
PSYC-392: History of Psychology
PSYC-393: Psychology Seminar
PSYC-396: Senior Research Project
PSYC-398: Senior All College Research Project
PSYC-399: Psychology Teaching Practicum


Special Requirements:

The department recommends that 111, 221, and 235 be taken in sequence during the first and second years. These courses are prerequisites for full acceptance to the major. Also, all 300-level courses require 111. Many 300-level courses also require 221 and 235 as prerequisites. The psychology department also engages in a process of annual assessment in which all majors are expected to participate.Descriptions for all courses in the psychology curriculum are printed in the course catalog. It is also a good idea to consult other students or one's advisor if you have questions about the content of a course.

Once one has completed PSYC 111--Introduction to Psychology one may take the following classes. However, these classes may not be available to first-year students or offered every semester. Students should check the appropriate academic catalog or class registration booklet for class prerequisites. 

221, 280, 304, 308, 309, 310, 320, 330, 331, 340, 342, 343, 345, 349, 350, 360, 363, 370, 381, 382

Once you have senior standing and a minimum of 20 credits in psychology you may choose from the following ("capstone") courses:

392, 393, 396, 398, 399 (Group 2 courses)

As one can see, the psychology major has structure and requirements, but it also allows students to choose the classes that they want to fulfill these requirements. However, because the psychology major is flexible, it is extremely important to keep track of which class fulfills what requirement and what classes you need to fulfill all requirements. Finally, and most importantly, plan ahead and talk to your advisor regularly.

For more details on the psychology major, please refer to the Psychology Student Handbook.