Our program's curriculum is designed around the foundations of psychological theory and application. By forming a broad understanding of psychology — from social, biological, clinical, cultural, developmental, and ethical points of view — students learn to respect the complexities of human behavior. A careful examination of behavioral science in the context of the liberal arts helps students form a comprehensive base for a wide variety of professions or to pursue a graduate degree in many fields of study, including psychology, law, education, and medicine.

Major in Psychology

The psychology major is designed for students who desire to learn the fundamentals of behavioral science within the context of a traditional liberal arts education. Students receive a comprehensive exposure to the foundations of psychological theory and application and are introduced to laboratory and field research. The psychology major prepares students for a wide variety of professional and business careers, and it provides the necessary foundation for graduate study in psychology or related disciplines.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • demonstrate familiarity with the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in psychology
  • respect and use critical thinking, skeptical inquiry and a scientific approach to understanding human behavior and psychological processes
  • understand and apply basic research methods in psychology, including research design, data analysis, and interpretation
  • apply psychological theory, methodology and findings to develop a greater understanding of the whole person, as an individual and as a member of a large community, society, and culture
  • will be able to communicate psychological information effectively in a variety of formats
  • recognize, understand, and respect the complexity of sociocultural and international diversity

Major in Psychology Honors Program

Students majoring in psychology may be eligible to graduate with the designation Honors in Psychology.

Additional Requirements

  • GPA in psychology and overall GPA are 3.5 or higher.
  • Completion of PSYC 498 Thesis Development Seminar and 499 Honors Thesis Seminar.
  • Oral presentation

PSYC 498 and PSYC 499 are a two-course sequence for high achieving and highly motivated psychology majors, which will give them hands-on experience in generating, conducting, analyzing and communicating the results of empirical psychological research. The program is completed in the following sequence:

  1. PSYC 498, proposal development and IRB application (Spring, junior year)
  2. PSYC 499, data gathering and thesis writing (Fall, senior year)
  3. oral presentation (Spring, senior year)

Honors Program in the Humanities

All Psychology students are eligible to apply for participation in the Honors Program in the Humanities.

Research Labs

Psychology majors gain hands-on experience through research courses or participate in faculty research labs as student assistants.


The psychology practicum provides an opportunity for service learning in a variety of community settings relevant to psychology, including hospitals, mental health, and residential treatment centers, skilled nursing facilities, school classrooms, homeless shelters, preschool and daycare centers, research labs, and locally based non-profit organizations.

Each student volunteers in an agency and experiences the application of psychology in the real world. Students meet weekly over the course of the semester with their instructor to discuss course readings and share their experiences in the fieldwork settings.

Program taught in:

See 9 more programs offered by University of San Francisco »

Last updated September 11, 2018
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 2019
By locations
By date
Start Date
Sep 2019
End Date
Application deadline

Sep 2019

Application deadline
End Date

12 Reasons to Love USF