Course Planning Tools - Psychology (Bachelor of Science)

Courses Required for Your Program

The course list shows all prescribed and recommended courses for your program and includes abbreviations, descriptions, prerequisites, and credits for each course.

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.

Course Bulletin

Learn more about the requirements for your program by visiting the Penn State Undergraduate Bulletin.

Course Sequence

It is recommended that you follow the sequence below in order to complete the psychology degree program. Although it is not a prerequisite for the course, the psychology department believes that for you to be successful in PSYCH 301W, you should take PSYCH 105 first.

There are several psychology courses that have GQ or PSYCH prerequisites.  Recommended scheduling options for students are:

  • Semester 3: MATH 021 or GQ (You must have already completed MATH 004 or take the Math placement test and place into MATH 021.)
  • Semester 4: PSYCH 200 or STAT 200
  • Semester 5: PSYCH 105
  • Semester 6: PSYCH 301W
  • Semester 7: Open
  • Semester 8: PSYCH 490


It is important for you to understand which course prerequisites you must complete. Understanding the sequence in which you need to complete your courses can help with planning ahead so that you may graduate on time.

  • For PSYCH 105, the prerequisite is PSYCH 100.
  • For PSYCH 200-level courses, the prerequisite is PSYCH 100.
  • For PSYCH 301W, the prerequisites are PSYCH/STAT 200 AND PSYCH 100.
  • For PSYCH 490, the prerequisites are PSYCH 301W AND 6.0 credits of PSYCH 400-level courses.

Entrance to Major Requirements

If you do not meet the entrance to major (ETM) requirements, you will be placed in the pre-major of LA or LAS. To be entered into the psychology major, you must meet each of the following requirements:

  1. You must have completed 27.5 credits and be in degree status
  2. You must earn a "C"or better in the following courses:
  • PSYCH 100
  • STAT 200 or PSYCH 200
  • 3 credits in Quantification (Math)
  • 3 credits in Social and Behavioral Science (not including PSYCH 100)

Choosing Between PSYBA or PSYBS

The World Campus offers two programs leading to a baccalaureate degree. The basic difference between the two programs is that the PSYBS degree has the option for specific career areas, while the PSYBA degree represents a more typical degree in the Liberal Arts, which means acquiring a very broad education in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. This page provides an overview of the two programs.

PSYBA Requirements

All BA programs, including the PSYBA program, require you to complete what are called the "College Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements." These College BA requirements include 12 credits (by exam and/or courses) of a foreign language, 9 credits from the arts, humanities, social and behavioral sciences, natural sciences, or quantification, and 3 credits of other cultures. (These credits are beyond the credits required in the University's General Education requirements for the arts, humanities, social and behavioral sciences, and intercultural and international competence that must be completed to earn either the PSYBA or PSYBS degree.)

PSYBS Requirements

The PSYBS degree requires only that you had two years of a language in high school or at least a “C” in one language course at Penn State. Instead of the College BA requirements, the PSYBS program requires that you complete the business option.

Students who want to work in businesses typically choose the PSYBS degree. This option requires you to take additional supporting courses in the arts or humanities, natural sciences, and social and behavioral sciences. Visit the Department of Psychology website to view the list of approved supporting courses for the PSYBS option.

ENGL 202 Requirements

Another difference between the programs is that the PSYBS program specifically requires ENGL 202A (Writing in the Social Sciences), whereas PSYBA allows any of the ENGL 202 courses: 202A202B202C, or 202D.

Credit Requirements

Finally, there is no difference in the total credits required to complete either degree: The PSYBA degree and the PSYBS degree each require you to complete a minimum of 123 credits to graduate.

Note:The psychology department has compared the success of students completing both degrees. There does not seem to be a particular advantage for one degree over the other in terms of getting a job or going on to graduate or professional school. What is more important for your successful future is to take the more challenging, higher-level courses when you have a choice — and to do well in them.

Choosing Between CAS 100B and CAS 100C

CAS 100B is geared toward helping you enhance your group communication skill set. You will work with team members via video conferencing and communicating through email to complete group projects and presentations. CAS 100B is a great course if you want to further enhance your team-working skills.

CAS 100C is a course geared toward helping you supplement your individual presentation skills. This course has more writing assignments, and you will also have to complete individual speeches.

Scheduling Controlled Courses

Many of the psychology courses have controls, which means that you cannot schedule them using eLion. This is to ensure that only World Campus psychology majors are enrolling in the courses. If you contact your adviser prior to your first day of scheduling, you will be granted permission in the registration system, so that when you call to schedule, it will be a quick process. If you do not contact your adviser in advance, Student Enrollment Services will need to get permission from an adviser before you can be scheduled in the course. It is strongly advised you contact your adviser at your earliest convenience, as course seats do tend to fill up fairly quick.

Once you are in the psychology major, you will be able to register for the majority of your psychology courses through eLion. The exception to this is PSYCH 490. All students must call Student Enrollment Services to enroll in this course. They can be reached at 800-252-3592.


If you have questions about course planning, please contact your academic advisor. If you do not know who your academic advisor is, please fill out the advising contact form