Undergraduate Programs Overview
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Planning Your Coursework
All psychology students begin with general psychology (PSYCH 105). One lecture course serves as a full introduction to the science of behavior. This course is required for all majors and minors.
Statistics and research methodology are basic tools needed by all psychology majors. PSYCH 200 (Statistical Principles) provides an introduction to probability theory and descriptive and inferential statistics as they are used in behavioral sciences. It is required of all majors. PSYCH 302, which teaches basic principles of research design and methodology, should be taken after PSYCH 200..
The coursework at the 200 level is designed to introduce you to specific areas of psychology and to prepare you for more advanced study in these areas. The only prerequisite for these courses is a background in general psychology (105).
Plan ahead; consider the more advanced coursework that you wish to take and plan to fulfill prerequisites early. With rare exceptions, courses at the 200 level are offered at least once a year and sometimes during the summer as well.
View your options to complete a major in the Department of Psychology.
What Should I Minor In?
The choice of your minor is a very important one, and should not be made simply on the basis of convenience (i.e., what hours you have already, accumulated). Your minor should complement the psychology major, so that together they help you toward your personal and career objectives. The choice of a minor should be discussed early with an advisor in the department.
If you are pursuing a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree, you must have a minor in or distributed among Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Evolutionary Anthropology, Mathematics, or Physics. A minor in any other department in the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) is compatible with the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree. The requirements for a minor within a single department are defined by that department. Students intending to pursue graduate study in psychology are encouraged (but not required) to earn a B.S.
A distributed minor is an option that may be used toward either a B.A. or B.S. degree when a combination of courses from different departments better serves the student's career objectives and overall program of education than does a minor in a single department. A student must present a petition to the Undergraduate advisor as early as possible and no later than two semesters prior to planned graduation. The petition will be forwarded to the Associate Chair for final approval. The distributed minor requires at least 30 hours of coursework taken in two or more A&S approved departments. At least one advanced (300 or above) course must be taken in each department to be included in the distributed minor. See the Distributed Minor Petition Form for details on how to complete the form.
The coursework must fit together into a coherent plan, and you must be able to justify to the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Education and the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences how the minor supports your major in psychology. If you are pursuing a B.S., the minor must be distributed among evolutionary anthropology, biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, or physics. For a B.A., the minor may be distributed among any A&S approved departments. A grade of C or better must be earned in all coursework to be counted toward a minor.
Understanding the course numbering system
Courses at the 300 and 400 levels are for advanced study in specialization areas within psychology. Most of these require a prerequisite course at the 200 level, and some have an optional advanced lab to accompany them. A few courses at this level are offered every semester (331, 332), but most are offered once a year or less. Information about when courses are offered is available from the Student Advisor (Do not rely on semester listings in the UNM Catalog. Although we try to follow these, there are frequent changes.)
You can find courses in a particular specialty by noticing the middle number of the listing, which tells you the area of psychology with which the course is primarily concerned. The middle-number code is as follows:
- 0 Basic Psychology, Quantitative Psychology & Methodology
- 1 Applied Psychology
- 2 Developmental Psychology
- 3 Clinical Psychology and Personality Psychology
- 4 Behavioral Neuroscience
- 5 Special Topics
- 6 Cognitive Psychology/Learning
- 7 Social Psychology
- 9 Advanced Individual Topics, Honors
For example, PSYCH 240 (Brain and Behavior) has a "4" in the middle and therefore is a course in the area of Psychobiology and Neuroscience. Similarly, PSYCH 332 (Abnormal Behavior) is a Clinical Psychology course.