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Psychology Degree - Bachelor of Arts

Degree Information

Psychology majors learn about human behavior from a variety of theoretical and applied orientations—both traditional and contemporary. The major is designed for you if you plan on pursuing graduate school, or if you plan to enter a career in psychology or the human services following your bachelor’s degree work. Emphasis is placed on developing the ability to understand and apply research design and to evaluate psychological concepts and applications. You will conduct your own empirical or scholarly research in preparation for graduate study, and as a means to demonstrate good evidence-based practice skills. You also may choose to work in internship settings as a way to learn more about applications of psychology in human service agencies or other settings. As a psychology major or minor, you are encouraged to seek advising on all aspects of your future career from the psychology faculty.

Many of you will present your research at conferences sponsored by the Nebraska Psychological Society, the Nebraska Psychological Association, and regional organizations. These conferences provide opportunities for you to not only present their work, but to interact and network with students and faculty from other colleges and universities in Nebraska and nearby states. Bellevue University psychology majors have also had their research published in the Journal of Psychological Inquiry, one of only three journals in the United States dedicated to undergraduate research.


Major Requirements (34 credit hours)

(Click a course name below to view course details). Unless noted, all courses are 3 credit hours.

Foundation Courses:

  • PY 101 Introduction to Psychology

    This course is an introduction to the scientific foundations of the study of behavior and a survey of basic topics of psychology such as sensation and perception, the brain and nervous system, learning and memory, language and thinking, intelligence, motivation, emotions, personality, development, stress, and abnormal behavior. This course is a prerequisite for all other courses in Psychology except PY 200, PY 211, PY 222 and PY 250 or HS 250 or MA 240.
    University Syllabus

  • PY 200 Careers in Psychology

    This course is an introduction to the wide variety of careers available to students majoring in psychology. Topics will include, but not be limited to: writing resumes and cover letters, applying to graduate/professional programs, and issues important in deciding upon an area of specialization. Students will learn about the various careers in psychology through presentations with professionals in the field and exploring information available on Internet sites, such as that of the American Psychological Association (1 credit hr)
    University Syllabus

  • PY 250 Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences

    This course is an introduction to and application of statistics and research designs used in experimental psychological research. Statistical software will be used to analyze psychological data collected by the students using both descriptive and inferential statistics. Specific types of statistical tests include: measures of central tendency and variability, correlation, multiple regression, z-tests, t-tests for both independent and correlated samples, analysis of variance/covariance, and various non-parametric tests. Prerequisite: MA 101 or higher
    University Syllabus

  • PY 340 Culture and Psychology

    This course covers major concepts and research of cross-cultural psychology, including cross-cultural aspects of ethnocentrism, developmental processes, gender differences, emotion, language, personality, and other topics. Applications of cross-cultural knowledge to understanding one’s own culture and the effects of culture on individual lives are included. Prerequisite: PY 101
    University Syllabus

  • PY 353 Introduction to Psychological Research

    This course is an examination of research design issues in psychology and related disciplines with emphasis on accurate reading of published articles. Students write a research proposal including a literature review, an operationally stated hypothesis, and data gathering procedures. Students continuing on to PY 354 Experimental Psychology may carry out their research proposals. Enhancements for PY 353 provide instruction in American Psychological Association manuscript style. Prerequisites: PY 101 and PY 250 or HS 250 or MA 240 (PY 250 or HS 250 or MA 240 may be concurrent)
    University Syllabus

  • PY 354 Experimental Psychology

    This course is a study and application of experimental techniques for investigating psychological issues. Students replicate experiments or design their own investigations, write experimental reports, and use computerized statistical analysis. Prerequisites: PY 101, PY 250 or HS 250 or MA 240, and PY 353.
    University Syllabus

  • PY 400 Advanced Studies in Psychology

    This capstone course for psychology majors focusing on the discussion and analysis of significant issues, methods, and bodies of knowledge in psychology. Students will be responsible for the content and direction of the course under the guidance of the instructor. Prerequisites: PY 101, PY 250 or HS 250 or MA 240, PY 353, and six additional hours of upper-level psychology courses, or permission of the instructor.
    University Syllabus

Selected Courses:

Group A - Select one course from the following:

  • PY 211 Human Development

    This course will present the principles of human growth and development from conception to death. Topics to be included in the course are methods of child study, consideration of individual differences, and analysis of patterns and sequences of development.
    University Syllabus

  • PY 222 Human Sexuality

    This course is a consideration of biological, cultural, developmental, and psychological aspects of human sexuality, emphasizing class discussion of relevant issues. Among topics covered are AIDS, romantic love, sexual practices, and sexual orientation.
    University Syllabus

  • PY 235 Fundamentals of Counseling

    This course is an introduction to concepts and theories of counseling with special attention to multicultural, gender, and developmental issues. Emphasis is placed on improving listening and attending skills.
    University Syllabus

Group B - Select one course from the following:

  • PY 311 Abnormal Psychology

    This course presents the major theoretical and therapeutic approaches to psychological disorder. The classification, origin, description, and treatment of the chief psychiatric problems are included. Prerequisite: PY 101
    University Syllabus

  • PY 322 Psychological Assessment

    This course introduces concepts of testing and measurement. Students will examine a variety of psychological tests, learn basics of measurement statistics, and consider assessment approaches such as rating scales and behavior observation. Prerequisites: PY 101 and PY 250 or HS 250 or MA 240 (PY 250 or HS 250 or MA 240 may be taken concurrently).
    University Syllabus

  • SO 345 Social Psychology

    This course examines psychological and sociological principles that affect the behavior of individuals as members of groups. Representative topics include the biological foundations of behavior, prejudice, culture and personality, leadership, small group interaction, crowd behavior, mass media, childhood, adolescence and old age. Prerequisites: SO 101 and PY 101, or written permission of the instructor.
    University Syllabus

  • PY 382 Psychology of Women

    This course is an investigation of differences and similarities in psychological functioning between women and men, including the influence of major life events occurring only in women (e.g. menstruation, pregnancy) on psychological functioning. Prerequisite: PY 101
    University Syllabus

  • PY 444 Psychology and Religion

    This course presents psychological theories and research on religious belief and practices in a seminar format. Insights of Freud, Jung, James, Allport, and others are discussed in a manner respectful of both Western and Eastern spirituality. The course is not offered every year. Prerequisite: PY 101
    University Syllabus

Group C - Select two courses from the following:

  • PY 301 Personality Theory

    This course covers major psychodynamic, behaviorist, trait, humanist, and cognitive theories of personality. Situational and biological influences, traits and cognition, life stories, psychobiography, and other contemporary issues are discussed. Application of personality theory to the understanding of individual lives is encouraged. Prerequisite: PY 101
    University Syllabus

  • PY 320 Human Memory and Cognition

    This course addresses the ways in which people gain knowledge about their world and about self. Topics covered include memory and forgetting, language, thought processes, and creativity. Prerequisite: PY 101
    University Syllabus

  • PY 368 Learning Theory

    This course emphasizes the development of theoretical approaches to learning, as well as applications of behavioral learning principles in applied contexts. The principles of classical conditioning, instrumental conditioning, and social learning theory will be investigated in the course. The course will also present how learning principles are used in such areas as child management, interpersonal communication, and self-control. Prerequisite: PY 101
    University Syllabus

  • PY 371 Biological Psychology

    This course is a study of biological influences on human behavior and mental processes. Includes a survey of brain and nervous system anatomy and how researchers learn about functions of these systems in relation to behavior. Emphasis is on normal development, adaptation, and learning but a variety of syndromes and problems are also included. Study of Biology or Anatomy and Physiology are helpful but not required. Prerequisite: PY 101
    University Syllabus

  • PY 375 History of Psychology

    This course presents the development of psychology in the history of the Western world. Among the topics it includes are the philosophical basis of modern psychology, the founders of psychology, and development of major theories and content areas. Prerequisite: PY 101
    University Syllabus

Students choosing to complete a BA in Psychology must also complete the following courses (can be completed as part of the CORE requirements):

  • BI 204 Human Genetics

    This course is designed to teach Mendelian and modified Mendelian inheritance including: genotypic and phenotypic variability, DNA replication, protein synthesis and genetic abnormalities.
    University Syllabus

  • OR
  • BI 206 Nutrition Through the Life Span

    This course consists of the study of the nutrients required by the human body, the foods from which they are obtained, their utilization by the body and their importance for the maintenance of optimal health throughout the life span. 3 credit hours
    University Syllabus

  • SP 101 Elementary Spanish I or a Culture Course

    This is an interactive course designed to develop Spanish language acquisition through speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Basic grammatical structures, vocabulary, and pronunciation will be covered, along with an introduction to the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world.
    University Syllabus

Students applying for professional license or certification should verify the University’s offerings meet the requirements with the professional organization.

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