Bachelor of Arts Degree

Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behavior. The psychology program stresses theoretical understanding of the principles of psychology, as well as practical applications to the solution of human problems. Graduates in psychology find employment in the areas of mental health, human services, social work, counseling, personnel administration, and business. They also go on to graduate study in psychology, social work and allied fields. The program in psychology leads to a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree.

The program has three tracks: mental health, social-industrial psychology, and general experimental psychology.

  • The mental health track is designed to provide students with a broad perspective on the adjustments, both healthy and unhealthy, to problems faced throughout the lifespan. The courses cover specific issues in mental health, from both developmental and clinical perspectives, vocational and rehabilitation psychology and health psychology. Students will be exposed to models of health and illness, as well as to psychological assessment and treatment techniques.
  • The social-industrial track emphasizes the application of psychological principles to understanding human behavior. Students in this track will receive training in diverse areas, such as, psychological analysis of social issues, understanding and controlling aggression, personnel selection, leadership, and psychological testing.
  • The general experimental psychology track is designed to give students a broad background in scientific psychology. We cannot simply look within, or introspect, to understand the mind; the mind yields its secrets only to experiment. The emphasis of this track will be on understanding how experimental evidence allows psychologists to uncover these hidden rules. The courses suggested for this track deal with the fundamental processes of the mind.

Psychology and Sociology Club
The Psychology and Sociology Club is open to all interested students. The club sponsors lectures and discussions on current topics in psychology, graduate school and relevant employment. Over the years the club also has raised tremendous sums of money for local charities with its annual dinner dance. This club is perennially voted the campus Academic Club of the Year.

Psi Chi Honor Society
Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in Psychology, recognizes outstanding academic achievement and promotes active student involvement in the field of psychology. The SUNY Poly chapter of Psi Chi received its charter in 1984. A program in psychology must meet high standards in academic requirements and faculty qualifications in order to qualify for a Psi Chi charter. Students with outstanding academic records and demonstrated commitment to psychology are eligible for membership.

Since 1993, our Psi Chi chapter has held an annual lecture in which we invite a psychologist of national repute to campus to share his/ her research and expertise. Psi Chi members get an opportunity to meet eminent scholars in the field.

Degree Requirements Overview
To earn a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in psychology, a student must satisfactorily complete at least 124 semester hours of college-level work, distributed as follows:

  • SUNY General Education Requirements that all students must take regardless of the SUNY school they attend (30 credits);
  • SUNY Poly degree requirements, which specify a second natural science, one of which must include a laboratory, and Upper Division Writing (8 credits)
  • Psychology Program Requirements (34-44 credits).
  • The New York State Education Department (SED) requires a student earning a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree to attain no fewer than 90 credits of combined SUNY General Education and Liberal Arts/Science courses. There may be overlap between courses meeting both the SUNY General Education Requirements and the Liberal Arts/Sciences Requirements, but a student may receive course credits only once even if multiple requirements are satisfied by a single course. The total number of combined credit hours must be no fewer than 90 credits.
  • Satisfactory completion of at least 60 semester hours of upper division college work, at least 30 of which must be taken at SUNY Poly.
  • No more than 30 semester hours in professional courses outside the arts and sciences.
  • Achievement of at least 2.00 cumulative quality point average in coursework taken at SUNY Poly.
  • A grade of C or higher required in all core courses (PSY 310, 385, 405, 493) and statistics.

I. SUNY General Education Requirements (30 credits)

All SUNY students must satisfy the following requirements.

No fewer than 30 credits must be attained from the SUNY approved General Education Course List with the following provisions:

  • Mathematics (MAT 111 or equivalent)
  • Basic Communication (ENG 101 or equivalent)

At least five (5) out of the following eight (8) SUNY General Education categories:

    • Natural Science
    • Social Science
    • American History
    • Western Civilization
    • Other World Civilization
    • Humanities
    • The Arts
    • Foreign Language

NOTE: You may take more than one course in a given category to complete this 30 credit hour requirement, but you must also take courses in 5 of the 8 categories.

Specific SUNY Poly degree requirements for Psychology majors include:

  • Natural Sciences: Two courses, at least one of which must involve a lab; one course can satisfy the SUNY General Education Requirements (above).
  • Upper Division Writing (Com 308).
  • 2 Social Science classes (Anthropology, Economics, Political Science, Sociology) in addition to that listed above
  • Statistics (Sta100, or equivalent, with a minimum grade of C)

Psychology Program Requirements

II. Program Requirements (38-44 credits)

All Psychology majors, regardless of which track they choose, will be required to complete the following core courses:

A. Core Courses 

  • A grade of C or better is required of Psychology majors in these core courses.
  • PSY 100 Principles of Psychology
  • PSY 310 Research Methods
  • PSY 385 Evaluation Research
  • PSY 405 History and Systems of Psychology
  • PSY 493 Senior Seminar

B. Track Selection

All majors will be required to complete one of the following tracks. They must take at least two intermediate electives and two advanced electives from the track that they select. They must also take at least one psychology elective outside their selected track. A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required for the selected track. Students wishing to devise their own individual track may do so in conjunction with an advisor.

Mental Health Track


  • PSY 220 Lifespan Developmental
  • PSY 222 Abnormal Psychology
  • PSY 273 Dying Death and Bereavement
  • PSY 331 Psychology of Personality
  • PSY 377 Health Psychology


  • PSY 445 Group Dynamics and Interpersonal Communication
  • PSY 460 Neuropsychology
  • PSY 470 Psychological Testing
  • PSY 477 Principles of Psychological Counseling
  • PSY 492 Practicum

Social-Industrial Track


  • PSY 242 Social Psychology
  • PSY 262 Learning and Motivation
  • PSY 331 Psychology of Personality
  • PSY 352 Industrial and Organizational Psychology


  • PSY 444 Applied Social Psychology
  • PSY 445 Group Dynamics & Interpersonal Communication
  • PSY 470 Psychological Testing
  • PSY 490 Special Topics
  • PSY 492 Practicum

C. General Experimental Track***


  • PSY 242 Social Psychology
  • PSY 262 Learning and Motivation
  • PSY 360 Perception


  • PSY 425 Cognitive Psychology
  • PSY 460 Neuropsychology
  • PSY 492 Practicum