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Psychology (Purdue degree)

Offered by: Department of Psychology We’re a community of learners and students thrive here. Students here reap the benefits of an interactive learning environment, challenging material and lab work, and unparalleled research and internship opportunities.

Why choose this program?

We’re a community of learners and students thrive here. Students here reap the benefits of an interactive learning environment, challenging material and lab work, and unparalleled research and internship opportunities. As early as their freshman year, our undergraduates are able to participate in research with renowned faculty. Students support each other through peer-advising, providing a unique environment where students become leaders by helping others.

What will you learn?

Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. The goals of psychology are to describe, explain, predict, and change behavior (observable actions) and mental processes (thoughts, feelings, memories, beliefs). In our department, we focus on four major themes throughout the undergraduate curriculum: (1) psychology is a science; (2) behavior is a function of person variables, environmental variables, and the interaction of person and environment; (3) psychology has evolved in a socio-historical context, and its major theoretical perspectives reflect this phenomenon; and (4) socio-cultural context influences how psychological concepts are understood and applied.

IUPUI psychology specialties include: psychobiology of addictions, health psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, severe mental illness, stereotyping and prejudice. 

The psychology department provides our majors with a well-balanced and scientifically rigorous curriculum. Students completing an undergraduate degree in psychology will graduate with a strong background in communication skills, critical thinking, scientific methodology, ethics and diversity – skills that are in high demand.

What will you do?

With a bachelor's degree in psychology, your career opportunities will be many and varied. After graduation from IUPUI, you could go to graduate school, earning a masters or doctoral degree in psychology. This advanced training could lead to a career as a clinical or counseling psychologist, a psychology professor, a researcher, or some combination of the three. You may opt for another professional school, such as law, physical therapy, or medical school. Many of our majors plan to earn a masters degree in social work. Your psychology background would be extremely helpful in any of those career paths.

However, the vast majority of undergraduates who major in psychology do not go on to earn advanced degrees. Instead, they take a job immediately after graduation. Because our graduates can think critically about behavior and mental processes, they can use their knowledge in almost any setting. Although the job possibilities are too long to list, psychology majors can be found in mental health services, social service, child development, and human resources.

Learn more about career resources and opportunities for Psychology majors.

Degree requirements

The psychology department offers both Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees in psychology. Both of these degrees are held in equally high esteem by potential employers and graduate school admissions committees.

For students who first enrolled at IUPUI as a degree-seeking student during the 2012-2014 academic year and after, the degree requirements vary as follows:

  • Both degrees are four-year programs consisting of 120 credit hours and are awarded by Purdue University. Both programs require at least four science lectures courses (minimum of 12 credit hours), and at least one of the courses must have a laboratory component. In the BS program, two of the courses must be biology and/or chemistry courses.
  • The BA degree requires that students have a first-year proficiency in a foreign language, which is not required for the BS.
  • The BA program requires one college-level mathematics course (3 credits), while the BS program requires two (total of 6 credits). 

Requirements vary depending on a student's date of enrollment. Details of all undergraduate degree requirements can be found in the IUPUI Bulletin.

2018-2019 Bulletin | 2016-2018 Bulletin | Degree Maps | Degree Planning Sheets |

Capstone Experience

The senior capstone provides students with an excellent opportunity to complete their academics through a research project, on-the-job practicum or scholarly seminar. This experience provides psychology majors with a final opportunity to practice and demonstrate the skills they will need to succeed after graduation on the job or in graduate school.

Senior Capstone Options

Our Psychology Advisors suggest that you choose a capstone that best fits your interest and career goals.

PSY-B 433 Capstone Laboratory in Psychology (3 cr.) 

PSY-B 454 Capstone Seminar in Psychology (3 cr.)

PSY-B 482 Capstone Practicum in Clinical Psychology (3 cr.)

PSY-B 499 Capstone Honors Research (3-6 cr.)


Students may work with faculty members on projects in research areas such as Clinical and Health Psychology, Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Psychobiology of Addictions, and Social Psychology.

Step 1: Learn about the research going on in the department and beyond and identify two or three areas that interest you.

  • Visit faculty research pages to learn about their fields of interest.
  • Talk to your advisor.
  • Talk to other students and your TA's about their research.
  • Look at the posters in the hallways of the department.

Step 2: Contact two or three faculty members and ask for an appointment to discuss their research and the possibility of an undergrad position on their team. If you don't hear back within a few weeks, send another email or drop by their office. If that particular professor is not interested or does not have time to mentor you, don't give up! Try another professor, or ask whether he or she has a graduate student that may need assistance with a thesis or dissertation project.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities for Course Credit

  • Readings and Research in Psychology (PSY-B292 or B492)
  • Capstone Honors Research (PSY-B499): Application due in April

Student researches the relationship between skin conductance and pain disorders

Jenya Chumin Psychology, Neuroscience, Undergraduate
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