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The Major Programs

The psychology program at UC Davis is broad and includes students and faculty with a variety of interests. The department has developed around five major areas of emphasis:

Perception, Cognition, and Cognitive Neuroscience (PCCN) involves the study of awareness and thought, and includes such topics as perception, learning, memory, language and cognition.

Biological Psychology covers a broad spectrum of topics including evolutionary, neurobiological, and molecular mechanisms of behavior.

Social-Personality Psychology involves the study of the individual in his or her social environment and includes such topics as personality and individual differences, emotions, stereotyping and prejudice, intergroup relations, the psychology of religion and psychological health and dysfunction.

Developmental Psychology involves the study of changes in behavioral, cognitive, emotional, and social abilities that occur throughout the lifespan. Typical and atypical development are examined using a variety of methods including behavioral, neuroimaging, and physiological assessments.

Quantitative Psychology involves the study of linear and nonlinear models, psychometrics, mixed-effects models, and dynamic models, including experimental design, analysis of variance, regression, multivariate analysis, latent growth models, time series models, and factor analytic models.

The department offers the Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) program for students interested in the liberal arts and the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) program geared for students with an interest in either biology or mathematics. The main objective of both programs is a broad introduction to the scope of contemporary psychology. In addition to completing a number of common core courses for their degree, students may take approved elective courses from a wide range of topics including Educational Psychology, Interpersonal Communication, and Psychological Anthropology, to name a few. The department strongly encourages students to become involved in individual research projects under the direction of faculty members and to participate in our internship program to broaden experience and understanding of the field of psychology.

Preparatory Requirements. Before declaring a major in Psychology, students must complete the following two courses with a combined grade point average of at least 2.500. Both courses must be taken for a letter grade.

Psychology 1, 41 8
If a 2.500 GPA is not attained in these two courses, a 2.000 GPA in a minimum of three upper division Psychology courses is also acceptable for major declaration.  

Career Alternatives. A degree in psychology provides broad intellectual foundations which are useful to the graduate for the development of careers in a variety of areas, including social work, teaching, business, management and counseling. An undergraduate education in psychology also provides excellent preparation for graduate study. Individuals with degrees in psychology may enter graduate programs to prepare for teaching, research, or clinical/counseling careers in psychology, or may go on to professional schools for training in veterinary and human medicine, law, and many other professions.

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Updated: November 21, 2017 12:17 PM