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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: Developmental Psychology, which involves the study of changes in behavior and abilities that occur as development proceeds and includes such topics as imaging the developing brain, development of self esteem, problem solving, attachment theory, symbolic representation in infants and children, development of children’s understanding of mental states; Perception-Cognition, which involves the study of awareness and thought, and includes such topics as perception, learning, memory, and consciousness; Psychobiology, which involves the study of the biological correlates of behavior and includes such topics as physiological psychology, sensory processes, health psychology, and animal behavior; Social-Personality Psychology, which involves the study of the individual in his or her social environment and includes such topics as personality theory, abnormal psychology, individual differences, developmental psychology, and social psychology; and Quantitative which involves the study of linear models and psychometrics which includes topics, such as experimental design and the analysis of variance, regression analysis, and multivariate analysis.

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 specialty courses on such far-ranging topics as sex differences, genius and creativity, and environmental awareness. 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 your experiences and understanding of the field of psychology.

Preparatory Requirements. Before declaring a major in psychology, students must complete the following courses with a combined grade point average of at least 2.500. All courses must be taken for a letter grade. (Students in the Bachelor of Science, Biology program must complete Biological Sciences 2A.):

Psychology 1, 41 8 units
Statistics 13 or 102 4 units
Biological Sciences 2A
Biological Sciences 10 and one course from Anthropology 1, Molecular and Cellular Biology 10, Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior 10 4 or 8 units
Sociology or cultural anthropology 4 units

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, the ministry, teaching, business, 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 other professions.

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Updated: January 29, 2013 3:25 PM