Bachelor of Science in Psychological and Brain Sciences

Undergraduate

As the science concerned with the study of behavior, psychology includes such areas as learning and memory, motivation, sensory processes and perception, biological bases of behavior, social interactions, aging and development, personality, and clinical and abnormal psychology.

Undergraduate study in psychology provides a sound basis for later professional graduate training on the MA or PhD. level in psychology. The psychology major may also provide important intellectual tools for those considering careers in management, law, education, social work, public relations, and health-related professions.


University College programs in psychology are allied with the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences in Arts and Sciences at Washington University. Courses are normally scheduled one evening a week for two and a half hours. Most courses are three units.

required course work

All University College undergraduate students must satisfy the same general-education requirements. Students majoring in Psychological and Brain Sciences in University College must also complete a minimum of 33 units in psychology, including the following:

Introductory Psychology Courses

  • Introduction to Psychology (U09 100)
  • Psychological Statistics (U09 300)
  • Research Methods (U09 3015)
Psychology Area Courses

Five upper-level (300-400) psychology courses as indicated below:

Group A - Social/Personality (at least one course):

  • Introduction to Social Psychology (U09 315)
  • Psychology of Personality (U09 353)
  • Cross-Cultural Psychology (U09 381)

Group B - Abnormal/Affective (at least one course):

  • Abnormal Psychology (U09 354)
  • Abnormal Child Psychology (U09 3195)

Group C - Biological/Neurological (at least one course):

  • Cognitive Neuroscience (U09-3604)
  • Biological Psychology (U09-3401)

Group D - Behavior & Cognition (at least one courses):

  • Cognitive Psychology (U09-359)
  • Learning and Memory (U09-365)

Group E - Lifespan Development (at least one courses):

  • Developmental Psychology (U09 322A)
  • Psychology of Adolescence (U09 325)
  • Psychology of Aging (U09 4261)
Additional Electives

To complete the psychology major, students must complete 3 additional electives in psychology at the 300-400 level. A maximum of three units of independent study may apply to the major. Learn more about independent study and internships in Psychology.

Optional Concentrations in Psychology

Lifespan Development

Provides an understanding of the cognitive and physiological changes that occur over the lifespan, including childhood, adolescence, and older adulthood. This concentration provides a foundation for work in psychology, social work, education, and other human services.

Required Courses: 3 units

  • Developmental Psychology (U09 322)

Elective Courses: 6 units
Choose two of the following (others with authorization):

  • Psychology of Adolescence (U09 325)
  • Psychology of Aging (U09 4261)
  • Psychology of Young Adulthood (new)

Counseling Foundations

The application of psychology in the clinical field. This concentration provides a foundation for careers in clinical psychology, social work, counseling, or related fields in mental health services.

Required Courses: 6 units

  • Abnormal Psychology (U09 354)
  • Perspectives on Counseling (U09 330)

Elective Courses: 3 units
Choose one of the following (others with authorization):

  • Abnormal Child Psychology (U09 3195)
  • Addiction and Treatment (U09 488)
  • Health Psychology (U09 358)

Gerontology

Social, cognitive, and health aspects of aging. This concentration provides a foundation for careers in all healthcare and related service areas for an aging population.

Required Courses: 3 units

  • Psychology of Aging (U09 4261)

Elective Courses: 6 units
Choose two of the following (others with authorization):

  • Memory & Aging (U09 308)
  • Aging & Health Behavior (new)
  • Social Gerontology (new)

Policies for Optional Concentrations

  1. Each optional concentration requires nine units of course work.
  2. A student may pursue only one optional concentration.
  3. Courses applied to an optional concentration may not be used to fulfill any other requirement for the major.
  4. If two courses completed for an optional concentration fall within the same distribution, then that distribution is satisfied.
  5. These optional concentrations are available only to University College students admitted to a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Psychology.

application requirements

Completed application form

The online application is available online on our Apply page. Applications are ready for review when all fields on the application form are completed, required documents have been received, and the application fee is paid.

Official transcripts from all previous college work

Contact the registrar at each previous college or university attended to request an official transcript. Official transcripts must be sent directly from the registrar to University College.

Personal statement

Tell us about yourself in a brief essay (about 250 words). Why are you applying to University College? What are your goals, both academic and professional? What do we need to know when considering your application?

TOEFL scores (if applicable)

If you are not a U.S. citizen, official TOEFL scores must be forwarded to University College.

Graduates of a U.S. university or college or Canada, Australia, and U.K. residents are exempt if they have earned a bachelor’s degree or a graduate degree from such college or university.

$35 application fee

You may pay by credit card online, or via check or money order payable to Washington University in St. Louis. You may also pay the fee by cash at the University College office. 

This fee is waived for all WashU staff.

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"Getting a degree from Washington University has opened so many doors for me. I utilize the skills I learned in my current job, in my personal life, and in just about anything that I do."

―Michelle EllisM.S. in Clinical Research Management, B.S. with a double major in English & Psychology

See Michelle's story

Still have questions?

Program Coordinator: Emily Cohen-Shikora | (314) 935-9171 | ecohensh@wustl.edu

Administrative Assistant for Academic Programs: Holly Schroeder | (314) 935-6759 | cschroed@wustl.edu

Director of Advising and Student Services: Elizabeth Fogt | (314) 935-6778 | efogt@wustl.edu