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Bachelor of Science in Psychological and Brain Sciences


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 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.


Our advisors go the extra mile to help you navigate your path and needs. We will provide you with the tools to make each moment spent on your education as valuable as possible. Students will receive:

  • one-on-one, hour long appointments with an experienced advisor;
  • career planning services to prepare you for opportunities after graduation;
  • a partner throughout your journey to ensure success.

Schedule an Appointment

Student advising is available at our West Campus location from 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday–Friday, and at our Danforth Campus location from 2–6 p.m., Monday–Thursday, and 9 a.m.–1 p.m. on Friday.

Rebecca O'Laughlin
Elisa Wang

Meet with Rebecca

Meet with Elisa

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)
  • Introductory 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 Child Psychology (U09 3195)
  • Abnormal Psychology: The Major Mental Disorders (U09 354)

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

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

Group D - Behavior/Cognition (at least one course):

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

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

  • Social Gerontology (U09 308)
  • Developmental Psychology (U09 322)
  • Psychology of Adolescence (U09 325)
  • Psychology of Aging (U09 3261)
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 3261)
  • 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

  • Perspectives on Counseling (U09 330)
  • Abnormal Psychology: The Major Mental Disorders (U09 354)

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

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

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.

admissions requirements

6 units of transferrable college-level course work
  • At least six units of transferrable college-level course work; or 
  • at least six units of course work taken at University College and proof of high school completion or GED.
2.7 minimum GPA

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 and the required documents have been received.


Official or unofficial (student-issued) copies of transcripts from the three most recent years of college-level work. If you have fewer than 6-units of transferable credit, proof of high school completion or GED must be submitted. 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. Electronic transcripts should be forwarded to For transcript questions, please contact our Admissions Coordinator, Patricia Agnew, at

Non-United States course work transcript verification
If the transcript you submit for consideration is from a college or university outside the United States, a course by course transcript evaluation is also required. Evaluations will be accepted from World Education Services (WES) or another member institution of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).

Personal Essay

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? Is there additional information we should know about you when considering your application?

TOEFL/IELTS scores (if applicable)

All international students are required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores at the time of application. The TOEFL and IELTS may be waived for applicants who, immediately prior to their application for admission, have done both of the following:

  • Lived for three years or longer in the United States or another country where English is the primary language of daily life (e.g. Canada or United Kingdom).
  • Completed three or more years of study at a college or university which is located in that country and where the language of instruction is English.

This policy applies to all international students, even those who have earned a degree from a United States college or university.

If an applicant moves away from an English-speaking country after living and studying there for three years or more, the TOEFL or IELTS is then required for admission.


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Michelle Ellis

"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 EllisMS in Clinical Research Management, BS with a double major in English & Psychology

See Michelle's story

Still have questions?

Program Coordinator: Emily Cohen-Shikora | (314) 935-9171 |

Director of Advising and Student Services: Elizabeth Fogt | (314) 935-6778 |