Psychology is the scientific study of the psychological, biological and contextual determinants of human behavior. Here at UW Tacoma, we see Psychology as a liberal art as well as a rigorous social science.
Our program is ideal for students who plan to work as professional psychologists and need a sound preparation for graduate study. This major is also for students who plan a career in fields dealing with people, such as nursing, teaching, social work, guidance and human resources, and those who want to understand human behavior as part of a well-rounded education.
In our program, you will gain understanding in core areas such as abnormal/personality and developmental psychology. Our courses emphasize human diversity and/or focus on contemporary cultural issues.
Our advanced courses integrate traditional psychology education with applied topics that emphasize the intersectionality of Psychology with different approaches to understanding and working with social problems.
TPSYCH student learning outcomes
Upon completion of your degree, students in the Psychology major should:
- Be familiar with the major theoretical approaches and historical trends in psychology.
- Understand the core concepts and methodologies of psychology, including what scientific psychology is, the contributions and limitations of different methods of empirical research and be able to apply research methods, including design, data analysis and interpretation.
- Be able to read and interpret psychological research verbally and in writing.
- Understand that human behavior may have some common determinants and also great diversity including individual differences and variations based on differences such as culture, ethnicity, social class, gender and sexual orientation. Maintain awareness and sensitivity to diverse populations.
- Be able to synthesize theories and methodologies across disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.
- Understand the application of psychological principles to the understanding of social issues.
A BA in psychology prepares students to pursue careers in human services, community service, mental health and social services, psychology, nonprofits, business and human resources.
Many of our students choose to continue their education in graduate programs in psychology, counseling and social work.
With a firm commitment to interdisciplinarity, we value the philosophical, historical and cultural traditions that inform psychology, including feminism, existentialism, hermeneutics, psychoanalysis and critical theory.
Psychology Degree Requirements
Completing the following lower-division prerequisites (100- or 200-level) are necessary before declaring the Psychology major. A minimum grade of 2.0 is required for each prerequisite course.
- One general or introduction to psychology course (TPSYCH 101 or equivalent)
- Two psychology foundation courses in two of the following areas:
- Developmental psychology (Lifespan or Child Development; TPSYCH 220, TPSYCH 222 or equivalent)
- Abnormal psychology (TPSYCH 210, TPSYCH 212 or equivalent)
- Social psychology (TPSYCH 240 or equivalent)
- Human cognition (TPSYCH 250 or equivalent)
- Biological Bases of Behavior (TPSYCH 260, TPSYCH 265 or equivalent)
- One introductory statistics course (TMATH 110, THLTH 305, TSOCWF 351, TURB 225 or equivalent)
- One introductory methods course (TPSYCH 209 or equivalent)
Are you a transfer student? Use this PDF grid to see how your local community college classes may fulfill our prerequisite requirements.
TPSYCH course lists
Research Methods: 5 credits
Core Courses: 15 credits
Students must take courses across at least two (2) core areas.
Clinical Core Courses
- TPSYCH 310 Controversies in Clinical Psychology
- TPSYCH 311 Personality Theories
- TPSYCH 312 Mental Illness Across Cultures
- TPSYCH 313 Personality Disorders
- TPSYCH 314 Tests and Measurements
Developmental Core Courses
- TPSYCH 320 Race/Class/Gender Contexts of Child Development
- TPSYCH 321 Adolescent Psychology
- TPSYCH 322 Adult Development
- TPSYCH 328 Moral Development, Technology and the Natural World
Cognitive/Experimental Core Courses
Social/Applied Core Courses
- TPSYCH 340 Environmental Psychology
- TPSYCH 341 Psychology of Urban Living
- TPSYCH 345 Stereotyping, Prejudice and Discrimination
- TPSYCH 346 Skepticism and Critical Thinking
- TPSYCH 360 Health Psychology
- TPSYCH 361 Psychopharmacology
- TPSYCH 362 Psychophysiology of Stress and Stress Management
General Psychology Core Courses
Advanced Topic Courses (TPSYCH 400 level courses): 10 credits
- TPSYCH 400 Psychology of Women (formerly TWOMN 339)
- TPSYCH 401 Family Violence
- TPSYCH 403 Psychology of Black Women
- TPSYCH 404 Psychology of Food and Culture
- TPSYCH 405 Body Image and the Psychology of Appearance
- TPSYCH 406 Chemical Dependency
- TPSYCH 407 Cultural Context of Child Development
- TPSYCH 409 Group Counseling and Dynamics
- TPSYCH 410 Existential Psychology
- TPSYCH 411 Psychology and the Arts
- TPSYCH 412 Women & Health: Power & Inequality
- TPSYCH 414 Psychology of Contemporary African American Culture
- TPSYCH 415 Issues in Social Psychology: Hip Hop Culture
- TPSYCH 416 Freud and His Critics
- TPSYCH 418 Lifespan Imaginative Play
- TPSYCH 420 Attachment & Interpersonal Relations
- TPSYCH 421 Social Psychology, Law and Society
- TPSYCH 422 Psychology and the Legal System
- TPSYCH 431 Sexual Deviance
- TPSYCH 432 Sex Crimes and Sexual Violence
- TPSYCH 441 Diversity and Health Psychology
- TPSYCH 443 Applied Community Projects in Environmental Psychology
- TPSYCH 445 Psychology of Superheroes: An Exploration of Good and Evil
- TPSYCH 450 Contemplative Science
- TPSYCH 455 Immigrant Youth Development
- TPSYCH 460 Sport Psychology
- TPSYCH 471 Applied Issues in Cognition
Additional Advanced Credits: 5 credits
Five (5) additional credits from any 300-level or 400-level TPSYCH course OR one of the following independent studies courses. These courses require faculty approval. See advisor for details.
- TPSYCH 496 Psychology Internship
- TPSYCH 498 Directed Readings in Psychology
- TPSYCH 499 Undergraduate Psychology Research
Upper Division courses (other than Psychology): 15 credits
You must complete 15 credits of upper-division coursework (300 and 400 level) outside of the subject of Psychology.
- 5 credits - Visual, Literary and Performing Arts (VLPA)
- 5 credits - Individuals and Society (I&S), TPSYCH courses not allowed
- 5 additional credits from VLPA OR I&S OR NW
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