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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. 

Psychology 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.

Students who are interested in majoring in Psychology at UWT should meet with a Psychology advisor: 

  • If you are a current UWT freshman please work with your current pre-major advisor; 

  • If you are a current UWT sophomore who has not declared a major and has 3 of the 5 Psychology prerequisites in progress or completed you should contact a Psychology advisor now:

  • If you are a current UWT junior or senior and are interested in declaring the Psychology major please contact a Psychology department advisor now:

  • If you are a transfer student or a prospective transfer student with 60+ credits you should contact a Psychology advisor now:

  • If you are a current UWT Psychology student and need advice please contact a department advisor:

Psychology degree requirements

For more information, contact an academic advisor or Psychology major coordinator, Associate Professor Steve Ross.

Psychology Prerequisites

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.

Are you a transfer student? Contact an academic advisor to see how your local community college classes may fulfill our prerequisite requirements.


Psychology course lists

The following courses are required for the Psychology major.


Advanced Topic Courses (Psychology 400 level courses)

You must take a minimum of 10 credits in advanced topic courses.


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.


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


Psychology Electives
The following psychology courses can be used as electives in the major.


 Additional courses may be approved and added to courses lists to provide students more flexibility and options.
Please refer to this page often for the most up-to-date information.

To request changes to this page, please contact