Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree with a Major in Psychology

Program Learning Outcomes for the BA Degree with a Major in Psychology

Upon completing the BA degree with a major in Psychology, students will be able to:

  1. Describe key concepts, principles, and overarching themes in psychology, drawing on a broad knowledge base in psychology and its content domains. 
  2. Understand research methods, and develop and apply research skills. They will be able to explain different research methods used by psychologists, and design and conduct scientific studies to address psychological questions using appropriate research methods. Students will follow the APA Ethics Code in the treatment of human and nonhuman participants in the design, data collection, interpretation, and reporting of psychological research. Students will be able to generalize research conclusions appropriately based on the parameters of particular research methods.
  3. Understand the applications of psychology. They will be able to describe major areas (e.g., clinical, cognitive, counseling, human factors, industrial/organizational) and emerging applied areas (e.g., health, forensics, media) of psychology. They will be able to identify appropriate applications of psychology in solving problems, such as: the pursuit and effect of healthy lifestyles; the origin and treatment of abnormal behavior; psychological tests and measurement; psychology-based interventions in areas such as clinical, cognitive, counseling, educational, human factors, and industrial/organizational psychology; and the resolution of interpersonal and intercultural conflicts. Students will be able to articulate how psychological principles can be used to explain social issues and inform public policy. Students will be able to apply psychological concepts, theories, and research findings as these relate to everyday life.

Requirements for the BA Degree with a Major in Psychology

For general university requirements, see Graduation Requirements. Students pursuing the BA degree with a major in Psychology must complete:

  • A minimum of 15 courses (47 credit hours) to satisfy major requirements.
  • A minimum of 120 credit hours to satisfy degree requirements.
  • A minimum of 9 courses (27 credit hours) taken at the 300-level or above.

Once enrolled at Rice, students must obtain approval from the department to transfer courses taken at any other college or university. 

The 5 courses listed below (comprising 17 credit hours) must be completed to satisfy the Core Requirements for this major. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the Core Requirements before taking the upper-level courses that comprise their Elective Requirements. 

The courses listed below satisfy the requirements for this major. In certain instances, courses not on this official list may be substituted upon approval of the major’s academic advisor, or where applicable, the department's Director of Undergraduate Studies. (Course substitutions must be formally applied and entered into Degree Works by the major's Official Certifier.) Students and their academic advisors should identify and clearly document the courses to be taken.


Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in Psychology 47
Total Credit Hours Required for the BA Degree with a Major in Psychology 120

Degree Requirements

Core Requirements 1
Elective Requirements
Select a total of 10 additional courses from departmental (PSYC) course offerings 330
Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in Psychology47
Additional Credit Hours to Complete Degree Requirements *42
University Graduation Requirements *31
Total Credit Hours120

Footnotes and Additional Information 

Policies for the BA Degree with a Major in Psychology

Transfer Credit 

For Rice University’s policy regarding transfer credit, see Transfer Credit. Some departments and programs have additional restrictions on transfer credit. The Office of Academic Advising maintains the university’s official list of transfer credit advisors on their website: Students are encouraged to meet with their academic program’s transfer credit advisor when considering transfer credit possibilities. 

Departmental Transfer Credit Guidelines

Students pursuing the major in Psychology should be aware of the following departmental transfer credit guidelines:

  • No substitutions or transfer credits are allowed for PSYC 339SOSC 302, or PSYC 340. In addition, students should complete these courses (PSYC 339 or SOSC 302, and PSYC 340) preferably by the end of their sophomore year.
  • Requests for transfer credit will be considered by the program director (and/or the program’s official transfer credit advisor) on an individual case-by-case basis.

Additional Information 

For additional information, please see the Psychological Sciences website:

Opportunities for the BA Degree with a Major in Psychology

Academic Honors

The university recognizes academic excellence achieved over an undergraduate’s academic history at Rice. For information on university honors, please see Latin Honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude) and Distinction in Research and Creative Work. Some departments have department-specific Honors awards or designations.

Departmental Honors Program

Qualified students may apply to the honors program during preregistration in the spring semester of their junior year. A written proposal for the project must be submitted by the end of the second week of classes in the fall of their senior year, and the faculty will decide on final admission to the honors program by the end of the fourth week of classes. Admission to the honors program requires a major GPA of 3.70 and an overall GPA of 3.50, completion of PSYC 339 or SOSC 302, and completion of or concurrent enrollment in PSYC 340. To graduate with departmental honors, students must complete the requirements for the major, a written honors thesis approved by a faculty committee, and other requirements as determined by their honors committee. Detailed information about the honors program is available from the instructor of the course or the department website.

Additional Information 

For additional information, please see the Psychological Sciences website: