NYU Psychology Undergraduate Program


Psychology is the most popular major in the College of Arts and Sciences, and for good reason. Three of our faculty have won the University's Distinguished Teacher Medal, another six have won Golden Dozen teaching awards from our Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and our Graduate Teaching Assistants have won numerous awards. The commitment of our department faculty to our undergraduate teaching program is revealed by our recent deepening and broadening of our required curriculum, the involvement of all faculty in undergraduate teaching, and the many opportunities provided for students to participate in research projects. Our faculty are almost all actively involved in funded research projects and students work shoulder to shoulder with us through our several Research Experience courses and our Honors Program. In all, ours is a rigorous major that provides the student with a broad survey of our very diverse field and the opportunity to gain knowledge and experience in fields of specific interest.

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The major in Psychology is designed to assure that the student acquires the basic skills needed to achieve a sophisticated understanding of the field, a broad grasp of the varied areas of inquiry that comprise psychology, and an opportunity to develop an advanced understanding of particular areas of interest. All students take Introduction to Psychology (PSYCH-UA 1), Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences (PSYCH-UA 10), and Advanced Psychological Statistics (PSYCH-UA 11)*. Students then choose two courses from each of the areas of psychology that are closest to the natural (Core A) or social sciences (Core B), one laboratory course (Core C), and two advanced elective courses selected from a wide array of courses reflecting the areas of expertise of our faculty. Top students are invited to join our Honors program in which students take specialized courses and submit an honors thesis prepared with the sponsorship of a faculty member.

* Required for all Majors that enter New York University beginning Fall 2015 and Later

Major in Psychology

Ten 4-point courses (40 points) are required:
  • Introduction to Psychology (PSYCH-UA 1)
  • Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences (PSYCH-UA 10)
  • Advanced Psychological Statistics (PSYCH-UA 11)
  • Two (2) courses from Core A (psychology as a natural science)
  • Two (2) courses from Core B (psychology as a social science)
  • One (1) laboratory course from Core C
  • Two (2) advanced electives

Note: Developmental Psychology (PSYCH-UA 34) can be selected by a student to count as either a Core A or Core B requirement (but not both).

To declare a major in psychology, a grade of C or better must be earned in both Introduction to Psychology (PSYCH-UA 1) and Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences (PSYCH-UA 10).

Minor in Psychology

A minor in psychology comprises four 4-point courses (16 points):
  • Introduction to Psychology (PSYCH-UA 1)
  • One (1) course from the Core A group
  • One (1) course from the Core B group
  • One (1) advanced elective

Note: Developmental Psychology (PSYCH-UA 34) can be selected by a student to count as either a Core A or Core B requirement (but not both).

To declare a minor in psychology, students must have earned a grade of C or better in Introduction to Psychology (PSYCH-UA 1).

Major/Minor Requirements & Prerequisite Detail
Course Catalog and Schedule
CAS Bulletin

Advanced Placement in Psychology and Statistics

Entering students with a 4 or 5 on the AP exam in psychology receive credit for Introduction to Psychology (PSYCH-UA 1) and can complete the major with nine other required courses, or the minor with three other required courses. The same policy applies to students with International Baccalaureate or A-Level credits in psychology.

Entering students with a score of 4 or 5 on the AP exam in statistics receive credit for Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences (PSYCH-UA 10) and may count this as one of the ten courses required for the major.

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The honors program affords students in the major an opportunity to engage in closely supervised yet independent research and scholarship. This program prepares students for graduate-level work in psychology or related professional fields such as business, law, or medicine and provides them with experiences and skills that may be helpful in reaching their career objectives. Students must apply for admission to the honors program in their sophomore or junior year, with occasional exceptions for late transfer students. Admission is based on grades (a minimum overall and major GPA of 3.65) and the ability to benefit from a program that emphasizes independent research projects and seminars that focus on current research topics and issues.

Honors students take the Honors Seminar sequence in either their junior or senior year: Honors Seminar I (PSYCH-UA 200) in the fall and Honors Seminar II (PSYCH-UA 201) in the spring. An honors research thesis, usually based on an expansion of a research project ongoing in a faculty laboratory and serving as evidence of individual thought and creativity, is submitted for faculty approval near the end of the junior or senior year. Please visit the Psych Central portal to view the honors application.

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How to Get Involved In Psychology Research


There are several ways to get involved in research at the NYU Psychology Department. These include expanding a project started in a lab course, or simply volunteering to work with a faculty member. Students who want to do research usually register for the Research Experiences & Methods (PSYCH-UA 999) course for a semester or two in their junior or senior year where students choose a sponsor with whom they share interests. The student forms a research team with an NYU faculty member, an advanced graduate student, a research scientist, or with outside sponsors at various medical schools, hospitals or other NY-area institutions.

In addition, Research Experiences & Methods students meet weekly as a class for lectures on research methods and design, research ethics and applications of statistics to evaluate research findings. There are brief writing assignments to relate the student's research project to the technical information in the lectures and text. Students give brief talks on their projects and write an APA-style research report. Students are encouraged and helped to polish these talks and reports for presentations at the Undergraduate Research Conference and professional conferences. All of these student research activities are helpful in gaining admission to strong graduate programs.

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After the BA

One of the reasons that psychology is such a popular major is its value beyond the degree. It is a welcomed by all the professional schools including, medical, dental, law and business. Although graduate training in Clinical Psychology is enormously competitive, many of our students are successful applicants and many more go on to related fields, such as counseling psychology, school psychology, educational psychology, health psychology, and social work. Graduate training is available in all the specialty fields of psychology and our program has been particularly successful in placing students in areas such as cognition, perception, behavior analysis, social psychology, industrial/organizational psychology and community psychology. Our psychology majors also have a broad range of opportunities in fields requiring psychological skills such as management, personnel, human services, marketing, advertisement, sales and public relations.

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