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Undergraduate Program

The Department of Psychology offers students the opportunity to gain an understanding of the many diverse and fascinating aspects of the human mind through instruction that is designed to acquaint students with psychology as a social science. Students majoring in psychology learn how people develop in childhood and in adolescence, how they think and remember, and how they interact with other people.

Requirements for a Major in Psychology
(For Students entering 2004 or later)

Psychology majors must complete a minimum of 34 hours in psychology courses. Psychology majors must accumulate a minimum grade point average of 2.0 in their psychology courses.

A. Students must pass each of the following required courses with a grade of C- or better.

PSY 100 General Psychology
PSY 241 Statistics in Psychology
PSY 245 Principles of Psychological Research
PSY 470 History and Systems of Psychology

PSY 491 Senior Seminar in Psychology
PSY 494 Senior Research Project

(PSY 491 or PSY 494 meet Writing Intensive and Capstone requirements)

B. Students must pass with a C- or better one course from each of the following four groups:

PSY 212 Abnormal Psychology
PSY 230 Social Psychology

Developmental Psychology
PSY 223 Psychology of Childhood
PSY 224 Psychology of Adolescence

Biological Psychology
PSY 266 Evolutionary Psychology
PSY 365 Biopsychology & Behavioral Neuroscience

Cognitive Psychology
PSY 350 Cognition
PSY 361 Sensation & Perception

C. Students must declare one of the following three concentrations: Abnormal/Social, Developmental, or Biological/Cognitive. To fulfill the concentration, students must take three courses in their chosen area and pass each with a C- or better; at least one of these courses must be at the 400 level; note that some of these courses also satisfy the Area requirements above:

PSY 208
Theories of Personality, 
PSY 212
Abnormal Psychology, 
PSY 230
Social Psychology, 
PSY 251
Psychology of Motivation, 
PSY 401
Health Psychology, 
PSY 412
Foundations of Clinical Psychology,
PSY 424
Abnormal Child Psychology,
PSY 430
Current Topics in Social Psychology

PSY 223
Psychology of Childhood, 
PSY 224
Psychology of Adolescence, 
PSY 226
PSY 320
Child Study Laboratory I, 
PSY 321
Child Study Laboratory II, 
PSY 325
Psychology of Infant Development,
PSY 423
The Psychology of Parenting 
PSY 424
Abnormal Child Psychology, 
PSY 425
Social Issues in Developmental Psychology, 
PSY 427
Emotional Development

PSY 266
Evolutionary Psychology, 
325 Psychology of Infant Development, 
PSY 350
Cognitive Psychology, 
PSY 352
Learning Across Species, 
PSY 361
Sensation and Perception, 
PSY 365
Biological Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience, 
PSY 401
Health Psychology, 
PSY 465
Hormones, Brain, and Behavior, 
PSY 466
Cognitive Neuroscience

D. Students are required to pass (with any passing grade) either BIO 100 (Basic Biology) or BIO 222 (Biology: The Living Science). Note that BIO 100 is a prerequisite to all additional biology courses, while BIO 222 is intended for non-BIO majors, and does not serve as a prerequisite for additional study in biology.

While majors may take more than 34 hours of psychology courses, students are reminded that they must take at least 72 hours of non-psychology coursework for graduation.

Students who transfer from other institutions must take a minimum of 24 hours of psychology courses at the University of Maine.

Students must pass PSY 241 and PSY 245 with a C- or better as a prerequisite to enrolling in all 300- and 400-level psychology courses (exceptions can be made by instructors).

About PSY 494 (Senior Research Project)

PSY 494 (Senior Research Project) is one option students have for completing the General Education requirements of (1) the senior capstone course and (2) the writing intensive course within the major. (The other option is PSY 491, Senior Seminar). Students who elect to take PSY 494 are required to take at least 3 credits of PSY 494. However, students can take PSY 494 for up to 6 credits. Often, research projects take more than 1 semester to complete. Therefore, students have the option of registering for PSY 494 across 2 semesters, and students can decide, in consultation with their research mentor and academic advisor, how many credits (1 to 3) they want to take each semester. Students who elect to do PSY 494 conduct their own independent research under the mentorship of a faculty research advisor. Students are expected to have worked in the lab of their research mentor (e.g., PSY 492) prior to taking PSY 494 so that they can become familiar with the relevant research literature, methodology, etc. Students must have the permission of a faculty research mentor in order to register for PSY494. While taking PSY 494, students design their own study, collect and analyze the data, and write a research paper (introduction, method, results, discussion). PSY 494 students are also highly encouraged to present their projects on posters at the Department of Psychology’s annual Undergraduate Research Fair, held in April.

Psychology Department Goals for the Psychology Major

As set forth by the guidelines proposed by the American Psychological Association for designing effective undergraduate curriculum in the field of Psychology, the psychology major in the Maine Psychology Department is intended to meet the following goals:

  1. Theory and Content of Psychology. Students will demonstrate familiarity with the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in psychology.
  2. Research Methods in Psychology. Students will understand and apply basic research methods in psychology, including research design, data analysis, and interpretation.
  3. Critical Thinking Skills in Psychology. Students will respect and use critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry, and, when possible, the scientific approach to solve problems related to behavior and mental processes.
  4. Application of Psychology. Students will understand and apply psychological principles to personal, social, and organizational issues.
  5. Values in Psychology. Students will be able to weigh evidence, tolerate ambiguity, act ethically, and reflect other values that are the underpinnings of psychology as a discipline.
  6. Information and Technological Literacy. Students will demonstrate information competence and the ability to use computers and other technology for many purposes.
  7. Communications Skills. Students will be able to communicate effectively in a variety of formats.
  8. Sociocultural and International Awareness. Students will recognize, understand, and respect the complexity of sociocultural and international diversity.
  9. Personal Development. Students will develop insight into their own and others’ behavior and mental processes and apply effective strategies for self-management and self-improvement.
  10. Career Planning and Development. Students will emerge from the major with realistic ideas about how to implement their psychological knowledge, skills, and values in occupational pursuits in a variety of settings.

Requirements for a Minor in Psychology

Any 18 hours of psychology (PSY) courses constitute a minor in psychology. A minimum grade of “C-“must be obtained in each course used to satisfy the minor.  No more than 6 hours total of PSY 492 Problems in Psychology and PSY 493 Field Experience may be used toward the 18 hours.  A minimum of 12 psychology credits must be taken at the University of Maine.  All transfer courses applied to the minor must be approved by the Department of Psychology.

Neuroscience minor

Students can minor in neuroscience which is a minor that involves both Psychology and The Biological Sciences. See the Department of Biological Sciences for details.


Contact Information

301 Little Hall
Orono, Maine 04469-5782
Phone: (207) 581-2030 | Fax: (207) 581-6128E-mail:
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469