Jun 19, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Psychology, B.A.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs by Type

About the Program

  • Real-world internships and fieldwork
  • Hands-on research required of all majors
  • An internship-based or original research-based capstone project by all seniors
  • Liberal Arts 
  • Pre-Professional Specialization 
  • Ph.D. Preparation Track
  • Opportunities to study abroad at some of the top universities around the world

Arcadia offers several different Psychology tracks designed to accommodate students’ interests and career objectives. Many courses offer hands-on experience through laboratory or fieldwork.

Areas of Emphasis

In accordance with individual interests and career goals, Psychology majors can select courses in one of three directions.

Liberal Arts

Major in Psychology. The liberal arts direction may be selected by students who want a basic foundation in psychology and a broad preparation in the liberal arts. Since only two courses per year are required for the major in Psychology (four courses during the sophomore year), the Psychology major can be combined with other majors or minors. This direction fulfills the requirements for graduate study in psychology, as well as for careers open to liberal arts graduates without specific pre-professional preparation. Students might have careers in marketing, healthcare, communications, or business.

Pre-Professional Specialization

Major in Psychology, supplemented with courses in a pre-professional specialization. The pre-professional direction is designed for students who want to pursue a specialized profession. The Psychology major is sufficiently open in requirements so that it can be integrated easily with pre-professional preparation in the following ways.

  • Pre-Health Professions: Students preparing for health professions such as physical therapy, medicine, health education, nursing, public health, healthcare administration, or veterinary medicine often find the Psychology major a useful pre-professional path. Coursework in Biology, Chemistry, or Computer Science is combined with the major to provide appropriate background. (See separate listings for these pre-health programs.) Students with interest in the brain sciences may also consider a Neuroscience minor.
  • Psychology and Business: Students who are interested in positions in human resources management and who want to combine preparation in psychology and business can combine the major in Psychology with a minor in Business. This program is good preparation for students who want to pursue graduate study in psychology or business administration.
  • Pre-Art Therapy: Students may want to combine Psychology and Art Therapy courses in preparation for graduate study. This can be accomplished through a major in Psychology with an Art Therapy emphasis, a major in Art and Design with an Art Therapy emphasis and coursework in Psychology, or a combined major in Art and Design (B.A. program) and Psychology with an Art Therapy emphasis.
  • Individualized Options: Students who are interested in careers such as school psychology, psychiatric social work, working with children, counseling and guidance in schools, music therapy, or psychometrics must continue their education at the master’s level. Appropriate preparatory courses at the undergraduate level should be selected in consultation with the Department adviser.

Ph.D. Preparation

The graduate studies direction is designed for students interested in postsecondary teaching, research, clinical or counseling psychology, or other specialized areas of psychology. Undergraduate psychology coursework should be supplemented with courses in other departments relevant to students’ particular interests, selected in consultation with the Department Chair or adviser. Students should also consider courses aimed at increasing skills in quantitative methods (such as advanced statistics courses, e.g., MA 201  , MA 242  , PY 275  ), computer programming (e.g. CS201), public speaking (e.g. CM 110  , TH 101  , TH 140  , TH 141  , TH 150  , US 248  ), and/or visual presentation (e.g., CM 268  , CS 107  ). PhD programs do not require any specific set of such courses, but may give weight to students who have such training. Students interested in pursuing research or clinical work in the brain sciences may consider the Neuroscience minor. 

Study Abroad

Psychology majors are encouraged to study abroad. The Department works with students to devise the best combination of international coursework to complement their studies. Psychology majors who plan to study abroad can do so during the summer or during their sophomore or junior years. Study abroad is not permitted during the senior year because of the required yearlong Psychology internship.

Study abroad can be coordinated with required major courses in one of two ways. Students may be able to find replacement courses for major courses overseas.  Alternatively, in many cases, space can be cleared in a given semester so that no overseas psychology courses are necessary. To create the best study abroad plan, students should consult with their advisers as soon as possible and make their intentions known to The Division of Civic & Global Engagement College of Global Studies. Visit the University’s website for more information.

Senior Capstone Experience

Major courses are sequenced, so every student is at the same experience level, and all seniors participate in Senior Seminar in which they investigate a research question.  Students participating in an agency internship answer that question through library research and a literature review thesis. Students conducting an original research study answer that question through their project and an empirical research report thesis.

Master of Arts in Counseling

The graduate program in Counseling is designed to allow a student to sit for the NCE and to apply for Pennsylvania licensure once mandated supervised work experience is acquired. (See Graduate Catalog.)  An expedited application process is available to Arcadia University Psychology majors.


(57 credits as listed below, with Undergraduate Curriculum requirements and electives to total 128)

Thirteen Psychology Courses

One Mathematics Course

One Additional STEM Course

One NP/NPL course outside of Psychology


One additional Math course with QRM credit


One Computer Science Course with programming or design content

Related Graduate Study at Arcadia University

  • Master of Arts in Counseling
    • Child/Family Therapy
    • Community Counseling Psychology
    • Trauma: Clinical Bases of Treatment and Recovery
  • Masters of Arts in International Peace and Conflict Resolution
  • Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) in Community Health

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs by Type