Understand human behavior.

Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. This exciting field increases understanding of ourselves while developing critical thinking skills. You’ll understand human relationships, appreciate human development, be a better communicator and develop a new perspective on mental illness while working with scientific methods.



Program type:

Major, BA or BS



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Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in -

Psychological Sciences

The BA in Psychological Sciences provides the foundation for further training in psychology at the graduate level, the background necessary for training in other fields such as the health professions, social work or counseling, and the liberal arts background necessary for entry-level positions in many fields such as business, communication, human services and mental health positions. Students may choose an area of concentration in graduate school preparation, child care and development, or devise an individual program.

The BS in Psychological Sciences involves the application of foundational knowledge and skills from math and the natural sciences to the study of behavior. Students can concentrate their advanced coursework in a specific disciplinary subfield including behavioral neuroscience, child psychology, clinical psychology, or health psychology/pre-health psychology.

Outcomes and Career Outlook

Upon completion of the BA or BS in Psychology, graduates will be able to demonstrate an integrative understanding of psychological concepts, theories, research and historical trends and predict behavior across the scientific sub-disciplines; summarize and explain use of the scientific approach to solve behavioral problems and articulate how behavioral explanations rely on critical thinking, scientific reasoning, weighing evidence and tolerating ambiguity; identify and evaluate appropriate research methods in psychology including research design, data analysis and interpretation; communicate clearly and concisely; demonstrate a respect for members of diverse groups with sensitivity to issues of power privilege and discrimination while adopting social and ethical values that build community; and display professionalism and ownership of professional growth and learning through an evolving career development plan tailored to an accurate self-assessment of abilities, achievements, motivations and work habits.

BA students learn to write and speak about complex behavioral explanations that rely on scientific reasoning and evidence rather than anecdotes or common myths/misconceptions. Advanced coursework in the major can focus on a range of sub-disciplines, including child/lifespan development, mental health psychology.

BS students learn to analyze data, communicate complex information, understand human behavior and think and write scientifically.They also learn to evaluate and identify appropriate research methods in psychology and at least one other STEM discipline.

Employment of psychology graduates is projected to grow up to 8% through 2030, with a median annual salary of $81,040, according to wage and employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Median annual salary


Employment growth by 2030

Career Opportunities

  • Admissions Evaluator/Advisor
  • Alumni Relations
  • Career/Employment/Student Advisor
  • Community/Social Services Staff
  • Conservation Officer
  • Corrections/Probation/Parole Officer
  • Database Specialist/Administrator
  • Department Manager
  • Employee Health Maintenance Program Specialist
  • Financial Aid Counselor
  • Human Resources Advisor
  • Job Analyst/Management
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Patient Resources/Claims Agent
  • Personnel Recruiter
  • Program Evaluator/Administrator
  • Psychiatric Aide/Attendant/Technician
  • Public Relations Representative
  • Victims’ Advocate


Plan of study

BS Option

All majors must meet the general education requirements of the university in addition to completing degree-specific curriculum requirements.

Review Full Degree Requirements Review Sample Four-Year Plan
Download 4-Year Academic Map

BA Option

All majors must meet the general education requirements of the university in addition to completing degree-specific curriculum requirements.

Review Full Degree Requirements Review Sample Four-Year Plan
Download 4-Year Academic Map
Non-Missouri Residents: Prospective students are responsible for reviewing the NC-SARA state authorizations page to see if this program is offered in their state throughout their program and to review the licensure or certification requirements for the state in which they reside.

Student organizations

Make new friends and learn new skills by joining one of our Recognized Student Organizations. Here are several opportunities you may be interested in as a psychology major:

Honors College

The UMSL Honors College is a certificate program that can be paired with any major without adding extra classes or extending time to graduate. Classes in the Honors College are seminar-style, meaning that they are based in reading, writing, discussion, and critical thinking. This unique class format fosters an intellectual climate centered around democracy, diversity, civility and academic excellence.

Undergraduate research

We encourage and support students as they engage in exciting activities in and outside of the classroom that enrich their academic and professional understanding of their chosen area of study. All majors are encouraged to participate in Undergraduate Research and Scholarship to produce discipline-specific intellectual or creative innovations to their field.