Psychology AB

Requirements for the A.B. Major in Psychology

Requirements for the A.B. degree

1. Introductory Psychology. Completion of PSY 101, AP or IPC credit, or equivalent transfer course.

Students who earn high enough scores on AP or IPC testing in psychology (see Trinity guidelines for AP and IPC credit) will receive credit for PSY 101. Please note that students who receive AP or IPC credit for Psychology 101 will need to complete a total of 11 courses in the major beyond Psychology 101. Thus, AP or IPC credit allows students to place out of Psychology 101, but does not reduce the total number of courses they must take. Students who do not have credit for PSY 101 should take this class as their first psychology class at Duke. 

2. Distribution Requirement. At least two area survey courses. Students must complete:

(a) At least one of the following:

      PSY 106 or 107 (Biological), or PSY 102 (Cognitive)

[and]

(b) At least one of the following:

      PSY 105 (Abnormal), PSY 103 (Developmental), or PSY 104 (Social).

Note: Although students must complete at least two of the above courses, some students may wish to complete more than the required two classes. Up to four of these courses may count toward the major (see #7 - Eleven-Course Requirement below).

3. Depth Requirement. Students must complete at least three intermediate/advanced courses spread across two areas where a survey course was completed. At least one course beyond the survey level must be in the Biological or Cognitive areas and at least one must be in the Abnormal/Health, Developmental, or Social areas. For example, if a student completed survey courses PSY 106 (Biological)  and PSY 103 (Developmental), at least three additional courses in the Biological and Developmental areas are required, with a minimum of one course in each area (one in one area and two in the other). For a listing of courses that fit into each of these areas, click here. Students may also use one Independent Study course to count towards the Depth Requirement. Students should contact the Psychology Office of Undergraduate Studies to make this request.

4. Seminar Requirement. One upper level seminar in psychology. The course used to satisfy this requirement may also count as one of the advanced courses required for the depth requirement. Seminars are identified by course numbers ending in the letter 'S'. Freshman seminars, PSY 89S, and FOCUS courses, such as PSY 190FS, do not satisfy this requirement.

5. Methods Requirement. Research Methods in Psychological Science, PSY 202, or one of the specialized research methods in the PSY 302-315 series. Students are advised against enrolling in research methods prior to statistics.

6. Statistics. The required course is Introduction to Statistical Methods in Psychology (PSY 201). The course completed to satisfy this requirement will also count as one of the 11 courses required for the major. The following courses are also acceptable: Mathematics 342, Statistical Science 101, 102, 111, or 250. Other courses may be substituted only with advance permission of the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Students who plan on taking courses in the Department of Statistical Science should consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Psychology & Neuroscience prior to enrolling in their initial statistics class. Multiple introductory-level statistics classes will not satisfy PSY elective requirements.

7. Eleven-Course Requirement. All majors must complete a total of at least 11 courses in psychology. Students who received AP credit for PSY 101 must complete 11 additional courses, i.e., AP or IPC credit for PSY 101 does not count as one of the 11 required courses.

Courses completed for other requirements listed above (i.e., PSY 101, PSY 201 (or equivalent), PSY 102-107, etc.) count toward this requirement. Note, however, that no other course numbered <100 (e.g., PSY 89S) or FOCUS courses (e.g., PSY 190FS) may count toward the major. Additionally, courses cross-listed with other departments (e.g., BIO 224, NEUROSCI 101) may count, so long as the course is not also being used to satisfy an extra-departmental co-requirement (i.e., as a natural science elective for the B.S.)