FAQs

Undergraduate

1. What kind of degree can I get in psychology at Baylor University?
2. What is the difference between B.A. and B.S. Degrees?
3. What is a pre-major?
4. Why do I have to begin as a pre-major?
5. How do you become a full major?
6. What about graduate programs at Baylor?
7. What is PSY 1101/NSC 1101?
8. Where can I find out more about careers in Psychology?
9. What do I do once I decide to major in Psychology or Neuroscience?
10. What are the requirements for the Psychology major?
11. What are the requirements for the Neuroscience major?
12. What about the requirement for advanced hours?
13. What are additional requirements specified by the University?
14. Where do I go for advisement?
15. How do I decide which courses I should take?
16. Are there any special recommendations about completing the requirements for the psychology major?
17. Are there any special recommendations about completing the requirements for the neuroscience major?
18. What do I need to know about Drop/Adds?
19. How do I make sure I have all the courses I need to graduate?
20. Can I get into a class if I don't have the necessary prerequisites or into a closed class?




Undergraduate

1. What kind of degree can I get in psychology at Baylor University?

The Department of Psychology and Neuroscience offers three undergraduate degrees:

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology, Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Psychology, and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Neuroscience.

2. What is the difference between B.A. and B.S. Degrees?

The B.A. and B.S. degrees in Psychology both provide liberal arts education with required courses in the humanities, mathematics, natural science, and social science. The B.A. degree has a greater emphasis in the humanities and the B.S. degree has a greater emphasis in science and mathematics. The choice of the B.A. degree versus the B.S. degree is more a matter of your interests and abilities than career choice, as most careers are equally accessible with the B.A. or the B.S.

Graduate and professional schools in psychology and other disciplines place much greater emphasis on the courses you take, your grade point average and career-related experience, than whether your degree is a B.A. or a B.S. Approximately 85% of our majors earn the B.A. degree.

3. What is a pre-major?

The pre-major is a collection of core courses that incoming students must complete prior to being admitted to either the PSY or NSC major. The material covered in these courses provides a broad introduction to psychological science that provides the foundation for more focused and detailed study as you progress through the major. The core courses of the pre-major are designed to present the material in sequence, which prevents you from getting overwhelmed or "in over your head".

4. Why do I have to begin as a pre-major?

Starting as a pre-major serves several purposes. First, it allows you to develop a strong discipline-specific knowledge base before progressing onto more sophisticated concepts. Through this exposure, you are also better equipped to determine whether this major is the best fit for you academically. Second, it provides a clear map for a student's sequence of courses. Finally, our departmental research shows that students who struggle in these early courses are likely to struggle throughout the duration of the major. A poor GPA can have long-term consequences in terms of your post-baccalaureate plans such as finding employment or gaining admission into graduate or professional school. Therefore, we want to provide that feedback very early in a student's college experience, in order to allow that student time to find a more suitable major. For more information- click here.

5. How do you become a full major?

For information on becoming a BA/BS Psychology major, please click here.

For information on becoming a BS Neuroscience major, please click here.

At the conclusion of every semester, we review the program of all pre-majors. If you meet the stated requirements, you will be admitted as a full-time major, and we will submit a Change of Major form on your behalf, usually before the start of the next semester. If you believe you have met the standards but have not yet been promoted, please contact Dr. Riley, the Undergraduate Program Director in Psychology and Neuroscience.

6. What about graduate programs at Baylor?

Baylor offers two graduate degrees in psychology, the Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology and Ph.D. in Psychology.

Being a Baylor undergraduate does not mean you are able to get an advanced degree from Baylor as well. Students from all over the country apply for these programs, and only a select few are chosen.

7. What is PSY 1101/NSC 1101?

PSY 1101 and NSC 1101 are first-year experience courses required for all new and transfer students entering as Pre-Psychology or Pre-Neuroscience majors. We will introduce you to the faculty in the department, discuss the academic requirements of the major, and discuss ways in which you can make the adjustment to Baylor successful. This course satisfies BU1000 or U1000 requirements. For Fall 2020, these courses will be held online.

Goals Students will learn:

  • About organizations, activities, and resources that are available to them as students of Baylor University
  • How they can organize their time as efficiently as possible
  • What kinds of study techniques are likely to be effective, and which will not
  • About the MAP-Works tools, and how they can use MAP-Works to increase their likelihood of success
  • What it means to be a part of an "academic community", and what is expected of all members of that community
  • What kind of resources are available to foster spiritual growth
  • How to develop independence and autonomy, both in academic and personal matters
  • Various career paths available to them as PSY or NSC majors
  • What is required of students as pre-majors before applying to become PSY or NSC majors
  • About the faculty they will encounter in PSY and NSC, and learn about academic interests and research opportunities that are available.

8. Where can I find out more about careers in Psychology?

Go to our page: Careers and Jobs.

In addition, you may set up an appointment with your advisor for career advice aimed specifically to your personal situation.

9. What do I do once I decide to major in Psychology or Neuroscience?

Once you declare Psychology or Neuroscience as your major, you must complete the requirements listed in your degree plan. The degree plan is how the university determines if you have met the degree requirements and are eligible to graduate. You should use the degree plan to help you plan which courses you need when you register. Degree audits may be obtained through the Office of the Registrar. Simply present your student ID and ask the Records Office personnel for your degree audit. Students may also access degree audits through BearWeb.

10. What are the requirements for the Psychology major?

Please visit Psychology Degree Requirements for more information.

11. What are the requirements for the Neuroscience major?

Please visit Neuroscience Degree Requirements for more information.

12. What about the requirement for advanced hours?

Psychology majors: Advanced hours (also called upper-level electives) are achieved by taking any course that is at the "3000-4000" level. The university specifies that you must have at least 36 hours of advanced coursework. All 3000 or 4000 level psychology hours count toward this university requirement. Please note that when you complete the requirements for the psychology major, you will have only taken 19 or 20 hours of advanced courses. You must take an additional 16-17 hours of advanced courses. To complete the advanced hour requirement, you may take any combination of additional courses inside or outside the department.

Neuroscience majors: Advanced hours (also called upper-level electives) are achieved by taking any course that is at the "3000-4000" level. The university specifies that you must have at least 36 hours of advanced coursework. All 3000 or 4000 level neuroscience and psychology hours count toward this university requirement. Please note that when you complete the requirements for the neuroscience major, you will have only taken 29 hours of advanced credit hours. You must take an additional 7 hours of advanced courses. To complete the advanced hour requirement, you may take any combination of additional courses inside or outside the department.

13. What are additional requirements specified by the University?

  1. A minimum of 60 hours must be completed at Baylor University.
  2. You are required to have a 2.00 GPA overall and in the major.
  3. You must complete a total of 124 credit hours.
  4. You must complete 36 hours of upper level credit hours.

14. Where do I go for advisement?

  1. Freshman and Sophomore pre-majors (less than 60 hours): University Advisement Office. This office is located in the Paul L. Foster Success Center, Sid Richardson, Suite 230, (254-710-7280). Check BearWeb.
  2. Junior pre-majors and majors: College of Arts and Sciences Advising office (CASA). This office is located in Sid Richardson, Suite 229, (254-710-1524). Check BearWeb. Senior majors must be advised if they are on Academic Probation of if they still qualify as pre-majors.
  3. All neuroscience majors and pre-majors: Since Dr. Karenna Malavanti is now officially on Parental Leave, Dr. Bradley Keele will serve as the NSC advisor. Feel free to come by at any stage in your neuroscience career!
  4. All psychology majors and pre-majors: The psychology departmental advisor, Dr. Tamara Lawrence; BSB A.309. To make an appointment with Dr. Lawrence click here.
  5. Pre-health students who are majoring in Neuroscience or Psychology should pursue additional advisement from the Pre-health advising office located in the Baylor University Science Bldg., Room B.111, (254-710-3659).

15. How do I decide which courses I should take?

In addition to meeting with an advisor, you will probably want to read the Undergraduate Catalog for a description of all of the courses that you are considering. Other students are also a good source of information about courses, although you must often evaluate this information within the proper context (e.g., how interested was the student in the course content). In preparing to register, you should have a list of 6-10 courses that you would like to take in the next semester. Then consult the Schedule of Classes for the availability of these courses and the class meeting times. Arrange your desired schedule and a back-up schedule.

16. Are there any special recommendations about completing the requirements for the psychology major?

Yes. Here are some specific suggestions:

  1. Introduction to Psychology (1305) and Introduction to Neuroscience (NSC 1306 and 1106) should be taken very early, preferably in your freshman year.
  2. Your "Formal Reasoning" requirement should be fulfilled very early, preferably in your freshman year. Please note that PHI 1306: Logic and MTH 1301: Ideas in Mathematics do not qualify as a pre-requisite for PSY 2402: Statistics. Therefore, students should take MTH 1320: Pre-Calculus, MTH 1321: Calculus I or STA 1380: Elementary Statistics to fulfill their Formal Reasoning requirement.
  3. Psychological Science (1305), Statistics (2402) and Introduction to Neuroscience (NSC 1306/1106) are the prerequisites for most other psychology courses.
  4. Try to enroll in Research Methods (2405) the semester after you complete Statistics.
  5. Plan your schedule carefully so that you are not overburdened with too many laboratory courses (foreign language, lab science, psychological science, and statistics) in the same semester.
  6. Seek Academic Advisement every semester. Watch for advising or other types of registration "Holds". You will not be allowed to register until you remove all Holds.
  7. Register as soon as you are able. Your registration time and date will be posted on BearWeb a few weeks before registration begins. If you wait to register, the psychology classes you need might already be filled.
  8. To gain admittance into a closed class, you should get on the electronic waitlist. If you are graduating senior, you may contact the Psychology Department or Dr. Lawrence to discuss your options. Although the catalog says you may get consent of the instructor for prerequisite waivers, those decisions are made only by the department chair or a designee of the chair.

17. Are there any special recommendations about completing the requirements for the neuroscience major?

Yes. Here are some specific suggestions:

  1. Introduction to Psychology (PSY 1305) and Introduction to Neuroscience (NSC 1306 and 1106) should be taken very early, preferably in your freshman year.
  2. You should take Research Methods (NSC 2306) in your sophomore year.
  3. Introduction to Neuroscience (NSC 1306/1106) is the prerequisite for most upper-level neuroscience courses, along with Calculus (MTH 1321).
  4. Plan your schedule carefully so that you are not overburdened with too many laboratory courses in the same semester. The Advanced Neuroscience hours (NSC 4319-4119, 4330-4130, and 4356) are some of the most challenging, so be sure to plan accordingly. Advanced Principles of Neural Science and Lab (4330-4130) serves as a capstone course for the major; you'll want to take it as a senior.
  5. As a junior and a senior, it is better to arrange your course schedule around neuroscience courses as it usually easier to find available courses and sections outside of neuroscience. Pre-med students also need to consider scheduling of advanced science courses (such as Organic Chemistry), which may have fewer sections available.
  6. Seek Academic Advisement every semester. Watch for advising or other types of registration "Holds". You will not be allowed to register until you remove all Holds.
  7. Register as soon as you are able. Your registration time and date will be posted on BearWeb a few weeks before registration begins. If you wait to register, the neuroscience classes you need might already be filled. Have a plan, and have a backup plan.
  8. To gain admittance into a closed class, you should get on the electronic waitlist. If you are graduating senior, you may contact the Neuroscience Department or Dr. Clark to discuss your options. Although the catalog says you may get consent of the instructor for prerequisite waivers, those decisions are made only by the department chair or a designee of the chair.

18. What do I need to know about Drop/Adds?

Before adding or dropping a class, see if the courses and sections you need are available. Once you drop a class, it will show as an available seat and someone will likely be admitted to that class in your place. You may find yourself having dropped a seat in one class and unable to get into another class or even back into the one you just dropped.

19. How do I make sure I have all the courses I need to graduate?

The degree plan is how the university determines your eligibility for graduation. Therefore, you should get a copy of your degree audit every semester (you can access it on BearWeb 24/7/365) to make sure you are meeting all your necessary requirements for graduation. Information about preparing for graduation and filing a graduation card are available through the University's website. In addition, you should make an appointment each semester with the academic advisor for your degree programs (Psychology and Neuroscience Department, Honors College, BIC, and/or Pre-Health). Ask questions. Check BearWeb to determine who is designated as your academic advisor. Ultimately the responsibility to ensure you have the completed all your requirements rests on you, not your advising team.

20. Can I get into a class if I don't have the necessary prerequisites or into a closed class?

You may request admittance into a closed class by registering for the course in BearWeb which will automatically put you on the electronic waitlist. Once you are on the list, the system will notify you by Baylor email if a spot is open for the course. The student has exactly 24 hours from the time the email is sent in which to register for the course. If the student does not register for the course in the exact 24 hour time frame, their name will be dropped from the electronic waitlist and the next person on the list will be notified through their Baylor email. It is important for the student to consistently check their Baylor email daily to see if they have been notified of an opening in a course that they are waitlisted. If they have been notified and missed the 24 hour window, the student must get back on the waitlist by registering for the course again.

Although the catalog says you may get consent of the instructor for prerequisite waivers those decisions are made only by the department chair. Graduating seniors are given priority should a seat become available. Students are notified via e-mail regarding waivers and information on how to register is included.

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