Major Transfer Guide for Psychology

Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Science

The Department Website provides information about major and minor options and requirements, the major declaration process, departmental advising contact information, and more. If you have specific questions about the major, you can contact the departmental advising office.

Recommendations from the Major Department

Courses to prepare for the major

PSY 1001-Introduction to Psychology is a prerequisite to all other courses in the major. DO take an introductory or general psychology course at your current institution to stay on track.

“Statistics” – PSY 3801-Introduction to Psychological Measurement and Data Analysis, is required for both the BA and the BS major. PSY 3801 can be challenging for students with no background in statistics. If you are a community college student who is uncomfortable with math, consider taking an introductory/elementary statistics course at your community college to prepare. While it is unlikely that a statistics course from a community college will count in place of PSY 3801, it can provide a good knowledge base for future success in PSY 3801. Transfer students will typically take PSY 3801 in their first semester at UMTC.

BS Outside Psychology Foundation (OPFC) courses – For the BS Psychology major, 18 or more credits from disciplines outside of Psychology are required – Philosophy, Computer Science/Math, Physical Sciences, and Biological Sciences. Some of the approved courses have prerequisites. For example, Math 1271 - Calculus I can count as an Outside Foundation course; however, depending on your math skills, you may need a prerequisite math course before you can take Math 1271.   

Depending on the Outside Foundation courses you choose, plan to start appropriate prerequisites for courses early in your academic career. The UMTC residency requirement for the BS Major is a minimum of 9 Credits OPFC courses must be taken at UMTC campus.  

A grade of C- or better is required in all courses approved to satisfy major requirements.

See the catalog for all courses in the major.

Remember, when using Transferology to plan courses for the major, look for courses that transfer as direct equivalents to UMTC major courses. In Transferology, a direct equivalent shows as the UMTC course number. For example, COMM 1101 is a direct equivalent, while COMM 1T*** is not.

Requirements to declare the major

In CLA, each department has a process to declare the major. This is a necessary step for the major to be added to the student record. New transfer students do not declare their majors until after they attend orientation.

To declare the Psychology major (BA or BS), students must complete an online Pre-Major module, and then meet with a Psychology departmental advisor for a declaration appointment. Intended Psychology BS majors must also submit a BS planning sheet prior to attending their declaration appointment.

Before declaring Psychology as a major, completion of PSY 1001 (or an equivalent transfer course) is strongly recommended.

The Psychology Department reserves some seats in PSY 3801 and PSY 3001W through the end of the sophomore registration queue for declared Psychology majors. Intended majors typically do not have issues registering for PSY 3801 before they are declared. However, students should plan to declare the major prior to taking PSY 3001W, as the majority of the seats in this class are reserved for declared majors.

We recommend that you meet with the Psychology advising staff during your first semester in CLA to discuss your interests and the declaration process.  This meeting allows the departmental advisor to tell you about the opportunities within the major, which include research and scholarships, as well as help you stay on track in the major.

Limits on the use of transfer credits towards the major

Lower division coursework - The only lower division (1xxx-level) course that counts toward the Psychology major is PSY 1001. Completion of PSY 1001 is strongly recommended prior to major declaration. All other courses in the major are 3xxx-level or above.

Major residency requirement - A minimum of 16 upper level credits must be completed through the Department of Psychology at the UMTC campus. Additionally, Psychology BS majors must complete nine (9) credits of Outside Foundation coursework as UMTC credits.

Other limits on the use of transfer credits –

  • Few Psychology courses from community colleges transfer into the major as 3xxx-level courses. If you are transferring from a community college, we recommend taking no more than two (2) Psychology courses beyond the Introduction to Psychology at your community college.  Abnormal Psychology, a course offered at most institutions, is most likely to be usable toward the major.
  • Courses usable toward the psychology major must be theoretical in nature.  Courses that have a focus on applied psychology rather than theory (e.g., Psychology of Adjustment, Stress or Management, Psychology of Death and Dying, etc.), or classes that do not have PSY 1001 as a prerequisite are not likely to be approved for use toward major requirements.
  • Most developmental/lifespan psychology courses from community colleges are not usable in the major. Any course that is developmental psychology-focused must be evaluated by the Developmental Psychology Department (at UMTC, CPSY is the designator for Developmental Psychology courses) . A developmental/lifespan psychology course MUST be equivalent to one of the two approved CPSY courses (CPSY 3301 or CPSY 4303) in order to count toward the Psychology major.

The Transfer Student webpage on the Psychology Undergraduate website provides information on the department’s process for evaluating Psychology transfer coursework.

Transfer courses are evaluated by the department for use towards the major. Check Transferology to see if an evaluation already exists for the courses you would like to use toward the major.  If you find a course that has not been evaluated you can submit the course for review. A copy of the course syllabus is required.

Additional information and recommendations

Planning for a BA or a BS with a Psychology major-

  • If you are planning to complete a BA degree, consider completing or starting your second language before you transfer to CLA. Be sure to talk with a CLA transfer advisor about any questions you have about completing the CLA Second Language requirement.
  • If you are planning to complete the BS Psychology major, you should plan to start taking the courses or the appropriate prerequisites for the courses you intend to use towards to Outside Foundation requirement.

The nature of psychology at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities may be different than what you are accustomed to at your current institution. Psychology at UMTC is empirical in nature, with a heavy focus on psychology as a science. It is also the largest major on campus with over 1,500 students; classes are large and often led by graduate students.

The Psychology major is a good fit for many students (especially if you are interested in research and/or the scientific application of psychology). However, some students find a better home in another major. Developmental Psychology and Sociology in CLA, or Family Social Science in CEHD, are common alternatives for students interested in psychology.