Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

Earn your Psychology Degree at SUNY Empire State University

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology is a 124-credit program listed with SUNY and approved as a registered degree program through the New York State Education Department. Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behavior; the discipline covers major broad topics and employs specific social science methodologies for understanding humans, ranging from simple observation to rigorous experimentation. Subjects include, but are not limited to, how people develop and learn; how behaviors, relationships, and beliefs are motivated; how the brain, behavior, and environment interact; how people develop cognitive, emotional, and behavioral problems, as well as how to intervene; how people interact with the world around them, including how they perceive it, how they respond to it intellectually and emotionally, and how these processes change throughout the lifespan; and, how all of these processes are integrated into personality under interpersonal, social, and cultural influences.

The B.A. in Psychology includes study in biological, cognitive, developmental, social, cultural, and individual aspects of people, as well as specific study of research methodologies (including statistics) employed within the discipline and how psychology can be applied in real life. Students must complete at least 40 credits spread among the major subfields of psychology, with at least 24 credits being from advanced psychology studies.

The Bachelor of Arts in Psychology is guided by the learning goals established by the American Psychological Association and features a curriculum focused on equipping students with fundamental knowledge through core courses. Once a foundational knowledge base is gained, students have the opportunity to customize their education to match their personal, educational, and career goals by choosing from a variety of courses to fulfill the degree requirements. Students will have the option of completing the degree program through various delivery modes such as online, independent study, blended, and/or face-to-face study.


The admissions requirements for the B.A. in Psychology will be the same as current undergraduate admissions requirements. The program will follow the university policy for granting prior learning (PLA) credits to be among the 93 maximum transferable credits.

B.A. Psychology Program Requirements

Students pursuing a B.A. in Psychology must complete the following required courses:

  • PSYC 1005 - Introduction to Psychology
  • HUDV 1015 - Human Development: Introductory (see note 4)
  • SOSC 2010 - Statistics for the Social Sciences (see note 1)
  • PSYC 2030 - Social Psychology: Introductory (see note 5)
  • PSYC 3010 - Abnormal Psychology: Advanced
  • PSYC 3040 - Biological Psychology
  • PSYC 3045 - Cognitive Psychology (see note 1)
  • PSYC 3055 - Cultural Psychology
  • SOSC 3025 - Social Science Research Methods
  • Two additional advanced level courses in psychology

Psychology Program Notes

  1. In consultation with the student’s primary mentor, the following course substitutions may be made:
    • MATH 1065- Statistics may be substituted for SOSC 2010- Statistics for the Social Sciences
    • PSYC 3100- Learning and Memory may be substituted for PSYC 3045- Cognitive Psychology
  2. Students transferring in lower level credits that overlap content covered in PSYC 3040, 3010, 3045, 3055, or SOSC 3025 may count that lower level work as satisfying the content requirements of the corresponding upper level course at SUNY Empire. However, students must have a minimum of 24 advanced level credits in psychology in their program in order to have the program approved.
  3. Students should work with their mentors to select elective courses that add focused depth to the core psychology program requirements, based on the individual goals of the student.
  4. Students who have received credit for HUDV 3025 Human Development: Advanced (or equivalent, via transfer credits) may apply that credit in lieu of HUDV 1015.
  5. Students who have received credit for PSYC 3020 Social Psychology: Advanced (or equivalent, via transfer credits) may apply that credit in lieu of PSYC 2030.

Frequently Asked Questions – B.A. in Psychology Program

I am interested in this program, but I am already a student in a different Area of Study (AOS) at SUNY Empire.  Can I switch to this psychology program?

Yes, you could switch to this psychology program, although your degree program would need to include the required psychology courses (or equivalents) outlined in the program. Please consult with your primary mentor. 

If I am a student in the Human Development AOS, can I use the concentration title of “psychology” for a bachelor’s degree?

  • Yes, only if you are a student who was matriculated prior to January 1, 2020.
  • No, if you are matriculated after January 1, 2020, you will not be able to use the concentration of psychology for a bachelor’s degree unless you are accepted into the B.A. in psychology program.

Could my bachelor’s degree in psychology be a bachelor of science (B.S.)?

No, the program in psychology at SUNY Empire is a bachelor of arts (B.A.).

Does my bachelor’s degree plan have to include all of the courses listed in the B.A. in psychology program?

Yes, if you are enrolled in the B.A. in psychology program, you must include the required psychology courses listed (or equivalents).  In addition, you must complete all other degree requirements, e.g., General Education, Educational Planning, sufficient advanced credits.

Is there flexibility within the B.A. in psychology degree program?

Yes, there is room for flexibility within this program.  Students need at least 45 advanced level credits for a bachelor’s degree (and often take more than that minimum), so additional psychology courses are likely to be included.  Students’ interests and career goals within psychology may vary widely and choices of courses beyond this core set of psychology courses would vary accordingly. In addition, there is a lot of room in the 124 credits in the bachelor’s degree, so students may choose electives from other disciplines as well.

What if I want to take some of the psychology courses, but not be part of the B.A. in psychology program?

Any students can take these courses, as long as prerequisites are met (e.g., an advanced level psychology course may require that Introduction to Psychology be taken first).

Is Educational Planning required as part of the B.A. in psychology program?

Yes, as per university policy, at least four credits of Educational Planning are required.

Do I still need to write a rationale essay for the B.A. in psychology program?

Yes, you are expected to write a rationale essay that follows the current policy.

Are there general education requirements for the B.A. in psychology program?

Yes, students need to meet the SUNY general education requirements for a bachelor’s degree. You will work with your primary mentor to meet the requirements.

Can transcript credit from other accredited colleges and universities be used in the B.A. in psychology program?

It may! You would work with your primary mentor in Educational Planning to determine how many potential credits may transfer into the bachelor’s degree plan.

Can prior learning count toward the B.A. in psychology program?

It may! You would work with your primary mentor in Educational Planning and follow the university processes for prior learning assessment, credit by examination, etc.

How are the courses for the B.A. in psychology offered?

The courses can be offered in our various modes of delivery, including independent study, online, group, or residency.  Please consult the Registration Term Guide for current listing of study options.

Is it possible to earn an associate degree related to psychology at SUNY Empire?

Yes, students can develop an associate degree with a concentration in psychology under the human development area of study.

Enrollment, Questions?

If you would like more information about the Psychology program, please contact:

Psychology and Human Development Department Chair:

Margaret Clark-Plaskie, PhD
607-463-2390 ext. 3384

Administrative Assistant for the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences:

Liza Rieger
914-948-6206 ext. 3589
Prospective students should contact