The Psychology Department offers three majors: the Psychology Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) major, the Psychology Bachelor of Science (B.S.) major, and the Neuroscience Bachelor of Science (B.S.) major. All options introduce students to the broad range of topics that psychologists study, while also allowing students to choose an individualized course of study and focus on aspects of psychology and neuroscience in greater depth. Each option allows students to gain research experience working in our research labs.

Programs at a Glance

Psychology B.A. and Psychology B.S.

The Psychology B.A. and the Psychology B.S. majors are particularly suited to students who wish to understand human behavior and mental function. Students will take Psychology courses relevant to social, developmental, biological, and cognitive psychology and will learn how animal models can be used to inform human behavior. Together these courses will provide students with an appreciation for the theories that have been put forth to explain human behavior and for the importance of considering clinical, cultural, social, biological, and developmental factors when trying to understand why humans think, feel, and act as they do. Both degree options introduce students to the broad range of topics that psychologists study, while also allowing students to choose an individualized course of study and focus on some aspects of psychology in greater depth.

Psychology B.S.

The Psychology B.S. is a research-focused track. Students interested in psychology as it relates to other scientific disciplines and/or who are planning to pursue research-focused graduate work (e.g., Ph.D., M.D.) are encouraged to select the B.S. major. B.S. students will take courses in Psychology and choose from elective co-requisites in departments including Economics, Computer Science, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. Together these courses will provide students with an in-depth understanding of the scientific study of the human mind and with opportunities for exposure to hands-on, laboratory science. This major is well-suited for students interested in a research-based approach to psychology. For students who are more likely to pursue graduate work without a focus on research (e.g., social work, law, Psy.D., Ed.D.) and/or would like greater flexibility in their course schedule, the B.A. may be more appropriate.

Neuroscience B.S.

The Neuroscience B.S. major is a research-focused degree for students who are interested in understanding the biological basis of brain function in relation to thought and behavior. The major has co-requisites in Biology and Chemistry as well as elective natural science co-requisites. It emphasizes exposure to hands-on, laboratory science. Students will take courses that are related to evolution, genetics, physiology, neurobiology, and the neural basis of higher cognitive and emotional processes in humans. Together these courses will provide students with a strong foundation in the neurobiological processes that underlie behavior, motivation, and cognition. The Neuroscience major covers many of the requirements for premed.


Most students majoring in Psychology or Neuroscience are assigned a faculty member in the Psychology Department as an advisor. Some exceptions include freshmen and students for whom Psychology or Neuroscience is a second major. If you have not been assigned an advisor from Psychology, you should seek some form of departmental advising prior to registering for courses. You can obtain advising from any faculty member. You need only pick up your degree audit from your assigned advisor. Faculty advisors can be valuable as sources of opinion and guidance. However, it is unlikely that any one person will be able to answer all of your questions. Here are some suggestions:

  • The Department holds informational sessions for students considering graduate work in clinical psychology.
  • The main office has syllabi for almost all psychology courses. You can request that a syllabus be emailed to you.

Meeting Your Advisor

Keep in mind that the registration period is particularly busy. Each faculty member has many advisees who all need to pick up forms and receive advising during a brief period of time. To keep this process running smoothly, consider the following suggestions.

  • Prepare your questions carefully ahead of time so that you get the answers you need.
  • Read and know the specific requirements for the major before you meet with your advisor. These detailed requirements are listed in the course catalog. You must assume responsibility for knowing what you must take in order to graduate. Your advisor is there to offer advice and some perspective on larger issues rather than to repeat what is readily available in print or to tell you what to do.
  • Make an appointment to talk to your advisor at some other time during the semester when things are not so hectic. Doing so will give you an opportunity to discuss the longer-term issues which are certainly relevant to your Boston College experience.
  • If you are interested in some special programs, make an appointment to see the relevant advisor: pre-medical advisor Prof. Robert Wolff of the Biology Department in Higgins Hall, pre-law advisor Dean Joseph Burns in the Morrissey Associate Deans Office, Gasson 109B, junior year abroad advisor Prof. Jeff Flagg at the Foreign Study Office, etc. Again, it is best to make these appointments before the registration period starts.

Your Degree Audit

Your DeGRE (Degree and Graduation Requirements Evaluation) audit, which contains your access code number, is mailed to your advisor. (Seniors’ degree audits are sent to them directly.) You contact this person to pick up your audit form and access code and to review your course selections for the coming semester.

This document lists all courses that Student Services is counting towards your requirements for graduation. A completed requirement has *** in front of it. Once you have declared your major, there is a separate listing of the major requirements you have satisfied and those you have not. If you have a question about a requirement that is not completed, you should check with Student Services. If the question concerns the Psychology or Neuroscience major, you may be referred to the Director of Undergraduate Studies. It is a good idea to straighten out these problems as early as possible.

Major Requirements

The University Catalog contains the most up-to-date description of major requirements. The department does not offer a minor in psychology or neuroscience.