SHOULD I CHOOSE THE A.B. OR B.S. PROGRAM IN PSYCHOLOGY?
SHALL I CHOOSE THE A.B. OR B.S. PROGRAM IN PSYCHOLOGY?
The Psychology Department offers both the A. B. (Bachelor of Arts) and B.S. (Bachelor of Science) degrees.
The differences between the A.B. and B.S. degrees are:
The B.S. degree requires a total of 90 units in natural science/mathematics in order to fulfill the L&S Area Breadth requirement; in contrast the A.B. degree fulfills the L&S Area Breadth requirement through the student's choice of either a double major, minor, "mini minor" or 3 upper and/or lower division courses in Art, Music and/or Drama (see Area (Breadth) Requirement List under “College of Letters and Science” in the General Catalog).
The A.B. degree requires the 15 unit level (one year) or the equivalent ability level in one foreign language; the B.S. has no foreign language requirement.
Graduate and professional schools in general are not concerned with the kind of degree you possess but rather with the courses you have taken. Generally speaking, graduate programs check your GPA, statement of purpose, letters of recommendation and GRE test scores. If your interest in math or the natural sciences is high, you may prefer to go the B.S. route. The A.B. degree may be attractive to students interested in earning a minor or perhaps pursuing a double major, and for students who desire a greater range of elective courses outside of the natural sciences.
The B.S. and A.B. degrees are equally acceptable for students interested in Psychology graduate school and pre-professional schools (check with the pre-health, pre-law, or pre-graduate advisers in Advising Services, South Hall, for details). There is a good deal of overlap between the B.S. degree and many health program requirements, so those students interested in the health field generally choose the B.S. degree. The important point is to determine what courses would best prepare you for the programs to which you may be applying. For guidance, see a faculty member in your area of interest and check course requirements in individual graduate programs. Applying to Graduate School Guide, available on the website, is an excellent resource for information on psychology graduate school course requirements: http://www.gradschools.com.