Jul 20, 2024  
University Catalog 2021-2022 
University Catalog 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Psychology

Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Xavier South 500 - (504) 520-7400 - https://www.xula.edu/department?id=psychology_f1abdec

The mission of the Department of Psychology is to prepare students to critically apply the science of psychology to understand themselves and others in a diverse and dynamic world.

The Psychology Program strives to provide its students with a thorough foundation in the methodology of contemporary psychology. Students successfully completing the program are awarded the degree of Bachelor of Science and are prepared both for graduate study in psychology and related fields, and for career opportunities in psychology and other areas at the bachelor’s degree level. The Program offers three tracks-Psychological Science, for students pursuing graduate school or careers applying their degree; Psychology Premedical, for students pursuing medical school or graduate training in health fields, or careers in related areas at the bachelor’s level; Neuroscience for students pursuing graduate training in neuroscience, medical school or other professional health programs, or careers in related areas at the bachelor’s level.

In addition to satisfying the goals of the core curriculum, the programs of study in psychology are designed to:

  1. prepare students majoring in psychology or neuroscience for either professional employment or further graduate training; and
  2. offer courses to students from other disciplines whose curriculum requires them to take courses in psychology.

Students majoring in psychological science or neuroscience are offered a well-balanced program that has a central core, plus a sufficient degree of flexibility to allow them to explore their interests and to enter a variety of graduate programs and careers at a competitive level. The rigorous preparation of students majoring in psychological science is consistent with the American Psychological Association’s Model Curriculum and with the overall University philosophy of academic excellence. The major in psychological science consists of a minimum of 36 semester hours of psychology coursework (33 hours for Psychology Premedical students) with a “C” or better in each course. The major in Neuroscience consists of a minimum of 27 hours of major courses, along with 24 hours of Biology and Chemistry (12 hours in each). A grade of “C” or better is required in all major courses.

It is suggested that Psychological Science and Psychology Premedical majors take the subject (psychology) portion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) during the semester BEFORE the one in which they expect to graduate. Psychological Science and Psychology Premedical majors who score better than 560 on the advanced GRE are exempt from taking the Departmental Senior Comprehensives, which consist of intensive examinations across all subject areas in psychology.

Psychological Science and Psychology Premedical majors will take the Major Field Test (MFT) in Psychology (PSYC 4999 )  the semester BEFORE the one in which they enroll in PSYC 4996  (Historical and Applied Perspectives in Psychology). Psychological Science and Psychology Premedical majors who score at or better than mean national score on each of the four subsections of the Psychology MFT will receive a grade of PC in PSYC 4996  and will be exempt from completing the course.

Students are expected to acquire and exhibit the following academic and professional characteristics:

  1. Mastery of subject matter across the field of psychology and/or neuroscience,
  2. Competence in written and oral communication skills,
  3. Research design and quantitative reasoning skills,
  4. Proficiency in critical thinking about mental and behavioral processes, and
  5. Poise, self-confidence, and a commitment to ethics in science.

Concentration in Psychology - Students choosing a double concentration in psychology and another discipline must complete PSYC 1010  and any additional 9 hours of psychology coursework; for a total of 12 hours in Psychology. An additional 12 hours is required in the other selected discipline of which specific courses might be required. Students are advised to check with both departments for the most up-to-date requirements.   

Psychology Premedical Program

The discipline of psychology, in conjunction with the Premedical program at Xavier University, offers its students an alternative route to careers via medical school or the health professions: the Psychology Premedical Program. This program is recommended for those students who want to major in psychology, but then attend medical school, perhaps in pursuit of a psychiatric degree, or who are interested in graduate programs in Biological Psychology. The program is similar to the psychological science curriculum but more heavily emphasizes the natural sciences. It also requires three (3) fewer hours of psychology than does the psychological science program.

Students who switch from premed to non-premed after completing PSYC 2512  (Advanced Research), for which either MATH 1020  or PSYC 2511  is a prerequisite, may take a different PSYC class in place of PSYC 2511 , provided they earned a C or higher in MATH 1020 .

Neuroscience Program

The mission of the neuroscience program is for Xavier students to gain understanding and skills relevant to the broad field of neuroscience, including current issues, trends, and questions in the field. Drawing most heavily on the offerings of its home department of psychology, but with additional courses in biology, chemistry, mathematics, and computer science; the program’s interdisciplinary curriculum provides students with content knowledge across the field, training students to become future leaders in the field. Graduates of the program are qualified to work as scientists, to pursue further graduate training in neuroscience or other scientific fields, or to enter training programs for health professionals.

Objectives of the Neuroscience program are to:

  • Develop an appreciation for and breadth of knowledge that spans the full range of neuroscience sub disciplines, including developmental, molecular, cellular, systems, behavioral, cognitive, and computational neuroscience.
  • Be able to place neuroscience into an ethical context, especially how studying the brain and behavior can contribute to the resolution of ethical, social, and environmental issues.
  • Provide students with a sufficient depth of knowledge and abilities to prepare them for entry-level employment in a wide variety of fields, or for graduate study in neuroscience or health-related professions.


    Bachelor of ScienceNon-degree