Back to search results


Degree: BS, BA

Campus: Columbus, Lima, Marion, Mansfield, Newark

College: Arts and Sciences

Psychology is the study of the biological, cognitive, emotional and social processes related to human and animal behavior. Using scientific methods to study, explain and predict behavior, psychologists explore such questions as how the brain learns and stores information; what triggers our biological rhythms, aggression and personality characteristics; how human relationships develop; what leads to judgment and decision making; how society deals with mental illness and behavioral disorders; and the psychological impact of activities such as work and sports.    

Upon admission to the university, students can declare a major in psychology within the College of Arts and Sciences. Students may choose to pursue either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science. 

The psychology major consists of 36 credit hours of psychology courses and a prerequisite course, Introduction to Psychology.

Course work for the psychology major includes:

  • Data Analysis in Psychology
  • Research Methods in Psychology
  • A core course from each of four areas: brain and behavior, cognitive psychology, clinical and development psychology, and social psychology

In addition, students must take at least two advanced courses.

Students completing a BS degree must also take Quantitative and Statistical Methods in Psychology, and an advanced research course (Cognitive Psychology Laboratory or Social Psychology Laboratory).

Students may participate in community-based internship experiences at settings such as Suicide Prevention Services, Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio, Northwest Counseling Services, the American Red Cross, Goodwill of Columbus, COSI, the Student Wellness Center and Northwestern Mutual Financial Services.

The Department of Psychology offers unique and challenging opportunities for Honors students. There are over 10 psychology Honors courses at both introductory and advanced levels. Students also may choose to design and implement their own research project via the Honors thesis track. 

Many psychology majors are also involved in Ohio State’s Scholars programs, and students in the Health Sciences Scholars, Mount Leadership Society, Dunn Sport and Wellness Scholars, and International Affairs Scholars programs often choose psychology as a major.

Students can become involved in faculty research labs as early as their freshman year. Psychology faculty and graduate students offer over 50 research opportunities for interested students. Each year, 600–700 students earn course credit for research experience through the Undergraduate Research in Psychology course. Students may present a poster of their research at the annual Psychology Research Colloquium, the Denman Research Forum, or can travel to a regional, national or international conference.

The department’s faculty are among the top researchers in areas such as stereotyping and prejudice, stress and breast cancer recovery, language development, Alzheimer’s, and schizophrenia. 

Students interested in psychology are encouraged to join student organizations as they are a great way to meet other students in psychology and offer service and leadership opportunities. There are many student organizations with a connection to psychology. Below is a sampling, but check out the Office of Student Life's activities website for a full list of all student organizations. 

A strong liberal arts education with a major in psychology will prepare students for entry into many career fields and graduate/professional programs. The following are some of the fields that graduates with bachelor’s degrees in psychology have entered: administration and management, business and industry, casework, child care, employment interviewing, gerontology, health services, marketing and public relations, personnel, probation and parole, psychiatric assistant, research or laboratory assistant, sales, preschool teaching, and technical writing. 

Close to 60 percent of psychology graduates pursue postgraduate education in a wide variety of fields, including psychology, counseling, social work, education, student affairs, law, medicine, human resources, nursing, public health, occupational and physical therapy, city and regional planning, and public policy. Check out our alumni profiles.

Postgraduate areas of study specific to psychology include clinical, child clinical, cognitive, community, comparative, counseling, developmental, educational, environmental, experimental, forensic, gerontology, health, industrial/organizational, neuropsychology/psychobiology, psychometrics, quantitative, rehabilitation and social psychology. Students who earn advanced degrees in psychology have many career opportunities. Most psychologists are found in academic settings, independent practice, hospitals, clinics or other human services settings, and in business or government.

Future students 

Contact us

More about this major

College website

Academic info

Contact us

Department website

Ohio State’s psychology department ranks 10th nationally among public universities and 21st among all institutions (U.S. News and World Report).

Interested in a career in health care?

Check out the Health Care Pathway to discover the many majors Ohio State offers that can lead to a health care career.