Undergraduate Programs FAQ

Major and Minor Requirements

What are the requirements for a Bachelor's degree in psychology?:
What are psychology electives?:
  • As of Fall 2019, the major requires 37 credit hours in psychology, with a minimum of 12 upper division credits completed at UMKC.
  • The Department offers a range of electives, such as: Health Psychology (PSYCH 331), Motivation & Emotion (PSYCH 405), Special Topics (PSYCH 450) and Contemporary Issues in Psychology (PSYCH 495WI).
  • Additionally, if you take both courses from foundational area (for example, you choose between Personality [323] and Abnormal [433] for the Clinical Foundational area), one course will fulfill that requirement and the other will count as one of your psychology electives.
  • A combination of 3 credits from PSYCH 490 (Directed Individual Research) and/or PSYCH 491 (Research Externship) can count as psychology electives.  Please meet with a Psychology Advisor if you are interested in this opportunity.
  • And, 3 credits of PSYCH 461 (Field Practicum) can count as psychology electives.
How do I find out if my psychology credits transfer from another university?:
  • The best thing to do is talk with one of our academic advisors.  We can review your transfer courses and give you specific information about how they will count toward our degree requirements.
  • Generally, we will accept most psychology courses taken at other accredited institutions that you’ve earned at least a C- in.
  • You need to complete at least 12 upper division credits here at UMKC.  That is, of the 37 credits required for the major, 12 of these need to be at the 300- or 400-level and taken here at UMKC.

Research and Internship Experiences

How do I get involved in research as a psychology major?:
  • If you are interested in psychological research, or plan to attend graduate school, consider getting involved in a research lab or conducting an individual research project.
  • The Department offers an elective, PSYCH 490 (Directed Individual Research); a maximum of 3 credit hours can count towards the psychology elective requirement.  This course is taken under the supervision of a faculty member, and that faculty member must give you permission to enroll.
  • Most faculty members prefer that students complete PSYCH 302 (Experimental Methods) and PSYCH 316 (Quantitative Methods) before enrolling.
  • The steps to apply for a PSYCH 490 positions are:
    • Review the list of faculty members to determine who may have research interests similar to your own.
    • Contact professors with whom you would be interested in working to determine if they are accepting applications for their research labs.  We suggest contacting more than one professor about lab opportunities to increase your chances of acceptance.
    • Fill out the 490 Application (one for each professor with whom you are applying).
    • Return the application to the professor’s mailbox, or email it to them.  Typically professors will notify students within a few weeks.
  • We also offer a complementary research experience (PSYCH 491: Research Externship) with our community partners. Students will engage in research under the supervision of a partner at one of our external sites (e.g., Children’s Mercy Hospital, KU Med).
Are there internship opportunities in the Department of Psychology? ?:
  • We are now offering an internship class!  It is PSYCH 461 (Field Practicum).  The course can serve as a psychology elective.
  • We are continually recruiting new internship sites.  We have partnered with UMKC’s Propel Program, the MS Society, JumpStart, REbeL, Synergy, and New House.  We also offer students the opportunity to create their own site.  Please contact our Advising Office for more information about this option.
  • Students who sign up for PSYCH 461 commit to working approximately 120 hours at their site over the semester.
  • Internship opportunities are shared with the psychology student list serv (operated by our Advising Office); watch your email!


Graduate School

How can you help if we want to apply to graduate school?:
  • Applying to graduate school is a lengthy process. To make things easier for you, we have created an “Applying to Graduate School: Survival Guide” available upon request in the Psychology Advising Office.
  • We also hold a seminar each semester that covers the steps involved in applying to graduate or professional school. Once you declare your major in Psychology and are added to our student list serv, you will receive invitations each semester.
  • The department also offers undergraduate research and internship experiences that will bolster your application.
Where do I get information about graduate programs in psychology?:
  • Graduate Study in Psychology (APA, 2018) is a book published yearly that lists every graduate program in the nation, along with their requirements.  We have a copy in the Psychology Advising Office. Internet searches also can provide you with a plethora of information on different programs.
What types of graduate programs are available in psychology?:
  • There are many graduate programs in psychology!  Graduate programs in psychology can normally be divided into two groups: applied and research/experimental.
  • Applied psychology includes: clinical, counseling, community, health, forensic, industrial/organizational, and sports psychology.
  • Research/experimental psychology includes: educational, cognitive, experimental, developmental, neuroscience, psychometric (quantitative), personality, and social psychology.
  • However, do not assume that applied programs do not involve research.  Many clinical, counseling, and health programs have a strong focus on research.
How do I find information about psychology graduate programs offered at UMKC?:
What career options are available for persons with a M.A. or a Ph.D. related to psychology? :
  •  There are many options for individuals with graduate degrees related to psychology! Many work as professors, conduct psychological research, work as therapists, counselors, or in medical settings, or do any combination of the these.
  • Work is available at universities, health care agencies such as hospitals, in private practice settings, and through research centers.
  • Here is a helpful website describing the types of careers associated with each graduate degree: http://www.drkit.org/psychology/.
  • However, depending on the type of graduate degree you seek, it may limit what your options are for job opportunities. Be sure to check what your graduate degree will specifically train you to do before beginning a program.




Please contact us!

The UMKC Psychology Advising Office

(816) 235-1092