Psychology Department

Psychology Department Learning Goals

In the APA Guidelines for the Undergraduate Psychology Major, approved by the American Psychological Association in 2013, the APA’s Council of Representatives identified five learning goals and outcomes for undergraduate Psychology majors. (Please see APA Guidelines for Majors 2.0 for a full description of these learning goals or APA Learning Goals Infographic for an abbreviated version.)

  1. Knowledge base. Students should be able to:
    • describe key concepts, principles, and overarching themes in psychology,
    • develop a working knowledge of psychology’s content domains, and 
    • describe applications of psychology.

  2. Scientific inquiry and critical thinking. Students should be able to
    • use scientific reasoning to interpret psychological phenomena, 
    • demonstrate psychology information literacy, 
    • engage in innovative and integrative thinking and problem solving, 
    • interpret, design, and conduct basic psychological research, and 
    • incorporate sociocultural factors in scientific inquiry.

  3. Ethical and social responsibility in a diverse world.  Students should be able to 
    • apply ethical standards to evaluate psychological science and practice, 
    • build and enhance interpersonal relationships, and 
    • adopt values that build community at local, national, and global levels.

  4. Communication. Students should be able to 
    • demonstrate effective writing for different purposes,
    • exhibit effective presentation skills for different purposes, and
    • interact effectively with others.

  5. Professional development. Students should be able to 
    • apply psychological content and skills to career goals, 
    • exhibit self-efficacy and self-regulation, 
    • refine project-management skills, 
    • enhance teamwork capacity, and 
    • develop meaningful professional direction for life after graduation.