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Northwest Missouri State University


Frequently Asked Questions

Students frequently have questions about the psychology major that are not addressed in the Undergraduate Academic Catalog ("The Catalog"). The information provided in this handout addresses some of the more frequently asked questions about an undergraduate major in the behavioral sciences. This should not be viewed as a replacement to The Catalog; please continue to refer to The Catalog for important information about your degree.

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Why should I major in a behavioral science?

A degree in psychology or sociology will prepare you for work in a variety of disciplines. Behavioral science majors learn how people perceive, think, and behave. While a majority of behavioral science majors at Northwest want to work as counselors or go on to graduate school to earn a masters degree or doctorate, others will work in the criminal justice system, or as teachers, engineers, business or personnel managers, physician assistants, radiologists, nurses, environmental psychologists, and lawyers. Job performance in each of these professions is facilitated by the ability to explain, predict, and modify behavior and requires good listening and communication skills, all of which you will acquire as a behavioral science major at Northwest.

What courses should I take and when should I take them?

  • When registering for classes keep in mind you need to complete 30 hours of coursework per year to be able to move to the next academic class, but you need 124 hours to graduate. This means you should take, on average, 15 hours per semester with an extra hour in four semesters to meet the graduation requirements.
  • Psychology majors must take General Psychology (08-103) before taking any other psychology course. Sociology majors must take General Sociology (35-101) before taking anyother sociology course. Additionally, it is recommended that Psychology majors take General Sociology as their social science general education requirement, and Sociology majors should take General Psychology as their general education behavioral science.
  • All psychology majors must complete their general education core requirements before registering for psychology courses with the number 234 or above.
  • In cooperation with the Advisement Assistance Office at Northwest, you can find our recommendations for your four year plan.

Does the department offer scholarships?

  • The Department of Behavioral Sciences awards several scholarships to Department majors each year. The scholarships range in value from $100 - $400.
  • The deadline for Scholarship applications is usually December 1st. The scholarships are then awarded at the Honors Day Luncheon in April. Contact your advisor for more information about the scholarships and to determine whether you are eligible for a scholarship.