Program at a glance

How much does it cost? 

Learn more about how to afford a degree from the University of Nevada, Reno.

How long does it take?

This 120 credit program is designed to be completed in four years.

Who can apply? 

Open to all undergraduate students. Applicants must have a high-school diploma or GED.

What will I learn in a psychology degree program?

While other scientific fields, such as neuroscience, focus their studies on the physical structures of the brain, psychologists examine human actions to better understand the mind. Because the brain is the guiding force behind practically all behaviors, studying people's actions provides psychologists empirical insights into the way the mind operates.

Learning outcomes

Contemporary psychology uses different theories to understand behavior. Although many people think of psychology as focused on human behavior, psychologists may studen everything from chimpanzees to pigeons to amoebas. 

Some psychologists believe it is most important to understand physiological processes (biological approach); others rarely, if ever, consider physiology. Some psychologists insist that we must investigate the deepest thoughts of the unconscious mind (psychoanalysis); others seek to understand mental structures and processes that underlie human performance (cognitivists). Meanwhile, others study the situated actions of organisms and deny that "mind" can be separated from this level of analysis (behaviorism). Psychology is far from being a unified field of research and practice. This will be one of the questions you will have to answer for yourself: which field, or perspective, of psychology is the most interesting to you.

Areas of study include the physiology of the brain and nervous system, cognition, learning, child psychology, abnormal psychology and animal behavior.

Psychology 101

Psychology 101, which is the introductory course for psychology majors and a popular course on campus, uses a unique teaching style to help you learn at your own pace. The courses uses the Self-Paced, Personalized, Interactive and Networked (SPIN) system, which is a technologically advanced system of instruction. Instead of attending regular weekly lectures, you'll participate in small, weekly discussion sections and take weekly quizzes. You'll have the opportunity to retake the quiz multiple times until you've mastered the material. As soon as you've earned an 87 percent or higher on a quiz, you can move on to new material, allowing you to move faster through the course if you desire.

A Learning Lab staffed with graduate student instructors and undergraduate proctors is open five days a week for you to drop in and get your questions answered. 

Department of Psychology

The psychology department is part of the College of Science, the largest academic unit on campus, and is housed in the Mack Social Science building. The psychology major offers broad range of courses in the core areas of the discipline, and we offer numerous opportunites for undergraduate students to get invovled in faculty research projects and apply their education to real-world psychology questions. 

Options in the psychology degree program

  • Minor in psychology

    A psychology minor offers students majoring in other fields the chance to learn more about psychology by completing courses that cover the fundamentals of psychology as well as an opportunity to take upper-level electives in psychology topics that interest you.

  • Behavior analysis specialization

    The behavior analysis specialization trains students in the science and practice of behavior analysis, or the science of how individuals behave. If you pursue the behavior analysis specialization, you can prepare for graduate study or for a career in human services. The specialization also provides coursework necessary for you to be eligible for certification as a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA), an internationally recognized paraprofessional credential, and to be eligible for licensure in Nevada as a Certified Autism Behavior Interventionist (CABI). The curriculum also meets the standards for undergraduate program accreditation by the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI).

  • Specialization in research

    For students who plan to go to graduate school in psychology, the research specialization emphasizes coursework that graduate schools like applicants to have taken. The research track also requires a minimum GPA (3.0 in psychology classes and 2.75 overall) that is inline with what you need to get accepted into graduate school.

Careers with a degree in psychology

A basic knowledge of psychology can illuminate some basic principles of behavior -- a tremendous asset if you want to communicate effectively, persuade, supervise or teach. Psychology is one of the most popular undergraduate degrees. Many majors use it as a base for a liberal arts education, or as a foundation for work in other fields such as medicine, law, business, human services, management, sales and the like.

You can afford the University of Nevada, Reno

46% of undergraduate students receive financial aid

Almost everyone is eligible to receive financial aid. If you think your family’s income is too high to qualify for financial aid, you might be surprised.

50%+ of all students graduate with no debt

That's right. More than half of our students leave the University of Nevada, Reno with no student debt.

Life's a journey. Honors makes it meaningful.

At the University of Nevada, Reno Honors College, our students maximize their unique gifts and passions through a series of personalized experiences that deepen their capacity for transformative societal impact.

Visit the Honors College
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