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Liberal Arts School with a B.S. in Psych?

sourpatchkid13sourpatchkid13 2 replies2 postsRegistered User New Member
I've been searching for months and months but I can't seem to find any liberal arts colleges that offer a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. Does anyone know of any colleges that I should look into? Every college I've looked at only seems to offer a B.A. in Psychology.

I'm starting to wonder if that's the only type of Psychology degree offered at liberal arts schools? I know that there are options for other B.S. degrees such as neuroscience, but Psych is usually unspecified or simply a B.A.
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Replies to: Liberal Arts School with a B.S. in Psych?

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77103 replies671 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Why does the degree title of Bachelor of Science versus Bachelor of Arts matter?
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5096 replies73 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Boston College offers one. And a new Neuropsychology major. Both are sometimes used as premed tracks there.

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  • merc81merc81 10161 replies151 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited May 12
    Liberal arts college tend to award B.A. degrees as a matter of institutional tradition for all fields of study. This includes psychology, as well as foundational scientific fields such as physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics.

    Regarding your search in general, you might seek to study in a department that offers instruction, either through full courses or course elements, across major areas of modern psychology -- particularly biological/physiological, clinical, cognitive, developmental, social, personality, educational and sensory. Opportunities for research and fieldwork also should be considered.
    edited May 12
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 5270 replies1 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    What do you perceive as the difference between a BA in psychology versus a BSc in psychology? Why would you prefer one versus the other?

    Some of the small universities in eastern Canada (the closest thing that Canada has to a liberal arts college) seem to offer a choice of a BA or a BSc in psychology. However, I have no idea what the difference between the two would be.
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5096 replies73 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    @sourpatchkid13

    From the Boston College website

    “The Psychology B.S. and Neuroscience B.S. are designed for students who desire a more research-focused approach to psychological science. The Neuroscience B.S. is designed for those students who are interested in how the brain gives rise to thought and behavior; those who are interested in the many other facets of psychology—including a research-based approach to developmental, social, or abnormal psychology—are encouraged to pursue the Psychology B.S.”
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  • sourpatchkid13sourpatchkid13 2 replies2 postsRegistered User New Member
    edited May 12
    @ucbalumnus a bachelor of science degree has more courses specific to my major (psychology) and also additional science courses, which is important since i'm planning to study psychology in grad school as well. a bachelor of arts degree has more courses focused on the humanities, which i don't need

    @privatebanker i liked boston college, but i've heard it's has mandatory theology courses, which i'm not really interested in taking. and it's not a liberal arts school

    @merc81 thanks for the info! i've seen b.s. degrees offered at some liberal arts colleges for other science fields though, i'm just not sure if psychology is also an option? but i'm definitely looking into those types of research programs so i'll keep that all in mind! one of the reasons why i'm leaning towards liberal arts is bc of the focus on undergrad and more opportunities for first-year research, but i also really want a b.s.

    it's difficult to find a way to compromise :(
    edited May 12
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  • LynnskiLynnski 245 replies12 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    You don't know what school you'll be attending, so how can you know if there are more courses specific to your major for a BS than a BA? There isn't a Czar who determines all course requirements; they're established by specific departments and specific institutions.
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5096 replies73 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited May 12
    There are two theology course as part of a core. And the year long one that includes service work in the inner city. It’s really an incredible opportunity to grow as a person.

    You can take a competitive religion which is more like a history course. Also there’s a why god type course that is a total non religious based class. Unless you’re in the seminary on the Brighton campus it’s secular.

    It makes you a better scientist knowingness how the brain’s of the billions of people out there think.

    You also learn to be a great writer. Which will come in handy when you write your peer reviewed journal article or best selling book on brain science.

    Don’t overlook liberal arts colleges within bigger schools. They have access to other research areas. Not to sell you on bc anymore but the last thing is their new Schiller integrated sciences building and majors. It’s going to be a state of the art cross disciplinary approach to science that’s a game changer.
    edited May 12
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  • merc81merc81 10161 replies151 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited May 12
    I think you will benefit from reviewing the course requirements of some of the stronger psychology B.A. programs, @sourpatchkid3. You should see that their curricula overlaps much more strongly with fields such as neuroscience than with the humanities. Actually, if you were inclined, you could pursue a psychology B.A. at an LAC that would be difficult to distinguish from a neuroscience track. In terms of any future goal that you might imagine, including graduate school, I can't think of any compromises that you would encounter through a B.A. program at a well-resourced liberal arts college with broad and deep psychology course offerings.
    edited May 12
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 5270 replies1 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    "I think you will benefit from reviewing the course requirements of some of the stronger psychology B.A. programs,"

    This is what I was thinking also. Look at 5 or 10 schools, including some LACs and some slightly larger schools that offer a BSc in psychology. Look at what specific courses they require for a bachelor's in psychology. Then decide.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22415 replies14 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    a bachelor of arts degree has more courses focused on the humanities, which i don't need

    That's what LAC offer, a liberal arts education, including humanities.

    What do you think an LAC would offer to you that would make it better than a university? If you want the BS, you'll have to go to a university that offers it. You can find smaller universities if that's what you are looking for.

    At many large universities, the psychology degree is a BA because the department is in the school of arts and sciences and all those pesky humanities courses are required. You can still take the psych classes, but just have the core requirements too. At my school, all the sciences like chem, bio, psych, physics were in A&S.
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  • merc81merc81 10161 replies151 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited May 12
    That's what LACs offer, a liberal arts education, including humanities.

    Actually, if the OP were to pursue a psychology major at a liberal arts college with a notably flexible curriculum -- e.g., Smith, Hamilton, Amherst -- few, if any, humanities classes would be required. Though they would be widely available, of course.
    edited May 12
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  • wisteria100wisteria100 4174 replies47 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Take a look at the psychology program at Clark
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77103 replies671 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    a bachelor of science degree has more courses specific to my major (psychology) and also additional science courses, which is important since i'm planning to study psychology in grad school as well. a bachelor of arts degree has more courses focused on the humanities, which i don't need

    You need to look up the degree requirements for the major at each school, rather than use the degree title of BA or BS to generalize in this way. Also, if the degree requirements are a bit light in your subareas of interest, you can take additional in-major or related electives.

    Humanities general education requirements would also depend on the school. For example, you can do a BS degree in brain and cognitive sciences at MIT, but you will have more humanities requirements there than if you do a BA degree in psychology at Amherst.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41519 replies447 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Ba typically means you have more "electives". These electives can be science courses, upper level Psychology/neuroscience classes, a minor, anything you're interested in.
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  • 4gsmom4gsmom 690 replies24 postsRegistered User Member
    Union College. I got my B.S. in Psychology there and they still offer it: https://www.union.edu/academic/majors-minors/psychology
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  • dadof2ddadof2d 185 replies9 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Knox College offers a BS degree in psychology.
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  • merc81merc81 10161 replies151 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited May 12
    Grinnell might be another example of a liberal arts college at which you would not be required to take humanities classes. However, at whichever school you attend, I recommend you choose electives of interest to you across humanities fields such as classical studies / philosophy, religious studies, literature and history. Broad study in these areas would make you more appealing to graduate psychology departments than if you were to somehow study exclusively within the natural and social sciences.
    edited May 12
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  • pishicacapishicaca 274 replies8 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Wooster offers a B.A. but it includes a year and a half of intensive mentored research through the required Independent Study (I.S.) program. Having begun your own line of research as an undergraduate is a significant adnatntage as you apply to graduate schools.
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  • Parentof2014gradParentof2014grad 941 replies12 postsRegistered User Member
    At most if not all of the LACs I visited with my kids, including the one my daughter attended, the curriculum was advertised as 1/3 general education requirements (incl. humanities, sciences, social sciences, fine arts), 1/3 major requirements, and 1/3 other, which could be various electives, a minor, or a second major. There’s plenty of room in your academic schedule at an LAC to get the coursework to prepare you well for grad school, whether the degree is a BA or a BS. As others have said, you need to look in more detail at what types of courses are offered in the psychology department as well as other departments at each school, as well as opportunities for research and other experiences that will help prepare you for grad school.
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