Psychology major at Stanford

December 20, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Psychology Major at Stanford

Does Stanford Offer A Psychology Major?

Does Stanford offer a psychology major? Stanford University is a renowned institution of higher education and research in the U.S. that offers some of the top educational programs. The same can be said about the psychology major at Stanford. The psychology program at Stanford is widely regarded as one of the best in the country and around the globe.

One of the most important aspects of a successful psychology program is a successful faculty. Stanford University has a faculty that is world-class and is comprised of the best psychology educators, lecturers, researchers, and clinical practicians the world has ever seen. Over ten faculty members of the psychology program faculty have been inducted as Fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and several more have been inducted as Fellows of the National Academy of Science.

The study of psychology at Stanford is broken up into five department areas: Affective Science, Cognitive Science, Developmental Science, Social Science, and Neuroscience. Both undergraduate and graduate degrees in psychology are available at Stanford.

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The study of human behavior is the primary focus of the undergraduate psychology curriculum, which is designed to prepare students for advanced study in psychology as well as professions in education, law, business, social work, medicine, and of course, psychology. Courses offered to students majoring in psychology at the undergraduate level may include, but are not limited to, an introduction to psychology, an introduction to statistical methods, the origin of mental life, self-theories, emotion control, and dynamic models of mental processes.

The undergraduate program offered by the Department of Psychology provides students with an outstanding education in how to comprehend human behavior through the application of scientifically rigorous approaches.

Both the major and the minor in Psychology provide students with a wide range of chances for participation. Students who decide to take the psychology major at Stanford are expected to take advantage of the numerous opportunities that the department offers for direct involvement in ongoing research. These opportunities include things like taking part in the robust undergraduate psychology association (SUPA), as well as planning and carrying out your very own research projects as part of the Senior Honors Program.

What Courses Do You Need To Take To Major In Psychology At Stanford?

You are free to declare at any point during your first or second year, but if you haven’t done so by the spring of your sophomore year, you are required to do so. In most cases, departments will not let you declare your major over the summer months.

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Now, what courses do you need to take to major in psychology at Stanford? Students who intend to earn a degree with a psychology major at Stanford are required to finish a minimum of 70 units of coursework in the field, of which at least 60 must be completed within the Psychology department. The remaining ten units may be taken in a department other than the one being studied, but prior approval from either your faculty advisor or a petition submitted through Student Services is required.

Course Requirements

  • Two introductory courses
  • Psych 1: Introduction to Psychology
  • Psych 10: Introduction to Statistical Methods, or a comparable Statistics course
  • Five of the Core Courses, with a minimum of two courses required from each of areas A and B:

Area A Courses

  • Psych 30: Introduction to Perception
  • Psych 35: Minds and Machines
  • Psych 45: Introduction to Learning and Memory
  • Psych 50: Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience

Area B Courses

  • Psych 60: Introduction to Developmental Psychology
  • Psych 70: Introduction to Social Psychology
  • Psych 75: Introduction to Cultural Psychology
  • Psych 80: Introduction to Personality and Affective Science
  • Psych 90: Introduction to Clinical Psychology
  • Psych 95: Introduction to Abnormal Psychology
  • One of the courses designated as Writing in the Major (WIM)

Academic Year 2022-2023 WIM courses: PSYCH 175 and PSYCH 180


The remaining criteria for the degree can be satisfied by taking elective classes in psychology. Any Psychology class that is at least three units long can be considered an elective option (excluding independent study, research, and practicum). In addition, there are four courses from other departments that are considered relevant to PSYCH and are not considered to be outside units.

Except for those classes that can only be taken on an S/NC (satisfactory/no credit) basis, every course that counts toward the 70-unit need must be passed with a grade of C- or above in order to fulfill the requirement. Students who are working toward a double major or a minor degree in another field are not permitted to overlap (double-count) any of their courses, unless the courses in question are prerequisites for an introductory skill requirement, such as PSYCH 10.

Does Stanford Offer A Master’s Degree In Psychology?

Stanford offers graduate degree programs in psychology wherein students are given the opportunity to prepare for careers in research, education, and clinical practice with research as its primary focus. The fields of cognitive science, developmental science, affective science, neuroscience, and social psychology are all part of graduate study. While the graduate program is mainly dedicated to research in the field of psychology, it does not include any courses in the areas of counseling, clinical, industrial, organization, or parapsychology.

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If you’re interested to enroll in a post-graduate psychology program, you may wonder “Does Stanford offer a master’s degree in psychology?” Currently, the Master of Arts program at Stanford currently does not accept applications thus, there is no terminal Master’s Degree available in the field of Psychology. Students who are already enrolled in one of Stanford’s Ph.D. programs are the only ones who are eligible to pursue the Master of Arts in Psychology degree option.

Students who are currently enrolled in the Department of Psychology’s graduate program and who have satisfied the criteria for both the first- and second-year coursework are eligible to apply for a Master of Arts in Psychology degree at Stanford. They must also earn at least 45 units in Psychology courses for conferral of the MA degree.

Students who are already enrolled at Stanford in one of the university’s doctoral or professional programs may also apply for the master’s degree program in Psychology under certain circumstances. In situations like these, the appropriate admissions requirements and degree prerequisites are figured up on a case-by-case basis. Applicants in this category ought to get in touch with the appropriate programs to determine their eligibility.

Students who complete a doctoral program in psychology are prepared for employment in research as well as teaching. In addition to offering a diverse selection of classes, a distinctive feature of the Ph.D. program is the emphasis placed on close collaboration between students and the faculty advisors assigned to them.

In order to evaluate a candidate’s potential for a future in teaching and research, the Department of Psychology conducts a comprehensive evaluation of the candidate’s whole application. Several criteria, such as the courses that have been taken, the grade point average, the letters of recommendation, and the statement of intent, are taken into consideration. In addition, the Department of Psychology places a significant focus on research training. Many of the students who are accepted into the program have previously participated in independent research either as undergraduates or in post-baccalaureate programs.

Even though there are no specific course prerequisites for admission, all applicants are expected to have sufficient basic knowledge and research experience to be able to participate in coursework and research at the graduate level.

The graduate program welcomes students who have earned bachelor’s degrees, as well as those who have earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in their academic careers. It is not necessary to have completed an undergraduate degree in psychology; the Department encourages individuals with a variety of academic experiences.

Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program

The Knight-Hennessy Scholars program at Stanford University cultivates and supports a highly engaged community of graduate students from across the university who are multidisciplinary and multicultural. It also delivers a diverse collection of educational experiences to prepare graduates to address complex challenges facing the world.

KHS accepts up to one hundred highly qualified applicants each year from each of Stanford’s seven graduate schools. It then provides these students with immersive experiences designed to mold them into visionary, courageous, and collaborative leaders who are ready to tackle complex problems on a global scale.

You will be given complete financing for up to three years of your Ph.D. studies at Stanford if you are selected as a scholar at Stanford University. In addition, you will join a prestigious cohort and participate in leadership activities for up to three years.

Candidates can come from any country in the world. Candidates for the KHS must have received their first undergraduate degree within the past seven years, and they are required to submit applications to both the KHS and a graduate school at Stanford. Students enrolled in the Ph.D. program at Stanford may apply to KHS during their first year of study.

Is Stanford A Good School For Psychology?

Is Stanford a good school for psychology? At Stanford University, the Department of Psychology was one of the first departments to be formed after the university itself was founded. It has a long-standing legacy of conducting theoretical research that breaks new ground and has a direct impact on the world. It has been regarded as one of the best psychology departments in US universities for several decades and consistently ranks among the best programs in the country.

center plaza of Stanford University

The psychology programs at Stanford give students with outstanding training in understanding human behavior via the application of scientifically sound approaches. When you graduate from Stanford with a degree in psychology, you will have the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue jobs in a variety of fields, including business, teaching, law, medicine, and social work, among others.

The Stanford Undergraduate Psychology Association (SUPA) is responsible for keeping students informed about the Psychology major at Stanford and the Department of Psychology. Additionally, SUPA facilitates opportunities for the hundreds of students enrolled in the Department to get to know one another and conducts forums for students to voice their opinions and concerns. SUPA hosts a variety of events throughout the year, such as dinners with members of the faculty, panels with notable guests and graduates, and social activities.


The multiple mentorship approach of advising is one that is supported by Advising Psychology. The following individuals serve as mentors to students within the department:

Faculty Major Advisor

For students to declare a major, they are required to work with an advisor from the faculty.

The following are components that are included in major advising:

  • Students are required to meet with a faculty advisor at least once when they initially declare the major. At this meeting, the advisor will talk about the student’s goals and interests in the field of psychology and how they plan to get there.
  • Students develop an intended path of study to fulfill the major requirements with the assistance of the faculty.
  • Major advisors are responsible for authorizing student requests to count outside units toward the Psychology major at Stanford.

Student Services Officer

The Student Services Officer (SSO) is a member of the staff tasked with aiding undergraduates pursuing majors and minors. The SSO monitors students’ degree progress to ensure that they complete their studies promptly and earn their diplomas. In addition to this, the SSO aids with the Peer Advisor program as well as the Stanford Undergraduate Psychological Association (SUPA).

PsychConnect Peer Advisors

Peer advisors are senior undergraduate students who have completed their psychology major and are accessible to answer questions regarding the field. They maintain a consistent schedule of office hours in Building 420, which is located on the Main Quad.

Psychology Department Faculty, Staff, and Students

During your stay here in the Psychology department, you will have the opportunity to speak with a variety of individuals, including students, instructors, and staff. Even though none of these members of the community hold the official title of “advisor,” they may nevertheless be able to offer you insightful advice regarding your path through school if you talk to them.

The advising provided by the Psychology Department is reinforced by support from the Undergraduate Advising Directors (UAD) as well as support from many other possible advisors. For the students to cultivate solid support networks, students are encouraged to contact advisors and mentors located around the University.

View of a female student talking in front of two people.

If you are still contemplating whether a psychology major at Stanford is worth it, let’s quickly discuss its ranking in the field of psychology After relinquishing the top spot to a relative newcomer the University of Cambridge a year ago, Stanford University reclaimed its rightful place at the top of the rankings for the best universities for psychology degrees in Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings 2023.

Stanford is not merely a good school by practically every criterion that can be used.  It is widely regarded as one of the top educational institutions in the nation and worldwide. Every year, tens of thousands of students from the United States and around the world apply to Stanford University with the hope of being accepted. Unfortunately, few applications will be approved. In last year’s admissions, there were a total of 55,471 applications but only 2,190 were chosen. The university has set a new record for having the lowest admission rate in its history with 3.95% for the Class of 2025.

When reviewing a list of the colleges with the lowest admission rates in the country and seeing that your dream school is among the top five, this is hardly causing excitement. With its low acceptance rate, gaining admission to Stanford is extremely difficult thus, you must know what to expect and how to distinguish yourself from other applicants. AdmissionSight has guided students on how to get into Stanford over the past ten years since we started. If you would like to know about what we can offer and how can we help you, book an initial consultation with AdmissionSight experts today.



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