Psychology Bachelor's Admission Requirements

Explore the admission requirements for a bachelor's degree in psychology including prerequisites and application tips.

Psych BS BA Requirements

Psychology is a diverse and rewarding discipline that delves into the study of the mind and human behaviors. A bachelor's degree in psychology is the first step towards a successful career in this field, which includes subfields like clinical, counseling, addiction, organizational, and forensic psychology. At this point, you may be wondering - what are the admission requirements for a psychology bachelor's degree?

In this article, we’ll outline the general admission requirements, prerequisites, and tips to boost your chances of being accepted into an accredited undergraduate psychology program.

General Admission Requirements for a BA or BS in Psychology

High School Diploma or Equivalent

Most universities and colleges require prospective students to have a high school diploma or its equivalent, such as the GED. This requirement serves as a foundation for further studies in psychology and ensures that students possess the basic skills needed for success in higher education.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

A competitive GPA demonstrates academic potential and dedication to studies. While each institution may have its own minimum GPA requirement, typically, a GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale is considered competitive for admission into a psychology bachelor’s program.

Standardized Test Scores

Many universities require SAT or ACT scores as part of their admission criteria. Although minimum scores may vary, a higher score will improve your chances of acceptance. Some schools may also require or recommend SAT Subject Tests, such as the SAT Subject Tests in Science or Language, to demonstrate niche knowledge that pertains to psychology.

Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation from teachers, counselors or other professionals who know you well are essential in showcasing your academic and personal strengths. These letters provide insight into your character and potential for success in a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science in psychology.

Personal Statement or Essay

A well-crafted personal statement or essay allows you to express your passion for psychology, career goals, and reasons for pursuing a bachelor's degree in this field. This is an opportunity to show the admissions board what makes you unique and why you would be a valuable addition to their psychology program.

Extracurriculars & Volunteering

Involvement in extracurricular activities, volunteering or related work experiences can demonstrate a genuine interest in psychology and provide evidence of your dedication and commitment to the field.

Prerequisites for a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology

While specific prerequisites will vary depending on the institution, some common course requirements for psychology bachelor’s programs include:


Courses in algebra, geometry and statistics can provide a strong foundation for the quantitative aspects of psychology. Mathematics is especially pertinent for Bachelor of Science degrees in psychology, which tend to focus on research and analytics. Learn more about BA vs. BS in psychology.


Biology, chemistry and physics courses are often required or recommended, as they help students understand the scientific underpinnings of psychology.

Social Sciences

Courses in history, sociology and anthropology can provide context and insight into human behavior and social structures, which are helpful in the study of psychology and human behaviors.

English and Communication

Strong written and verbal communication skills are essential in psychology. Courses or work experience in English composition, literature and public speaking can help prepare you for success in the field. Effective communication skills are key if you plan to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in psychology program - Psych BAs often focus on the arts and humanities.

Tips for a Successful Psychology Bachelor’s Application

Compare Programs

Research various psychology programs to find the best fit for your interests and career goals. Consider factors such as faculty research specialties, degree focus, learning formats (campus vs. online vs. hybrid) and program cost.

Prepare Early

for high-school students, start preparing for your application early by focusing on your GPA, standardized test scores and prerequisite courses. This will give you ample time to address deficiencies and bolster your application.

Showcase Your Passion

Make sure your personal statement or essay conveys your passion for psychology and your commitment to the field.

Seek Help

Don't hesitate to seek guidance from teachers, counselors or mentors when preparing your psychology bachelor’s application. They can provide valuable advice and help you navigate the admissions process.


Securing admission to a psychology bachelor's degree program may seem challenging, but by understanding the general requirements and prerequisites, you can create a strong application that highlights your strengths and passion for this exciting field. Remember to research and compare different programs, focus on maintaining good grades, and actively engage in relevant extracurricular activities. By seeking help from teachers, counselors and mentors, and by starting your preparation early, you can maximize your chances of being accepted into your ideal psychology program. A BA or BS in psychology can open the door to a fulfilling career, allowing you to make a positive contribution as you uncover the mysteries of the human mind.

Related: Is Psychology a Good Major?

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