Interpret human behavior


Courses for this program are 100 percent online: no campus visits are required.

Successful completion of the program requires a minimum of 120 university-level credit hours, which may include transfer credits from other regionally accredited institutions: MU general education requirements; 30 credit hours of psychology core course work; and electives, including an internship, as needed.

Transfers will depend on the type of previous credit earned, the institutions' accreditation and transfer equivalencies. The admissions office will determine your transfer credit once they receive your official transcripts and application. Visit the University of Missouri Course Equivalency site to determine credit equivalencies from courses taken at other Missouri institutions.

MU general education requirements

  • MATH 1100 College Algebra or equivalent* (3 credit hours). Pre-, basic or intermediate algebra is not equivalent.
  • ENGLSH 1000 Exposition and Argumentation or equivalent* (3 credit hours). Typically known as Composition II at other institutions.
  • Writing intensive courses* (5–6 credit hours). Two approved MU writing intensive courses that have ENGLSH 1000 as a prerequisite. One of these must be 3000 level or higher and within your major field of study.
  • Math reasoning course* (3 credit hours). One approved math reasoning proficiency course that has MATH 1100 College Algebra as a prerequisite (e.g., STAT 1200, STAT 1300, CHEM 1320, PHYSCS 1210).
  • American history or government (3 credit hours).
  • Foreign language. 12–13 credit hours in a single foreign language or four years in high school.

* You must complete these courses with a grade of C- or better.

You must have at least one course at or above the 2000 level in two of the following three areas:

Area 1: Biological, physical and mathematical science (minimum 9 credit hours)

  • Mathematical science includes courses in mathematics or statistics that have college algebra as a prerequisite.
  • Include at least one biological or physical science and its related laboratory.
  • Include courses from at least two different areas of science.

Area 2: Behavioral and social science (minimum 9 credit hours)

  • Course work in psychology, sociology, history and political science.
  • Include courses from at least two different departments.

Area 3: Humanities and fine arts (minimum 9 credit hours)

  • Course work in such areas as art or music history, philosophy, religious studies and public speaking.
  • Include courses from at least two different departments.

Psychology course planner

You must complete 30 credit hours in psychology course work.

The chart below shows when core courses are traditionally offered. Courses are 3 credit hours each, unless otherwise noted. The University reserves the right to change or cancel courses as needed.

Required courses (12 credit hours)

PSYCH 1000 General PsychologyXXX
PSYCH 3010 Research Methods I 1XXX
PSYCH 3020 Research Methods II 2XXX
PSYCH 4980W Human Relationships Capstone - Writing Intensive 3XXX

1Corequisite: STAT 1200 or above

2Prerequisite: STAT 1200 or above and PSYCH 3010

3Prerequisite: PSYCH 3020

Psychology Distribution and Elective Courses (18 credit hours).  Students must complete at least one course in each of the two distribution areas - Cognitive/Neuroscience Distribution and Clinical/Social/Developmental Distribution.  In addition, they must complete two Psychology elective courses numbered 2000-level or above.  Psychology electives cannot be met with research or internship hours.

Cognitive/Neuroscience Area:
PSYCH 2110 Learning, Memory & Cognition  X
PSYCH 2220 Drugs & Behavior  X
PSYCH 3830 Health PsychologyXXX
PSYCH 3870 Sleep & Sleep DisordersXXX
PSYCH 4210 Physiological PsychologyXXX
Clinical/Social/Developmental Area:
PSYCH 2310 Social Psychology  X
PSYCH 2410 Developmental Psychology  X
PSYCH 2510 Survey of Abnormal PsychologyXXX
PSYCH 3310 Intergroup Relations  X
PSYCH 3350 Positive Psychology  X
PSYCH 3430 Social Development in ChildhoodXXX
PSYCH 3830 Health PsychologyXXX

All psychology major requirements must be completed with a C or better (no C- or below will be accepted). This includes STAT 1200. Students must have at least two psychology courses numbered 4000 or above.


This program culminates in a capstone psychology lab course. The goal of the capstone course is to provide an opportunity for students to synthesize the knowledge gained from their course work, and to use that knowledge in the process of data collection.

Course spotlight

PSYCH 4210 Physiological Psychology

Instructor: Matthew Will

In Physiological Psychology, students are introduced to neuroscience and the relationship between the brain and behavior. In his research, Dr. Will investigates the motivational aspects of food and exercise. What motivates us to exercise and to make our diet choices? How are these influenced by genetics and brain circuitry? These are investigated in depth, in addition to emotions and stress, health and immunology, abnormal psychology, drugs, nervous system development, and memory and cognition.

State authorization

States require that the University of Missouri be authorized to deliver university-level distance/online education to their residents. Each state handles this process differently.

Please see our state authorization page.

How to apply

If you have less than 24 hours of applicable college-level course work, you may apply to the online bachelor of psychology program as a freshman. If you have 24 or more credit hours of applicable college-level course work, you may apply as a transfer student.

  1. Fulfill the admission requirements:

    • For freshmen:
      • Earned the minimum test score on the ACT or SAT.
      • Completed 17 specific high school courses with good grades.
      • For a list of test scores and high school courses, review the Freshman Admission Requirements.
    • For transfer students:
      • Completed at least 24 credit hours of applicable college course work, including the equivalent of MATH 1100 or ENGLSH 1000 with a grade of C- or better.
      • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 in your college course work.
      • If English is not your native language, please submit a TOEFL score of at least 79 (internet-based test), an IELTS score of at least 6.5, a Pearson Test of English (PTE) score of at least 59 or a Cambridge C1 Advanced score of at least 195.
      • Slightly different requirements apply if you transfer from within the UM System or already have an associate of arts degree from a regionally accredited Missouri community college. Please see the full list of requirements at the link under Step 4 below.
  2. Mark your calendar

  3. This program accepts rolling admissions, so you can apply at any time. We recommend you submit your application six weeks before the beginning of the term in which you wish to start your course work.

    Application dates

    To start classes in Apply by Classes begin
    Fall July 15 August
    Spring Nov. 15 January
    Summer April 15 June
  4. Gather your papers

  5. In the online application, you will need to supply:

    • Your name and contact information
    • Citizenship, residency and visa information (if applicable)
    • Names and locations of previous college or high school and dates you attended

    If you are applying as a transfer student, you also will need to contact all your previous colleges or universities to request they send your official transcripts to

    • Office of Admissions
    • University of Missouri
    • 230 Jesse Hall
    • Columbia, MO 65211
  6. Complete the online application

  7. You can check admission requirements, transfer equivalencies and financial aid opportunities within the application.

    Apply as a freshman

    Apply as a transfer student

Ask us about this program

For information about academic issues or course content, please contact

This program is administered by the Department of Psychological Sciences.