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New guidelines for the undergraduate psychology major are released

APA document emphasizes psychology as a STEM discipline and its connections to other fields.

The American Psychological Association (APA) has issued a revised version of the APA Guidelines for the Undergraduate Psychology Major. (PDF, 447KB) This version, which updates the original guidelines published in 2006, was approved by the APA Council of Representatives at its August 2013 meeting.

The revised guidelines include specific learning goals organized into five general domains:

  • Knowledge base in psychology
  • Scientific inquiry and critical thinking
  • Ethical and social responsibility in a diverse world
  • Communication
  • Professional development

Among the purposes of the guideline revision is to more strongly emphasize the identity of psychology as a STEM (science/technology/engineering/mathematics) discipline and its role as a “hub discipline” that supports integration and collaborations across multiple disciplines.

The guidelines are also designed to support broader goals of liberal arts educations (including the recent focus on developing assessments of undergraduate learning) and to prepare students for a wide range of careers and further education.

The guideline document was produced by a task force of APA's Board of Educational Affairs. Jane S. Halonen of the University of West Florida served as chair of the task force. APA's Education Directorate provided staff support for the revision effort.

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