Information and Course Recommendations for Psychology Minors Interested in Secondary Teaching

In order to get certified to teach psychology at the high school level, a student should obtain a minor in psychology. In addition, the student must pass the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification in psychology. This test covers all of the basic areas of psychology.

The best preparation for being a high quality teacher and passing the MTTC test is to do these things:

  1. Take the recommended list of courses within the psychology minor.
  2. Read a high quality introductory psychology textbook at a study guide.
  3. Look over the test preparation materials from Pearson Education.

What classes should you take within psychology?

The minor has a lot of flexibility. But we have strong recommendations about what you should take if you want to pass the MTTC test and be well prepared to teach psychology at the secondary level. These classes are designed to give you a broad and foundational education in the basic approaches, theories, methods, and challenges that are found within the field. In essence, if you want to teach psychology, we want you to get an education in how to think like a psychologist.

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Here are the requirements for the Psychology Minor

  1. Psychology minors are required to take a minimum of six courses in psychology totaling at least 20 semester hours of credit.
  2. PSY 101 is required, as is a methods course chosen from PSY 300, SS 300 or, if the student is a social work major, SW 430.
  3. Minors must take one course from three of the following six categories.
  • Biological: 375, 330, 431, 432.
  • Developmental: 301, 305, 331, 364.
  • Personality/Clinical: 303, 324, 420, 452.
  • Social Context: 355, 360, 381, 445.
  • Cognitive: 357, 361, 365.
  • General: 311, 362, 405, 410.

Students also choose any two psychology courses, totaling six credit hours, as electives.

Since you need 20 credit hours, that means you will need to take seven classes. Here are our recommendations:

      1. PSY 101
      2. PSY 300 (we recommend this and not SS 300 or SW 430)

The first two classes are required. You also need to take one from three different categories, plus two electives. We recommend the course within each category that is the most “foundational” within that area. We also recommend that for the two electives, you take the foundational course in the remaining two categories (not counting the “General” category.)

      3. PSY 330 – Foundations of Behavioral Neuroscience
      4. PSY 301 – Child development
      5. PSY 303 - Psychopathology
      6. PSY 360 – Social psychology
      7. PSY 365 - Cognition