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For Prospective and New Psychology Majors


Welcome to the Psychology Department at SCSU!

Psychology is a broad and exciting field of science, and students are attracted to psychology for many reasons.

- You might want a career in a helping profession, such as clinical psychology, counseling, school psychology, social work, or family therapy, or a career in education.
- You might be excited by research and you want to study human behavior and the brain.
- You might want to learn to apply psychological principles in the workplace.

Our undergraduate programs will provide you with both a broad education in psychology and focused training in your specific area of interest, whether it's the mental-health field, neuroscience, cognitive science, or applied psychology. 

We also have a network of internship sites for students to gain professional experience in mental health, educational, and laboratory settings.

Our Psychology professors truly enjoy teaching and working with students. If you are excited to learn about the science and practice of psychology, then I encourage you to consider Psychology at Southern!



• We offer three different degree programs: a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, a Specialization in Mental Health, and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with tracks in Behavioral Neuroscience, Cognitive Science, and Applied Psychology & Assessment.  These are tailored for students with specific interests (for example, going to graduate school to do research or for a professional degree). Click here to see a PDF outlining how the different programs suit students with different career goals.

• We have 21 full-time professors with a wide range of expertise, and our top priorities are teaching and mentoring students. 

• Most of our courses are taught by full-time professors.

• Most of our classes have 40 or fewer students. Our upper level courses are capped at 18 students.  You can get to know your professors, and your professors can get to know you.

• Our professors are productive researchers, and we have many ongoing different research projects that you can get involved in, depending on your interest. Several of us have been awarded federal grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation to support our work. Psychology majors are collaborators on all of our research teams.  Click here to see some of our current projects.

• Our graduates get accepted into competitive graduate programs. (See "What can a Psychology Major Do?" below)

• Our students are happy with their selection of Psychology. We recently conducted an anonymous survey of students in our classes. See below for some of the results.

What You’ll Study

Our courses cover a range of topics in psychology. You can take courses in developmental psychology, social psychology, abnormal psychology, cognition, and behavioral neuroscience, among many others. Juniors and seniors take small discussion-based seminars that focus on a topic in more depth, such as close relationships, psychopharmacology, psychology and the law, and psychological counseling and therapy. Psychology majors also take classes where they design experiments and analyze and interpret data, and have opportunities to work in a research lab or professional setting for course credit.

Student Success

Every year, many of our students present their research at local and national conferences, sometimes as co-authors with their faculty advisors and sometimes as the lead presenters. We also have students who co-author articles that get published in psychological journals.

We have an active student Psychology Club and a chapter of Psi Chi (the national Psychology honor society), and they work closely with professors to organize guest lectures, informational sessions for students, and trips to professional conferences. We also have a student-run Journal of Student Psychological Research, where students can publish papers on their independent research projects.

What Can a Psychology Major Do?

Many psychology-based professions require a masters or doctoral degree, and we work hard to prepare our students to gain acceptance into competitive graduate programs. Our graduates have gone on to be successful in fields such as:

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Work
  • Marriage and Family Therapy
  • School Psychology
  • Communication Disorders
  • Research psychology, including research in autism, brain imaging, dyslexia, developmental psychology, and forensic psychology
  • Biotechnology companies
  • Psychometrics
  • Human Resources
  • Human Factors
  • Research Coordinator


We recently conducted an anonymous survey of students in our classes.

 The following percentages of students strongly agreed with these statements:

• I am expected to work hard in my Psychology classes:   80%
• I am encouraged to ask questions in my Psychology classes: 73%
• I am expected to reason from evidence in my Psychology classes: 74%
• I am required to gain insight into the thinking of other people in my Psychology classes:  82%
• Open discussion is encouraged in my Psychology classes:  86%
• Professors evaluate student learning in a way that promotes my future learning in my Psychology classes: 80%
• Relevant examples are presented that help me understand the material: 92%
• Faculty use a variety of engaging teaching materials that help me to learn: 74%
• Professors demonstrate faith in my ability to understand complex ideas: 82%
• Courses stir my curiosity: 82%
• Courses stimulate my interest in learning more about the field: 88%

Here are some examples of written comments by students:

" I have loved every psych class I've had. All the professors are wonderful."

" I have loved how personable and helpful each professor has been. There is absolutely a vibe of them wanting your success."

" I have experienced very heartfelt guidance from certain instructors who have helped shape me as a student and an adult."

" I have learned to think for myself and speak up for things."

" Teachers are extremely knowledgeable and professional. They provide numerous examples and break down complex constructs for better understanding."

" [I appreciate] the sense of community that the faculty have with one another and with their students."

"[Has] high quality professors who care about what they teach."

" I enjoy the structure and the options to pick courses within certain tiers/requirements. We don't have to be told only certain psych classes we must take."

"I tell friends and family that the courses I have taken here are demanding, but the subject matter is very interesting and I have enjoyed most of my professors both from a personal and professional standpoint."

" The department is very organized and well put together with many hard working and thoughtful professors that are interested in the success of their students."

" The professors are great because they all share their real world experiences in the field with the students. If you show interest, they are ready to help."

"I enjoyed doing research with a couple of the professors."

" I have learned a lot about many different aspects of psychology that will be useful for my future careers."