SBUBolivar, Missouri Est. 1878

Psychology major at Southwest Baptist University

Degree Requirements

Clubs & Organizations

Related Majors

Questions? Contact

Shelley Kilpatrick, Ph.D.
Chair of Department of Behavioral Sciences
(417) 328-1735

Visit the Department of Behavioral Sciences website for more information.

Practice of psychology relates to daily life, education, work, and the treatment of mental health problems.

At Southwest Baptist University, psychology is a scientifically based discipline that explores behavioral and mental processes of individuals. It seeks to increase the respect and appreciation for self and others. The major reflects a strong tendency toward theory and a counseling-based curriculum.

The SBU Advantage

  • Professors have real-world experiences that are brought into the classroom.
  • Classes are taught through the lens of a Christian perspective.
  • Students learn how to work with people, making practically any career choice viable.

Engaged Learning

Students engage in discussion of current topics, applications to real situations and exploration of the connection between a Christian worldview and the human condition.

Course Information

A Psychology degree is available as either a Bachelor of Arts of Bachelor of Science. The B.A. degree requires two semesters of a foreign language and 36 hours in psychology. The B.S. requires 36 hours in psychology plus 8-9 hours of upper-level sociology, or 8-9 hours of upper level natural science; OR (2) Complete the requirements for a minor within the department OR (3) Complete the requirements for a second major as listed in the catalog. Note: The approved second major from this department would be either Sociology or Criminal Justice.

Clubs and Organizations

  • Psi Chi is a national honor society for students of psychology who excel in scholarship, display high standards of personal behavior, and seek to advance the science of psychology.
  • The Behavioral Science Club provides for the unity of those interested in all of the behavioral sciences.


Available private scholarships include the Rose E. Ray, Joe B. Shelton, Sara McGaha and Autry Brown scholarships.

Internship Opportunities

Internships are elective options and are worked out between the student and the placement site. Contact the department chair if interested.

Career Opportunities

Possible career options include psychologist, counselor, social service worker, child care worker and graduate school.

Degree Requirements

PSY 1013 General Psychology
A "life-oriented" course including physiological backgrounds of behavior, development, motivation, emotion, intelligence, personality, adjustment and social psychology.
PSY 2063 Systems of Psychology
Major concepts of various systems of psychological thought in current and historical perspective.
PSY 2233 Introduction to Research
This course will provide students with an overview of the various research methods in the behavioral sciences. Specific attention will be given to the different methods of assessment, evaluation, and research inquiry found in the fields of psychology, sociology, and social work.
PSY 3033 Abnormal Psychology
Major psychoses, psychoneuroses, sexual adjustment and an analysis of childhood background which leads to mental breakdowns, phobias, compulsions and hysteria.
PSY 3063 Human Growth and Development
A "Life-Span" study of human growth and developmental processes including physiological, psychological and sociological influences and effects.
PSY 3243 Elementary Statistics
Measurement, averages, variability percentile rank, normal curve, correlation, chi-square and probability related to the behavior sciences.
PSY 2001 Sophomore Seminar
This is a topical course emphasizing the content of the majors in behavioral sciences and the APA (American Psychological Association) style of writing.
PSY 3001 Junior Seminar
This is a topical course emphasizing the career opportunities for behavioral science majors and graduate school preparation.
PSY 4001 Senior Seminar
This a topical course for behavioral sciences majors, which emphasizes professional development and ethics of the profession and also serves as a cap-stone course for the purposes of integration and assessment.
Six hours of psychology electives.
Choose one course from each of the following areas:
General Research
PSY 3073 Social Psychology
Social behavior of individuals and the major processes of social interaction, social influence, group structure, the individual and the system and socialization.
PSY 3093 Psychology of Learning
Survey of the field of learning in terms of historical backgrounds, acquisition, retention, forgetting, transfer and motivation. A brief introduction to the various theories and systems of learning is included.
PSY 4023 Psychology of Personality
Factors and conditions relating to personality structure and dynamics, defense mechanisms and a critical examination of the theories of personality.
PSY 4223 Psychological Testing
Survey of the field of psychological testing with emphasis on types of tests, validity and reliability.
PSY 4233 Research Design and Methods
Intensive analysis of experimental designs and methods of research including measurement issues, ethical considerations, sampling techniques, data-gathering techniques, data analysis and interpretation, presentations and reporting of results.
PSY 4263 Physiological Psychology
An introduction to the biological/physiological basis for human behavior. The structure and the function of the nervous system, neuropsychological methods, sensation, emotional responses, learning, memory and psychopathology will be covered.
PSY 3003 Human Sexuality
A course designed to provide the student with frank, factual information about the many aspects of sex; to help enable the student to see sex as a natural, integral, God-ordained component of marriage; and to dispel common myths and misconceptions about sex.
PSY 3013 Relationships
A personal application course designed to introduce healthy relational principles through self-exploration of interpersonal needs, dynamics, and relating skills.
PSY 3313 Introduction to Counseling
An introduction to counseling theory, methods and techniques, including a study of client-counselor encounters, stages of counseling and the counseling interview.
PSY 3393 Introduction to Sports Psychology
An introduction to the field of sports psychology and performance enhancement. This course will cover sport and exercise psychology as well as techniques used in the field. This course will prepare the student for any graduate program that is in the area of sports psychology.
PSY 4093 Behavior Modification
A course oriented to the rationale and theoretical basis of behavior modification and its clinical use in a clinical therapy setting. Specific principles and techniques will be discussed.
PSY 4333 Child Abuse and Neglect
A study of child abuse and neglect with consideration given to causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention. A special section is included dealing with the treatment of adult survivors of child abuse.
PSY 4373 Being Human and Addicted
A study of the effects of drugs on the human being, issues of physiology, psychology, sociology and religion will be addressed as they relate to chemical dependency. An overview of treatment methods and therapy will be included.
PSY 2023 Psychology of Adjustment
A psychology of adjustment course focusing on areas affecting mental health (i.e., stress, personality, relationships). Emphasis on class involvement and personal application.
PSY 3053 Child Development
A study of the operation of normal psychological and developmental processes in the lives of children from birth to adolescence.
PSY 3083 Psychological and Sociological Implications of Cognitive Impairment
Definition, diagnosis, classification, perceptual and conceptual evaluation. Multi-disciplinary approach to cognitive impairments. Three hours credit in either psychology or sociology (not both). Two lectures, one laboratory each week.
PSY 4033 Adolescent Development
A study of the development processes of the adolescent, beginning at puberty and continuing through late adolescence.
PSY 4053 Dealing with Death and Dying
An examination of how society and its institutions, the individual and survivors view and are affected by the process of dying and death. Guidelines are provided to enable the students to aid others and themselves in dealing with death and dying.