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Psychology Major

Earn a bachelor's degree in psychology

A bachelor's degree in psychology from SBU gives you a scientifically based exploration of the behavioral and mental processes of individuals, preparing you for a variety of career paths. SBU's psych major is people-focused and emphasizes applied, hands-on learning opportunities.

Unique course offerings provide a wide range from which to choose, allowing you to add breadth and depth to your program while choosing courses that best fit your needs and interests. In addition to your psychology major, you also can choose to add a minor in counseling, criminal justice, gerontology, psychology with sports performance, or sociology. A certificate in child care work is also available.

The Psychology bachelor's degree is offered through SBU's College of Arts and Sciences


Degree Plan


(83% of full-time psychology faculty have a doctorate degree and terminal certification in their field.)

SBU students

The SBU Advantage

  • Learn from faculty with a wide range of first-hand real-world experiences in multiple careers.
  • Small class sizes provide opportunities for personalized instruction and quality relationships.
  • SBU's people-focused approach to psychology equips students with the interpersonal and servant leadership skills that will prepare them for endless career opportunities.
  • Put your learning into action by completing an internship for a local community agency during your junior and/or senior year.

Faith Integration

The intentional integration of Christian faith with the academic discipline distinguishes SBU's psychology school. A Christian perspective of psychology and counseling permeates every course. Faculty are committed to the honest discussion of controversial topics with a fair treatment of multiple points of view, while approaching everything from the lens of a Christian worldview. Students are equipped to become the best professionals they can be in order to be better witnesses for Christ within their chosen professions.

While all courses inherently integrate the Christian faith, the department of behavioral sciences also offers special classes specifically focused on faith integration, such as Psychology of Religion, Sociology of Religion, and Agape Love and Altruism.

The department has adopted 2 Peter 1:5-7 as its department verse: "For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love."

Internship Opportunities for SBU Psychology Students

  • Working with the developmentally disabled: Arc of the Ozarks, First Serve, Mashburn, Nova Center of the Ozarks
  • Working with kids: Early Intervention Services, high school counselor interns, various camps, therapeutic camps for at-risk kids
  • Working with older adults: Polk County Senior Center, various nursing homes
  • Working in psychoeducation: Polk County Health Department
  • Working with people with mental illness: Polk County Mental Health Court, Cox Hospital inpatient mental health units, Mercy Hospital's Marion Center, Freedom Counseling
  • Working with troubled teens: Good Samaritan Boys Ranch, Lakeland, Regional Girls Shelter
  • Working with people in crisis: Alpha House Pregnancy Resource Center, House of Hope domestic violence shelter, Polk County Drug Court, refugee work in the Middle East

What can you do with a bachelor's degree in psychology?


Psychology graduates are prepared for a variety of careers including:

  • Clinical and counseling psychology*
  • Group home workers
  • Human resources
  • Industrial-organizational psychology
  • Mental health case workers
  • Ministry and mission work
  • Nonprofit organizational work
  • Physical therapy*
  • Social service workers
  • Sports psychology

*Additional graduate school work required for these careers

Graduate Schools

Many graduates go on to pursue further education at schools such as:

  • SBU's own Doctor of Physical Therapy program
  • Baylor University
  • Biola University
  • Roberts Wesleyan University
  • University of Missouri
  • University of Oklahoma
  • Virginia Commonwealth University


Caitlin Gasaway
"SBU provided me with the critical thinking and communications skills that I now use on a daily basis as I work in a multicultural context. SBU encourages holistic development in its students so that they grow intellectually, emotionally, spiritually and relationally."
Caitlin Gasaway '09
Project Specialist at the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging

Clubs and Organizations

Behavioral Sciences Club

As a behavioral sciences student you are encouraged to join SBU's Behavioral Science Club, which unites all students interested in and studying the behavioral sciences, including criminal justice, psychology, social work and sociology. Club members meet regularly to encourage each other and participate in various service projects.

Psi Chi

Join SBU's chapter of Psi Chi, 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.

Sociology and Criminal Justice Society (SCJS)

Join SBU's chapter of Sociology and Criminal Justice Society (SCJS), an honor society for behavioral sciences students studying sociology and criminal justice.


Psychology majors have the opportunity to apply for several privately funded scholarships including:

  • Autry and Irene Brown Scholarship
  • Joe B. Shelton Scholarship
  • Parsons Scholarship
  • Rose E. Ray Scholarship
  • Sara McGaha Memorial Scholarship