If you have ever asked yourself, “why do people do the things they do?,” then Psychology at the University of the Southwest (USW) may be the program for you! Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behavior. Psychologists explore a depth of phenomena across the lifespan including development and change in cognition, sensation and perception, motivation, personality, emotion, language, learning, and group processes in an attempt to understand the self and others.

At USW, Psychology is one of the most popular majors. Students taking introductory psychology classes find that they are intrigued with the study of brain and behavior, and decide to pursue further Psychology courses. It is likely that this is because Psychology is infused in all areas of our lives, and the ways in which it can be explored and applied are vast. Knowledge of psychological concepts and constructs enables individuals to be open-minded, thoughtful, and creative, and it provides opportunities for the broadening of perspectives, challenging common ideas and practices, and enriching frameworks for understanding the world.

Psychology is a field for those who are passionately curious about exploring the mysteries of the human experience and yearn for the opportunity to learn and work in a diverse, collaborative, and interdisciplinary field. By the end of their program, students in Psychology will have acquired the ability to understand different facets of Psychology, think critically using psychological perspectives, and map their views of the human psyche and the world around them.

The Bachelor of Science in Psychology offers three (3) degree plans:
  • Psychology - The Psychology degree plan provides students with foundational knowledge in psychology, human growth and development of the mind and behavior. Their learning will center on the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in psychology with training to develop requisite skills in the application of basic research methods in psychology including research design, data analysis, and interpretation. Upon completion, students will also be prepared to use critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry, and the scientific approach to solve problems related to behavior and mental processes.

  • Family Studies in Psychology - Family Studies is an area of psychological study and research that examines how individuals change and grow and how those changes interact within differing family systems. A focus of their training is on research, counseling, and assessment of parenting, sibling relationships, family dynamics and interactions, and parent-child relationships. By studying these changes and interactions, students on the Family Studies degree plan will be prepared to work with children and their families in clinical, school and community mental health settings.

  • Forensic Psychology - The Forensic Psychology degree introduces students to the intersection of psychology and the law through the application of psychological theory, knowledge, skills and competencies to the civil and criminal justice systems. This degree plan is designed to prepare students for graduate study in mental health, criminal justice, and forensic science. This will enable them to work in a variety of clinical settings within the criminal and civil legal system including but not limited to forensic assessment, criminal profiling, victim assistance, police consultation, correctional institutions, domestic violence and child abuse programming, and trial consultation.
Each area of specialization provides students with foundational skills and experiences necessary for graduate study and/or work in a variety of settings. USW Psychology majors are exposed to courses and concepts in science, mathematics, research, and logic. Indeed, psychological concepts have application in numerous fields such as business, religion, education, and political science. There is little doubt that an understanding of the mind and behavior is beneficial in many professional endeavors.

Psychology Learning Outcomes: In line with the university’s mission and student responsibilities, the following expectations and goals are put forth for undergraduate Psychology majors across degree plans:

  1. An ability to write clearly and communicate effectively about psychological concepts and research findings and apply psychology to real-world issues or problems. (Communication)
  2. Knowledge of the history, theories, fundamental principles, and findings in key domains of psychology. (Knowledge)
  3. The development of critical thinking skills in conducting and evaluating psychological research including analyzing data via application of statistical methods and interpreting results. (Critical Thinking)
  4. A greater understanding of the behavior and mental processes of the self and others, recognizing real-life situations that may require professional psychological help and accessing community resources to find help. (Servant Leadership)
  5. Working knowledge of the specialized vocabulary used in psychology, submission of original and appropriately cited work, and development of responsible and ethical academic practice and behavior. (Academic & Professional Integrity)

If you have any questions or would like more information, we would be thrilled to speak with you!

Dr. Jenelle Job, LSSP
Assistant Professor & Program Coordinator, Psychology