Psychology is the scientific study of human mental processes and behavior.  Psychology professionals often are dedicated to helping people with psychological or social problems.  These professionals spend the majority of their time interacting with clients, and work mainly in human service organizations, schools, health care settings, and clinics.  Psychology professionals also are dedicated to understanding all facets of behavior, including cognitive processes, social interactions, human development, the influence of biology on psychology, and even the study of animals.  All of these areas contribute to a complete understanding of the psychology of the human being.

The Program

Students can pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in Applied Psychology and Human Services, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology for students with pre-Doctorate of Occupational Therapy status, or a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology for students with pre-Physician Assistant Studies status. All of the Bachelor's degrees prepare the student well for graduate school or employment in a variety of fields, and the Applied Psychology and Human Services degree is specifically designed for the student interested in starting her career in the helping professions immediately upon graduation.

Program Requirements

The student must maintain good academic standing, which means that the student must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better.  In addition, Psychology majors must receive a grade of “C” or better (with a limit of one “C-“) in all major courses, including both Psychology and Human Services major courses.  Should a student attain a grade below the allowed grade in any major course, the student will have one opportunity to repeat the course at College of Saint Mary in order to raise her grade.

Degrees and Certificates


PSY 101: General Psychology

Explores the science of human behavior and mental and emotional processes. The goal of this course is to survey the basic concepts and research in the field.

PSY 200: Child Psychology

Examines the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development from conception of a child through adolescence. Note: Students cannot get credit for both PSY 200 and PSY 220.

PSY 220: Lifespan Development

Examines the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development of a person from conception through old age and death. Note: Students cannot get credit for both PSY 200 and PSY 220.

PSY 230: Attitudes and Values

Requires the student to examine herself, her values and belief systems, and the effect of her belief systems on the perception of and interaction with others. (Also listed as HSV 230.)

PSY 236: Alcohol and Substance Abuse

Examines the current research and findings on alcohol and substance abuse regarding causes and treatments. Physical and psychological effects of substance abuse on the person, in addition to the consequences for the family and society, are reviewed. (Also listed as HSV 236.)

PSY 240: Research Methods

Addresses the basic methods of designing, conducting, and evaluating psychological research. Research ethics and research writing in APA style are also emphasized.

PSY 301: Experimental Research

Examines experimental research methods in depth, and involves analyzing and designing experimental research studies. To be taken concurrently with PSY 302.

PSY 312: Educational Psychology and Measurement

This course involves the study of teaching/learning processes. Students learn the nature of educational psychology and applications of major learning theories. They identify specific relationships among learning and characteristics of learners, including personality, intelligence, motivation, and transfer of learning. Students learn strategies used in measurement and evaluation of learning. Course requirements include a 20 hour field experience. Appropriate use of instructional technology is integrated into instruction of content and pedagogy. (Also listed as EDU 312.)

PSY 325: Organizational Behavior

This course is designed to provide an understanding of human behavior within the organizational environment and includes topics such as group dynamics, effective communications, potential impact of organizational structure on communications and processes, and change management. (Also listed as BUS 325 and SOC 325.)

PSY 332: Counseling Theory and Practice

Explores major theories and intervention strategies of counseling and psychotherapy, and involves the practice of skills for crisis intervention and other methods of short-term counseling.

PSY 340: Cognitive Psychology

Explores the processes of the human mind, including memory, attention, problem solving, representation of information, reasoning, and language.

PSY 345: Psychology of Learning

Explores theories and research on human and animal learning. The focus of the course is on classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and observational learning.

PSY 350: Cultural Psychology

Examines the impact of culture on human behavior and mental processes. Students will explore theories and research in psychology from a cross-cultural perspective.

PSY 355: Human Sexuality

Explores all aspects of human sexuality including the biological components of human sexuality, the psychological consequences of sex and sexuality, and cultural influences on sexual behaviors. Frank discussion of sexual issues is necessary to a successful class and should be expected by the student.

PSY 365: Physiological Psychology

Explores the complex interaction between the physiological and psychological components of the human being, with an emphasis on brain function and the effects of the body's chemicals on our thoughts and behaviors.

PSY 390: Special Topics

A course not regularly included in the curriculum will occasionally be offered for psychology credit. Subject matter of the course varies.

PSY 391: Special Project

Allows for an opportunity for students to explore individual interests within the field of psychology under the guidance of a psychology faculty member. Arrangements for independent study are made on an individual basis between the student and the faculty member. This course is offered as needed.

PSY 393: Laboratory Research

Involves active, faculty-guided research in the field. Students will work under the direct supervision of faculty on a psychological research project and participate in the design, implementation, analysis, and reporting of the research. Students and faculty will agree on the scope and duration of the work at the beginning of the semester, as well as the amount of credit received.

PSY 491: Senior Seminar I

Advances the student's knowledge of psychology through integrative review of psychology focusing on the history of the field, classic studies, and an application of psychological concepts to the student's life and to careers in the field. The student also will complete an in depth literature review pater to prepare for PSY 492.

PSY 492: Senior Seminar II

Involves completing an independent project of original thought. The student will design a research study and follow it through to completion. The results of the research will be both written in a paper and presented to the CSM community at the end of the semester.