Psychology

Earning a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at Simmons University enables students to examine the intricacies of psychology from neurons to neuroses.

Student smiling in class

Students in the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program survey contemporary approaches to mental health and think critically about human behavior. Upon graduation, psychology degree holders are able to apply their skills to real-world quandaries.

Due to its versatility, careers in psychology can be tailored specifically to your passions. Our students are highly valued in all fields, including development, research, human resources, clinical and counseling psychology, social work, hospital administration, law, public health and graduate studies.

Why study Psychology?

Psychology majors at Simmons have the opportunity to create a versatile, highly customizable program of study. Professionals across all fields benefit from an understanding of the human psyche, what motivates and shapes behavior, and social processes. Students that are contemplating a variety of career paths should consider majoring in psychology for a degree that provides both breadth and depth of knowledge.

Psychology is also available as a minor.

What will you learn?

The BA in Psychology program consists of thirty-six (36) semester hours in psychology and four hours in statistics for a total of forty (40) credit hours. The following five core courses are required:

  • Introduction to Psychological Science
  • Introductory Statistics OR Statistical Design and Analysis OR Regression Models
  • Biological Psychology
  • Research Methods in Psychology
  • History and Systems of Psychology

See below for the full list of Psychology requirements. View all the Psychology course descriptions.

What can you do with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology?

A degree in Psychology isn’t just for psychologists. Nichols’ BA program provides a well-rounded education for students pursuing roles in a wide variety of fields.

Careers for Psychology degree holders include:

  • Administrative Service Manager
  • Behavior Technician
  • Career Advisor
  • Community Service Manager
  • Counselor
  • Human Resources Specialist
  • Management Analyst
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Mental Health Technician
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Sales Representative or Manager

At Simmons, we believe in cultivating career skills to prepare our students for life’s work. The resources offered by our Career Education Center not only encourage students to unearth and nurture their passions, but to take steps toward turning their aspirations into action. Career coaches, job and internship fairs, and more await you at Simmons.

Learn more about our Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree!

A Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Simmons gives graduates an edge, regardless of their career path. Are you ready to dive into the inner workings of the human mind? We encourage you to reach out to our faculty with any questions—their contact information can be found below. You can also request more information, schedule a campus tour, or find out how to apply today!

Every psychology major must complete thirty-six semester hours in psychology, as well as four hours in statistics.

The following five core courses are required:

  • PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychological Science
  • MATH 118 Introductory Statistics
    or MATH 227 Statistical Design and Analysis
    or MATH 229 Regression Models
  • PSYC 201 Biological Psychology
  • PSYC 203 Research Methods in Psychology
  • PSYC 345 History and Systems of Psychology

To ensure that students receive sufficient breadth across substantive areas, as well as some depth within at least one area, the department also requires that students successfully complete at least one course chosen from each of the following five areas:

Basic Processes

  • PSYC 243 Cognitive Psychology
  • PSYC 244 Drugs and Behavior
  • PSYC 245 Learning and Conditioning
  • PSYC 247 Perception

Social and Developmental

  • PSYC 235 Developmental Psychology
  • PSYC 236 Psychology of Adolescence
  • PSYC 239 Psychology of Aging
  • PSYC 248 Social Psychology

Clinical and Personality

  • PSYC 230 Theories of Personality
  • PSYC 231 Abnormal Psychology
  • PSYC 232 Health Psychology

Capstone

Students fulfill the capstone requirement in the Department by completing two Courses: one Upper Level Theory and Application Course and one Upper Level Research Course (listed below).

Upper Level Theory and Application

  • PSYC 331 Seminar in Clinical Psychology
  • PSYC 335 Social and Emotional Development
  • PSYC 336 Childhood Psychopathology
  • PSYC 339 Psychology and the Law

Upper Level Research

  • PSYC 301 Research in Biopsychology
  • PSYC 303 Research in Cognitive Processes
  • PSYC 304 Research in Personality
  • PSYC 305 Research in Child Development
  • PSYC 308 Research in Social Psychology

Prerequisites: PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychological Science, is a prerequisite for all courses offered by the department except PSYC 220 The Psychology of Women, for which the prerequisite is PSYC 101 or WGST 100. Upper-level courses have additional prerequisites as detailed in the course descriptions. Students may use an AP psychology test score of 4 or 5 to replace the PSYC 101 course requirement, but they are still encouraged to take the course for the comprehensive background it provides.

Recommendations: Students considering a major in psychology are advised to take PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychological Science during their first year and MATH 118 Introductory Statistics in the fall semester of their sophomore year. In general, the department encourages flexible and individualized course planning both within and beyond the field of psychology. The chair or an advisor in the department can help with such program planning. The following examples serve as guides to planning an appropriate program.

  1. A student planning a career working with children, such as early childhood education, counseling, child guidance, or school psychology, should consider PSYC 235, 236, 305, 335, and 336.
  2. A student planning a career in a medical or physiological research setting should consider PSYC 232, 243, 244, 247, and 301. Relevant courses in biology, chemistry, and computer science are also recommended.
  3. A student interested in a career in behavioral research, human factors, or computer-based instruction should consider PSYC 243, 245, 247, 248, and 303. Relevant areas of mathematics and/or computer science are also recommended.
  4. A student with career interests in the clinical and personality area should consider PSYC 230, 231, 232, 304, 331, 336, and 339.
  5. A student planning a career in social service or human resources should consider PSYC 220, 230, 231, 232, 248, 308, and 339.

Independent Learning in Psychology

Independent learning experiences enrich a student's education in Psychology and can distinguish a student's qualifications when applying for employment and admission to graduate school. Although not required for the Psychology degree, majors are strongly encouraged to speak with their advisors about integrating one or more of the following courses into their plan of study:

  • PSYC 350: Independent Study
  • PSYC 355: Thesis in Psychology
  • PSYC 380: Fieldwork (Note: Must apply in spring before senior year)
  • PSYC 381: Thesis in Fieldwork

Interdisciplinary Major in Neuroscience and Behavior

Students interested in both psychology and biology can pursue the joint major in Neuroscience and Behavior.

The requirements of the Psychology minor include:

  • PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychological Science

One course chosen from the Basic Processes area:

  • PSYC 243 Cognitive Psychology
  • PSYC 244 Drugs and Behavior
  • PSYC 245 Learning and Conditioning
  • PSYC 247 Sensation and Perception

And three electives with the PSYC designation. Nursing students can count NURS 335 or 348 as one of the three electives.

So you know that Simmons is a great place to be, you've learned about our programs, maybe even come for a visit...now you're ready to apply! Let's get started.

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Our Faculty

Rachel Galli photo

Rachel Galli

  • Associate Professor of Psychology and Co-Coordinator of the Neuroscience and Behavior Major