Earn a degree that takes you where you want to go.
Explore your options within the Psychology Major Guide — classes, internships, research and study abroad. Find what interests you, discover what you love, and create a major experience that jumpstarts your future.
Whether you want to become a PhD-level psychologist helping people at a mental health facility or embark on a career in consumer research at a Fortune 500 company, a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology will prepare you.
Psychology majors graduate with an understanding of the human experience and why people think, act and feel the way they do. They know how to design and conduct research studies and analyze the results using statistical methods. They have exceptional communication skills, which prepare them for work in social services, case management, consumer research and human resources.
Our students don’t stop learning in the classroom. They have access to the university’s state-of-the-art observation, biofeedback and human interaction labs. And all of our students are given opportunities for professional-level research and field internships.
Whatever direction you pursue, you’ll graduate prepared to make a difference in the lives of others.
What do our graduates do?
Psychology majors go on to a variety of careers and graduate schools from St. Edward’s. Here’s a sample.
- Research and planning analyst for a community college district in San Diego
- Coordinator in the People Department on the flight operations/technology recruiting team at Southwest Airlines
- Chief of staff at a global tax firm
- Research assistant at the Terrorism Research Initiative
- Psychometrician at Elsevier, a global information analytics company
- Director of Forensic and Family Services for Williamson County Children’s Advocacy Center
- Policy analyst at the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition
- Graduate students at The University of Texas at Austin, Stanford University, Columbia University, the University of Houston and more
From Psychology Major to PhD
After graduating from St. Edward’s, Victoria Rodriguez ’11 began working toward a PhD at Stanford University. Read about how her journey has been filled with opportunities, challenges, dreams and a lot of hard work.
The Classroom and Beyond
As a Psychology major, you’ll graduate with practical experience you can put on your resume. Whether you choose a research assistantship, teaching assistantship or field internship, you’ll get a head start on your career.
For example, St. Edward’s students have recently explored how cues to status affect college students’ preferences for relationship partners, and how different types of distractions affect working memory. To get the full research experience, you’ll travel to a conference like the Southwestern Psychological Association or the Society for Personality and Social Psychology and present your work. These meetings give you a chance to see research that other undergraduates, graduate students and professors have conducted, network with graduate school in mind, and decide if a career in research is right for you.
SEU to You
2020 has been quite a year — full of rich examples of human behavior. Assistant Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience Emily Barton’s General Psychology class looks at how and why people behave the way they do.
Teaching assistantships strengthen your understanding of the material in the class you’re serving and develop your interpersonal skills. At St. Edward’s, all classes are taught by professors, but student teaching assistants help tutor and lead study sessions. You’ll expand your communication and people skills by helping other students learn the material.
Major Requirements: The BA in Psychology requires 31–32 hours of major courses, which include a combination of introductory and advanced topics. In addition, students choose 9 hours of career-emphasis elective courses that help prepare them for future interests, such as graduate study or their career path in psychology.
Electives: Students are free to complete 26 hours of elective courses in any area of study they choose. These courses do not have to relate to the Psychology degree.
General Education Requirements: The Psychology degree requires 57 hours of general education courses that students complete over four years in addition to their major courses and electives.
View and download the full degree plan for our Psychology major (PDF).
A few examples of the Psychology major courses students take:
- Social Psychology – Examines how people interact with and are influenced by others, including topics such as conformity and obedience, nonverbal behavior, person perception, leadership, and attraction.
- Abnormal Psychology – Addresses the causes, consequences, and cures for maladaptive behavior, such as depression, mood disorders, antisocial personality disorder, or schizophrenia.
- Biopsychology – Delves into the function and anatomy of the nervous system and the role it plays in directing perception, emotion, thought, memory, and motor behavior.
In a field internship, you’ll apply your knowledge of psychology in a professional setting. While you’re there, you’ll complete a product – a handbook, institutional report or presentation – that the organization can keep using after you move on. Your internship site depends on what you’re curious about: child development, mental health and mental illness, counseling, criminal justice, LGBT+ issues or politics, to name a few. Students have recently interned at these Austin organizations:
- Center for Child Protection
- Lone Star Victims Advocacy Program
- Austin Family Institute
- National Alliance on Mental Illness
- QWell Community Foundation
- Therapists in private practice – several of them St. Edward’s graduates
Whatever setting you choose, you’ll discover how the psychology you learned in class translates into the world of work, and you’ll build your portfolio of professional skills.
Our distinguished faculty members are excellent researchers, educators, and practitioners who get to know their students as individuals. They share their passion for learning and create fun and dynamic experiences that challenge and inspire students to achieve their potential. Meet a few of them ...
“I teach for three reasons. I enjoy it. My students like my style and methods. And I can’t think of another job that is this much fun.”
– Alan Swinkels, PhD, professor
“I create an environment in which both learning and the learners are highly valued. My classes typically include a mix of lectures, hands-on activities, videos, small and large group discussions, and individual and group assignments. I am consistently amazed by my students’ enthusiasm and diligence. Witnessing their intellectual growth and academic achievements is highly rewarding.”
– Jennetta Williams, PhD, professor
“I strive to foster intellectual curiosity and critical thinking, and to promote attitudes of compassion, acceptance and pursuit of social change among my students. Their educational experience becomes more engaging, interactive and personally relevant when I employ collaborative learning that considers alternate perspectives, diversity in individual differences and societal implications.”
– Kelly E. Green, PhD, assistant professor
“Teaching is an amazing opportunity to share information and participate in the personal and professional development of students. In and out of the classroom, I strive to help students hone their critical thinking, master certain skills and knowledge, and gain a deeper understanding of their potential.”
– Jessica Boyette-Davis, PhD, assistant professor
"My task as a teacher is to be a source of enthusiasm and inspiration for my students, as well as an accessible fount of knowledge. Although I want my students to come away from my courses with a wealth of knowledge on the subject material, I also aim for more than that. For me to have succeeded in my role as a teacher, my students will leave my course with a thirst for more knowledge and skills and their passion will help light the torch of discovery in the field of psychology and its application in daily life."
- Alexi Martel, PhD, visiting assistant professor
The study of psychology enhances our understanding of how people think, feel, and behave. It provides valuable insight for every area of work and life, and aligns with any field of study. Students interested in learning more about how the human mind works and why people do what they do are encouraged to pursue a minor in psychology, which requires 18 hours of coursework
- General Psychology (PSYC 2301)
- Lifespan Development (PSYC 2310)
- Social Psychology (PSYC 3319)
- 1 lower-division Psychology elective (PSYC 2300+)
- 2 upper-division Psychology electives (PSYC 3300+)
Are you a current student? Contact your advisor for next steps on declaring your major or minor.