Earn a degree that takes you where you want to go.

Major Roadmap

Major Roadmap

Explore your options — classes, internships, research and study abroad. Find what interests you, discover what you love, and create a major experience that jumpstarts your future. 

Psychology Major Guide

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

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.

Degree Requirements

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.

Our Faculty and Student Support Services

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 ...

Alan Swinkels, professor of psychology, St. Edward's University

“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

Jeannetta Williams, professor of Psychology, St. Edward's University

“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

Kelly E. Green, assistant professor of psychology, St. Edward's University

“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

Jessica Boyette-Davis, assistant professor of Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience, St. Edward's University

“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

Student Support Services

Along with personal attention and mentorship from your professors, you'll have access to offices and programs outside of the classroom that support your success. We encourage you to take advantage of these resources that help you thrive and excel:

  • Academic counseling and advising
  • Supplemental instruction and tutoring
  • Career preparation and advising 
  • Writing Center consultation
  • Health and wellness counseling
  • Student disability support

Learn more about these services.

Outside the Classroom

Students majoring in Psychology can explore career paths and practical application of their studies through independent or faculty-student research projects, internships and service learning opportunities. These experiences allow them to develop practical skills and test theories and principles they’ve learned about in the classroom. 

Research and Field Experience Course

This required course provides valuable hands-on learning under the supervision of Psychology faculty and professionals in the field. Students can use this course to delve into areas of psychology that pique their interest.

Students choose from these two options and spend 150 hours in the option they choose:

Option 1: Participate in an internship volunteering at a psychology-focused site in the community, and address theoretical issues in an applied setting.

For example: Psychology major Georgia Huston ’16 used her internship with Blue Skies Abilities, which provides therapeutic services for children and teenagers who have behavioral or cognitive challenges, to start a monthly art workshop for at-risk teens. See why her internship was doubly rewarding.

Option 2: Work directly with a faculty member on a research project to conduct an in-depth study in one of the major areas of psychology, such as developmental, personality, or cognitive psychology.

For example: Inspired by his Industrial Psychology course, Cody Antunez ’14 teamed up with Professor Alan Swinkels to research the feasibility of using the Oculus Rift and virtual reality as a safe way to train workers for dangerous occupational environments. See what their research revealed.

Austin Opens Doors to Real-World Learning

Our location in Austin offers a wealth of opportunities for students to land meaningful internships and practical experiences that enrich their education and give back to the community. Psychology majors have interned at the Texas State Capitol and with numerous state agencies, nonprofits and private businesses, including these:

Texas departments of:

  • Affordable Housing
  • Aging and Disability
  • Assistive and Rehabilitative Services
  • Criminal Justice
  • Health and Human Services
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Public Safety

Nonprofits and other organizations:

  • Austin Film Society
  • Central Texas Food Bank
  • Dell Children’s Medical Center
  • Health Alliance for Austin Musicians
  • Johnson’s Backyard Garden
  • River City Youth Foundation
  • Southwest Airlines

Student Organizations

Student clubs facilitate connections to hands-on learning opportunities and create a community students can join with like-minded peers. Some student organizations include Psi Chi the international honor society in psychology, and the Psychological Society, which sponsors educational, social, and volunteer opportunities for the campus community.

About the Minor

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

Required Courses:

  • General Psychology
  • Adolescent Psychology OR Child Development
  • Social Psychology
  • 3 electives in psychology

Are you a current student? Contact your advisor for next steps on declaring your major or minor.