Psychology


Whether you wish to focus on the scientific study of behavior, thought processes, and emotion (Psychology); the relationship between the science of psychology and the criminal justice system (Forensic Psychology); or you have a focused interest in the biological basis of behavior and thought (Behavioral Neuropsychology), St. Ambrose University has a program to help you achieve your goals.

Our graduates work at Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Mississippi Valley, Iowa State Extension and Outreach, Jefferson and Madison Elementary Schools (Davenport), Quad Cities Autism Center, U.S. District Court, the Veterans Administration in Des Moines, and many others.

Other Psychology Programs

Forensic Psychology

Behavioral Neuropsychology


Ambrose Advantages

  • Unique Courses, Research Experiences, and Internships
  • Individual Advising
  • One of Few Schools Offering Forensic Psychology

Julie Kettman in Class

Students in Psych Group

John Stachula in Class

Our Undergraduate Psychology faculty provides expert guidance so you can become established in the profession, whether you choose to pursue an advanced degree or directly enter the workforce.

See our fact sheet on psychology majors (pdf)


More Information on the Psychology Major

What will I learn?

You will develop quality research and writing skills, become an effective problem solver, and use your higher-level thinking abilities to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information.

Students are strongly encouraged to get involved in extracurricular activities to enhance what they learn in the classroom:

  • join the Psychology Club and Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology
  • support organizations in the community such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness
  • volunteer in campus activities
  • participate in research with faculty
  • get practical work experience in the community
  • join professional organizations

If service is included in your future plans, we are one of few universities in Iowa offering Peace Corps Prep, a program that can make you a stronger candidate for volunteer positions within the Peace Corps or other service programs. You'll gain skills and a cultural worldview that employers value and best of all, most students can earn the certificate - awarded by the Peace Corps - without taking extra courses. Peace Corps Prep is a competitive edge that sets you apart and broadens your opportunities, no matter what path you choose. Click here to learn more or contact your faculty advisor.

Study Abroad

You've heard people say it before: "College will be the greatest time of your life!" With Study Abroad, you can add even more to your college years.

You can study in another country – without paying extra tuition – in a semester-long or short-term study abroad program (with a few offered during spring and winterim breaks). No matter the duration, these trips deepen your professional education while earning credit toward graduation.

There are also opportunities through an exchange program, an overseas internship, or volunteering. The limits for Study Abroad are only ones you set for yourself! SAU students have studied in Italy, Costa Rica, Australia, Korea, United Kingdom, Spain, Ecuador, Japan, Germany, Peru, Cyprus, Croatia, Belize, Canada, Chile, and more.

SAU students returning from their Study Abroad locations talk about their time away as life-changing - personally, emotionally, culturally, and academically. Click here to search our Study Abroad programs, and for general information click here.

Internship and Field Experience

Field Experience

For Psychology majors

This semester-long, work-related experience provides the student with the opportunity to apply what they've learned in the classroom and through coursework. It also enables an exploration into career options and a development of their interpersonal awareness.

The site is a school, clinic, or community agency and is supervised by a qualified individual in association with the site.

Internship

For Forensic Psychology majors

Students choose from a list of pre-approved sites to complete a semester-long internship (120-240 hours on-site). The practical experience gained through this internship is excellent preparation for entrance into graduate school or a career.

Settings for the internship can include outpatient/inpatient treatment facilities, jails/prisons, state/federal courts, probation/parole facilities, community programs for treating the offender population, policing organizations, and agencies related to family court or treatment of youth offenders (including schools).

What have our alums been up to?

  • Shelby Leemans '16 also minored in Biology and Chemistry at Ambrose and earned her MHA from Des Moines University. Today she is a clinic supervisor for Pulmonary Associates (Genesis Health Group).
  • After SAU, Ally Hunter '13 earned her master's degree in Education from WIU. She now works at Geneseo High School as a school counselor.
What are some possible job outcomes?

The study of psychology at the bachelor's level is good preparation for many industries, including: public affairs, education, business, sales, service industries, and healthcare. You may work with performers and athletes to reduce stress and improve performance; advise lawyers on jury selection; collaborate with educators on school reform; and help victims and bystanders recover from a disaster. You could also work as a human resource specialist, employment counselor, correction counselor trainee, interviewer, personnel analyst, parole officer, police officer, market researcher, and lab assistant, as well as a valued employee in a wide array of human services and helping professions.

Faculty

Andy Kaiser, Professor and Chair

Robin Anderson, Professor
Carol DeVolder, Professor
Judy Correa Kaiser, Professor
Julie Jenks Kettman, Assoc. Professor
John Stachula, Professor
Katie Trujillo, Professor

BSW & Psychology Dual Degree Program

With our new Dual Degree program, you can earn a BA in Psychology and a second degree in Social Work. 

Your interest in studying and understanding human emotion, cognition, and behavior may be why you choose to major in psychology, and they are the same reasons people become social workers. We've created a dual degree program that allows you to earn a degree in Psychology and second degree in Social Work, in four years. This well-integrated program connects the two degrees and leads to a successful career.

Psychology majors benefit from unique coursework on mental health, developmental and social influences on human behavior, as well as on how the brain functions. This background provides a solid foundation for developing the skills that social workers need when assessing and counseling clients and offers an extra layer of understanding and insight into client issues and motivations.

Further, psychology's roots in answering questions about human behavior through conducting scientific research prepare social workers to understand and design research in their field that will allow them to use best practices with clients and organizations.

Our 32-credit hour BSW program focuses on generalist practice, which means you'll gain skills that allow you to practice in various settings: hospitals, clinical settings, schools, social service agencies, and more. You'll build social work practice skills that encompass an empowerment philosophy and allow you to work with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities in a variety of settings with diverse populations.  

You'll take part in a culminating experience and internship. Our BSW students complete 400 hours of fieldwork, which lets you apply what you've learned in the classroom in real-world situations before graduation. You'll get to explore your interests, strengths, and fit within the diverse field of social work. 

In addition, your BSW could lead to advanced standing in our accredited MSW program, which means you could earn your graduate degree in one year, instead of two. That makes your education more accelerated and affordable.

Course sequence

This is the suggested Plan to Graduate in four years with a BSW degree and a major in Psychology.  This plan assumes you haven't satisfied the foreign language requirement (three years of foreign language in high school). 

First Year

FallCreditsSpringCredits
KIN 149 1 STAT 213 3
MATH 171 3 Humanities 3
Foreign Language 101 3 Foreign Language 102 3
PSYCH 105 3 Info Lit 1
THEO/PHIL 3 SWK 201 3
ENGL 101 or COMM 3 ENGL 101 or COMM 3
Total 16 Total 16


Sophomore Year

FallCreditsSpringCredits
BIOL 101 or CHEM 101 4 PSYC 324 3
PSYC 215 3 Humanities 3
PSYC Social/Developmental Psychology 3 Elective 3
PSCI 101 American Government 3 PSYC - any 3
THEO/PHIL 3 THEO/PHIL 3
Total 16 Total 15


Junior Year

FallCreditsSpringCredits
PSYC 342 3 SWK 340 Social Work Research 3
SWK 330 Generalist Practice I 3 SWK 333 Generalist Practice II 3
Creative Arts Gen Ed 3 THEO/PHILL 300-Level 3
SWK 310 Social Welfare & Policy 3 PSYC 1
SWK 320 HBSE I: Birth to Adolescence 3 SWK 360 Diversity 3
Total 15 Total 15


Senior Year

FallCreditsSpringCredits
SWK 400 Field Instruction I 3 SWK 336 Generalist Practice III 3
SWK 402: Field Seminar I 1 SWK 401 Field Instruction II 3
SWK 325 HBSE II: Adult to End of Life 3 SWK 403 Field Seminar II 3
PSYCH 300-level 3 PSYC 300-level 1
KIN Activity 1 Elective 3
Elective 3
Total 14 Total 13 


Total Credits: 120 

Requirements for a major in Psychology with an interdisciplinary minor in Peace and Justice Studies are in bold. Read the admissions requirements here.

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (30 credits)

Required:
PSYC 105 Introductory Psychology 
STAT 213 Applied Statistical Reasoning for the Sciences (C or better) 
PSYC 215 Research Methods (C or better)

At least one course each from Biopsychology, Clinical, Social/Developmental, and Other:

Biopsychology:
PSYC 255 Brain and Behavior
PSYC 350 Health Psychology
PSYC 360 Behavioral Pharmacology
PSYC 402 Psychology of Sensation and Perception 
PSYC 403 Behavioral Neuroscience

Clinical:
PSYC 323 Personality Theories
PSYC 324 Abnormal Psychology
PSYC 326 Child and Adolescent Psychopathology
PSYC 332 Psychology Tests and Measurements 
WI-PSYC 342 Theories of Counseling
PSYC 343 Family Counseling

Social/Developmental:
PSYC 203 Psychology of Gender
+PSYC 212 Life-Span Developmental Psychology
PSYC 306 Social Psychology
WI-PSYC 312 Women and Aging
WI-PSYC 314 Human Motivation

Other:
PSYC 205 Human Sexuality
PSYC 321 Psychology and Law
PSYC 327 Psychology and Treatment of the Juvenile Offender
PSYC 328 Psychology and Treatment of the Victim
PSYC 331 Learning and Memory
PSYC 348 Supervised Field Experience
PSYC 414 History of Psychology (strongly recommended for those considering advanced study)

Electives:
An additional nine credit hours of psychology at the 300-level to total 30 semester credits.

Read course descriptions

Bachelor of Science in Psychology (30 credits)

Required:
PSYC 105 Introductory Psychology
STAT 213 Applied Statistical Reasoning for the Sciences (C or better)
PSYC 215 Research Methods (C or better)
WI-PSYC 404 Advanced Experimental Design and Analysis (4 credits)

Choose at least one course from each of the following sections:

Biopsychology:
PSYC 255 Brain and Behavior
PSYC 350 Health Psychology
PSYC 360 Behavioral Pharmacology
PSYC 402 Psychology of Sensation and Perception
PSYC 403 Behavioral Neuroscience

Clinical:
PSYC 323 Personality Theories
PSYC 324 Abnormal Psychology
PSYC 332 Psychology Tests and Measurements
WI-PSYC 342 Theories of Counseling
PSYC 343 Family Counseling.

Social/Developmental:
PSYC 203 Psychology of Gender
+PSYC 212 Life-Span Developmental Psychology
PSYC 306 Social Psychology
WI-PSYC 312 Women and Aging
WI-PSYC 314 Human Motivation

Other:
PSYC 205,
PSYC 212 Life-Span Developmental Psychology,
PSYC 321 Psychology and Law
PSYC 327 Psychology and Treatment of the Juvenile Offender
PSYC 328 Psychology and Treatment of the Victim
PSYC 331 Learning and Memory
PSYC 348 Supervised Field Experience
PSYC 414 History of Psychology (strongly recommended for those considering advanced study.)

Electives:
5 credit hours of psychology at the 300 level to total 30 semester credits.

In addition, Bachelor of Science students must complete:
BIOL 101, or 199 and 200;
CHEM 103, or 105 and 106:
PHYS 203 and 204 (required for DPT); or NSCI 105
MATH 171 (or higher level math) (MATH 191 is strongly recommended for graduate school).

Read course descriptions

Minor in Psychology (15 credits)

15 semester credits of psychology, including PSYC 105, 215 (C or better), STAT 213 (C or better) and two or more 300-level courses.

Requirements for Occupational Therapy students completing an undergraduate degree in psychology: Students should contact their Psychology faculty advisor for current information.

Scholarships and Grants

Scholarships

For academic/merit-based awards, eligible students are matched to the qualifying award; some of them are listed below.

For need-based support, eligibility is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The SAU school code is 001889.

You may also qualify for a scholarship or grant due to your talent in the fine arts or athletics. Give us a call or send an email so we can get to know you and find the best package for you. (You're also encouraged to seek outside scholarships and begin that search early.)

Institutional scholarships (2018-19)

There is no need to apply for the scholarships or grants below; students automatically are eligible if they meet specific criteria, although some may require a certain GPA to stay eligible.

The Admissions Office calculates the award amount by using high school GPA and ACT/SAT scores.

Ambrose Scholar
For First Year, on-campus residents only. Straight As on high school transcript and a minimum 30 ACT score. Applicants who meet Ambrose Scholar criteria will be invited to compete for a full-tuition scholarship for $@{17-18-Tuition}.

Trustee Scholar
$22,000/year - For First-year, on-campus residents only. Unweighted 3.8 GPA, 28+ACT. May be offset by state and/or federal aid if eligible.

Academic Scholarship
$14,000-17,000/year - Based on GPA and ACT/SAT score

University Grant
$12,000/year - Based on high school GPA and ACT/SAT score

Additional Scholarships (2018-19)

If you want to apply for any of the scholarships below, contact the Admissions Office.

Fine Arts Scholarships
Award based on performance and ability in art, music, or theatre. Includes the Michael Kennedy Theatre Scholarship. Audition or portfolio required.

Athletics Scholarships
Award varies. Based on performance and ability. Marching Band scholarships available. See below.

Freeman Pollard Minority Scholarship
$1,000 for on-campus students; $500 for off-campus. For accepted minority students.

Menke Parish Scholarship
Award varies. For First Year students only who are recommended by their parish pastor in the Diocese of Davenport. Recommendation form (pdf) to be completed by your pastor.

Father Welch Alumni Scholarship
$1,000/year. For on-campus students only whose parent is a St. Ambrose graduate.

Athletic Scholarships

As a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), St. Ambrose can award athletic scholarships to student athletes. These scholarships allow you to earn a college education while competing in the sport that you love. At Ambrose, we embody that value of developing both the mind and body.

How do I qualify for an athletic scholarship?
You must first be eligible to play a sport at St. Ambrose. You can read about those qualifications here. The NAIA also has a complete website on how to register for eligibility at playNAIA.org

Transfer Scholarships

Amounts are for transfer students entering St. Ambrose in the 2018-19 academic year.

St. Ambrose scholarships are awarded for fall and spring semesters only and renewable up to 120 credits of undergraduate study, which includes credits transferred to St. Ambrose from prior attendance. For example: If you transfer in with an AA/AS degree, you would receive a scholarship for two additional years at St. Ambrose.

For questions about any of the awards below, give our friendly Financial Aid Office a call at 563-333-5775.

Institutional Aid

Guaranteed Minimum Scholarship Award 

based on GPA (Grade Point Average)
3.5-4.00 GPA: $12,000 per year scholarship award
3.0-3.49 GPA: $11,000 per year scholarship award
2.5-2.99 GPA: $10,000 per year scholarship award
2.0-2.49 GPA: $8,000 per year scholarship award

Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society

Criteria: Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society membership
Award: $12,500/year for new transfer students, renewable each year up to eight semesters, including transfer hours. Scholarships awarded for fall and spring semesters only. GPA is based on 4.0 scale.

Out-of-State Grant

Criteria: non-Iowa resident
Award: $2,000/year

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarship

Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate; on-campus students only
Award: $1,000/year

Freeman Pollard Diversity Award

Criteria: accepted diverse student
Award: $1,000/year on-campus; $500/year off-campus

Athletics Scholarship

Criteria: performance and ability
Marching band scholarships also available
Award varies

Fine Arts Scholarship

Criteria: performance and ability in art, music, theatre
Audition or portfolio required
Award varies

Dual Admission Scholarship

Criteria: participant in SAU/community college dual admission program
Award: $1,000 maximum

Federal and State Aid

Federal Pell Grant

Criteria: based on financial need; file FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1
Award: $5,920 maximum

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

Criteria: based on financial need, priority to Pell Grant recipients. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1.
Award: $400 maximum

Federal Work Study Award

Criteria: based on financial need. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1
Award: $1,850

Iowa Tuition Grant

Criteria: based on financial need, Iowa residents only. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1, deadline July 1.
Award: @{Iowa-Tuition-Grant}

Carver Scholarship

Criteria: Iowa resident and entering junior, visit carvertrust.org for eligibility details, deadline April 1.
Award: $7,600 maximum

Outside Scholarships

There are many opportunities to receive scholarships from outside sources, here are a few websites to begin researching your options:

Another tip: Next time you're on campus, check out the bulletin board outside Bee Central where we post more flyers and applications for outside scholarships.


Apply Visit Info

Contact


Andy Kaiser, PhD, Chairperson

Psychology Department
McMullen Hall 113
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803
563-333-6479
KaiserAndrewJ@sau.edu

So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? St. Ambrose offers more than 60 programs and 27 athletic teams and sports to join on campus. Become an Ambrosian today!