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, and the Veterans Administration in Des Moines. 

Ambrose Advantages

  • Unique Courses, Research Experiences, and Internships
  • Individual Advising
  • One of Only a Handful of 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:

  • joining the Psychology Club and Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology,
  • supporting organizations in the community such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness,
  • volunteering in campus activities,
  • participating in research with faculty,
  • getting practical work experience in the community,
  • and becoming members of professional organizations.
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.


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 and 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.


Andy Kaiser, Professor and Chair

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

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (30 credits)

PSYC 105, STAT 213 (C or better), PSYC 215 (C or better).

At least one course from each of the following:
Biopsychology: PSYC 255, 350, 360, 402, 403.
Clinical: PSYC 323, 324, 326, 332, WI-342, 343.
Social/Developmental: PSYC 203, 212, 306, WI-312, WI-314.
Other: PSYC 205, 321, 327, 328, 348, 331, 414 (414 is strongly recommended for those considering advanced study).

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)

PSYC 105, STAT 213 (C+ or higher), PSYC 215 (C+ or higher), WI-PSYC 404.

At least one course from each of the following:
Biopsychology: PSYC 255, 350, 360, 402, 403.
Clinical: PSYC 323, 324, 332, WI-342, 343.
Social/Developmental: PSYC 203, 212, 306, WI-312, WI-314.
Other: PSYC 205, 212, 321, 327, 328, 348, 331, 414 (414 is strongly recommended for those considering advanced study.)

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

BA-Master of Social Work

You can earn your Master of Social Work degree in as few as five years.

Being interested in studying and understanding human emotion, cognition, and behavior might be why students want to major in psychology. These are also reasons why people become social workers!

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 prepares social workers to understand and design research in their field that will allow them to use best practices with clients and organizations.

For all of these reasons and more, this pairing of psychology and social work – as well as the completion of your internship – helps graduates really stand out in job interviews.

Course Sequence

The timeline for achieving your Master of Social Work degree in five years is listed below. While students don't have to follow this plan exactly, it's an example of how the degree can be achieved.

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

First Year (30 undergraduate credits)

Semester 1: PSYC 105, Math pre-requisite for statistics
Semester 2: PSYC 215 OR 212

Second Year (30 undergraduate credits)

Semester 1: PSYC 215 or 212
Semester 2: STAT 213, PSYC 255, PSYC 324, PSCI 309

Third Year (18 undergraduate credits; 12 graduate credits)

Semester 1: PSYC 300-level "other," PSYCH 300-level, HIST 330; MSW 510, 610
Semester 2: WI-PSYC 342, 300-LEVEL, PHIL 343; MSW 520, 620

Fourth Year (12 undergraduate credits; 18 graduate credits)

Semester 1: JPS Capstone; MSW 591, 710, 810
Semester 2: Two gen ed courses; MSW 592, 720, 820

Fifth Year (30 graduate credits)

Semester 1: MSW 530, 593, 603; two MSW electives
Semester 2: MSW 540, 594, 604; two MSW electives

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

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).

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)

To receive an institutional grant or scholarship students must meet specific criteria, and some may require a certain GPA to stay eligible. There is no need to apply for these; students automatically are eligible if they meet the criteria.

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 Awards

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.

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

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

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

Fr. Menke Catholic Parish Scholarship

Criteria: attend Catholic parish in Diocese of Davenport; on-campus students only
Award varies

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 (FESOG)

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: 5,650

Carver Scholarship

Criteria: Iowa resident and entering junior, visit 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


Andy Kaiser, PhD, Chairperson

Psychology Department
McMullen Hall 113
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803

So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? St. Ambrose offers more than 60 programs and 26 athletic teams and sports to join on campus. Become an Ambrosian today!