Discover A Field That Combines Your Passion For Helping Others With Your Curiosity About How Human Beings Think, Learn And Interact.
Have you ever wondered why you are who you are? How to help others? How biology is related to how you think, act and feel? How people learn? How to treat problem behaviors and mental disorders? What shapes personality? How psychology relates to different cultures? How to solve problems like violence, prejudice and discrimination?
In psychology, we ask and answer questions like these to better understand ourselves and our world. Many of today’s problems require solutions not only from technological or medical/biological sources, but from psychological ones as well.
Hear more about psychology
While Shenandoah University’s psychology program continues to grow, it remains personal enough that faculty members know students by name and are known for caring about their well-being. Along with individual attention, the program also values hands-on learning and provides abundant experiential opportunities in the community outside of Shenandoah, and with a variety of age groups.
Learn More About This Program
Our program offers a comprehensive education that provides fundamental knowledge in psychological principles, theories and research that can be applied to personal, social, and organizational issues. With a psychology degree, you will be prepared to enter a career in human services or to continue study at the graduate level.
The variety of courses and flexibility of the program allow students to tailor their studies to their personal interests and goals; with various classes and practical experiences, many different paths are possible.
Shenandoah University’s College of Arts & Sciences is your direct connection to a classic, broad-based education to satisfy both your intellectual curiosity and career goals. With a 10:1 student-faculty ratio, small classes and individualized learning opportunities, we put students at the center of all our decisions and events.
We blend the liberal arts with pre-professional courses and hands-on learning to prepare you for careers in the natural sciences, the social sciences and the humanities. You’ll learn through small, engaging classes and relationships with faculty mentors; hone your skills to solve problems; and learn to use creativity and critical thinking to make informed decisions.
Minor in This Program
Requirements for the Psychology Minor (18 Total Credit Hours)
Required Class (3 credit hours)
PSY 101 General Psychology
Take 5 Additional Psychology Electives (15 credit hours, 3 classes must be at the 300- or 400-level)
Declaring A Minor
Shenandoah students work with their Academic Advisor to declare a minor. Academic Advisors will continue to work with students to ensure that they fulfill all of the requirements to complete the minor.
Incoming students should not indicate their intended minor on their Shenandoah application. Applications are for intended majors only.
Internships (i.e., practica) are not required for Psychology, but are strongly recommended. The department offers both research practica and practica in the community to students.
You can earn course credit and experiences for your resume by taking part in real-world internships in a variety of settings, including a rehabilitative center, extended living facilities, a counseling center, and a community-service provider for individuals with disabilities.
To be eligible, students need to be in good academic standing. Our practica are designed to provide students with the opportunity to apply information gained in the classroom and to obtain further knowledge and skills that cannot be achieved in the confines of a classroom. Practica also allow students to demonstrate their abilities, hone their interests, prepare for graduate school and/or make a difference in the community.
Winchester Rehabilitation Center (PSY 401-101)
Students participating in this practicum shadow a neuropsychologist at the Winchester Rehabilitation Center as he evaluates and treats patients with a wide variety of brain injuries and disorders. Completion of either PSY 360 or BIO 232 is required prior to placement. Faculty contact: Laura Zimmermann
Loudoun Therapeutic Riding Foundation (PSY 401-102)
Students will have the opportunity to participate in equine-assisted activities and learn about the administration of an equine therapy program at the Loudoun Therapeutic Riding Foundation (LTRF). Please note that some experience with horses is needed. Faculty contact: Laura Zimmermann
Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging Winchester Senior Center (PSY 401-103)
The Winchester Senior Center is operated by the Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging as a non-profit community center for active older adults. The practicum student would lead and evaluate programs oriented around social interaction, along with assisting staff and volunteers with day-to-day duties. Completion of PSY 324 is recommended prior to placement. Faculty contact: Scott King
Adult Care Center of Northern Shenandoah Valley (PSY 401-104)
The Adult Care Center of the Northern Shenandoah Valley is a non-profit day program for adults who are coping with physical and cognitive challenges caused by Alzheimer’s Disease, stroke, or other conditions, and require supervision or assistance. The practicum student would have options to observe and participate in a variety of research-oriented activities relating to the management of the Adult Care Center. Broadly defined, these activities include market research, quality assurance, needs assessments, and data analysis. Completion of PSY 324 is recommended prior to placement. Faculty contact: Scott King
Addiction Recovery Systems (PSY 401-105)
Addiction Recovery Systems provides medication assisted treatment to adults diagnosed with an opiate addiction. Practicum students will observe and monitor individual counseling services with the population. Duties will include working with a counselor and their clients on an individualized service plan, modeling positive behaviors, and co-facilitation of group counseling. Practicum students will have the opportunity to shadow professionals providing addiction services as well learn the scope of the duties assigned to a counselor. Faculty contact: Rodney Bragdon
Family Preservation Services (PSY 401-106)
Interns at Family Preservation Services (a division of Pathways) will have exposure to a wide variety of human services programs. These programs include home-based services of behavior treatment for individuals with intellectual disabilities and who are on the autism spectrum and Intensive In-Home for treatment of individuals with mental health diagnoses including but not limited to mood disorders, anxiety, depression, suicidal ideations, and ADHD. The practicum will include observation of both programs, however, a majority of the time will be spent with behavior treatment services (intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorder). Practicum participants will gain exposure and insight into assessments and evaluations, specific treatment modalities, and overall care coordination through real-time observations of clinicians and participation in clinical supervision. Completion of PSY 330 prior to placement is recommended. Faculty contact: Laura Zimmermann
Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum (PSY 401-107)
For the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum, practicum students will work with the museum education department. Practicum students will help create and implement pop-up programs for children who visit the museum, enhance their learning experience, as well as assist with special event planning and curriculum development. Completion of PSY 220 prior to placement is required. Faculty contact: Laura Zimmermann
Sinclair Health Clinic (PSY 401-108)
The Sinclair Health Clinic (formerly Winchester Free Clinic) is a community focused clinic that provides quality healthcare service to uninsured residents from the City of Winchester, Frederick County, and Clarke County. Patients have access to specialty services, including well-woman care, cancer screenings and mammograms through the Women’s Health Clinic, orthopedic treatment, and mental health services through our psychiatric nurse practitioner. The practicum student will observe and participate in a variety of mental health related activities within SHC. Specifically, the student will meet with patients to facilitate the Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment protocol (SBIRT). Additional activities will be determined at the beginning of the practicum in a meeting between the student, site supervisor, and faculty contact. Faculty contact: Mark Chan
Crossroads Counseling Center (PSY 401-109)
Crossroads Counseling Center provides a wide variety of therapeutic services to Medicaid eligible children and adults. Practicum students will work as mentors, providing one-on-one therapeutic services to children. Duties will include working with clients on an individualized service plan, teaching social and behavioral skills, modeling positive behaviors, and providing recreational and social activities. Practicum students may also have the opportunity to shadow professionals providing other clinical services. Faculty contact: Rodney Bragdon
Winchester Community Mental Health Center (PSY 401-112)
Winchester Community Mental Health Center provides counseling, psychiatric, in-home, and medication management services. The practicum student will have the opportunity to shadow professionals providing treatment services. Faculty contact: Rodney Bragdon
Independent Research (PSY 405)
The independent research practicum offers the student an opportunity to work under the direct supervision of a psychology faculty member on a research project within the field of psychology. Interested students should talk with their advisors.
The Career Services staff helps Shenandoah students search and apply for internships related to their major and career goals. Internships differentiate you as an applicant in your future job searches, provide hands on experience in your field, allow you to sample different career paths for your major, and help you find a specific position that fits your passion before graduation.
Psychology majors learn marketable, job-related skills, such as critical thinking, valuable interpersonal skills, problem solving skills, knowledge of human behavior and an understanding of research procedures and how best to answer psychology-related questions. Oftentimes, students graduating with a degree in psychology pursue careers in business, government, education and health-related organizations.
I’d say go for it! Studying psychology and biology has really opened up my eyes to the many jobs that could follow graduation. The psychology professors at SU are all really awesome and make sure you are on the right track. I haven’t had a bad experience in any of my classes and always feel that there is help if needed. Both psychology and biology allow you to apply to grad schools for a wide range of careers that you can pick from.
Mallory Shirey ’18 | Psychology & Biology minor
Psychology has many areas of specialization, such as:
- social psychology
- personality psychology
- developmental psychology
- cognitive psychology
- school psychology
- clinical psychology
- counseling psychology
- educational psychology
- industrial-organizational psychology
- forensic psychology
- cross-cultural psychology
- health psychology
Some specific careers that are well-suited for students studying psychology include:
- social worker
- behavioral specialist
- substance abuse mentor
- special education specialist
- guidance or academic counselor
- criminal investigator
- animal trainer
- corrections officer
- occupational therapist
- retail/sales marketing personnel
- public relations worker
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2018), employment of individuals with degrees in psychology is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2026 because of increased demand for psychological services in schools, hospitals, social service agencies, mental health care centers, substance abuse treatment clinics, rehabilitation centers, consulting firms and private companies.
In particular, the demand for occupational therapists is expected to increase much faster than the average for all occupations through 2026, due to an expected increase in need for therapeutic services as the baby-boom generation enters middle age and later, senior adulthood. Employment for occupational therapists in hospitals is expected to remain high and growth is expected in school systems.
For more information about careers in psychology, please check out these websites:
The Career Services Office also provides a comprehensive range of services and resources to assist Shenandoah students in their career search. Services offered include resume and cover letter building, mock interviews, and professional dining etiquette workshops.
Our program offers students a comprehensive education that provides a solid grounding in and understanding of psychology. Our classes seek to bring material to life by encouraging you to personalize knowledge by making the material relevant to your own experiences. The variety of courses and flexibility of the program allow you to tailor studies to your personal interests and goals.
Our small faculty-student ratio allows for close, mentoring relationships and a personalized education. Faculty maintain an open-door policy and are available to advise you on major requirements, course work and career planning.
You will have opportunities to work on research projects, which will give you invaluable hands-on experience in the entire process of conducting a research project and has the potential to lead to presentation of findings in a professional forum.
The faculty, staff, and mentors at SU have gone more than above and beyond to make sure I am having the best experience possible. My teachers have been absolutely fantastic. They all care about their students and help as much as they can to make sure you understand a concept or problem. They make classes engaging and fun more than any other class I have ever had. Even classes that you would think are boring (example: research methods in Psychology) are taught in ways that are easy to understand and fun.
Rachel Sherman ’18 | Psychology Major with a Professional & Popular Writing Minor
Freshmen Year Class Experience in Psychology
After completing general psychology, students may choose to take Child Development, which focuses on normal developmental patterns from conception to adolescence as well as the sources of influence on an individual’s early development.
Sophomore Year Class Experience in Psychology
Many Sophomores take Abnormal Psychology, which is a staple in any psychology program. Students will be introduced to abnormal and maladaptive behaviors as well as their causes and treatments.
Junior Year Class Experience in Psychology
Many Junior-level students take Social Psychology in which they learn about individuals within a group context. When individuals are in a group they may think differently or be influenced to behave in different ways.
Senior Year Class Experience in Psychology
In PSY 308: Research Methods 2 students have the opportunity to develop and conduct their own research studies that they can present at the annual Shenandoah University Projects and Research (SUpr) Summit event on campus.
Psychology students also can take PSY 405: Psychology Research Practicum. This course provides students the opportunity to develop and conduct their own research studies that they can present at regional and national psychology conferences.
Elective Class Experience in Psychology
Psychology offers a variety of elective courses for students’ various interests. Psychology majors interested in counseling or clinical psychology might take Clinical Helping Skills which allows them to practice essential skills in order to be an effective counselor.
Psychology majors interested in pursuing occupational therapy as a career will take courses in human exceptionality, adult years & the aging process, and biopsychology.
Requirements For The Psychology Major
Required Classes (12 credit hours)
- PSY 101 General Psychology
- MATH 207 Introduction to Statistics OR PSY 207 Quantitative Analyses in Psychology
- PSY 208 Research Methods I
- PSY 308 Research Methods II
Take 1 of the Following Classes (3 credit hours)
- PSY 301 Abnormal Psychology
- PSY 330 Behavior Modification
- PSY 360 Biopsychology
- PSY 411 Foundations of Counseling and Counseling Theories
- PSY 412 Clinical Helping Skills
Take 2 of the Following Classes (6 credit hours)
- PSY 312 Personality Psychology
- PSY 316 Cognitive Psychology
- PSY 323 Children and the Media
- PSY 326 Human Exceptionality
- PSY 355 Social Psychology
- PSY 425 Psychology, Gender and Culture
Take 2 of the Following Classes (6 credit hours)
- PSY 220 Child Development
- PSY 322 Adolescent Development
- PSY 324 Adult Years and the Aging Process
- PSY 423 Social and Personality Development
- PSY 428 Children’s Thinking
Take 4 Additional Psychology Electives (12 credit hours)
Typical class size for Freshmen: 22
Typical class size for Seniors: 16
Learning support services are available to all students in every course at Shenandoah. Free peer tutoring with a student who has previously succeeded in the course is available for any course across the university. The Writing Center is available for every stage of the writing process from thesis development to proofreading and bibliography assistance. The Math Enrichment Center is available for math and science assistance. Professors and Academic Advisors across the university also have office hours and open door policies to ensure Shenandoah students succeed academically.
The psychology department has two organizations devoted to students interested in psychology-related issues. The Psychology Club offers you a chance to explore areas of psychology outside the classroom. Meetings generally include guest speakers, group discussions, volunteer work in the community, and a chance for interaction with Shenandoah alumni. Psi Chi is the international honor society that recognizes psychology majors and minors with outstanding academic records.
Psi Chi International Honor Society
Psi Chi, the International Honor Society for Psychology, was founded in 1929 to promote excellence in scholarship and the advancement of psychology as a science. Today, over 1,000 senior colleges and universities, including Shenandoah University, have active chapters of Psi Chi, composed of graduate and undergraduate students pursuing psychology as their major. Membership in Psi Chi is based on student academic performance, and therefore is by invitation only. For more information, please contact the Psi Chi faculty advisor, Dr. Scott King at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Shenandoah University Psychology Club was established in 2001 to create a forum for students to discuss psychological issues, learn about the various fields of study and careers within psychology and help the community. Activities include guest speakers, group discussions on selected topics, community service projects and fundraisers. For more information, please contact the Psychology Club faculty advisor, Dr. Rodney Bragdon at email@example.com.
Join the Honors Program
The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Honors Program is a multidisciplinary Honors Program for students who are curious, creative, self-motivated, and eager to engage in their education and community.
Not only do Honors Program students partake in honors courses that emphasize collaboration, service, and communication, but they will also have the opportunity to develop aspects of the program based on their own interests and goals. By participating in the CAS Honors Program you will acquire the tools, knowledge and experiences necessary to make meaningful contributions to your community – whether it be globally, locally, or specific to your life’s work. You will have access to unique courses, exciting experiences and a community of peers and faculty who never stop asking questions and striving for excellence.
Imagine participating in interesting conversations led by engaging professors who’ve already done what you dream of doing. You’ll be in a small class — the average class size is approximately 14-16 students — with professors who know your name, care about your success and provide advice as you pursue your academic and career goals.
If you’re considering SU’s Psychology program, go for it! The Psychology faculty is comprised of very knowledgeable and experienced professors, who make themselves available for students to come and speak with them personally, and will take time to explain and explain again any concept that you’re having difficulty with. The small class sizes are incredible learning environments, where you receive one on one instruction and an individualized education to help you succeed. Shenandoah will quickly become your second home.
Kate Peacock ’17 | Psychology
All of my Psychology professors have had an influence on me. They all push me to do my very best academically and will tell me if they found a grade to be below my capabilities. They also have been a guiding factor in my career path decision and do everything in their power to help me on my way. Dr. Mark Chan, my academic advisor, has even placed me on a research project to work on next semester.
Anna-Claire Hart ’20 | Psychology Major with a Spanish Minor
Scott P. King
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Laura K. Zimmermann
Shenandoah University works on rolling admissions and accepts applications throughout the year. Applications are reviewed individually and holistically.
Submit your application, review required admission materials, and find our admissions standards.
Shenandoah has always been a large part of my life, since I’ve lived in Winchester most of my life. After visiting to look at the academic values and options for my major, I found that all of the professors I met wanted to make sure each individual student was successful and happy. The small campus makes Shenandoah special. When it came down to college decision time, it only made sense to go somewhere that was an extension of home.”
Anna-Claire Hart ’20 | Psychology Major with a Spanish Minor
There were multiple reasons I chose Shenandoah. Primarily location and the fact that my siblings graduated here were heavy in my thought process. I had only heard good things about the school. My brother and sister talked about how SU treats its students and faculty like family. Considering I was coming from a much larger school where I was viewed as a number, it was amazing to actually be thought of as a person. In transferring, there were issues with getting my transcripts from my previous school and the Shenandoah faculty were a saving grace with getting me in classes and prepared for my degree. I knew that this school would take care of me and I loved that.”
Rachel Sherman ’18 | Psychology Major with a Professional & Popular Writing Minor
Make studying abroad the highlight of your college experience! Whether you go for a year, a semester, or just a few weeks. You will never forget learning in another culture! The Center for International Programs is here to help you plan your study abroad experience. Start your planning early to ensure the courses you complete abroad count toward your degree and you graduate on time.
Global Experiential Learning (GEL) Program
The Global Experiential Learning (GEL) Program offers Shenandoah students a short-term, faculty-led, study-abroad experience for academic credit. These short-term, credit-bearing, faculty-led programs are offered winter break, spring break, and during the summer. If a course is not within your major, it might be used as an elective.
My favorite part of the GEL trip to Uganda was getting to interact with our translators. They were both men, and about the same age as me, but had completely different lives than me. Yet we all found excitement in similar things, like tossing around a ball or Frisbee. It was just really interesting to see that even in a country and culture that is so different from where I live, I still found similarities and made friends with people that are my own age. It’s very humbling to be back. I have always been conscious and skeptical about the fact that I have so much without having had to work for it, and this trip really emphasized that for me. I grew up in a predominantly white school district where most of my classmates’ families had a lot of money, and the kids didn’t realize how lucky they were to have everything that they did. This trip has certainly made me more aware of how much I have and made me more grateful for everything I do have.
Kyle Hooven ’20 | Psychology & Sociology double major
Shenandoah University is a member of the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP), a global network of 300 universities. This partnership allows students to study for a full semester or year at other member campuses abroad. By working closely with their academic advisors and the study abroad advisor, students can take classes taught in English abroad while receiving Shenandoah credit.
Shenandoah University also maintains direct partnerships with several universities around the world. These relationships allow students from SU to study abroad as exchange students and students from these universities to study at SU. All partner universities offer courses taught in English.