We hope you'll take some time to get acquainted with our B.S. in Psychology program. If you're interested in studying psychology, chances are you’re fascinated by human thought processes and behaviors, and you feel ready to start the scientific study of those topics. Alvernia faculty members can teach you a lot about those things. You might be surprised, though, about how much you’ll learn about yourself and the world around you while studying psychology. It’s not only a fascinating major, it’s a major that helps prepare you for life by teaching you important skills like communication and critical thinking.

Your Career

Psychology majors don’t just become psychologists. When you earn a B.S. in Psychology, you acquire the skills and knowledge needed to pursue careers in many fields. In addition, psychology provides excellent training for students who want to earn advanced degrees or enter professional training programs.

Psychology is an appropriate major if you’re thinking about a career in education, higher education, law, health care or research. You also can get the skills you need to work in fields like counseling or social work. Alvernia graduates pursue careers as marketing directors, admissions counselors, client managers, case-workers and spiritual counselors.

A sampling of employers who hire psychology graduates:

  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)
  • Olivet’s Boys and Girls Club
  • Astra Zeneca Pharmaceuticals
  • Highmark Blue Shield
  • Greater Reading Mental Health Alliance
  • Pennsylvania Power and Light Corp.
  • Devereux Foundation
  • Caron Treatment Centers
  • Berks Psychiatry
  • Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
  • Montgomery County Intermediate Unit

For more information about careers in psychology check Careers in Psychology and All Psychology Careers.

Some psychology students return to school after graduating from Alvernia to earn graduate degrees.

A sampling of schools where psychology alumni attend graduate programs:

  • Alvernia University
  • Lehigh University
  • Minnesota State University
  • Northern Illinois University
  • Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • University of Scranton
  • Penn State University
  • Immaculata University
  • Temple University

Your Curriculum

All Alvernia students must successfully complete a minimum of 123 semester credits to receive a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. View your Major Academic Plan (MAP) by year here.

As a psychology major, you’ll need to earn 44 credits in the major.

Required Courses:

  • PSY 101 - Introductory Psychology
  • PSY 130 - Exploring Research
  • PSY 208 - Human Development across the Life Span
  • PSY 230 - Applications of Research
  • PSY 250 - Introduction to Psychopathology
  • PSY 301 - History and Systems in Psychology
  • PSY 314 - Applications of Theories and Techniques
  • PSY 412 - Practicum I
  • PSY 413 - Practicum II 
PSY 422 - Ethical and Professional Issues I
  • PSY 423 - Ethical and Professional Issues II

Each Student Must Complete Five Elective Courses:

  • PSY 105 - Exploring Psychology
  • PSY 210 - Educational Psychology
  • PSY 215 - Multicultural Issues in Psychology
  • PSY 220 - Close Relationships
  • PSY 303 - Psychology of Personality
  • PSY 306 - Group Dynamics
  • PSY 308 - The Psychology of Gender
  • PSY 312 - Psychology of Play
  • PSY 330 - Crisis Management in Mental Health Field
  • PSY 350 - Industrial & Organizational Psychology
  • PSY 405 - Social Psychology
  • PSY 408 - Senior Seminar
  • PSY 430 - Forensic Psychology
  • PSY 440 - Sports Psychology

Your Practicum Experience
All psychology majors must complete a two-semester practicum experience. A practicum is a real-world work experience, during which you are placed in a position in the community that closely relates to your career interests. It’s similar to an internship, and usually occurs in your senior year.

Alvernia believes that real world experience is extremely important, as it can improve your confidence and introduce you to professionals in your intended field of employment. You can find out more about real world learning at www.alvernia.edu/academics/experiential_learning.

There’s a lot to think about when you’re preparing for a practicum, but you’ll get the information and help that you’ll need. You can find out a lot more about Alvernia’s practicum program in the Practicum Handbook.

Background Clearances

Research Opportunities
In addition to real-world learning, psychology majors can get a chance to participate with faculty members in research projects. Faculty members serve as mentors for students working on their senior theses, and students work collaboratively with faculty members on a variety of projects. Discover research opportunities at Alvernia.

Psychology faculty members and students have conducted research in a wide variety of subjects, including:

  • The long-term impact of service projects on students
  • Substance abuse
  • Moral development
  • Diversity and multiculturalism
  • Social-emotional development
  • Pre-natal alcohol exposure
  • Learning in early childhood

You can visit the psychology faculty pages to learn more about research projects that might match your interests, or our research lab pages.

Contact Information

Peggy C. Bowen-Hartung, Ph.D., C.T.S.

Associate Professor

Psychology & Counseling Department Chair

Upland Center, Room 126c



Faculty Contacts

  • Dr. Peggy Bowen-Hartung
  • Dr. Elizabeth Matteo

  • Dr. Ana Ruiz
  • Dr. Judith Warchal
  • Dr. Erin Way
  • Dr. Di You