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, psychology is an applied science that helps prepare you for life by teaching important skills like communication and critical thinking.

Your Career

When you earn a B.S. in Psychology, you acquire the skills and knowledge needed to pursue careers in many fields. At Alvernia, most psychology majors pursue careers in four areas: health care and clinical, criminal justice and forensics, education and community, and business and non-profit. In addition, many psychology graduates continue their education by earning Master’s or a Ph.D. in specific subfields of psychology or counseling.


A sampling of employers who hire Alvernia psychology graduates:


Health Care and Clinical

  • Reading Hospital
  • Threshold Rehabilitation
  • Treatment Access and Services Center
  • Glad Counseling Services
  • Service Access Management
  • Emotional Wellness, LLC
  • The Center for Pediatric Therapy
  • Philhaven
  • Project Transition
  • Heritage of Green Hills
  • Hospice Life Choice
  • Berks Visiting Nurses
  • Olivet’s Boys and Girls Club
  • Devereux Foundation
  • Caron Treatment Centers
  • Berks Psychiatry
  • Greater Reading Mental Health Alliance

Criminal Justice and Forensics

  • Berks County Adult Probation
  • Berks County Community Re-entry Program

Education and Community

  • Oley Valley School District
  • Hamburg School District
  • Reading Area Community College
  • Albright College
  • Children’s Home of Reading
  • CSF and Buxmont Academy
  • New Story
  • Montgomery County Intermediate Unit
  • Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)

Business and Non- Profit

  • Tweed-Weber
  • The Reading Symphony
  • Astra Zeneca Pharmaceuticals
  • Highmark Blue Shield
  • Pennsylvania Power and Light Corp.

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
  • New York University
  • Drew University
  • Northern Illinois University
  • Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • University of Scranton
  • Penn State University
  • Immaculata University
  • Temple University
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • Villanova University
  • Kutztown University
  • West Chester University

Your Curriculum

All Alvernia students must successfully complete a minimum of 123 semester credits to receive 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 at least 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 420 – Equine Assisted Psychotherapy
  • 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 learning/working 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 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, when you receive 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
  • Ethics education


You can visit the psychology faculty pages to learn more about research projects that might match your interests or S.U.R.F.


Contact Information
Peggy C. Bowen-Hartung, Ph.D., C.T.S.
Associate Professor
Psychology & Counseling Department Chair
Upland Center, Room 126c

Faculty Contacts


Psychology Course Descriptions