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Psychological and Social Issues

The Marian University Online Bachelor of Science in Psychology program prepares students to take on careers related to human behavior, motivations, emotions, thoughts, and actions through accelerated 7-week classes. Whether students aspire to careers in counseling, law, or medicine, we ensure they achieve a scientifically-driven understanding of the social, biological, cultural, and neurological factors that influence human behavior and interaction.

As a student in the BS in Psychology program you will delve deep into behavior, emotion, the brain, human thoughts and how they drive actions, as well as the major concepts, theories, and historical trends that impact the field. Featuring six entry points per year, students will apply research methods, including data analysis, as well as psychological principles to foster a better understanding of a broad array of personal, organizational, and social issues.

Earn Your Degree in Psychology – 100% Online

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    What Can You do With a Degree in Psychology?

    Bachelor’s level graduates can aspire to careers in:

    • In-home autism therapists
    • Behavioral specialists
    • Human resources specialists
    • Healthcare coordinators
    • Patient advocates
    • Child welfare specialists
    • Activities director at assisted living facilities

    Those who continue into a master’s or doctoral program hold jobs such as:

    • Licensed psychologist
    • School counselor
    • Mental health counselor
    • Marriage and family therapist
    • Social worker
    • Researcher
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    Why Choose Marian’s MPath 7-Week Accelerated Learning Platform?

    Choose Your Start Date
    Classes that start every seven weeks allow busy students to choose the best time to start.

    Focus on Your Course
    Fewer courses at a time empower students to focus on excelling at the task at hand.

    The Ultimate in Flexibility
    It’s easy to fit school into your life with 100% online courses and a new schedule every seven weeks.

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    The Program

    The Marian University online Bachelor of Science in Psychology program is about empowering students with an understanding of the major concepts, theories and historical trends that impact the field.

    General Education Courses

    As a bachelor’s level student, you are required to take about 30 credits of general education courses as part of the 120 credits required for a bachelor’s degree.  Gen eds are required regardless of your major.

    All students take 10.5 to 17 credits in these areas:

    • Mathematical Reasoning
    • Argumentative and Research Writing
    • Introduction to Christian Theology
    • Interpersonal Communication
    • Introduction to Ethical Reasoning

    Psychology majors will take courses covering topics such as:

    • Human development
    • History and systems of psychology
    • Abnormal psychology
    • Statistical techniques for research and data analysis

    Sample Course Plan:
    Download Sample Course Plan

    Common Requirements:

    An introduction to Christian theology understood as the critical and reflective study of God’s revelation through the person, life, and teaching of Jesus Christ and of the implications of this revelation. Proceeding from the Catholic intellectual tradition and incorporating perspectives of other Christian traditions, this study aims to present theology as a striving for the harmony of faith and reason. Through critical study and reflection, students are introduced to specific concepts, terminology, and methodologies needed to participate well in on-going theological dialogue. Students have the opportunity to apply and reflect on their knowledge in written work, presentations, service-learning, community service, and/or retreat experiences.

    Mathematical Reasoning 3 cr
    English Composition 3 cr
    Communications 3 cr
    Ethical Reasoning 3 cr

    Areas of Critical Reasoning (15 Credits)

    Theological Study 3 cr
    *Creative Reasoning – includes Art, Literature, Music, Writing 3 cr
    +Humanistic Reasoning – Philosophy, History, Cultural Studies, Gender Studies, Ethnic Studies, Religious Studies 3cr
    **Social Scientific Reasoning – includes Psychology, Economics, Geography, Political Science, Sociology, Communications, Anthropology and Archaeology 3 cr
    ++Scientific Reasoning – includes Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Environmental Science, Geology, Astronomy 3 cr

    Psychology Core
    36 credits as follows:
    21 required credits:

    An introduction to the science of psychology through a survey of the biological, intra-psychic, and social bases of behavior. Major topics include cognition, sensation and perception, motivation and emotion, personality, behavior disorders, and social elements of behavior.

    A survey of the changes which occur during the entire lifespan as people develop: physical, motor, cognitive, moral, and social-emotional. Developmental theory and research data are critically considered. Application of existing knowledge about the variables which affect the course of development is emphasized.


    MAT 001 Basic Algebra, Appropriate math placement test score or MAT 001 with grade of C or higher

    An interdisciplinary introduction to the basic principles of data analysis with an emphasis on application. Students are expected to apply these principles to data analysis in their respective areas of study. The applied focus is on the computerized application of summary statistics, one/two/multi-sample tests, linear models, association tests, randomness/normality tests, time series comparison, quality control charts and probability distributions as used across a variety of community and organizational settings. Other techniques may be added as appropriate for specific disciplines.


    This course explores the major types of psychopathology to include anxiety disorders, personality disorders, mood disorders, schizophrenia, organic brain disorders, substance-related disorders, somatoform disorders, dissociative disorders, eating disorders, sleeping disorders, mental retardation, adjustment disorders, sexual and gender identity disorders, impulse control disorders and delirium, dementia and amnestic disorders. Emphasis is given to the issues surrounding classification, etiology and treatment.


    A survey of development of modern psychology from its physiological and philosophical roots to the present status of various contemporary theories and systems.

    (Psychology majors only) A forum for discussion for graduating seniors. Completion of a project which demonstrates the student’s ability to integrate and apply acquired knowledge in psychology is required.


    This course presents the basic principles and methods of social science research. Students are introduced to techniques for critical analysis of the professional practice literature and how, as consumers, they can incorporate research findings into practice. Students also acquire knowledge and skills for applying research with their social work practice as well as in the area of program evaluation. Students conceptualize research questions, determine appropriate designs and methodologies, and incorporate qualitative and quantitative data analysis. Professional values and ethics, as well as sensitivity to human diversity, are subsumed within the conduct of research.

    15 elective credits, from the following:

    This course is designed to provide the student with a thorough understanding of gangs, theories of gang formation, gang behavior, and policies implemented to address them. Upon completion of this course, students should have a good understanding about what a gang is, how gang violence is functional, and how the existence of gang criminal activity has impacted criminal justice policy (prosecution, courts, prisons, probation and parole).

    This course studies the different types of child abuse. Central to this course is an extensive review and examination of the multiple causes and intricate familial dynamics of abuse. Both the physical and behavioral indicators of the victim are also studied as well as potential family intervention strategies.

    (AGS students only)   A study of topics that include descriptive statistics and data analysis; elementary probability; binomial, hypergeometric and normal probability models; the central limit theorem; confidence intervals; elementary hypothesis testing; linear regression; and correlation. A major goal of this course is the application of these topics to problems arising from the natural sciences, the social sciences, the health industry and the business environment.


    An investigation of the influences of social factors on individual behavior, the role of social cognition when people interact, interpersonal and group dynamics, and application of social-psychological research data to various situations.

    A course allowing for instruction in areas not included in the regular psychology curriculum.

    A consideration of the physical, cultural, and intrapersonal aspects of sexuality in light of how they affect the growth and occurrence of sexual behavior. The conceptual core of this course is the idea
    that human sexual behavior follows the same rules and is directed to many of the same ends as other human behavior.

    An examination of the relationship between brain chemistry and behavior. Special attention is paid to drug use/abuse and the application of drugs to the treatment of psychological disorders.

    A survey of major theories of personality functioning, covering such areas as the nature, determinants, development, structure, motivational bases, and dynamic operations of the human personality. Examples of theories from the following areas are treated: psychodynamic, behavior and learning, cognitive, humanistic-phenomenological, trait, and Eastern. Each theory is critically analyzed in terms of its assumptions, logical cohesiveness, research support, and applications.

    Positive psychology focuses on the strengths within the individual versus the more traditional focus of pathology. A comparison between past psychological theories and this more contemporary theory of psychology will be explored. The course will teach students how to evaluate, understand, and how to identify strengths within themselves and others. Additionally this course will offer the opportunity to learn how to utilize these identified strengths in order to reach greater levels of happiness, accomplishment and satisfaction.

    A focus on practical techniques derived from theory and research in learning. Emphasis is on assessment, intervention, and evaluation in both clinical and non-clinical settings.

    A survey of a broad range of psychopathological disorders which can affect children and adolescents. Attention is given to description, assessment, theoretical and empirical explanations for and treatment of the disorders.

    Focuses on the production and application of psychological knowledge and research findings to both civil and the criminal justice systems. Topics include competency evaluations of criminal defendants and of the elderly, screening/selection of law enforcement applicants, the delivery and evaluation of intervention and treatment programs for juvenile and adult offenders, police and investigative psychology, and psychopathy.

    Exposure to the realities of work through experiences in settings where psychological services are being provided.

    This course examines the underlying basis for human skills in learning, perception, attention and memory, language, problem solving, and decision-making. The focus is on current knowledge about the processes, structures, and mechanisms that contribute to human cognition. Some application of this knowledge to fields such as law, education, and clinical psychology will be included.


    Introduction to the field of Industrial Organizational Psychology, the careers available in the field, and the ethical and legal issues that an Industrial Organizational Psychology professional encounters and overcomes. The concepts and processes involved in both the industrial (job analysis, recruitment, selection and assessment; performance evaluation, and individual training) and organizational (maximizing organizational performance: organizational development, group and team dynamics and training, leadership, and change management) sides of IO Psychology.

    24 credits:

    University electives

    The Marian University Online Bachelor of Science in Psychology program adheres to the American Psychology Association’s guidelines.


    The purpose of the Marian University Online Bachelor of Science in Psychology program is to enhance students’ lives through the pursuit of psychological knowledge and understanding by focusing on the cognitive and social aspects of human beings and the numerous variables, which influence their actions. Students are encouraged to explore and learn more about the various fields in psychology and apply that knowledge through field experiences, internships, and research that enhances the student’s understanding and critical analysis of key psychological concepts.

    Learning Objectives

    • Demonstrate understanding of APA-informed ethical principles
    • Apply psychological scientific knowledge and reasoning to real world examples across a variety of settings
    • Demonstrate the ability to utilize and interpret various statistical procedures and tests
    • Show understanding of historical background in psychology
    • Demonstrate ability to work effectively with others in a team
    • Exhibit the ability to effectively write using APA style

    Many of the Marian University Online Bachelor of Science in Psychology program graduates have gone on to graduate or professional school to enhance their learning and pursue an advanced degree, including programs at Cardinal Stritch University, Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Edgewood College, Medical College of Wisconsin, Mount Mary University, Roosevelt University, University of Iowa College of Law, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

    The goal of the Marian University Online Bachelor of Science in Psychology program is to prepare students for an in depth understanding of psychology from both a theoretical and applied perspective. Our students understand the importance and substance of research, while gaining an applied knowledge of the field.

    96% of our students demonstrated competency in working on team projects, which is a key to success within the work environment. The majority of our psychology majors choose to take field experience and are placed in a variety of psychology-related agencies working with survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, the mentally ill, homeless, and those with emotional or behavioral issues.

    Over 85% of Marian University Online Bachelor of Science in Psychology program graduates are employed in the field of psychology. Recent graduates are employed as autism line therapists, children’s behavioral specialists, human resources specialists, patient advocates, child welfare specialists, and much more.

    Over 25% of Marian University Online Bachelor of Science in Psychology program alumni complete a master’s degree program within three years. The following graduate schools have accepted Marian graduates Chicago School of Professional Psychology, the Wisconsin School of Professional Psychology, Florida State University, the University of Massachusetts- Lowell, the University of Wisconsin-Stout, Concordia University, Lakeland University, and more.

    Employment: 93% of Marian University Online Bachelor of Science in Psychology program graduates are employed within six months of graduation.

    Marian University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    The Marian University Online Bachelor of Science in Psychology program is recognized for its quality, offering a depth and breadth of understanding to students. Graduates of the Marian University Online Bachelor of Science in Psychology program are prepared for a career in human services or in the nonprofit sector, as well as for graduate school where they can pursue a career in psychology, counseling, law or medicine.

    Tracey Marx

    Amy Hennings, Ph.D.
    Associate Professor

    Ciara Kidder, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor

    Gina Possin, M.S.
    Assistant Professor

    Jennifer Schultz, M.A.

    As a student in the Marian University Online Bachelor of Science in Psychology program students can take advantage of educationally driven internships, designed to connect theory with real-world practice. They benefit from working in a broad array of professional settings. Recent internship sites include Boys and Girls Club, Doll and Associates, Family Resource Center, Fond du Lac Public Schools, Washington County Council of Alcohol and Drug Abuse and Winnebago Mental Health Institution.

    Apply Now

    For more information, please contact:

    Adult and Online Studies

    Amy Hennings, M.A.
    Associate Professor