Exploring the possibilities of human potential.

Delving deep into things like behavior, emotion, the brain, human thoughts and how they drive actions is enlightening to say the least. That is the fundamental core of the field of psychology. And when you pursue those areas at a place with a rich history in the liberal arts and spirituality—a place like Marian—it opens even more amazing doors of understanding.

Learn More About Being a Psychology Major

Listen to Amy Hennings, Program Chair of the Psychology Department, as she explains the BS in Psychology degree. Learn how to get support from your professors and opportunities to get involved with campus activities. Hear about the optional field experience that spans either one or two semesters.

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The Program

The psychology program at Marian is about empowering students with an understanding of the major concepts, theories and historical trends that impact the field. As a student in the program, you’ll 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.

For more details regarding this program, view Marian’s Academic Bulletin.

Sample Course Plan:
Download Sample Course Plan

General Education Program, 46–49 University requirements, including:

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.

This course focuses on the exploration of fundamental principles of effective communication. Skilled communication behaviors are developed through the study and practice of interpersonal communication, public speaking, listening, and group dynamics. Practical applications include class discussion, group activities, listening exercises, and individual presentations.


A course applying traditional rhetoric and communication theory to oral presentations. Students study, write, deliver and evaluate public speeches. Emphasis is placed on the students’ ability to speak from an outline in a variety of situations including informative speaking, persuasive speaking and demonstration speaking. All presentations are made in class and videotaped to aid in evaluation.

36 credits as follows:

21 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.

This course develops intercultural communication competence through an exploration of cultures. Using a broad definition of culture which includes norms, values, beliefs, art, music and literature, students examine the world as a place of dynamic change and cultural interaction, increasing their need for intercultural sensitivity generally. Through both theory and personal experience, students examine how the various components of communication are affected by and interface with the intercultural experience. Service learning is a component of this course.


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 in practice. Students also acquire knowledge and skills for applying research in their practice. Similarities between the research and problem-solving processes are identified, beginning with conceptualization of the research question, followed by determination of the appropriate design and methodology, and concluding with qualitative and quantitative data analysis and presentation of findings. Professional values and ethics, as well as sensitivity to human diversity, are subsumed within the conduct of research.

(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.

15 credits:

PSY *electives

28–31 credits:

University electives

The Psychology major adheres to the American Psychology Association’s guidelines for undergraduate psychology program curriculum.  The learning goals and outcomes for the Psychology Program include the following five APA goals:

  1. Knowledge Base in Psychology
  2. Scientific Inquiry and Critical Thinking
  3. Ethical and Social Responsibility in A Diverse World
  4. Communication
  5. Professional Development


The purpose of the 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

Powerful results. That’s what you can expect from Marian’s Psychology Program. You’ll find many of the program’s graduates have gone on to graduate or professional school to enhance their learning and pursue an advanced degree. Marian graduates have been accepted into graduate 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. And according to the U.S. Department of Labor, the need for psychologists is projected to grow by 22 percent—adding 37,700 positions—between 2010 and 2020.

In the Psychology Program at Marian University, our goal is to prepare students for an in depth understanding of psychology from both a theoretical and applied perspective training our students to 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 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 psychology 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 50% of Marian alumni complete a master’s degree program within two years. Graduate schools Marian University psychology students have been accepted into include: Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Wisconsin School of Professional Psychology, Florida State University, University of Massachusetts – Lowell, University of Wisconsin -Stout, Concordia University, Lakeland College, and many more.

Employment: 94% of Marian graduates are employed within six months of graduation from the Psychology Program.

Marian University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

The Marian psychology program is recognized for its quality, offering a depth and breadth of understanding to students. As a graduate of the program, you’ll be prepared for a career in human services or in the nonprofit sector, as well as for graduate school where you can pursue a career in psychology, counseling, law or medicine.

Psychology majors must achieve an average GPA of 2.5 in their psychology coursework before graduation.


Samantha Kucaj – currently completing a PsyD in Child Psychology at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. (’12)


Kari Meyer – in her second year of a master’s program pursuing a degree in Counseling with an emphasis on clinical mental health at UW-Oshkosh. (’13)

Gina Anderson – graduated from the University of Florida with a master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. She is completely a doctoral degree in I/O Psychology at Grand Canyon University. Additionally, she currently teaches psychology courses part-time for Marian University. (’12)

Kiley O’Connell – graduated with a master’s degree in Applied Behavioral Analysis from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. (’13)

Theresa Sokup – graduated from Cardinal Stritch University with a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and currently employed by St. Agnes Hospital in their Domestic Violence Program. (’12)

Amanda Anderson – completed a master’s degree in Family Therapy and currently pursuing a PhD in Family Therapy at Northcentral University in Arizona. (’10)

Michaela Ramos – currently in her second year of a master’s degree program at UW-Oshkosh where she is completing a master’s degree in Professional Counseling. (’14)

Jessi Forbes – currently employed as an Intervention Case Manager in River Falls, WI. (’14)

Nicole Dreier (Schommer) – currently finishing a master’s degree in Counseling from Lakeland College. (’11)

Olivia Smolarek – currently working as a registered nurse and is using her Psychology major to provide greater understanding and quality of care to her patients. She holds a B.S. degree with majors in Nursing and Psychology from Marian University. (’13)

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 psychology program, you’ll be able to take advantage of educationally driven internships, designed to connect theory with real-world practice. You’ll 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:

Office of Admission

Amy Hennings, M.A.
Assistant Professor & Chair
Psychology Department