Psychology is a wide-ranging discipline that involves the empirical study of mind and behavior. Contemporary psychological science is focused on basic and applied research in many domains, including physiological bases of behavior, cognitive neuroscience, emotion, development and personality, psychopathology and psychotherapy, social processes, psychology in the workplace, and clinical and health psychology.
The psychology major is basic to pre-professional training for a career in psychology, which requires graduate study leading to the MA, MS, PsyD, and PhD degrees. Professional careers in psychology include teaching and research in colleges and universities; counseling and clinical work in mental health settings, in schools, and in community settings; psychology-related work in hospitals and public health settings, in the military services, and in the criminal justice and legal systems; and psychology-related work in industry, and in local, state and federal agencies of many kinds. Over the years Hamline psychology majors have obtained advanced degrees from many of the nation’s leading graduate programs, and our graduates have established successful careers as counseling and clinical psychologists, social psychologists, experimental psychologists, industrial/organizational psychologists, and developmental psychologists.
Students majoring in psychology who do not plan on a psychology-focused career receive an excellent liberal arts education and are qualified for diverse employment opportunities. Examples of such opportunities are teaching, personnel work in business and industry, industrial relations, merchandising and sales, advertising, and other community enterprises. Psychology majors have pursued careers in education, health and medicine, law, human resources, management, and government services.
Students majoring in psychology have the opportunity to pursue an interdisciplinary concentration in behavioral economics or forensic psychology.
The behavioral economics concentration teaches students the core theories and methods in economics and psychology, and how to integrate and apply this knowledge through applied projects. Students will design field and laboratory experiments, informed by behavioral theory, and analyze data for insights. Each student will also design a research project that explores an area of judgment and behavior, tailored to their personal interests and goals. This concentration is open to students majoring in economics or psychology.
The forensic psychology concentration provides a multidisciplinary approach to the study of crime, motivations for criminal behavior, and the response and use of psychology in the American legal system. A concentration in forensic psychology is open to students majoring in criminology and criminal justice, legal studies, or psychology. In addition to their major, students complete coursework that provides students with the foundational knowledge of our legal system, criminology, and psychology that culminates in a senior seminar, CJFS 5670 Forensic Psychology and the Law.
Departmental Honors in Psychology
Each spring, juniors who have excellent academic records may apply to complete an honors project in psychology. Students develop a proposal for an empirical study or literature review, and proposals are submitted to the psychology faculty for review and approval. Students whose proposals are accepted then complete the honors project during the senior year, and often present their projects at the annual meetings of the Midwestern Psychological Association and the Minnesota Undergraduate Psychology Conference. More information about departmental honors is available on the University Honors webpage.
Awards and Prizes in Psychology
Donald Swanson Prize
The Swanson Prize is awarded to an outstanding junior in the psychology department.
Faith L. Murray Prize
The Faith L. Murray Prize is awarded to the outstanding senior in the psychology department.
Jacob Appleby, assistant professor. BA 2010, University of Iowa; PhD 2018, University of Minnesota. Research interests: how stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination undermine social and societal functioning.
Erik Asp, associate professor. BA 2003, St. Olaf College; PhD 2012, University of Iowa. Research interests/publications: Cognitive neuroscience, neural correlates of belief and doubt.
Serena M. King, professor. BA 1998, University of Michigan-Dearborn; MA 2001, PhD 2005, University of Minnesota. Research interests/publications: clinical psychology, psychiatric disorders, substance use disorders, gambling addiction, mental health intervention, health psychology, and antisocial personality traits.
Paula Y. Mullineaux, associate professor. BA 1998, Indiana University Southeast; MA 2003, Southern Illinois University; PhD 2006, Southern Illinois University. Research interests/publications: child development, parent-child interactions, and behavior genetics.