Psychology Programs

At Dominican, you can earn either a Bachelor of Arts degree or a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology. Within the Bachelor of Arts program, you can choose between General Psychology or Clinical Psychology. Your choice of degree will largely depend on what you think you want to do after graduation.

Bachelor of Arts – General Psychology
This program offers a solid preparation for students who are interested in research, teaching or human services in psychology-related fields. The degree requirements include 38 semester hours in psychology, including four core courses and 12 hours at the 300 or 400 levels.

Bachelor of Arts – Clinical Psychology
This concentration is designed for students who want to provide human clinical services. The degree requirements are also 38 hours and include the same four core courses. Additionally, students must complete one course in developmental psychology, two service learning experiences and one approved internship in a clinical setting.

Bachelor of Science
Any student who wishes to pursue doctoral studies in psychology should choose this degree program. Graduate psychology programs are extremely competitive and this curriculum offers the most thorough preparation. You will need to meet all the requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in either general or clinical psychology. Plus, you’ll need to complete three specific courses  ( Behavioral Neuroscience, Learning and Cognition, and History and Systems of Psychology), six hours in mathematics and six hours in biology.


Because psychology is about learning to understand human behavior, it makes a great addition to any course of study.

For example, business majors can enhance their understanding of why people respond to advertising. Biology majors bound for medical school can bring a greater understanding of the whole person to their medical studies.

To earn a psychology minor, students need to complete 24 semester hours in psychology. Several specific courses are required:

  • General Psychology (101 or 102)
  • Abnormal Psychology (214)
  • Behavioral Research and Statistics I (290)
  • Behavioral Research and Statistics II (291)

At least 14 of the 24 credit hours must be completed at Dominican.

GSSW Partnership Program

The Psychology Department offers students a special opportunity to speed up entry into the social work profession.
Psychology majors may take two classes in Dominican’s Graduate School of Social Work during their senior year:

  • Human Behavior in the Social Environment (513)
  • History of Social Work and Social Welfare (514)

These courses count toward the psychology major and may also be applied to the Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW).

Students who aspire to a career in social work can apply for admission to the Dominican University Graduate School of Social Work during their senior year. Note: admission to this graduate program is not guaranteed.

Undergraduate Research

“If you want to go into a doctoral program, you absolutely must have some undergrad research experience or you will not be a competitive candidate. Luckily, research opportunities abound at Dominican.”

Daniel Beach, PhD, Chair, Psychology Department

Psychology as a discipline has a long history of encouraging undergraduates to perform original research. Traditionally, such projects have been essential to help earn admission to graduate psychology programs. Now, everyone has come to understand that undergraduate research offers rich benefits even to those who don’t necessarily plan to continue in the field.

Dominican offers several opportunities for students to involve themselves in research. These include:

Department Funds
Thanks to the generosity of one of our faculty members, the Psychology Department will be able to provide funding for one undergraduate to do research during the summer on a competitive basis. Funds will be available during 2011, 2012 and 2013. Contact Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Investigations for details on how to apply for funding.

Comprehensive Exams

At Dominican, most departments require graduating majors to cap their educational experience in some significant way. In the Psychology Department, all majors are required to complete a comprehensive psychology exam at the end of their final semester.  Starting with the class of 2014, we have added a new capstone requirement. All Psychology Majors will need to complete a capstone experience—this can be a clinical experience, independent research project, or senior-level course designed to offer a capstone experience (e.g., History & Systems of Psychology).

The exam consists mostly of multiple choice questions with a few brief essays dealing with key topics like research methodology. Students are not required to achieve a particular score to receive their degree. But those who score well will be recognized at the department’s annual awards ceremony.