The discipline of psychology focuses on the study of the individual person. Psychologists study processes and identify principles to help us understand events and experiences within individuals as well as our interactions with others and the world. In order to study the complexities of the individual, psychologists use a variety of systematically developed methods, tests and techniques. In order to have a more thorough understanding of the individual, different perspectives have been developed and applied.
The breadth of the discipline is represented in the content areas covered in the courses. Depth and application are represented by analysis, synthesis and evaluation presented in completed thesis and/or internship final paper and presentation. This journey begins with investigation of basic psychological principles and processes involved in key areas including social, learning, developmental, cross-cultural, biopsychology, cognition, psychopathology, counseling and personality. Psychological methods of inquiry are studied and applied in the experimental, testing, statistics and clinical courses. These psychological principles, processes and methods are approached from different historical and current perspectives, including behavioral, cognitive, psychodynamic, humanistic, socio-cultural and biological.
Our program for majors models the national standards. Students have the opportunity to individualize their major by choosing electives, collaborative research labs, field explorations, internships and/or a thesis. Based on the areas selected, potential fields of application include clinical, counseling, school and education, health psychology, community psychology, law, criminal justice, pastoral ministry, industrial organizational, sport psychology, social work, and program evaluation.
General Department Goals
The five primary goals of the department are to help students:
- Know and comprehend the basic principles and processes studied in the course materials;
- Know, comprehend and apply psychological methods;
- Select an area and know, comprehend, apply, analyze, synthesize and evaluate a specific issue, topic or hypothesis related to the selected area in an applied context;
- Develop written communication, oral communication, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills and apply them to the study of psychology; and
- Demonstrate and promote ethical behavior in all aspects of the science and practice of psychology.
The psychology department has its own chapter of the Psi Chi, the international honor society in psychology, which was established on campus in 1969. Qualified sophomores, juniors and seniors are elected to this organization. There is also an active student-led Psychology Club.
A psychology major is appropriate for a wide variety of careers. The members of the department assist any student in course selection and/or thesis support suited for both personal interest and career advancement.
Psychology Department Distinction
Distinction is an honor that can be achieved by students majoring in psychology who have demonstrated exceptionally high-quality work leading up to and including a major capstone paper, presentation and portfolio. According to university policy, students must earn at least a 3.700 major GPA and 3.300 cumulative GPA. Students must also submit an outstanding internship integration or thesis paper (a grade of A) and public presentation, according to a scheduled outline published annually by the department.
Major and Minor
Elizabeth Seebach, Ph.D.
Chair, Psychology Department
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
700 Terrace Heights #1488
Winona, MN 55987-1399
(800) 635-5987, Ext. 6991