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Earn A Degree In Psychology - Discover. Engage. Lead


Learn more about the Community Psychology and Health Promotion Online Degree!

Click to listen to the Campus Update Radio Show interview with Dr. Christine Olson.

Watch an overview video of the program!

About the Psychology Program

Students in the Psychology Program at Southwest Minnesota State University develop an understanding of the major approaches, methods, and principles which psychologists use to explore human thought and behavior. Psychology Majors learn how to apply psychological research and theory so they can use this knowledge in a variety of areas, from industry to mental health. The Psychology Minor is a valuable addition to students in other programs, such as social work, education, pre-law, pre-medicine, pre-physical therapy, and business administration. Regardless of whether you are interested in getting a job right out of college or going on to graduate school, you will receive a strong foundation in psychology. Personal attention combined with rigorous training yield a rich and rewarding four years at Southwest Minnesota State.

Majors & Minors

Clubs & Organizations

psychology faculty pictireSMSU Psychology Faculty
L-R: Benjamin Anderson, Laura Koenig, Christine Olson, Corey Butler, Scott Peterson

SMSU’s Bachelor’s in Psychology Ranked 13 th in the Nation

SMSU’s Bachelor’s in Psychology Ranked 13th in the Nation

"I knew I had to be here because it was small and intimate, a place that make it easier to focus, and a place that would cultivate my talents. In the end, I knew I had to be here for something that I consciously hadn't worked out at the time. What the SMSU Psychology program did was give me the time and information to flesh out my greater directions in life. I owe each professor in this program a piece of my future and a piece of the pride I have in myself for accomplishing it".

Myah Nelson, Class of 2012


The Psychology Program is located in the center of campus with close access to several other Social Science program offices, a large courtyard, and the SMSU library. The Psychology Program office suite (CH 127) provides convenient access to faculty offices as well as a work area and video conference-enabled meeting space for faculty and student use. The Psychology Club and Psi Chi members have a lounge/club room to meet with other students. Psychological research and data analysis are conducted by students and faculty in our Social Science Research Lab.


Psychology majors need to have good oral and written communication skills, computer skills, library research skills, and mathematics skills. Psychology students are encouraged to take courses in biology, math, and other social sciences as well as in psychology. All psychology majors are required to take statistics, research methods, and a 100 hour internship.


Our professors’ first commitment is teaching. However, faculty are also engaged in research, civic engagement, university service, and community outreach. Dr. Christine Olson has a clinical background and is active in connecting students with service and internship opportunities. Dr. Corey Butler studies personality, political attitudes, and social networks. Dr. Scott Peterson has a background in experimental psychology and involves students in laboratory research projects. Dr. Benjamin Anderson has a background in cognitive neuroscience and conducts research on memory, attention, and self-regulated learning. Dr. Laura Koenig advises our Psi Chi honor society chapter and conducts research on religiousness, spirituality, and well-being.

"Being part of the SMSU psychology program led me to have a very beneficial educational journey. The relationships I had among my professors and classmates are what made it a truly memorable experience. Through their support, various teaching techniques, and exposure to a well-rounded curriculum, I can gladly say I feel fully prepared to travel on to my next journey at graduate school".

Katie Carlson, Class of 2012

Placement Opportunities

The psychology faculty at Southwest Minnesota State encourage students to pursue master’s or doctoral degrees in psychology. The program is also an excellent choice for students who are not interested in post-graduate education. Because psychology majors can think critically, write, do research, and solve applied problems, they are well prepared for entry-level employment in mental health agencies, business and industry, casework, child care, human relations, gerontology, health services, marketing and public relations, probation and parole, sales, and technical writing. To assist students with their interests in these diverse subfields of psychology, students enroll early in Psychology Seminar, a professional development course. They may also take advantage of a variety of internship and volunteer opportunities in the Southwest Minnesota region. Pursuing international study is another great way to better discern one’s career interests, and students majoring in psychology have regularly taken advantage of international studies opportunities through various cross-cultural education programs.

  • Mental Health
  • Business
  • Casework
  • Child Care
  • Career Services
  • Gerontology
  • Health Services
  • Marketing
  • Public Relations
  • Management
  • Court Services

Contact Information

Psychology Program - Office

CH 129, Southwest Minnesota State University
1501 State St.
Marshall, MN 56258


Psychology majors may join the Psychology Club to get to know other students as well as faculty in an informal atmosphere. Students who earn a G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher in psychology are eligible for Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in Psychology. Students from both organizations frequently attend the Midwestern Psychological Association conference in Chicago in the spring. Some psychology majors work with their professors on research projects and present research at conferences. Psychology students regularly present research at the annual SMSU Undergraduate Research Conference.


  • Complete Application
  • $20 Non-refundable Application Fee
  • Official High School Transcript(s)
  • ACT or SAT Test Scores

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  • Rank in the upper half of graduating class
  • or
  • Score a composite of 21 or above on the ACT or 990 on the SAT

Last Modified: 12/14/23 11:41 AM | Website Feedback