Welcome to the Psychology Program at Southwest Minnesota State University


Contact Information:
Dept.: Social Science
Office: SS 103
Phone: 537-6224

The Program

Students in the psychology program at SMSU develop an understanding of the major approaches, theories, and methods of psychological science. The faculty are broadly trained in the areas of personality, counseling, cognitive psychology, social psychology, and industrial/organizational psychology. The coursework emphasizes both the theoretical and experimental aspects of the field, as well as the practical and applied aspects. One of the most distinctive features of the program is that all majors complete an internship that is related to their area of interest or future career plans. Students are prepared for whatever future they would like to pursue, whether that is a getting job right out of college, or going on to graduate school for a masters or doctoral degree.


All psychology majors must take PSYC 101: General Psychology, PSYC 110: Psychology Seminar, PSYC 200: Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences (and the lab), PSYC 201: Research Methods in the Behavioral Sciences, one of four Advanced Experimental Psychology classes (core skills course), PSYC 400: Advanced Applied Psychology (the internship), and PSYC 420: History and Systems of Psychology (the capstone). Additional courses and electives are required for a total of 39 credits in psychology. A grade of “C-” or better is required for all coursework that is applied toward the major.

NOTE: Students seeking licensure to teach social science in grades 5-12 may major in psychology and follow the Teacher Licensing Requirements listed in the section entitled “Education” of the online catalog available at Students should contact the Education Department for the most up-to-date licensure information.

Alumni Comments

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

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

Choosing the psychology program at Southwest Minnesota State University was a great choice for me. The professors were always very helpful and willing to help me above and beyond what I expected. I now have the psychology program and professors to thank for my new career.

Amanda Estrada, Class of 2010

Studying Psychology at Southwest Minnesota State University was one of the best choices I ever made, and it definitely exceeded by expectations. The psychology program was the perfect fit for me, and the faculty members were extremely knowledgeable and supportive throughout my education and beyond.

Elodie Steffen, Class of 2009

My most memorable and rewarding academic experiences came about because of the relationships that I was able to build with my psychology professors. I will never forget the projects and activities, inside and outside of the classroom, that I collaborated on with my professors, and I was challenged and inspired as I got to take classes in areas that each professor specializes in.

Miriam Schultz, Class of 2008

The psychology program at Southwest Minnesota State University was excellent. My professors were always approachable and supportive. Now that I work in higher education (career services), I know how lucky I was to have such a strong rapport with my faculty members. I am grateful that because of these mentorships, I received strong recommendations for graduate school and the opportunity to publish research as an undergraduate student. Another key aspect of the program is that there is a requirement for internship. As a career services advisor, I know that nothing sets candidates apart in a competitive job market like related field experience. This experience coupled with the ability to reflect and process the experience is definitely setting SMSU psychology graduates apart from other applicants.

Melissa Scholten (Wookey), Class of 2007

Last Modified: 6/22/17 11:32 AM