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Department of Psychology

Psychology is the scientific study of all aspects of behavior and mental processes. Our department empowers students with knowledge in the core areas of psychology, critical thinking skills, and research experience as preparation for internships, graduate study, careers, or service. You’ll enjoy conducting your own research and collaborating with faculty using advanced equipment in our Dolan Center for Science and Technology.

Programs of Study

Our program offers a general psychology B.S. degree or specialized concentrations in applied psychology. We also offer three options for a minor.


B.S. MSSA 3/2 Program: JCU and CWRU

Acquire a B.S. in Psychology and a Master of Science in Social Administration (MSSA) in social work in five years via the 3/2 program with John Carroll University and Case Western Reserve University’s Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences.

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The major provides a base for a variety of academic and professional fields, such as psychological research, counseling, clinical psychology, social work, business and industry, medicine, human resources, and law.

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Students have three options to minor in psychology: general psychology, forensic psychology, or psychology of human diversity.

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Child and Family Studies

Psychology majors with the child and family studies concentration examine development from infancy through late adulthood, focusing on the individual and individuals in a family context.

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Forensic Psychology

If you have an interest in forensic psychology, clinical psychology, criminology, law, or employment in the criminal justice system, this is the concentration for you.

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Industrial/Org Psychology

The Industrial/Organizational Psychology concentration applies psychological theories and evaluation methods to organizations to understand human behavior in the workplace and thereby increase productivity and the well-being of employees.

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Mental Health Services

The Mental Health Services concentration provides a foundation for understanding how people handle stress, relate to others, and make life choices.

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Neuroscience (Interdisciplinary)

The Interdisciplinary Neuroscience concentration is coordinated by the Department of Psychology and is intended for biology, chemistry, and psychology majors who desire an interdisciplinary approach to the study of physiology, biochemistry, and behavior of higher organisms.

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Department Highlights

Student in a laboratory

Our faculty will engage you in innovative research projects that will help you develop the critical-thinking skills and problem-solving abilities desired by internship sites, employers, and graduate schools. Many of our students win awards when they present their research findings at regional, statewide, and national conferences.

Research options

Psychology students conduct research on campus with faculty or on their own individual or group projects and off at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Brain Health and Cleveland Clinic Children's Rehabilitation Hospital, among others.

ECSC Award winners

For 29 consecutive years, JCU neuroscience students have earned first place/excellence awards for a research paper or poster in biology, chemistry, and/or psychology at the Eastern Colleges Science Conference. ECSC award winners

Psi Chi Award winners

Psychology majors regularly win Psi Chi Regional Research awards at the Midwestern Psychological Association's annual conference in Chicago. Psi Chi award winners

Photo of the administration building with a branch full of pink colored flowers in the foreground.


Internships afford Psychology students time to apply academic theories and principles to practical real-world professional situations as well as resume building opportunities in businesses and human service agencies throughout Greater Cleveland and beyond.


CFS internships allow students to learn about human service agencies and/or client populations first hand. These include, but are not limited to: working with autistic populations in homes or schools, , planning adoption network events, patient assistant for Child Life Specialists, observing students in classrooms.


I/O internships take place in both private sector or public sector organizations, and can provide very different experiences depending on the primary services of the department. Some I/O interns research and develop training curricula; others draft job postings and screen resumes and cover letters or attend networking events. Students should research the sponsoring organization’s mission and activities to find the “perfect” fit internship.


MHS internships provide real-life experiences such as:

  • Sitting in on individual or group therapy sessions
  • Planning programs for seniors with cognitive issues
  • Statistical analysis of data in research projects
  • Observing children with disabilities

Forensic internships can include:

  • Observing evaluations and screenings at juvenile detention centers
  • Helping with support groups for previously incarcerated populations
Counselor speaking with patient

Professional Development

JCU is among the 4 in 10 Psychology programs that offer a careers in psychology course. All JCU Psychology majors are required to take PS 190, a hybrid course with comprehensive information and guidance on professional development topics in psychology. Major topics include careers in Psychology with a Bachelor’s degree and preparation for graduate applications at the Masters and Doctoral level. Students are encouraged to take this as early as possible.


Learn Everything You Need to Know About Psychology Careers:

Graduate School

Psychology graduate programs are very competitive and are necessary for many careers. Common areas for Master's degrees include:

  • Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • School Psychology, Industrial/Organizational Psychology
  • Experimental Psychology
  • FAQS about Master's degrees

A doctoral degree (PhD or PsyD) is necessary for:

JCU Psychology majors have pursued graduate studies in a variety of fields at institutions across the U.S. and abroad. Selected schools