Does human behavior intrigue you? Are you interested in gaining a deeper understanding of mental processes? If so, you could have a bright future in psychology.


Psychology is both an applied and an academic field dedicated to understanding and changing human behavior. It is the science of how we think, act and feel. There is a broad diversity of specializations, such as clinical, cognitive, developmental, health, social and physiological. Psychologists work in academic settings, independent practices and hospitals, as well as government, business and industry. 

Why Psychology is in Demand:

The discipline continues to evolve as we learn more about human behavior and face new challenges for individuals and society. Years from now, psychologists will have professional positions we cannot even imagine today.

  • The demand for psychological services in schools, hospitals, addiction centers and social services agencies is expected to fuel the demand for trained professionals.
  • According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of psychologists is expected to grow at a rate of 12 percent through the year 2018.
  • Three job areas expected to be in high demand are clinical psychology, school psychology, and industrial-organizational psychology.

Is it for me?

Are you:

  • Curious about human nature?
  • Comfortable learning about and engaging in research?
  • Motivated to improve health and happiness?

Five Reasons to Choose Scranton for Psychology

Knowledge mastery.    Our students’ knowledge of psychology, as measured by standardized tests, is well above the national average. Scranton psychology students outperform 76% of students in comparable institutions on the ETS Major Field Achievement Test in Psychology.
Dedicated faculty.   Psychology faculty members provide students with many mentoring opportunities, such as small seminars, laboratory courses, field experiences, individual advising and student organizations. Students personally interact with professors working as teaching assistants and research collaborators.
Research opportunities.   In the Scranton Psychology Department, undergraduate students conduct and present research at a rate far exceeding national norms. On campus, there is more than 1,200 feet of research space, including computer-based labs, a space for audio recording and general research rooms.
Curriculum flexibility.   The psychology major enables students to customize their academic program. Students are encouraged to pursue double majors, minors and concentrations to reflect their interests. The curriculum includes 30 credits of each student’s choice.
High student satisfaction.   Annual surveys of our graduating seniors show widespread satisfaction with the Scranton psychology department and faculty. In fact, more than 90 percent of our seniors give the program a grade of A.

There’s something special about the culture at Scranton. There’s a lot of interaction between students and faculty. You never see anybody walking by themselves here. Students are together all the time.

– James Buchanan, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Department Chair

  • Preparing You For Personal & Professional Successplus or minus

    You'll learn:

    • To use scientific methodology to study mental processes and human behavior
    • To analyze data to draw meaningful conclusions
    • To understand the emotional, intellectual and behavioral norms of human nature
    • To communicate effectively through spoken and written word
    • To help others based on the most current knowledge 

    Field Experience 

    Internships in psychology are available in institutions or organizations where psychologists typically work. The department guides students through the experience with concurrent small seminars in which they discuss their field placements and learn vital skills. Examples of clinical placements include local hospitals, addiction facilities, rehabilitation centers and children centers.

    Field placements are also available in non-clinical settings, such as speech pathology centers, personnel offices and research centers. These placements provide vital opportunities to try out professional situations and develop skills and experience.

  • What You'll Learnplus or minus


    Psychology majors take six foundation courses to ensure a breadth of knowledge: Fundamentals of Psychology, Statistics, Research Methods and History Literature I and II. In their junior year, psychology majors take a Career Development seminar that generates practical skills for job searches and graduate school admission. Students also choose among eight core courses to develop a breadth of understanding in psychology.

    Students are encouraged to choose psychology electives to help develop specializations or to explore different areas.  Advisors guide students into paths that reflect their interests:

    • Clinical/Counseling/School Psychology
    • Biopsychology/Physiological Psychology
    • Cognitive Psychology
    • Human Development Concentration
    • Industrial-Organizational or Personnel Psychology

    Click here to see the curriculum.

    Research Projects

    We encourage students to engage in research and present and publish with faculty. There are four avenues through which undergraduates can gain significant research experience in psychology:

    • Volunteer as a research assistant (no academic credit)
    • Faculty/Student Research Program (FSRP), a Scranton program in which research is credited on a student’s official transcript (no academic credit)
    • Undergraduate Research in Psychology, a 400-level course focused on specific research projects
    • Honors Thesis, as part of the Honors Program

    For more information click here.

  • Pursue Your Passion and Make a Differenceplus or minus

    With the hands-on approach of the Psychology Department at Scranton, students contribute to the discipline through research and assist others through their work in field placements—even before they graduate!

    Graduates make new discoveries through research, help individuals through mental disorders or life hardships, promote healthy interaction among employees, mediate conflict among family members, and, in general, help all of us understand each other better.


Where will psychology take me?

The curriculum prepares students for entry into both graduate school and baccalaureate-level employment.

Many students major in psychology with a particular interest in mind. For example, an interest in business might lead to focusing on Industrial/Organizational Psychology or an interest in helping others might lead to clinical or school psychology. Here are some of the specialization areas.

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Counseling Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Experimental Psychology
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Health Psychology
  • Industrial/Organizational Psychology
  • Neuropsychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • School Psychology

Top Graduate Schools

Just some of the prestigious graduate schools which have admitted our psychology graduates:

  • University of Minnesota
  • Rutgers
  • Columbia
  • College of William and Mary
  • Drexel University
  • Fordham University
  • Lehigh University
  • Penn State
  • University of Memphis
  • University of Washington
  • Villanova University


While many students major in psychology to obtain an advanced degree in clinical psychology, others apply their knowledge to virtually every industry. An understanding of human behavior is critically important whether you are working in healthcare, education, journalism, law, or business.  Here are a sampling of the professional positions held by recent graduates:

  • Case Workers
  • Research Assistants
  • Paralegals
  • Program Directors
  • Teachers and Teacher’s Assistants
  • Store Manager

How Scranton Gives You a Competitive Edge

Competitive Edge

Your mind at this moment may not be on your college graduation, but it will be here before you know it. Whether you go right into the workforce or into graduate school, your future can often hinge on those one great letters of recommendation. 

Our program provides students with many mentoring opportunities with faculty. This unparalleled level of one-on-one personal interaction during your Scranton experience means that faculty can write personalized letters of recommendation that speak at great length of your talent and potential. At Scranton, faculty members are much more than researchers and teachers. They are your advocates. 

In addition, our students' research experiences as undergraduates set them apart from other students with bachelor’s degrees, many of whom have had little to no research background. Especially for clinical positions, a solid research background becomes a huge advantage.

Take the Next Step

Get the Facts

View PDF with Program Overview
& Curriculum

For More Information

Office of Admissions
The Estate
Scranton, PA 18510
1-888-SCRANTON or (570) 941-7540

Department of Psychology
Christie P. Karpiak, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Psychology
(570) 941-5886