Undergraduate Major - 33 Credit Hours
Classes start every 8 weeks.

Psychology studies the cognition and behavior of humans and animals from an empirical, research-based perspective. BVU's psychology major prepares students for jobs immediately after graduation, as well as provides the groundwork for graduate programs in psychology, counseling, school psychology, social work, and other advanced medical degrees.

Program Description:

A degree in psychology can be applied to a wide range of issues and fields of study, including criminal behavior, mental illness, biological bases of behavior, prejudice and discrimination, relationship violence, human resources, business and marketing, and more. Understanding the human mind can help another person in distress, assist in breaking down a new market through advertising, or help diffuse a dangerous situation peacefully. Employment opportunities include:

  • Psychologist or Psychiatrist
  • Police officer
  • Occupational counselor
  • Marriage and family therapist
  • Carroll
  • Council Bluffs
  • Creston
  • Denison
  • Emmetsburg
  • Estherville
  • Fort Dodge
  • Iowa Falls
  • Marshalltown
  • Mason City
  • Online
  • Ottumwa
  • Spencer
  • Spirit Lake

Psychology Major Courses

  • PSYC 100 General Psychology
  • PSYC 300 Experimental Design and Statistical Analysis I
  • PSYC 303 Experimental Design and Statistical Analysis II
  • PSYC 498 Capstone in Psychology

Psychology Courses (Choose 3 courses from)

  • PSYC 201 Child Development
  • PSYC 203 Social Psychology
  • PSYC 220 Behavior Modification
  • PSYC 230 Sleep and Dreams
  • PSYC 239 Abnormal Psychology
  • PSYC 265 Health Psychology
  • PSYC 281 Introduction to Biological Psychology
  • PSYC 291 Learning and Memory

Psychology Upper Level Courses (Choose 3 courses from)

  • PSYC 305 Introduction to Trauma Advocacy
  • PSYC 311 Psychology of Trauma
  • PSYC 329 Psychology of Gender
  • PSYC 364 Industrial Psychology
  • PSYC 369 Psychology of Personality
  • PSYC 389 Introduction to Counseling
  • PSYC 415 Sensation and Perception
  • PSYC 429 Stereotypes and Prejudice
  • PSYC 440 Cognition
  • PSYC 470 Psychology of Relationship Violence
  • PSYC 480 Advanced Research

Psychology Course Electives

  • Psychology electives (to reach 33 credit hours in psychology)
Admissions criteria for the Psychology program

BVU's degree completion programs are classified as junior-senior level. Persons who have completed an associate degree or 60 credit hours from a regionally accredited institution qualify for admission. College level examination program credits (CLEP) and life experience credit may be available as described in the academic section. 

Admissions process for the Psychology program
  • Although personal interviews are not required, applicants are urged to confer with an advisor.
  • Request that official transcript(s) from each college or university previously attended be sent to BVU. Without official transcripts and records, a student will not be allowed to register beyond the initial semester.
  • Complete the BVU Degree Completion Application
  • If you will be applying for financial assistance including student loans, complete the Free Application for Federal Financial Student Aid (FAFSA) at
  • Students who have previously earned a B.A. or B.S. degree may be eligible to earn a second bachelor’s degree from Buena Vista University.

Tuition & Fees

BVU offers a quality, affordable education, and our financial specialists are here to help as you navigate the costs of your educational investment so you can move forward with your career.

Financial Aid

BVU's Institution code: 001847

Don't miss the opportunity for financial aid. Fill out the FAFSA at and use BVU's institution code.

The G.I. Bill & Yellow Ribbon Program

All Buena Vista University programs are approved for the G.I. Bill and Yellow Ribbon Program.

Technology Requirements for Online Courses

  • Operating System: Windows Vista, 7 or 8. Or Macintosh OS X with RAM at or above OS recommendations
  • Processor: A PC with a Pentium IV or newer, or a Macintosh with a G3 or newer
  • Internet Connection: DSL or cable modem (high speed internet). Dial-up will not be sufficient.
  • Browser: Internet Explorer 7+, Mozilla Firefox 3+, Safari, Chrome.
  • Software: A current installation of Java ( Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are required, (Microsoft Office XP, 2003, 2007, 2010 on Windows or Microsoft Office 2001, 2004, 2008, or 2011 for the Macintosh). Newer versions are recommended (Microsoft Office 2007, 2010 on Windows or Microsoft Office 2008, or 2011 for the Macintosh).


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