Psychology studies the cognition and behavior of humans and animals from an empirical, research-based perspective. It 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.


Cognition and Behavior at BVU

Students who graduate with this major can pursue careers in:

  • Corrections
  • Biology and animal behavior
  • Counseling for mental health disorders or substance use disorders
  • Direct care of individuals with disabilities
  • Trauma advocacy and prejudice interventions
  • Psychologist or counselor (requires additional graduate school)
  • Psychiatry or other medical field (requires additional medical school)

Psychology is a good complement to most other majors or minors and careers, for example: Criminal justice, education, pre-med, or business.

BVU has specifically designed the curriculum to be flexible and able to be tailored to individual students’ interests. There are only four required courses; for the rest of the courses, students can elect what to take based on their interests, future career aspirations, or plans for graduate school.

The psychology faculty mentor students and involve them with many additional research opportunities that help our students stand out when they apply for jobs or graduate school.


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Psychology Research

From start to finish

Students complete a research project, start-to-finish, while at BVU, which they present at one or more professional conferences. Many students also publish their research.

Completing, presenting and publishing projects are unique accomplishments that are not available to undergraduates at larger universities. BVU students are able to accomplish these goals because of how we combine statistics and research methods into one year-long class. Undergraduate research work gives you an excellent advantage when applying to graduate school.


Get Involved

Showcase and enhance skills

  •  Psychology Club – offers social opportunities such as BBQ dinners and movies.
  •  Psi Chi – national honors society for psych majors & minors.
  •  Research Club – offers a group research project every year; students gain experience and present at a conference each May.


  • Research internship on gender in Vienna
  • Criminal justice and psychology internships in Prague
  • Mayo Clinic
  • Poweshiek County Mental Health Center


  • Cherokee Mental Health, Psychiatric Security Specialist
  • Sequel Care of Iowa, Institute Program Director
  • Faith, Hope and Charity, Shift Leader
  • Pier Center for Autism, Behavioral Technician

Graduate School

  • Purdue University
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Tennessee
  • Alliant International University
  • North Dakota State University
Major in Psychology (33 Credit Hours)
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Minor in Psychology (21 Credit Hours)
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Major in Psychology with Teaching Licensure 5-12
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Minor in Psychology with Teaching Licensure 5-12
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Psychology Faculty

Dr. Wesley Beckwith
Assistant Professor of Psychology
Meet the Professor
Dr. Wind Goodfriend
Professor of Experimental Psychology
Meet the Professor