Why major in Psychology?

The science of psychology is defined as the study of behavior and mental processes. Psychology is a multifaceted science concerned with understanding topics as diverse as human physiology, sensory perception and adaptation, interpersonal relationships and psychiatric disorders. Opportunities for work as a psychologist are expanding in number and scope. The recognition that psychology can address many of the major problems facing society has led to increased opportunities for careers in fields such as social services, public health, ecology, education and the legal system. Because employers in different industries seek the analytical and problem-solving skills instilled by a psychology degree, a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UPIKE will prepare you for a career in a variety of service and business-related fields.

Student listens to sociology class taught outside.

Program Distinctives

If you’d like to understand yourself or others better, then psychology is the major for you. UPIKE’s psychology program not only furthers your knowledge in the classroom but, it also stresses the importance of experiential learning. You’ll get to participate in trips to the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, Creation Kingdom Zoo and specialized research conferences. Additionally, UPIKE provides a variety of internship and study abroad opportunities. Every spring semester, UPIKE also offers a course titled “Directed Research in Psychology” in which you can design and conduct your own original research project.

Kay Webb teaching a psychology class at the president's fire pit.

Interesting Courses

PSY 333 Dreams into Consciousness
By journaling our own nightly dream experiences, we re-enter the imaginal realm of the Otherworld. Through such techniques as active imagination, journeys to the inner guide and dream re-entry, we come to understand how the synchronistic experiences that we now feel as déjà vu were once commonly perceived by shamans as magic. By bringing dreams into consciousness, we familiarize ourselves with the mythical and poetic substrate of the imagination.

PSY 375 Psychology of Gender
This course is an exploration of gender as a central organizing feature of human behavior and an overall picture of gender from a psychological perspective. We will examine various theoretical models of male and female development from a psychological perspective.

PSY 422 Sport Psychology
This course will focus on the psychological factors related to motivation, participation and exercise adherence in sports venues. Students will explore how psychological and social variables influence participation and performance in sport and physical activity, and how participation in sport and physical activity affect the psychological well-being of the individual.

Students listening to psychology professor.

Student Learning Outcomes

After earning a UPIKE psychology degree, graduates will be able to demonstrate familiarity with the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings and historical trends in psychology; apply basic research methods in psychology; use critical and creative thinking to solve problems related to behavior and mental processes; apply psychological principles to personal, social and organizational issues; develop insight into their own and others’ behavior and apply strategies for self-improvement; respect the complexity of sociocultural and international diversity; and implement their psychological knowledge in a variety of occupations.

Career paths in Psychology

Clinical/Counseling Psychologist
Child Psychologist
School Psychologist/Counselor
Forensic Psychologist
Sport/Exercise Psychologist
Experimental Psychologist/Researcher
Industrial-Organizational Psychologist

Where Recent Graduates have gone to work or study

University of Pikeville, Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine
Asbury Theological Seminary
Fogle Keller Walker, PLLC
Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
The Ohio State University
University of San Diego
University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences
Verbal Behavior Consulting, Inc.


“I entered into UPIKE’s psychology department expecting to get a degree in psychology. Instead, I graduated with a degree in so much more—relationships, character, ethics, real world experiences, friendship and, most importantly, an understanding of self that has helped me be successful in all aspects of life.”



LeAnne Epling

Professor of Psychology
(606) 218-5018