The human brain, mind and behavior are the focus of study for the bachelor’s degree in psychology. Students learn the key concepts, traditions and findings associated with modern psychology, from behavioral neuroscience to the building blocks of personality.

Career-Building Experience

Psychology majors acquire a breadth of knowledge and skills as they engage in their studies. By integrating active learning and lab experiences across the curriculum, students are challenged to analyze and synthesize information into testable research questions, to employ a variety of methodologies as they build their knowledge, and to apply data analysis techniques in a variety of contexts. Students also strengthen their writing and presentation skills while learning to have meaningful discussions with peers.

These studies help prepare students for a wide variety of careers in healthcare, social services, business and education. In addition, these studies lay a solid groundwork for advanced graduate studies in experimental psychology, public policy, neuroscience, clinical or counseling psychology,
law and medicine.

Program Highlights

  • Students delve into specific areas of interest as they complete additional elective courses and their senior research experience
  • Psychology faculty challenge orthodox assumptions and engage students in a variety of active learning and lab experiences
  • Students demonstrate their progressive mastery in discussion and writing, emerging at graduation with a common empirical vernacular and the skills necessary for life-long learning


Content courses cover each of the major sub-fields of psychology including behavioral neuroscience, cognitive, social, developmental, personality and psychopathology, as well as a variety of elective offerings such as addictions and society, psychobiography, behavioral endocrinology, and select topics in educational psychology. Skill courses emphasize methodology and statistical analysis. At the end of their undergraduate work, students complete a senior capstone project.

Internships & Research

Students work directly with faculty on a variety of research projects, the results of which are regularly selected for presentation at regional and national research conventions. In addition, students engage in research internships at the OHSU Primate Center, at the Oregon Zoo and with the Oregon Traumatic Brain Injury Association.

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Fact Sheet

Boxer Tales are a collection of stories highlighting the individuals that create our Pacific University community. Experience Boxer life through the voices of students, faculty, alumni, staff and supporters. Check out faculty member Nicole Brossard.


Matthew Blankenship, For his senior project, Matthew Blankenship compared the relative happiness or “life satisfaction” of couples that had children to couples who chose not to. To his surprise, he found that there appeared to be no significant difference on the level of life satisfaction between the groups.

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