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. Undergraduate psychology students study each of the main sub-fields in the discipline: behavioral neuroscience, cognitive, social, developmental, personality and psychopathology.

Program Highlights

  • Delve into specific areas of interest while completing additional elective courses and senior research experience
  • Learn from a faculty that challenges orthodox assumptions and engages students in a variety of active learning and lab experiences
  • Demonstrate progressive mastery in discussion and writing, emerging at graduation with a common empirical vernacular and the skills necessary for lifelong 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.

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.


As Pacific University students work through the major, they learn to appreciate the nuances of the human condition, to formulate meaningful research questions, to utilize various research methodologies and to appropriately apply data analysis techniques. Students learn to professionally present their knowledge via discussion, writing and presentation. Graduates are well prepared for graduate studies in experimental psychology, neuroscience, clinical or counseling psychology, law, medicine, social services, public policy, education, or business. They also are prepared for jobs requiring data analysis, science writing, lab work, education, and some social services.

Our graduates are teachers and school counselors, mental healthcare providers, researchers, Fulbright Scholars, and graduate students in many health professions programs.