Department of Psychology

The Department of Psychology offers a broad introduction to the fundamental theories, research methods and body of knowledge in the field of psychology. In addition, students are encouraged to develop critical thinking, technological and communication skills, and to examine and begin to learn applications of psychology. The various courses and programs offered by the department are also intended to aid in the development of cultural awareness and personal as well as professional values, and to foster personal and career development.

Graduates of the Department of Psychology have gone on to careers in fields related to psychology, such as professional counseling, social work, research, management, business and hospital administration, law and law enforcement, and education. Many careers in psychology require graduate training, and many graduate programs in psychology require students to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) for admission. Students considering graduate training are therefore encouraged to take courses in skill areas emphasized by the GRE. These skill areas include language/verbal skills, mathematical skills and analytic skills.


T. Ritchie, Chair; S. Burkhardt; J. Deisinger; J. Miller; A. Norvilas; M. Rasmussen; L. Sandberg

Programs of Study

Students who wish to declare a psychology major should notify the Office of Academic Advising.

PSYCH 101: Principles of Methods of Psychology is a prerequisite for all psychology courses.

Because of overlap in content, students can only receive credit for either PSYCH 199: Human Development Through the Life Cycle  OR PSYCH 200: Child Development.

Psychology Core

All psychology majors must complete the common psychology core:

To qualify for PSYCH 300: Statistics for the Social Sciences, students must have an ACT math score (MACT) of 22 or higher, or an equivalent score on the University Math Placement Test, or earn a C or better in an appropriate Saint Xavier University Math course recommended by the Psychology Department.

To qualify for PSYCH 301: Research Methods, students must have completed PSYCH 300 with a C or better.

Psychology Concentrations

Psychology majors must select the general/empirical concentration, the industrial/organizational concentration, or the clinical/counseling concentration.

Each of these concentrations may lead to a bachelor of arts (B.A.) or bachelor of science (B.S.) degree. For a B.A. degree, the student must complete the general education program and the B.A. degree requirement of 6 credit hours of foreign language, or foreign culture, or global studies courses or a combination of these.  For a B.S. degree, the student must complete 6 semester hours of additional degree-specific coursework in mathematics, life sciences, or physical sciences, beyond the mathematics (3 s.h.) and science (6 s.h.) requirements of the general education program.

Moreover, students seeking a B.S. degree in psychology must complete a total of 24 s.h. of course work drawn from the following areas: mathematics, life sciences, physical sciences, computer science, or empirical psychology courses. The empirical psychology courses that will meet this requirement are:

Please note that the B.S. requirement of 24 s.h. of science-related course work may include courses taken in fulfillment of general education requirement (9 s.h.), B.S. degree specific requirements (6 s.h.), psychology major requirements (empirical courses only), or may be electives from the areas identified above. Courses used to fulfill the B.S. degree requirements should have at least a C average. If any of those courses are also used to fulfill requirements for the major, such courses must each be completed with a C or better.

Graduation with a bachelor's degree in psychology requires a grade of C or better in every course required for the major. Transfer students who wish to obtain a bachelor's degree in psychology from Saint Xavier University must take at least five 300-level psychology courses at Saint Xavier University.

The General/Empirical Concentration

Students interested in the theoretical and empirical bases of psychology take a concentration that exposes them to several sub-disciplines in psychology, with an emphasis on research. Elective work may be chosen to pursue a variety of interests or to concentrate in one area.

Students in the general/empirical concentration must take the following courses:

Choose three psychology electives from among the 300-level courses.

Students interested in developing an understanding of normal and atypical behavior in both children and adults take the clinical/counseling concentration. Nine courses introduce research and intervention for providing clinical/counseling services. Service learning and fieldwork opportunities are also provided. Additional coursework may be chosen in areas of special interest.

The Clinical/Counseling Concentration

Students in the clinical/counseling concentration must take the following courses:

Choose one of the following courses:

Choose one psychology elective from among the 300-level courses.

Students interested in applying psychological principles and methods to the workplace, or in pursuing graduate study in industrial/organizational psychology, take a concentration that provides training both in psychology and in business. The required courses in psychology provide an understanding of relevant principles and analytic techniques, the required business courses give the student an understanding of the human resource management context and problems to which psychological principles and methods are applied, and the practicum provides experience in an organizational setting related to the student's particular interests.

The Industrial/Organizational Concentration

Students in the industrial/organizational concentration must take the following psychology courses:

Choose one psychology elective from among the 300-level courses.

Students must also take:

Choose two elective courses from the following:

Practicum Courses

The Psychology Department offers a practicum course in two of its concentrations: Clinical/Counseling and Industrial/Organizational. The practicum takes place in the spring semester for students nearing graduation. Students wishing to be considered for practicum need to apply in the fall semester of the same academic year.

Criteria for acceptance into practicum include both academic and personal qualifications as well as evaluations by department faculty.

For more information or to obtain an application packet, e-mail Mary Ann Foy at or call 773-298-3471.

Minors in Psychology

Students planning to minor in psychology must complete, with a grade of C or better, five courses (15 credit hours) in psychology beyond Psychology 101. At least three of the five courses must be from the 300-level and at least three of the five courses must be taken at Saint Xavier University. Education majors may not use credit from PSYCH 321 toward a psychology minor if they have earned credit in EDU 323.