Psychology | Major & Minor

Psychology is the science of the human mind and behavior, exploring issues like perception, emotions, development, happiness, motivation, creativity, and mental wellbeing.

About the Psychology Major

The psychology major at Southern Virginia University dives deep into the mystery of the human mind: cognition, emotion, motivation, neuroscience, productivity, development, perception, happiness, creativity, and more.

Because of our small class sizes at Southern Virginia University, you will enjoy personal and professional relationships with your professors who have a wide variety of expertise in neuroscience, clinical and consulting experience, industrial/organizational psychology, research, addiction, and more.

Often paired with additional minors and concentrations, the study of psychology allows one to better understand oneself and others, be an informed consumer of research, and be prepared for leadership roles. These skills you develop can applied to a wide variety of careers inside and outside of traditional psychology.

In the major, you could find yourself role-playing to practice empathy, visiting a juvenile delinquency institution, learning how to be an effective sports coach, participating in a national research study replication project, or making a video that explores drug effects. With challenging upper-level classes often similar to graduate-level classes, you will be well prepared to continue your education in whatever field you choose.

Learning Outcomes

  • Fundamental knowledge of psychological concepts and principles
  • Understanding of scientific reasoning and problem solving, including research methods
  • Familiarity with ethical standards and socially responsible behaviors
  • Effective written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills

Getting Started in the Psychology Major

  1. Enroll

    Begin by taking Introduction to General Psychology (PSY 105) in your first year

  2. Contact Your Advisor

    Get in touch with Professor Alison Caldwell-Andrews to discuss your interests and goals

  3. Declare

    Turn in a completed Declare Major form to the Registrar’s Office


  • Psychotherapist, Counselor, or Social Worker
  • Human Resources or Organizational Behavior Specialist
  • Marketing or Sales Manager
  • Information Specialist or Data Analyst
  • Academic, Guidance, or Admissions Counselor
  • Behavior Specialist or Case Manager

Alumni Success

Matthew Valentine (’22)

Marriage and Family Therapist Program at Utah Tech University

Read more
Sam Armstrong

Sam Armstrong (’20)

University of Virginia School of Law

Read more

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Faculty Contacts:

“There’s this idea that a psychology degree is not employable. That couldn’t be further from the truth. You cannot find a field that is more disparate in terms of what we look at. You could be studying how the ear works, you could be studying trauma, you could be doing forensics, you could be studying how apes behave. Psychology is everywhere, and there’s so much you can do with it.”

– Professor Alison Caldwell-Andrews