Department Chair: Dr. Anthony Dutton,, (701) 845-7107
Faculty Contact: Dr. Kathryn Woehl,, (701) 845-7316
Department Office: 315 McFarland Hall, (701) 845-7310
Schedule a Visit:, (701) 845-7101 or (800) 532-8641, ext. 7101


The psychology major has historically been one of three social science cornerstones to a liberal arts education. Along with sociology and anthropology, it prepares individuals for a number of occupational and professional paths. These paths range from graduate studies in counseling and clinical psychology to law school and the health professions.  In addition, an increasing demand for services is present in areas such as corrections, social work, rehabilitation, addictions, and other community and personnel services through non-profit organizations.

Accommodating flexible scheduling needs of those who seek this major, courses in the psychology program are offered through a combination of traditional face-to-face and online courses. Program faculty offer a high quality learning experience, assist in degree planning, serve as mentors, and guide advisees toward completion of their professional goals. 

Career opportunities for students who enter the workforce immediately after graduation include child welfare case worker, direct care associate, employment counselor, human resources specialist, insurance (sales and claims representative), probation officer, day care provider, special education paraprofessional, and case manager.

Many undergraduate psychology majors choose to pursue graduate education in areas such as School Counseling, Mental Health Counseling, Clinical Psychology, Marriage and Family Counseling, Forensic Psychology, Social Work, Experimental Psychology, Occupational or Physical Therapy, Law, and School Psychology.

Explore Psychology

The Human Services and Psychology Club was created in 2011 and has become a very active group at VCSU. Club membership is open to anyone with an interest in the fields of Psychology or Human Services. Students have planned a variety of events including: holiday dances for individuals with intellectual disabilities, Eating Disorders Awareness Week activities and speakers, informational sessions about graduate school applications and career options, and booths in the annual VCSU Health and Wellness Fair. Students form relationships with others in their major and gain valuable skills in leadership and collaboration.

Practical Experience

As a student you may opt to apply for a professional internship as part of the elective block of courses in Psychology. Credits range from three to twelve, depending on the nature and scope of the experience. A wide variety of opportunities exist to match individual interests and needs with an appropriate field placement. Former students have interned at state hospitals, outreach centers, police and sheriff departments, community corrections, Head Start, fire departments, and public school counseling offices.

“My favorite part of the VCSU psychology program is the people. I have gotten to know most of the students in my major and the professors know us by name.  It is much easier to succeed with a support system like this.” —Trinity Potts, Lamoure, N.D.

“What I have found most beneficial about the Psychology program at VCSU are the small class sizes and the relationship students are able to build with their professors. This creates a welcoming atmosphere for discussion on tough issues related to the field. Here everyone has a voice and is encouraged to use it.” —Malik Jackson, Las Vegas, Nev.

General Education Requirements

English Composition
Select one of the following:6
College Composition I
College Composition II
Introduction to Professional Writing
College Composition II
Introduction to Professional Writing
College Composition III
Speech Communication
Select one of the following:3
Fundamentals of Public Speaking
Interpersonal Communication
Intercultural Communication
Select one of the following:3
College Algebra
Finite Mathematics
Calculus I
Elementary Statistics
Lab Science
Select two of the following:8
Concepts of Biology
General Biology I 1
General Biology II
General Zoology
Introductory Chemistry
Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry
General Chemistry I
General Chemistry II
Introduction to Earth Science
The Earth Through Time
Concepts of Physics
Introductory Astronomy
Introductory College Physics I
Introductory College Physics II
University Physics I
University Physics II
Introduction to Psychology Lab (Corequisite: PSYC 111 Introduction to Psychology) 2
Technology, Engineering, and Design
HPER 100Concepts of Fitness and Wellness2
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Computer Information Systems
Introduction to Programming in Java
Introduction to Structured Programming I
Discovering Computing
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Literature
Introduction to Film
World Literature I
World Literature II
American Literature I
American Literature II
Civilization, Thought, and Literary Heritage
Ethics and Philosophy of Science
1st Year Spanish I
1st Year Spanish II
2nd Year Spanish I
2nd Year Spanish II
Introduction to Theatre Arts
Acting One
Art and Music
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to the Visual Arts
Fine Arts and Aesthetics
Music Appreciation
Music Fundamentals
World Music
History of Rock and Roll
Social Science
Select two of the following:6
Understanding Media and Social Change
Human Communication
Principles of Microeconomics
Principles of Macroeconomics
Human Geography
United States to 1877
United States to Present
World Civilizations to 1500
World Civilizations since 1500
Environmental History
Native American Studies
American National Government
State and Local Government
Introduction to Psychology
Introduction to Sociology
Introduction to Anthropology
Additional Humanities or Social Science
Select one additional course from Humanities or Social Science or select from the following:2
Drawing I
Ceramics I
Survey of Geography
Group Piano for Non-Majors
Group Piano for Non-Majors
Concert Choir
Athletic Band
Concert Band
Planetarium Science
Theatre Practicum
Total Credits39

 Major Requirement

Required Courses
BIOL 221Human Anatomy and Physiology II4
PSYC 250Developmental Psychology3
PSYC 330Understanding Statistics3
PSYC 340Research Methods3
PSYC 350Social Psychology3
PSYC 491Capstone1
Directed Electives
Select 21 hours from the following:21
Behavior Modification
Group Dynamics
Abnormal Psychology
Human Sexuality
Independent Study
Personality Theories
Counseling Theory and Practice
Undergraduate Research
Special Topics
Introduction to Human Services
Introduction to Gerontology
Criminology and Delinquency
Cognition and Brain Science
Health Psychology
Total Credits38

Criteria for Psychology Internship

The student who plans to pursue a psychology internship must meet the following criteria prior to beginning the application process:

  1. Junior class status minimum for candidacy application
  2. Cumulative GPA of 2.5

Total General Education 39 Hrs
Total Major Requirement 38 Hrs
Total Credits Needed to Graduate 120 Hrs

For degree and graduation requirements, visit degree requirements and graduation requirements.

Plan of Study

First Year
BIOL 1504BIOL 2214
English Composition (Gen Ed)3English Composition (Gen Ed)3
Mathematics (Gen Ed)3HPER 100 (Gen Ed)2
Speech Communication (Gen Ed)3Literacies (Gen Ed)3
UNIV 1501PSYC 111 (Gen Ed)3
 14 15
Second Year
Additional Electives3Additional Electives3
Additional Humanities or Social Science (Gen Ed)2Course in the Minor3
Art and Music (Gen Ed)3PSYC 2503
CIS 170 (Gen Ed)3PSYC 3403
PSYC 330 (Gen Ed)3Social Science (Gen Ed)3
 14 15
Third Year
Additional Electives3Additional Electives3
Course in the Minor3Course in the Minor3
Lab Science (Gen Ed)4Course in the Minor3
Directed Elective 3Directed Elective3
Directed Elective3PSYC 3503
 16 15
Fourth Year
Additional Electives3Additional Electives3
Course in the Minor3Course in the Minor3
Directed Elective3Course in the Minor3
Directed Elective3Directed Elective3
PSYC 4911Directed Elective3
 13 15
Total Credits 117

Please note:  This plan is intended for general information only.  Students are strongly encouraged to meet with their academic advisor each semester before registration.


Learning Outcomes

  1. Knowledge Base in Psychology: Students demonstrate comprehension of the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, historical trends, and empirical findings in the field of psychology.
  2. Scientific Inquiry and Critical Thinking: Students use scientific inquiry and critical thinking to study and interpret psychological phenomena.
  3. Ethical and Social Responsibility in a Diverse World: Students adopt ethical standards and demonstrate social responsibility.
  4. Communication Students utilize oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills for information exchange and relationship development.
  5. Professional Development: Students apply knowledge of psychology-specific content and knowledge of themselves to personal and career goals.