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Why Study Psychology?


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Why Study Psychology: A major in psychology prepares students to interpret psychology theory by utilizing scientific methodology to understand, predict, and analyze human behavior. Throughout the coursework, students will learn and understand how individuals think, relate to others, act, feel, and develop.  Students will also investigate individual differences and understand how the environment affects human behavior. 

“Upper Iowa University (UIU) has a top-notch program for students interested in the field of psychology. The professors are not only knowledgeable in their areas of study, but have hands-on experience in their field.

The small class sizes and 8-week terms help the experienced professors structure classes in a way that promotes open discussion on even the most controversial topics, as well as opportunities for one-on-one student-professor communication. An open classroom with experienced professors is what makes UIU the place to study psychology.”

Sadie Meegan, Senior, majoring in Psychology and Communication Studies


Coursework in psychology will prepare students for an increased understanding of learning and cognition, individual differences, biological bases of behavior, and developmental changes in behavior. There is some flexibility built into the major to accommodate student preferences, such as the ability to take coursework in preparation for graduate school, courses introducing counseling and therapy techniques, etc. Students are also required to complete an internship, special project, or senior project toward the end of their academic career.  Students interested in applied experiences typically select an internship.  Those students who wish to go on to graduate school are encouraged to work on a special project involving research assisted by a psychology faculty member.

Career Opportunities

A degree in psychology prepares students to pursue the following career paths:

  • Human resources
  • Social work
  • Case management
  • Public relations / Marketing
  • Victim advocate
  • Student affairs
  • Researcher
  • Counseling

Student Internships

  • Discovery Living, Cedar Rapids, IA
  • Faith Regional Health Services, Norfolk, NE
  • Department of Human Services, West Union, IA
  • Fillmore County Veterans Services and Community Services, Preston, MN
  • Friendship Village Retirement Community, Waterloo, IA
  • First Judicial District Department of Correctional Service, Waterloo, IA
  • Maple Crest Manor and Assisted Living, Fayette, IA
  • Grandview Nursing Home, Oelwein, IA
  • Allamakee County Court House, Waukon, IA
  • Waverly Regional Youth Center, Waverly, MO

Research Opportunities

  • Sandra Meder (Psychology and Human Services major) recently completed a research project on caregiving in the 21st century.  She interviewed family caregivers across the state of Iowa about their feelings of burden and assessed what technologies caregivers used to assist them with their caregiving role.  Sandra was awarded a $2,000 grant from the R.J. McElroy Student/Faculty research fund.

Graduate school placement

Students have had success with placement in social work, mental health counseling, and couple and family therapy.

  • University of Iowa
  • University of Northern Iowa
  • Drake University
  • Widener University
  • Bellevue University

International Honor Society in Psychology

A Psi Chi chapter was recently established at Upper Iowa University. Undergraduate students must complete an application process, be in the top 35% of their class, and have a 3.0 GPA.  Each spring new members are inducted in the chapter.  Psi Chi members have been active in volunteering at a local assisted living facility. Benefits of membership include eligibility for Psi Chi scholarships and increased notoriety on graduate school applications.


Program Requirements
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Where is this major available? Location.
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Last Updated 11/22/15