Welcome to Psychology at GVSU

Psychology covers such a broad range of topics that psychologists specialize in many different areas, such as clinical psychology, counseling psychology, developmental psychology, physiological psychology, neuropsychology, industrial-organizational psychology, educational psychology, experimental psychology, cognitive psychology, social psychology, and cross-cultural psychology. The interests and training of the faculty members in the department cover all of these areas, so we are able to offer a wide range of courses in the undergraduate curriculum.

PSY 101 Participation in Psychological Research

The Robert Hendersen Leadership Award

Psychology 490 Practicum


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Undergraduate Degrees Offered

Psychology is the science of mind and behavior.  This basic and applied science includes the study of thought, action, and emotion.  Psychologists study how people influence and interact with one another, how they develop, and the role that biological mechanisms play in psychological processes.

Graduates find jobs in varied settings, including business, industry, and human services.

Many of our graduates pursue graduate studies in a wide variety of disciplines, including psychology, medicine, law, social work, business, library science, human resources management, and non profit administration.

Course Catalog   Degree Requirement   Student Learning Outcomes

Because human interaction is central to many careers, students often choose to add a psychology minor to their major field of study. Psychology minors gain increased understanding of how humans perceive, think, feel, and act, and how research contributes to our growing knowledge in these areas. 

For future teachers interested in teaching psychology in high school, there is a strongly suggested set of courses that will fulfill the minor requirements and prepare students for secondary teaching.

Course Catalog  Degree Requirement  Minors Interested in Secondary Teaching

Behavioral Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary area that studies the interactions between the nervous system and behavior, the development and function of the nervous system, and their application to the treatment of disorders.

The major is administered by the Psychology Department. Students may earn a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Behavioral Neuroscience.  The B.S. requires students to take the degree requirement sequence from the Psychology Department. The B.A. requires third semester proficiency in a foreign language.

Graduates with training in behavioral neuroscience have worked for colleges and universities, research institutes, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and government agencies. Students with a Behavioral Neuroscience degree may also pursue graduate study in neuroscience, neuropsychology, or related fields, or professional degrees in health-related fields.

Course Catalog  Degree Requirement   Student Learning Outcomes

Graduate Studies Offered

Grand Valley State University's School Psychology graduate program, leading students to earn both a Masters of Science degree (M.S.) and a Specialist in School Psychology degree (Psy.S.), offers students extensive training through coursework, practicum, and research experiences in the assessment, prevention, and intervention of academic, social, and mental health problems that affect a wide range of students.  

The full-time program spans 3 years, and includes extensive coursework and practicum experiences. Upon graduation, students are eligible to apply for licensure as a school psychologist. Every student is automatically admitted to the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) certificate program.

Courses for Specialist in School Psychology      School Psychology Website

Many school and mental health professionals are seeking graduate level programs that teach them to incorporate behavior analytic principles and practices into their work with individuals with learning, social, and behavior challenges.

The GVSU Psychology Department offers an online graduate level certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) that allows students to pursue certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). A master's degree or higher is required for admission to the program.

To become a BCBA, students must meet the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) course requirements, supervised fieldwork requirements, and pass the BCBA exam. The GVSU ABA certificate program is a Verified Course Sequence by the Association for Behavior Analysis International.

ABA Course Requirements     ABA Certificate Program Website

The Robert Hendersen Leadership Award

The Psychology Department is pleased to recognize Lucretia Dunlap as the inaugural recipient of the Robert Hendersen Leadership Award.  As a student at GVSU, Lucretia has demonstrated effective leadership in a variety of roles both on and off campus, and her commitment to the field of psychology and the well-being of others has left a lasting impression on faculty, students, and community members alike.  Congratulations, Lu!


Picture of Lucretia Dunlap

Recent Faculty and Student Conference Presentations

Psychology Graduate Valerie Weber

Valerie Weber at the Michigan Autism Conference in Kalamazoo, MI

Psychology student Rachel Lawson

Bridging the Gap Between Generations: Social Participation via Befriending Programs

Student Scholar Day 2018

Student Scholar Day 2018

View More Recent Faculty and Student Conference Presentations

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Association for Psychological Science
Profile picture for @PsychScience
Association for Psychological Science
Profile picture for @PsychScience
Association for Psychological Science

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The Psychology Department is part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.