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Hands-on experience will open doors

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The possibilities for a future with psychology major are many. Recent Augustana grads have gone on for a master’s in counseling, industrial organization, social work and political science. If you go for a Ph.D., you could join our graduates who are experts in cognitive, clinical, social and quantitative psychology, or behavioral neuroscience.

Whatever fascinates you about the field, our developmental approach and hands-on experience will open doors. Your knowledge of research methods, analysis and presentation will make you stand out to graduate schools or employers.

You’ll get 40+ hours of clinical experience in the community. (It’s not unusual for recent grads to be hired full-time after a successful clinical placement.) You may collaborate with a faculty mentor in a research lab. You also may spend a term volunteering in a community agency and developing research based on your experience.

Working with your advisor, you’ll create a portfolio of your customized learning and research experience, to help your focus on a professional path.

What you'll learn

Disciplinary knowledge

Disciplinary knowledge

Gain a deep understanding of your subject and how it connects to other subjects.

Intellectual curiosity

Intellectual curiosity

Set yourself up for lifelong intellectual growth. Take responsibility for your own learning.

Critical thinking and information literacy

Critical thinking and information literacy

Judge and construct arguments, raise questions and define problems. Make a conclusion based on evidence.

Ethical citizenship

Ethical citizenship

Examine and embrace your strengths, passions and values. Develop ethical convictions and act on them.

Communication competence

Communication competence

Read and listen carefully. Express ideas (writing or speaking) suited to the audience.


• All psychology majors take the course Personal & Professional Development, where they work to connect who they are to their vocational and other ambitions.

• Each year, psychology student researchers participate and present at conferences such as the Tristate Undergraduate Psychology Conference, the annual convention of the Midwestern Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Sciences. Thanks to travel grants, students have been able to present their work in New York City, San Francisco, Toronto and Havana, Cuba.

• The psychology department has offered a two-part course, Childhood in the Developing World in Guatemala, with a fall term on campus and two weeks in Guatemala over J-term. Students of psychology, education or social welfare may especially be interested in learning how cultural, economic and social factors affect development in children in the developing world. Students can use their Augie Choice $2,000 for this or other study-abroad opportunities.

• Students who major in psychology, biology and/or neuroscience can enroll in a 3+2 Master of Science in Occupational Therapy or 3+3 Clinical Doctorate in Occupational Therapy coordinated degree program with Washington University, St. Louis.

Recent graduates

Summer Hall '22 is a graduate student in applied behavioral analysis at the University of Dayton.

Jeff Flinchem '22 will enter the master's in clinical mental health counseling graduate program at Marquette University.

Kayla Dillon '21 is a research associate at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Brett Niederer '21 is a graduate student in occupational therapy at Rush University.

Daniel Williams ’19  is an advocate specialist for the Rock Island County Child Abuse Council CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) program.

Emily Grooms ’17 is a school psychologist at Black Hawk Area Special Education District.     

Kayla Jackson ’17 is a graduate assistant in the Center for Evaluation and Assessment (educational measurement and statistics) at the University of Iowa.

Emily Murphy ’17 is an outpatient youth and family therapist at CenterPointe, Lincoln, Neb.

Nadia Panasky ’17 is a recruitment specialist for pharmacotherapy clinical research trials in Chicago.

Ethan Harrod '16 is a graduate researcher in the social psychophysiology and neuroendocrinology lab at the University of Chicago.

Thao Pham
More Than I Imagined Thao Pham
“My peak experience was attending the Association for Psychological Science 30th Annual Convention in San Francisco. It made me seriously consider pursuing a doctoral degree.”
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More Than I Imagined Alyssa Boisvert
“I found a love of research through my psychology major and my work with the ADs team.”
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Madison Hoffeditz
More Than I Imagined Madison Hoffeditz
“Dr. Corts has pushed me to tackle coursework (statistics) that I never thought I could do and mentored me through the research process for three years.”
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Aykeem Spivey

Spivey’s memorial mural replaces tears with joy

Art/psychology double major Aykeem Spivey '24 donated his time and talent to paint a mural at the Rock Island Center for Math and Science, in honor of a beloved teacher, Kris Hays. Hays passed away from cancer last year.

Students at a poster presentation

Celebration of Learning showcases student research

The 2023 Celebration of Learning featured helpful horses, a toolkit to help parents better understand their children’s well-being, machine learning and every subject in between.

Dr. Megan Lorenz and the ABCD Lab students

ABCD Lab helps students decide if research is in their future

At the Augustana Baby and Child Development Lab, everyone is learning something. Students are learning to conduct research, while their little subjects are learning new words and concepts.