Unlocking the secrets of the mind

Psychology

Psychology—understanding human behavior

Psychology is the scientific study of human behavior, emotions and how the mind works. Understanding how thoughts, emotions and attitudes develop—and why—uncovers the secret to helping people.

Through science, we gain knowledge about ourselves and others. Through Christ, we gain the heartfelt desire to serve humanity. By combining knowledge and compassion, we become prepared professionals who not only care about others, but also have the tools needed to be effective and understanding in a people-oriented workplace.

Why study psychology?

  • Psychologists are employed in a variety of settings including business, corrections, education, forensics, research, sports, substance abuse and human services
  • After acquiring your undergraduate degree, go on to graduate school to become a counselor, clinical psychologist or developmental psychologist.
  • Have an impact on people's lives.

While my current career path likely looks different from that of a typical psychology graduate, I frequently use the skills I gained while earning my degree. As the co-CEO of an e-commerce startup, I interact with customers, clients and business partners daily. In these exchanges, I have been able to utilize concepts central to psychology, which has ultimately allowed me to communicate more effectively and better understand the thought processes and actions of the other parties involved.

Mark McLachlan
2012 graduate, co-founder of Antsy Labs—the company that created the Fidget Cube—and former co-CEO of e-commerce startup TinyLightbulbs.com
photo Mark McLachlan

Real experience starts long before graduation.

At Union, our faculty partner with you to help you succeed. Small class sizes mean plenty of personal attention from your professors. Real-life research projects, simulated counseling sessions, and internship options give you experience before graduation.

Why study at Union College?

  • Starting in your first year, you’ll see the discipline of psychology at work in the larger community with visits to agencies that serve people through corrections and juvenile justice, advocacy
    for vulnerable populations, mental health services, industrial and organizational psychology and research in neuroscience.
  • Practice interpersonal and therapeutic communication skills through presentations and simulated counseling sessions in the skills lab—all while developing writing and critical thinking skills.
  • Complete your own independent research and carry out each step of the scientific process, from study design to dissemination of results.
  • Develop practical, work-specific skills with varied internship options tailored to your specific interests in psychology.

I came to Union expecting a formal relationship with the faculty, and that they would present me a list of expectations for my learning. I got so much more. These teachers care about their students. They became mentors who encouraged me to reach farther and dear friends and family who inspired me to become greater.

Jordan Leddy
a 2014 graduate who now is working toward a master’s degree in counseling at Loma Linda University in California.
photo Jordan Leddy

Majors and minors

Union College offers a four-year bachelor of science in psychology. See the degree completion guide.

Career options

Psychologist

Study cognitive, emotional, and social processes and behavior by observing, interpreting, and recording how individuals relate to one another and to their environments.

Job outlook
14% (faster than average)

Median pay
$77,000

Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselor

Advise people who suffer from alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders, mental health issues, or other mental or behavioral problems.

Job outlook
23% (much faster than average)

Median pay
$43,000

Marriage and family therapist

Help people manage and overcome problems with family and other relationships.

Job outlook
23% growth (much faster than average)

Median pay
$48,000


Trudy Holmes-Caines, chair of the division of Human Development

Get to know a little more about our human development faculty. They all have impressive credentials, but they're pretty cool too.

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Students participating in a social work class

Our psychology program is a part of an academic division that offers programs in education, psychology, and social work.

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Check out stories of graduates who have found their calling in their career and lives.

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