Psychology Major (BA or BS)

Study psychology at George Fox, rated as one of the top Christian colleges on the West Coast.


As a psychology major, you will learn how to critically evaluate theories of human behavior and explore research methods that will further your understanding of people. Theory is put into practice as you are mentored by faculty that include trained clinicians in private practice. You’ll also get the opportunity to join a research team and participate in various projects, and will graduate prepared for a career in the social services or business, as well as for graduate school.

Students will benefit from the presence of our doctor of psychology (PsyD) program, one of only a handful of Christian psychology degree programs in the nation accredited by the American Psychological Association. This gives you access to a larger group of faculty members, more library resources, and opportunities to conduct research with PsyD faculty and graduate students.

Our psychology program also gives you options. Would you like to earn a BA or a BS? Our BA degree has a greater emphasis on applied learning than does the BS, which places a greater emphasis on scientific methodology.

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Major Requirements

Complete the following:

An introduction to the scientific study of human behavior. Major topics include the biological bases of behavior, sensation, perception, thinking, learning, memory, development, emotion, motivation, personality, social interaction, and abnormal behavior. Prerequisite to most other psychology courses.
By focusing on the structures and functions of the nervous system, this course provides a biological framework for understanding normal and abnormal complex human behaviors and mental processes such as perception, motor control, learning, memory, and emotions. Prerequisite: PSYC 150 General Psychology
Applied statistics for the social and behavioral sciences. Emphasis is placed on statistical logic and decision making. Prerequisite: high school algebra or equivalent.
This course examines psychology as a career. Career options are examined. Goal setting, professional development, and networking are emphasized. Required for all psychology majors.
A study of the social and psychological processes of human interaction. Major topics to be covered include conformity, aggression, self-justification, persuasion, prejudice, attraction, and interpersonal communication. Prerequisite: PSYC 150 General Psychology.
Traditional areas of study in cognitive psychology will be discussed. These areas include perception, attention, memory, reasoning, problem solving, and language. Traditional views as well as current trends will be discussed. Prerequisite: PSYC 150 General Psychology.
An introduction to methods of psychological research. Explores essential topics for experimental research including research design, reliability, validity, and research ethics. Students also learn how to critically assess research literature, assimilate information from a variety of sources, and interpret data. In addition, students learn how to prepare manuscripts in APA format and to prepare professional research presentations. Prerequisites: PSYC 150 General Psychology and PSYC 240 Statistical Procedures.
Students will explore research design, analyses, and computer applications in the areas of cognition, learning, sensation and perception, and development using a variety of hands-on methods. Prerequisites: PSYC 240 Statistical Procedures and PSYC 391 Research Methods.
The history of the various schools of psychology, their origins, distinguishing characteristics, major contributions, theoretical positions, and contemporary issues are investigated. Required for psychology majors. Prerequisite: PSYC 150 General Psychology and a minimum of two upper-division psychology courses; senior standing is recommended.
This is a capstone course for the major focusing on the integration of Christianity and psychology and the application of psychological principles and findings in every day settings. Required for all psychology majors. Additional course fee required. Prerequisite: senior status.

Choose one of the following:

A survey of the major theorists of personality and their theories. Included are psychoanalytic, dispositional, phenomenological, and behavioral theories. An integrative approach will involve synthesis of important elements of theory and Scripture. Prerequisite: PSYC 150 General Psychology.
This course examines mental illness, mental processing, and behavior from a strengths-based approach which emphasizes the strengths and resources individuals bring to a particular situation. The course is designed to explore the concepts, research, techniques, and exercises to enhance optimism, decrease stressors, and increase well-being. Prerequisite: PSYC 150 General Psychology.
This course will cover the nature of culture and its applications to understanding human functioning. Students will examine their own and other cultures, as well as cultural influence on their thought, behavior, and relationships. Prerequisite: PSYC 150 General Psychology.

Choose one of the following:

study of physical, intellectual, personality, social, and moral development from the prenatal period through late childhood. (Identical to FCSC 311.) Prerequisite: PSYC 150 General Psychology.
A study of physical, intellectual, personality, social, and moral development from young adulthood to old age. Prerequisite: PSYC 150 General Psychology.
A study of the unique physical, intellectual, personality, social, and moral developmental changes during the period of adolescence. Prerequisite: PSYC 150 General Psychology.

Choose one of the following:

A study of theory and technique of person-centered counseling. The course is designed to teach basic theoretical postulates and to focus on effective intervention skills for those anticipating future work in Christian ministries, teaching, or mental health settings. Recommended as a prerequisite for field experience work (PSYC 475). Prerequisites: PSYC 150 General Psychology and sophomore status or above. Recommended: PSYC 330 Personality Theories.
Students will develop skills in understanding and critically evaluating educational and psychological tests (measures of ability, achievement, personality, and vocational interest). Also, modern principles of "psychometrics" - data-based analysis of test items, scores, and interpretations - will be emphasized, particularly the reliability and validity of items and scales. Students will have hands-on experience with various tests and will computer-analyze sample data from test development projects. Prerequisites: PSYC 150 General Psychology and PSYC 240 Statistical Procedures. Recommended: PSYC 391 Research Methods
A study of the nature, causation, and treatment of the major psychiatric and behavioral disorders. Prerequisite: PSYC 150 General Psychology. Recommended: PSYC 220 Biological Psychology.

Choose one of the following:

This course provides an overview of the neuropsychological, neuroanatomical, and biochemical basis for mental functions including motor control, object recognition, spatial reasoning, attention, language, memory, and emotion. Methods of neuropsychological research are explored. Recommended: PSYC 220 Biological Psychology.
A survey of learning theories and the basic research questions being asked in this important field. Special emphasis will be placed on translating experimental theory into practical methods. Prerequisite: PSYC 150 General Psychology.
Using psychophysical techniques, students will study sensory systems, including vision, audition, olfaction, taste, touch, and kinesthesis. Classic and current theories of perception and sensation will be discussed. Prerequisite: PSYC 150 General Psychology.

Choose 12 hours of the following:

Jobs, Internships and Graduate School

George Fox psychology students study in an encouraging Christian college environment.

Typically, about 23 percent of psychology majors go to graduate school after receiving a bachelor’s degree. Another 70 percent find employment in a variety of fields, including management/business, mental health care, sales and education. Psychology majors are taught critical thinking, communication and people skills, and an understanding of human relationships. These proficiencies allow them to adapt to a variety of employment settings.

  • Program Manager, Chehalem Youth & Family Services
  • Youth Treatment Specialist, Chehalem Youth & Family Services
  • Branch Manager, Bank of America
  • English Teacher, Indonesia
  • Child Advocate, Advocacy for Blind Children
  • Creative Director, Colure Weddings
  • Math Teacher, St. Louis Public Schools
  • Treatment Specialist, Trillium Family Services
  • Admissions Counselor, George Fox University
  • Development Officer, George Fox University
  • Research Assistant, OHSU
  • Research Assistant, Neurocognition Trials
  • University of Oregon
  • Indiana University
  • Columbia University
  • George Fox University
  • Utah State University 
  • Azusa Pacific University
  • Chaminade University
  • UC Irvine
  • Fuller Theological Seminary
  • Seattle Pacific University
  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • Loma Linda University School of Medicine
  • Uppsala University (Sweden)
  • University of Nevada, Reno
  • Fresno State University
  • Stanford University
  • City Team Ministries
  • Chehalem Youth and Family Services
  • Love INC
  • Juliette’s House
  • CARES Northwest
  • Friendsview Retirement Community
  • Mabel Rush Intensive Learning Classroom
  • Joan Austin Elementary
  • Transitions: Newberg High School
  • Forward Stride
  • Hazelden-Springbrook Substance Abuse Treatment Center
  • Head Start: Child Development Center
  • Youth Guidance Association 
  • Gales Creek Foundation
  • Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, Pediatric Acute Care Center
  • Camp Kiwanilong Summer Youth Program
  • Oregon Health Sciences University, Harold Schnitzer Diabetes Center 

In the News

Bekah Miles

Psychology major’s bold post about depression touches millions

Bekah Miles sat in her chair, staring. Could she do it? Would she do it? No. Yes. She was so tired of hiding, tired of pretending, tired of her illness. But since that wasn’t going to change anytime soon, maybe it was time to change her approach. To take her life back, if she could.

Ten minutes of debate. Then she did what millions do every minute – she clicked the “post” button. Read more …

Student Experiences

“The psychology program at George Fox University has prepared me to begin a successful career in mental health right out of college. I feel that the personal attention I received from each professor encouraged me to excel personally and academically throughout school. In fact, the personal touch of the psychology program is what separates it from any other school I was looking at. It’s hard to find such great professors that want to meet one-on-one and be involved in their students’ academic life, but I found it here.” 

- Jacob Lowen

Julianne Johnson

“The psychology department at George Fox undoubtedly helped prepare me for work in the field post-graduation. The faculty are approachable, knowledgeable, and deeply care about me and my education. The help and support they offered me was invaluable.”

- Julianne Johnson

Ashton Hoffman

“My professors in the psychology department taught me to think more critically and scientifically than I thought I was capable of. One professor in particular was incredibly influential, encouraging me not only to learn, think and write better, but to be a kinder and more discerning person.”

- Ashton Hoffman

Points of Distinction

  • Faculty who want to disciple/mentor students
  • Emphasis on field experience and firsthand research experience
  • Well-designed curriculum, facilitating student preparation
  • Emphasis on communication and interpersonal skills
  • A broad base of psychological coursework
  • Faculty who integrate faith with their field and care about the spiritual growth of their students

Why George Fox?

Christ-centered community

Our faith influences everything we do here, from the way our professors teach to the way we relate to one another and serve in the community.

Global opportunities

More than half of George Fox undergraduate students study abroad, ranking George Fox among the nation's leaders in study abroad participation (U.S. News & World Report).

Small classes

Our 14-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio means you'll get to know your professors on a personal level.

National recognition

George Fox University is a Christian university classified by U.S. News & World Report as a first-tier national university, and Forbes ranks George Fox among the highest Christian colleges in the country.