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Positive Thinking

Psychology Program Mission and Goals

Mission Statement:

The mission of the Behavioral Science and Human Services Department is to foster intelligent and compassionate students capable of critical thinking.

The mission of the Kansas Wesleyan University Psychology program is to develop ethical and analytical students, skilled in communication, and knowledgeable in psychology and the human experience for the purpose of improving human well-being and addressing social concerns.

Program Goals:

Students who complete the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of theory and research central to the major domains of the field.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of theory and research associated with domains beyond the core subjects.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of overarching themes, broad or enduring controversies, and major problems in psychology.
  • Identify and explain the scientific foundations of psychology, a use and evaluate scientific evidence for psychological claims.
  • Demonstrate ethical knowledge and skills appropriate to the level of experience and education.
  • Recognize existence of universal and culture-bound psychological principles; exhibit sensitivity, appreciation for all dimensions of human diversity.
  • Develop skills in writing in APA style, teamwork and collegial participation in discussions or debates in diverse groups, constructing and interpreting graphs and tables, andgiving effective formal (i.e. professional) and informal presentations of research.
  • Understand the basic subject areas of psychology and employment of psychologists, and establish a plan to accomplish personal career goals.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

Psychology studies at KWU are designed to provide education and training for a variety of career goals, including teaching and research, counseling, substance abuse treatment, criminal justice-related work and kinds of other human service area employment. Studies in psychology at KWU are designed to be extremely flexible, allowing you to prepare for three possible career directions: graduate studies in experimental psychology, clinical or counseling psychology, or general psychology. 

Major Options

Minor Options

  • Psychology
  • Psychological Services


The Psychology major is designed with the flexibility to choose a curriculum that leads in one of three general career directions. They are:

  • A competitive Psychology curriculum for those preparing for graduate education in any of the experimental branches of psychology
  • A Mental Health curriculum for those desiring work or graduate education in any of the human service areas
  • A general curriculum in Psychology for a broadly-skilled bachelor's degree

Psychological Services

The Psychological Services major integrates program work in psychology, mental health/human services areas and counseling skill development to prepare the student for employment and graduate education in any number of human service fields. This major includes several concentration areas that further the professional opportunities for graduates.

NOTE: The Psychological Services major with the Addiction Counseling concentration is a curriculum that is state-approved by the Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board (BSRB) for students seeking to test for licensure to become a licensed addiction counselor (LAC) in the state of Kansas.

Why study Psychology at KWU? Customized curriculum and a nationally-recognized degree!

You will have the opportunity to explore the rich field of psychology and tailor your psychology program to your interests and career goals. Working closely with your psychology professors, you can customize your psychology curriculum to meet your education and career goals. A psychology degree from KWU provides graduates with highly-translatable interpersonal and research skills that can be applied to a variety of careers. The two majors allow students to: 

  • Complete an internship, independent study or independent thesis project in a setting or topic area of your choosing.
  • Learn to use SPSS software, the major statistical tool used in social science fields.
  • Gain leadership experience by participating in Kappa Psi Upsilon, KWU’s psychology club.
  • Develop a professional network by attending regional psychology conferences, joining the Pi Gamma Mu honor society for the Behavioral Sciences, or becoming a student affiliate of the American Psychological Association (APA) or the Association for Psychological Science (APS).

What can I do with this degree?

Psychology is an incredibly flexible degree and prepares you to use your interpersonal and quantitative skills for good. Many of KWU’s psychology graduates have pursued graduate studies in research psychology, clinical psychology, social work, marriage and family therapy, criminal justice and law. Others have gone on to work in mental health settings, businesses and hospitals. Recent alumni have attended graduate programs at Kansas State University, University of Kansas, Washburn University, Wichita State University, Emporia State University and Fort Hays State University.

“Attending KWU was an amazing experience for me and I would recommend it to any non-traditional student looking to go back to school. The Psychology professors at Kansas Wesleyan were instrumental to my being successful in my education, as they always made themselves available when I needed their help and advisement. My internship placement on the Behavioral Health Unit at Salina Regional Health Center was also amazing and a perfect fit for me. I can’t say enough about my experience at KWU.”  

—Kelly Hopkins '15, Master of Social Work (MSW) graduate student at Newman University, Wichita, KS

For more information, contact Dr. Steve Hoekstra, professor and chair of the Department of Psychology, or call 785-833-4362.