Psychology students smiling on Lawton Plaza

What is Psychology?

LMU's Psychology major helps students examine in depth the foundations and biological, psychological, social, and cultural aspects of human and animal behavior.

The Psychology major provides students the ability to apply these perspectives to a variety of individual, family, and community contexts. As students progress through the curriculum, they have opportunities to assist faculty with research, as well as engage in their own research under faculty supervision.

A background in psychology can be a crucial component of a successful career in the healing arts, business, and politics. The program prepares students for graduate study in psychology and related fields, as well as careers in various professions. 

What do Psychology majors do?

Majors learn how the human mind functions. They learn about psychology as a discipline that uses an empirical approach to knowledge. Majors learn to use, respect, and value skeptical inquiry, critical thinking, and the scientific approach to understanding behavior.

Psychology majors also examine theory and methodology, demonstrate mastery of content, understand the application of knowledge and the scientific method, and comprehend biopsychosocial development across a lifespan. 

Is this major right for you?

You might be a Psychology major if you:

  • Are interested in understanding behavior
  • Enjoy critical thinking
  • Like science and research
  • Like in-depth learning and analysis
  • Have an interest in healing 

About our faculty

Our faculty members are experts in fields such as adulthood and aging; African American, Asian American, and Latino mental health; behavioral neuroscience; chemical dependency; clinical psychology; cognitive psychology; evolutionary psychology; stress management and burnout; and urban youth violence.

Faculty members conduct research and regularly present papers at conferences in this country and abroad. Faculty direct nonprofits, are members of professional associations, serve on editorial boards of journals, and publish books and articles in journals such asProceedings of the National Academy of SciencesNeuropsychology Review, Brain and Language, Substance Use and Misuse, and The Urban League Review

About our students and graduates

Our students have access to state-of-the-art laboratory facilities. Students participate in The Psychology Society, an on-campus and largely student-run organization, as well as in organizations such as Psi Chi, the international psychology honor society, and Sigma Xi: The Scientific Research Society.

Our students may join the Human Subject Pool, which allows them to participate in research conducted through the Psychology Department and acquire direct experience in social science research. Students may also participate in LMU’s P.R.O.S.E. (Psychological Research on Synthetic Environments) Project and its online component, LMU Psychology Island.

Our graduates' expertise in human behavior is applicable to careers requiring interaction with other people. This means that administration, education, sales, counseling, writing, and computer programming – varied though they might seem – are among the myriad professional possibilities open to our graduates. Students also go on to attend graduate school programs. 

Representative courses

Our courses have included:

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Statistical Methods for Psychology
  • Brain and Behavior
  • Experimental Methods
  • Nonexperimental Methods
  • Introduction and Overview of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs
  • Personality
  • Psychology of Women
  • African and Black Psychology
  • Applied Sports Psychology
  • Psychology on Film
  • Psychology of Religion
  • Language, Literacy, and Community
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Independent Studies 

More resources (links)