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Bachelor of Science in Psychology

Format: Online or in person on the Statesboro, Armstrong Campus in Savannah or Liberty Campus in Hinesville
Credit Hours: 124

Are you interested in understanding how the mind develops and works? How about the behavior of individuals and the influence of various factors?

Earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Georgia Southern and bridge science to theory and theory to practice with classroom and hands-on experiences that recognize, compare and apply concepts and theories from abnormal, cognitive, developmental, learning, physiological, and social psychology.

Psychology majors at Georgia Southern have an opportunity to pursue a variety of mentorship and hands-on experiences by becoming involved with faculty-led research or pursuing an off-campus internship. These experiences assist students in gaining the content knowledge, scientific perspective, and technical skills that are applicable to a variety of careers and are necessary to gain entrance into graduate degree programs.

B.S. in Psychology Curriculum

The B.S. Psychology coursework provides students with a breadth and depth of the various fields of psychology, inspires students to be sensitive to cultural issues and individual differences as well as promotes personal and professional growth.

Coursework can be completed in-person on the Armstrong Campus in Savannah, Liberty Campus in Hinesville or the Statesboro Campus and includes components in research design, application and social responsibility, fundamental knowledge in biologic and evolutionary bases for behavior, mental processes, behavior change, change across the lifespan, person and situation, and experiential learning. 

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Our Bachelor of Science in Psychology

 At Georgia Southern University, our mission is to make sure you’re ready to hit the ground running in your psychology career. Coached by world-class faculty with decades of experience, you’ll get excellent classroom instruction, and a wide range of hands-on opportunities to help real people in need. You’ll enjoy a best-value, convenient, metro location with plenty of opportunities, as well as an intimate learning experience with professors and mentors who will help you each step of the way.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, psychologists and counselors with continued study in the field will see a steady increase in available career options with an average salary of more than $80,000 per year.

Average salary

$80,000

per year.

What is Behavior Analysis?
Association for Behavior Analysis International Verified Course Sequence

Behavior analysis is the scientific study of the interactions between environmental variables and human behavior. Decades of research in the area has led to a well-established and verified set of concepts and principles that account for human behavior. Applied behavior analysis (ABA) serves as one area of behavior analysis that applies the concepts and principles of behavior analysis to make socially meaningful and lasting change. Over the years, researchers and clinicians have used the applications of behavior analysis in a variety of areas including general education, special education, industrial/organizational settings, autism and disabilities, sustainability, and more. For more information about the professional practice of behavior analysis, click here.

Since behavior analysis can be applied to any socially significant area of human behavior, there are many careers an individual can pursue with professional certification in behavior analysis. Many behavior analysts work in:

  • School settings working on academic and social behavior
  • Assessment and treatment of problem behavior
  • Consultants in industrial/organization settings
  • Applied animal behavior analysis
  • Residential settings for individuals with disabilities
  • Clinic-based settings for students with and without disabilities
  • Early Intensive Behavior Intervention (EIBI) for students with autism
  • Instructional design and curriculum development

The Association for Behavior Analysis International has verified the following courses toward the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst® examination. Applicants will need to meet additional requirements before they can be deemed eligible to take the examination. For up to date information about pass-rates associated with verified course sequences, please click herePass-rate data are not published for sequences with fewer than six first-time candidates in a single year or for sequences within their first four years of operation.

PSYC 3410: Introduction to Behavior Analysis (3 hours)

An introduction and overview of basic concepts and principles of behavior analysis. Variables and processes responsible for conditioning and learning in human and non-human organisms will be discussed.

PSYC 3420: Principles of Behavior Change (3 hours)

Advanced examination of the concepts and principles of behavior analysis and how they can be applied to make socially meaningful changes in behavior. Specific procedures to increase desirable behavior and decrease unwanted behaviors are highlighted, with a focus on human behavior.

PSYC 3425: Research Methods in Applied Behavior Analysis (3 hours)

This course provides an introduction to research methodologies in behavioral sciences. An overview of single case research designs will be given including measurement, graphical display, and evaluation of behavior change interventions.

PSYC 3430: Behavioral Assessment (3 hours)

Overview of assessment and measurement techniques, with a focus on how to select, define, and measure behavior. A variety of assessment procedures (e.g., indirect and direct functional behavior assessments, preference assessments, etc.) will be covered to identify variables that establish and maintain undesirable behaviors. Single subject research designs will be discussed in relation to the evaluation of specific behavior assessment and change procedures.

PSYC 3440: Behavior Change Techniques (3 hours)

Introduces students to advanced behavior change techniques and considerations. Topics will include procedures to establish new behaviors, strategies to prevent and reduce undesirable behaviors, advanced behavior change systems, and how to select, plan for, and monitor behavior change procedures to increase or decrease target behaviors in a variety of settings.

PSYC 4791: Practicum in Behavior Analysis (3 hours)

Supervised experience in the professional practice of behavior analysis.

Interested students should contact Dr. Andrew Bulla at abulla@georgiasouthern.edu

Students interested in behavior analysis are encouraged to apply for the minor in Applied Behavior AnalysisCurrently, coursework in behavior analysis is only offered at the Armstrong Campus. Additional information regarding degree requirement, course work requirements, experience requirements and the Behavior Analyst Certification Board exam application process may be found at Behavior Analyst Certification Board.



The Psychology Department anticipates that graduates of this program will seek the following professional state licenses or certifications: Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst

The Psychology Department has determined that the required classes and educational activities of this academic program will qualify a graduate of this program to take the exam for a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst certificate in Georgia.

The Psychology Department has not determined whether the required classes and educational activities of this academic program will qualify a graduate of this program to take the exam for a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst certificate for any state not set forth above.

Students interested in licensure in other states are referred to https://www.bacb.com/u-s-licensure-of-behavior-analysts/ for additional information.

Want to Minor in Psychology?

Georgia Southern’s Department of Psychology offers several different minors to fit your needs. Learn more about our minors:

Student Organizations

Get involved with a psychology student organization and connect with fellow psychology enthusiasts like you!

  • Psych Coalition (Statesboro Campus)
  • Get Psych’d (Armstrong Campus)
  • Psi Chi (the International Honors Society in Psychology)

What Can You Do With a Psychology Degree

With an undergraduate degree in psychology, alumni have the opportunity to work in a variety of fields, including:

  • Health and Human Services: case manager, mental health technician, rehabilitation specialist, social worker, partial care worker, lab assistant, behavioral analyst
  • Educational Services: career counselor, intervention specialist, teacher, child care worker
  • Marketing: marketing specialist, advertising specialist, market analyst, market researcher
  • Business: data/financial analyst, human resources manager 
  • Criminal Justice: forensic analyst, victims’ advocate, law enforcement, probation/parole officer

You can also choose to continue into graduate studies at Georgia Southern, allowing you to expand your career options in psychological science and licensed and certified professions within clinical psychology and behavior analysis.

Learn more about our M.S. Experimental Psychology, M.S. Behavior Analysis, and Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology programs.

Resources

Bachelor Program Internships

One of the options for fulfilling our Experiential Learning or Major Capstone Requirement is a semester-long internship at a site while completing PSYC 4790: Senior Internship. Students must receive instructor permission in order to register for PSYC 4790 or work with a faculty member in the department to develop an individual arrangement section of the course. A list of the sites at which students have completed internships in recent years is provided below:

B.S. Program in Psychology Internship Sites
1 Stop Driving
Armstrong Career Services
Autism Rising
Behavioral Pediatrics of Rural Georgia
Bethany Hospice
Brave Tomorrow Counseling
Broughton Partners
Bulloch County Parks & Recreation
Chancelight Autism Services
Chatham County Schools – Southwest Elementary
Child’s World Learning Center
Coastal Harbor
Coastal Health District
Counseling Center/GRH
Department of Human Services – Division of Child Support Services (DCSS)
Dismas Charities
DPS Health and Wellness
Effingham County Schools
Effingham Family Connection
Exceptional Therapies
Family First Center
Family First Therapy
Gateway Behavioral Services
Georgia Baptist Children’s Home
Georgia Outreach Counseling, Therapy & Psychiatry Services
Georgia Regional Hospital
Goodwill Industries
Goodwill Project ADVANCE
Grace Autism Services
GSU – Academic Success Center/Advising
GSU – Advising Office
GSU – Captain’s Cupboard Food Pantry
GSU – Counseling Center
GSU – Housing Office
GSU – Office of Career and Professional Development
GSU – Office of Multicultural Affairs
GSU – Psychology Department
GSU – Student Success Center/Advising
GSU – Student Wellness
GSU – TRIO Student Support Services
Heads Up Guidance Services
Hope Counseling Center
Hospice Human Resources
Institute for Human Services
Joye Psychology & Wellness
Juvenile Court
Kicklighter Resource Center
Kindred Hospice
Lee Hyer – Research
Long County High School
Love in Action
Matthew Reardon Center for Autism
May Institute
Mediation Center
Memorial Health University Medical Center
Pineland Behavioral Health
Project for Better Health, Inc.
Public Defender’s Office
Reaching Milestones
Rebecca Bovino LLC
Refocus Behavior
Safe Haven
Savannah LGBT Center / First City Pride Center
Savannah Wildlife Rescue
Step Up Savannah
Southwest Elementary School
Southwest Elementary School Counsel
Tharros Place
The Rolling Monkey
The Teal House
TRIO
Union Mission
Union Mission Case Management
Union Mission Counseling Center
Youth Villages
Undergraduate Presentation and Publication Opportunities

One of the best things you can do for professional development is present your research at a conference. Several professors in the department regularly accompany undergraduate students to conferences for this purpose, so keep an eye out for opportunities. If you are working on a research project in a class, and you think it has the potential to make a good presentation, speak with your professor about presenting your work at a conference.

The best place to present your research is at an undergraduate conference because you will have less stress there, and people who attend are usually very supportive of undergraduates. They want you to have a positive first experience as a presenter at a conference! Here are a few undergraduate conferences you might consider. If you come across additional conferences for undergraduates, please let us know.

Georgia Undergraduate Research in Psychology (GURP) Conference

Carolinas Psychology Conference

Georgia Southern Psychology Conference (Details soon to come)

Regional Conferences

Or you might try regional conferences that would be for all levels of professionals, but they tend to be a bit friendlier and supportive than national or international conferences.

Georgia Psychological Society

Southeastern Psychological Association

Publication Opportunities

Another avenue toward professional development is to publish your research. Publishing is a bit tougher, but it’s worth the work. Just as with conferences, it is best to submit research to an undergraduate journal so you won’t be competing with professors who have been conducting and publishing research for decades. If you are not sure where to submit your work, undergraduate journals or regular journals, ask your professor.

Psi Chi Journal of Undergraduate Research

The Undergraduate Journal of Psychology

The Yale Review of Undergraduate Research in Psychology

Many professionals choose to submit their work to a conference, present it there if accepted, get feedback from attendees, then work on a final manuscript to submit to a journal. Although it is generally not accepted practice to present the same project at two conferences, it is perfectly acceptable (even encouraged) to present your work at a conference and then submit it for publication.

We hope you take these steps in your professional development. Psychology is an exciting discipline, and you will enjoy sharing your research with others!

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Lawrence Locker, Jr.
Dr. Locker’s area of interest is cognitive psychology in language and memory. He is also interested in issues related to social cognition or interdisciplinary studies that involve a cognitive component. Dr. Locker conducts laboratory research involving the presentation of stimuli on a computer. Students are involved in the preparation of stimuli (e.g., a list of words). Research assistants also help with scheduling participants and are active in the data collection process.

Karen Naufel
Dr. Naufel’s research interests are twofold: people’s interpretations and responses to health messages, and ethical issues in psychology. Dr. Naufel’s undergraduate students take on various roles in the lab: They create health messages, design questionnaires (both web surveys and print surveys), assist with recruitment of participants, and conduct research sessions. Dr. Naufel values a lab community in which research ideas are generated and explored. Undergraduate assistants work actively with their lab mates and lab advisor, so strong interpersonal skills are desirable. Undergraduates must have completed or be enrolled in Research Methods.

Michael Nielsen
Dr. Nielsen’s research program focuses on psychological aspects of religion. He studies this from a social psychological perspective, sometimes working with colleagues in sociology, political science, and anthropology. Depending on the specific project, undergraduate students take on a range of duties, usually including library research, data collection, or data entry. Dr. Nielsen’s projects tend to involve self-reports (questionnaires), but he usesvexperimental and quasi-experimental designs. The most important qualities for research assistants are the abilities to be accurate and thorough in carrying out their duties and open-minded regarding views that may differ from their own. Students can typically sign up for 1 or 2 hours of credit (3-6 hours per week).

Rebecca G. Ryan
Dr. Ryan is open most semesters to students who are interested in registering for one, two, or three credit hours of research experience. The research in her lab is currently focused on jury decision-making and service learning. Dr. Ryan is investigating the influence of a series of variables on the conclusions made by mock jurors and outcomes associated with engaging in community service as part of completing course requirements. Research assistants will be involved in collecting and entering data, scoring assessments, and assisting with literature searches. Those accepted will gain experience in running participants and using SPSS and PsycInfo.

Theresa Yancey 
Dr. Yancey’s research areas are child maltreatment, resiliency following trauma, and the use of empirically supported treatments in nontraditional populations. Students working on Dr. Yancey’s projects enter data, read and evaluate research, and  write portions of research papers.

Program Outcomes

Mission Statement:

The mission of the B.A. and B.S. degree programs in psychology is to provide a course of study that reflects both breadth and depth in the field of psychology.  The curriculum is grounded in science and teaches scientific thinking as well as appropriate content in the specific sub-disciplines of the field. In addition to providing quality instruction, the faculty members aim to inspire individuals to be sensitive to cultural issues and individual differences, to facilitate personal growth, and to connect scientific theory to practice.

Learning Outcome #1: Fundamental Knowledge

Students will recognize, compare, and apply the core domains of psychology.

Learning Outcome #2: Research Design

Students will recognize, apply, and evaluate the fundamental methods and statistics of psychological science.

Learning Outcome #3: Diversity:

Students will recognize and respect the complexity of sociocultural diversity and individual differences.

Learning Outcome #4: Professional and Personal Development:

Students will recognize the value of psychology in professional and personal domains.

Have Questions? Contact Us

Dr. Ellen Williams

Department of Psychology
PO Box 8041
Statesboro, GA 30460
912-478-5539
ehwilliams@georgiasouthern.edu

You can find your Academic Advisor at the CBSS Advisement Center page.

Behavior Analysis Certification

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.® has verified the behavior analysis course sequence as meeting the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst Examination®. Applicants will have to meet additional requirements to qualify.

Related Programs

Last updated: 8/3/2023