Psychology Major - BA or BS Psychology Programs
Did you know you don't need a doctorate to work in the field of mental health?
Earning a bachelor's degree in psychology is the first step to a rewarding career that puts your expertise and empathy to work. Pursue either a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (BA) or a Bachelor of Science in Psychology (BS), based on your interests.
Our faculty closely mentor every student to help you plan your next step, whether it's diving immediately into full-time work after graduation, earning your master's degree and license to become a licensed therapist or counselor, or pursuing one of the many other careers that value training and experience in psychology.
At GMercyU, you can pursue either a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (BA) or a Bachelor of Science in Psychology (BS), based on your interests. Both the BA and BS psychology degree programs provide a solid foundation in core areas of study in psychology:
- Human Development
- Research Methods and Experimental Psychology
- Personality Psychology
- Social Psychology
To earn your BA in psychology, you will need two semesters (six credits) of coursework in a foreign language. To earn your BS in psychology, you will complete six credits within the natural and computational sciences.
As a psychology major, you'll have many opportunities to conduct student research; see section below for more on this. In the program, you can also:
- Choose our Counseling and Interpersonal Relations minor to gain a valuable specialization, preparing you for graduate school or entry-level positions in the field.
- Use electives to explore your passions and interests. Take courses in specific areas of study, such as forensic and adolescent psychology, or courses in other disciplines. For example, if your goal is working with people in the corrections system, you might take criminal justice or criminology courses in addition to your psychology coursework. Or, if you plan on attending medical school, you can take the pre-med courses needed to help prepare you. Passionate about the sports industry? Take courses within our Sports Management major.
- Connect and bond with other psychology majors at events like GMercyU’s “Painting Away Stress Nights.” This particular event is hosted by the Social Work and Psychology (SWAP) Club.
- Build skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, and communication – key skills employers want. These are skills GMercyU emphasizes for all majors.
And, all GMercyU Psychology majors are eligible to earn a Master of Social Science degree with a 40% tuition discount and in less time, with three courses already completed.
We believe that psychology is best understood through an integrated approach combining classroom lecture, internships, and an emphasis on research and professional development – this includes the ability to develop and execute your own research projects, present your work at professional conferences, and participate in faculty-led research. For example, Professor Rebecca Gullan and several of her students co-authored this “Mentors That Matter” publication.
Through these exciting opportunities, you will:
Learn how to organize, design, and conduct original research protocols so you’re fully prepared for a future career or for graduate-level study.
Receive professional development mentorship from faculty.
Present your findings at professional conferences, such as The Southeastern Pennsylvania Consortium for Higher Education (SEPCHE) Conference, the annual meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association, and other professional settings.
Present your research at GMercyU’s annual University Research Conference (see photo).
n addition to general education requirements, psychology majors will need to complete 48 credits from required program courses.
|PSY 150||Social Psychology|
|PSY 200||Developmental Psychology|
|PSY 211||Fundamentals of Biopsychology|
|PSY 312||Research Methods|
|PSY 314||Ethical Issues in Behavioral / Social Science|
|PSY 320||Experimental Psychology|
|PSY 322||Psychology of Personality|
|PSY 370||History of Psychology|
|PSY 435||Psychology Practicum|
|PSY||Choose 4 Electives|
A minimum of 125 credits is needed to satisfy GMercyU's graduation requirements for a bachelor's degree in psychology. For your BA in psychology, you will need two semesters (six credits) in a foreign language. For your BS in psychology, you will complete six credits within the natural and computational sciences.
Increase the value of your degree as a digital communication major by adding an undergraduate minor that best suits your personal and professional goals.
Whether you're pursuing the BA or BS academic track for your degree in psychology, GMercyU offers a robust core curriculum. Here’s a peek of just a few of the classes offered for psychology majors.
PSY 212 Counseling and Communication Skills
The course is an integrated theory and practice approach to the study of communication styles, communication skills, basic counseling skills and elements of helping relationships. Students will explore the nature and dynamics of the helping encounter, develop interpersonal communication skills, and engage in opportunities for skill development through peer helping practice sessions.
PSY 221 Child Psychology
This course focuses on the successive stages of growth and development from conception through adolescence, including social, emotional, intellectual, moral, perceptual, behavioral, and physical development.
PSY 300 Addiction Dynamics and Interventions
This course provides an introduction to the psychological, sociological and physiological dynamics of abuse, dependency, and addictions and an overview of counseling intervention models designed to help the student identify and become familiar with current counseling approaches in the treatment of addictions.
PSY 313 Mindfulness and Positive Psychology
This course provides students with an introduction to the art and science of mindfulness and the emerging field of Positive Psychology. Mindfulness helps foster improvement in quality of life, awareness, satisfying relationships, well-being and increased positivity which are intimately connected to the foundations of Positive Psychology. Students learn about these fields focused on building upon one's strengths, virtues as well as cultivating resilience.
For all Psychology program course descriptions, please refer to the undergraduate catalog.
Rebecca Gullan, PhD
Position: Professor, Psychology and Psychology Program Coordinator
Did You Know? In August 2020, Dr. Gullan was interviewed by WHYY about the potential consequences of remote learning for school children.
Mary Reilly, MS
Position: Assistant Professor, Psychology
Did You Know? Professor Reilly is a recipient of the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching and the Sister Isabelle Keiss Award for Community Service.
John Gunn, PhD
Position: Assistant Professor, Psychology
Did You Know? An expert on suicide, Gunn serves on the editorial board of "Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention" and serves as an ad-hoc reviewer for a number of professional journals.
Stephanie Fratantaro, MS, NCC, LPC
Position: Professor of Practice, Psychology
Did You Know? Fratantaro maintains an outpatient therapy practice outside of her role at GMercyU.
We get to know every student really well and work with you one-on-one to find the right career path for you. Then we help get you where you want to go. Our career mentorship with students is a key component of this program.
—Rebecca Gullan, PhD, Professor and Program Coordinator, Psychology program
The Griffin Edge is comprised of five touchpoints -- Excellence, Engagement, Experience, Empathy, and Encouragement -- that become the cornerstones of your Distinctive Mercy Experience as a full-time undergraduate student.
The Griffin Edge includes an e-portfolio for documenting your GMercyU educational and extracurricular experiences (no matter your major), reflecting on those experiences, and receiving feedback from faculty. It's designed to help you take ownership of your educational journey and chart the right career path for you. It will also help you learn how to talk about your college experiences in meaningful ways — and that can make all the difference in a job interview.
For example, a student might say in a job interview: "I conducted research at the undergraduate level."
A Griffin Edge student might say: "The opportunity to conduct my own research alongside expert faculty taught me the importance of being exact in my data collection and analysis. I was even able to present my findings at our annual research conference! I know this is the career for me."
Learn more about the Griffin Edge here.
Student internships help you put the skills you learn at GMercyU into real-world practice. They also enhance your resume with work experience and professional references.
Interning is also an excellent opportunity to explore a psychology specialty. You could intern with organizations that assist people dealing with crisis situations, domestic violence, workplace wellness, or substance abuse recovery.
GMercyU psychology students have recently served and learned at a number of local organizations:
- A Woman’s Place
- Caring Hospice
- Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia – Roberts Research Center
- Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School
- Horsham Clinic
- Lansdale Catholic High School
- Mind of the Athlete
- Mitzvah Circle
- Penn Foundation
- Philadelphia Police Department
- Project Home: Jon Bon Jovi Souls Homes
- The Philadelphia Zoo
- The Training Room
- The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
- Valley Forge Hospital and Rehabilitation Center
- Valley Youth House
- Women’s Center of Montgomery County
To build your resume for immediate employment or a graduate school application, all GMercyU Psychology majors:
- Complete an internship of clinical work
- Take at least two advanced research courses
- Present your research at GMercyU's Undergraduate Research Conference
Here are some career options for those with a bachelor’s degree in psychology:
- Behavioral Health Technician
- Substance Abuse Counselor
- Market Research
- Advertising and Consumer Behavior
- School Support Specialist
- Mental Health Technician
- Residential Support
- Clinical Research Associate
- Human Resources
Here’s what you can do with the right master’s degree and/or license:
- Licensed Professional Counselor
- Licensed Mental Health Counselor
- Licensed Social Worker
- Industrial Organizational Psychologist
- Clinical Research Coordinator
- Entry into doctoral programs across all areas of psychology
Here’s a closer look at just a few of the many career paths for psychology majors.
Substance Abuse Counselor
Description: A substance abuse counselor works with individuals struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction. They often work in an independent practice, addiction treatment facilities, prisons, and mental or community health programs.
Degree Requirements: Bachelor’s degree
Average Salary: In 2022, the average annual salary in the U.S. was $49,710 per year, with the highest 10 percent earning more than $82,710.
Licensed Professional Counselor
Description: Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs) assess and treat mental and emotional disorders and work with individuals, couples, families, groups, and organizations in a variety of settings.
Degree Requirements: Master's degree
Average Salary: The current average salary is $54,378.
Description: A psychologist uses observational and conversational skills to identify the root cause of behavioral, cognitive or emotional struggles an individual may be facing. Work in a private practice or in the health care or school setting.
Degree Requirements: PhD or PsyD in psychology. Additional licensure may also be required.
Average Salary: In 2021, the median annual salary for a psychologist in the United States was $85,330, with the top 10% earning more than $141,910.
At GMercyU, we'll help you hone in on the right career path for you. You may find inspiration from these Psychology program graduates.
Alyssa Yiaski '23
Current Position: Master's in Counseling degree student at GMercyU
In 2023, Alyssa was interviewed by KYW Newsradio on why Gen Z is so open to discussing mental health and the role social media plays. Read the article or listen to the podcast here. Alyssa's plan is to become a therapist working with teenagers who are aging out of foster care. Eventually, she'd love to earn her doctorate and open her own practice. Learn about her GMercyU experience.
Eduardo Moreno '22
Current Position: Registered Behavior Technician, Behavior Interventions, Inc.
Launching his career after graduation, Eduardo works for an organization that offers ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) services for children. As a student-athlete at GMercyU, he juggled his coursework and internship with playing on the men's soccer team. Learn more about Eduardo's GMercyU experience.
Sam Memon '20, MS
Current Position: Mental Health Therapist, Lenape Valley
As Psychology major, Sam interned with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where he participated in an anti-bullying research project with local students. The experience confirmed that he wanted to eventually work with children and families. Learn more about Sam's GMercyU experience.
Bailey McLaughlin '20, MS, BCBA, LBS
Current Position: Board Certified Behavior Analyst, First Children Services
Bailey earned a Master’s in Psychology while she worked as a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT), providing behavioral support to those with behavioral, emotional, and social issues, primarily those with children diagnosed with autism. Learn more about Bailey's GMercyU experience.
Wilnise Destin '20, MBA
Current Position: Benefits Specialist, Clear Employer Services
Wilnise is using her Psychology degree in the field of Human Resources. While gaining valuable job experience in HR, sheearned an MBA to help advance her career. Learn more about Wilnise's GMercyU experience.
Levi Sassaman '11, MS
Current Position: Analyst, Psychology Product Research & Design, Heidrick & Struggles
Levi earned his masters in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, the study human behavior in the workforce. He has worked for organizations that produce produce soft-skills assessments used for evaluating job candidates. Learn more about Levi's GMercyU experience.
The classes I took to fulfill my [Counseling and Interpersonal Relations] minor helped me gain strong skills and knowledge for the mental health and counseling field. I added this minor towards the end of my junior year, but it never once felt overwhelming and tied into my major perfectly.
—Alyssa Yiaski '23, Master's in Counseling degree student at GMercyU
In addition to accepting transfer credits for other accredited psychology colleges and universities, GMercyU has an articulation agreement with Manor College, making it easier for you to turn an associate degree in liberal arts from Manor into a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from GMercyU.
Manor College AA Liberal Arts to BA/BS Psychology
GMercyU also offers Dual Admissions Agreements with Montgomery County Community College and Bucks County Community College.
To learn more, please contact the Admissions Office at 215-641-5510 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
At GMercyU, we strive to make a quality education accessible to all through financial aid, scholarships, and grants. As a military-friendly university, we welcome service members and participate in all VA educational benefits programs.