Students and professor discuss in classroom

Bachelors in Psychology

The mission of the Southern Nazarene University Department of Psychology and Counseling is to partner with the university and students for the sake of developing persons who embody compassion, patience, presence, curiosity, thoughtfulness, and imagination. As a university rooted in the Wesleyan theological tradition, we invite our students to live relationally, to embody service and social justice, to use empirically sound methods, and to reflect thoughtfully about self, others, and creation.

Our approach to your education is driven by our mission. Our primary goal is to prepare students to make impacts on both the local and global levels, while simultaneously preparing them for life after graduation. Within our program, embodying compassion, patience, presence, curiosity, thoughtfulness, and imagination is an action statement. As such, we believe strongly in our faculty and students actively engaging in reconciling ways with our communities.  To that end, students routinely have opportunities to participate in service-oriented experiences.

Locally, applied research opportunities include participation in research projects that examine the impact of psychological dynamics on church congregational flourishing. In addition, SNU psychology students volunteer as tutors and mentors at a local elementary school, helping students develop academic, emotional, and social skills. Psychology students also complete practicum placements with local non-profit organizations, providing services to community members and evaluating program effectiveness. Aside from these service-based opportunities, our psychology undergraduates are consistently involved in research presentations. Over the past several years, SNU students have presented at local and regional conferences such as the Oklahoma Psychology Society, Southwestern Psychological Association, and Society for Personality and Social Psychology, on such topics as: the psychological functions of religious belief and practice, the influence of reflective writing on expressions of compassionate love, and the impact of hope on psychological well-being.

Globally, SNU undergraduate psychology majors have opportunities for international travel. In recent years, SNU students have traveled to Costa Rica to conduct research on cross-cultural expressions of hope, compassionate love, well-being, and psychological distress. In addition, SNU faculty and students have gone to Vienna, Austria to understand more deeply the history of modern psychology through visits to the Sigmund Freud Museum, Mauthausen concentration camp, Otto Wagner Hospital, Budapest, and Salzburg. Not only do students have the opportunity for brief study abroad trips, but psychology students also have the opportunity to apply for semester-long academic experiences in Costa Rica, England, and other areas of the world.  

Academically, our courses meet general undergraduate psychology curriculum requirements, as recommended by the American Psychological Association. Our department also offers unique elective courses that represent the diverse interests of the teaching faculty (e.g., Psychology of Human Flourishing, Psychology of Religion, Techniques of Counseling, Psychological Testing, Multicultural Psychology). All full-time department faculty have earned doctorate degrees in the field of psychology and integrate undergraduate students into their research labs. Specialized research interests of the department include compassionate love, hope, Terror Management Theory, trauma, and the psychology of religion/spirituality.

Bachelor of Science in Psychology- Core Courses:

  • General Psychology
  • General Psychology Lab
  • Careers in Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology through the Lifespan
  • Social Psychology
  • Statistical Methods
  • Multicultural Psychology
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Research Design
  • Learning and Cognition
  • Psychology of Personality
  • Physiological Psychology
  • History and Systems of Psychology
  • Senior Colloquium
  • Practicums (Research and Applied)
  • Computer-Packaged Statistics (elective)
  • Senior Thesis (elective)
  • Principles of Counseling (elective)
  • Techniques of Counseling (elective)
  • Psychology of Religion (elective)
  • Psychology of Human Flourishing (elective)


An undergraduate degree in Psychology provides a foundation for the skills that executives and hiring managers desire in their employees (Association of American Colleges & Universities, 2018):

  • Effective oral communication
  • Critical thinking
  • Ethical judgment and decision-making
  • Effective teamwork
  • Independent project management skills (e.g., prioritizing, managing time effectively)
  • Intrinsic motivation and initiative (e.g., proactively pursuing ideas and solutions)
  • Effective written communication
  • Application of knowledge to practical settings and problems

When you graduate with your degree in Psychology from SNU, you’ll have the preparation you need for a successful career in many professions. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology pursue careers in many areas, including:

  • Mental Health Services (e.g., Psychiatric Technician, Case Manager, Social Services Assistant, Rehabilitation Specialist)
  • Community Services (e.g., Advocacy and Public Policy Specialist, Director of Volunteer Services, Victim Advocate, Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist, Community Relations Officer, Grant Programs Specialist)
  • Criminal Justice (e.g., Correctional Officer, Probation or Parole Officer, Criminal Intelligence Analyst)
  • Education (e.g., School Counselor, Career Advisor, Health Educator, Child Care Supervisor)
  • Research (e.g., Laboratory Assistant, Research Analyst, Market Researcher, Technical Report Writer)
  • Corporate (e.g., Human Resource Manager, Public Relations Specialist, Business Administrator, Sales Manager, Marketing/Advertising Manager, Writer/Reporter) 
  • An undergraduate degree in Psychology at SNU also prepares students who want to pursue graduate study to become a licensed/credentialed practitioner, researcher, or administrator.   Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology pursue graduate degrees in many areas, including:
      • Behavioral Sciences
      • Clinical Psychology
      • Counseling (e.g., Mental Health Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling)
      • Counseling Psychology
      • Criminal Justice
      • Educational Psychology
      • Experimental Psychology (Emphasis areas include: Cognitive, Developmental, Social, Personality, Comparative, Neuropsychological)
      • Forensic Psychology
      • Human Development and Family Sciences
      • Industrial/Organizational Psychology
      • Marriage and Family Therapy
      • School Psychology
      • Social Work
      • Sociology
      • Sport Psychology

SNU offers you the opportunity to study with credentialed faculty as you journey toward graduation, another step closer to reaching your goals. These scholars with a Christian worldview will mentor and guide you along the way.  SNU’s smaller size allows students to interact with faculty — not only in the classroom, but also through impactful mentoring, personal advising, and meaningful research. Come and be known; come and belong.

Faculty from this area: 
Dr. Scott Drabenstot
Dr. Anna Harper
Dr. Paul Jones
Dr. Scott Secor
Dr. Ron Wright

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