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Department of Psychological Sciences

Department of Psychological Sciences

Aspire to reach new heights with the Department of Psychological Sciences.

As our world becomes increasingly complex, there has never been a greater need for education strongly rooted in the science of human thought and behavior.  Whether you want to help others or just understand people better, the Department of Psychological Sciences at WKU focuses on equipping students with the scientific knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to keep pace with modern psychology.  We believe students are enabled to become leaders when their psychology education is well-rounded and “doing-focused!”  That’s why we offer multiple unique laboratory experiences, opportunities to conduct high-quality scientific research with faculty mentors, and courses that span all the major fields of the discipline - from clinical, to neuroscience, to child development, to industry, and more.  Our faculty are award-winning advisors who meet individually with their students and help them prepare for success in their undergraduate and graduate studies, as well as their professional careers.  Join us and Climb Higher!

The Department of Psychological Sciences offers a Bachelor of Science in Psychological Science with 8 concentrations to choose from, minors in Neuroscience and Psychological Science, and a Master of Science in Psychology with concentrations in Industrial/Organization Psychology and Psychological Science.


What is the difference between Psychology and Psychological Science?

Psychology is the study of the human mind and behavior.  Psychological Science emphasizes the need to understand and utilize the scientific method to create, test, and improve hypotheses concerning the human mind and behavior.  Whether you pursue a career in social services, business, education, science, law, or government, psychological science equips you to find answers to the critical question “how do we know?”

Grounded in the fact that human behavior is affected by biological, mental, and social factors, the B.S. in Psychological Science at WKU is designed to help students convert knowledge about those factors into skills in critical thinking, oral/written communication, working in diverse organizations, and data literacy.  Majoring in Psychological Science can lead to a variety of career paths, but also can prepare students for graduate school in both helping professions and more research-oriented professions.

in the Department of Psychological Sciences

Psychological Science, Bachelor of Science

The Department of Psychological Sciences offers programs designed for students who are interested in a science-oriented degree that will prepare them for graduate study in psychology or a related field (e.g., medical school, pharmacy, physical therapy) or for employment in jobs where strong quantitative and research skills are required. Students will learn about the major domains of psychology, including behavior, cognition, neuroscience, mental health, and more.


Choose from one of the 8 following concentrations:

Applied Psychological Science

Applies principles of psychological science to increase performance effectiveness and solve problems in business, sports, or human engineering domains. 

Biobehavioral Psychology

Emphasizes the scientific study of the neural and brain mechanisms that enable mind, consciousness, and behavior. 

Clinical Psychological Science

Focuses on mechanisms and etiologies of psychological health and dysfunction.

Cognitive Psychology

Emphasizes the scientific study of mental processes such as attention, perception, memory, problem-solving, thinking, and language use.

Developmental Science

Addresses the physical, emotional, intellectual, social, perceptual, and personality growth of humans throughout the lifespan.


Emphasizes courses investigating the brain from the level of cellular biology all the way up to higher order psychological systems. 

Social Psychology

Emphasizes the study of how social situations affect behavior. 

Quantitative Psychology

Emphasizes using advanced data manipulation and statistical analysis techniques to examine discipline-specific research questions.

Neuroscience, Minor

Some of the most important recent scientific discoveries have come from the study of neuroscience--a multidisciplinary field at the intersection of brain and behavior that incorporates tools and perspectives from molecular and cellular biology, genetics, physiology, pharmacology, chemistry and biochemistry, computer modeling, and behavioral and cognitive psychology. The minor in Neuroscience offers students the opportunity to study the intersection of brain and behavior in a manner that incorporates tools and perspectives from the psychological and biological sciences, and related disciplines.

The Neuroscience minor may be an excellent option for you if you are:

  1. Planning to pursue advanced study in any of several fields related to neuroscience, including psychology, biology, medicine, counseling, or social work, or
  2. Seeking relevant training for jobs related to the assessment, rehabilitation, and treatment of brain damage, brain diseases, and addiction.

Learn More


Psychological Science, Minor

Psychological Science focuses on mental processes and behaviors that are relevant across many domains, including business and organizations, health, engineering and industrial design, ecology, human development, and neuroscience. The minor in Psychological Science provides students with a broad overview of the discipline, as well as exposure to the foundations of the discipline. The Psychological Science minor focuses students on becoming more engaged and critical consumers of the science underlying psychology through courses informed by current research and practice in the scientific study of individual and collective behavior, the physical and environmental bases of behavior, and the analysis and treatment of behavioral problems.

Learn More

Psychology, Master of Science

This program prepares students to pursue careers in business, research, or government settings, and/or to enter a doctoral program. 


 Choose from one of the 2 following concentrations:

Industrial/Organizational (Learn More)

The Industrial/Organizational concentration of the Master of Science program in Psychology at WKU is a two-year graduate program designed for students seeking preparation as M.S. psychologists in business, industry, service organizations, consulting firms, or government agencies. The objective of the concentration is the development of marketable skills in the areas of test construction and validation, personnel selection and placement, performance appraisal, and training. Work motivation, job satisfaction, and organizational development techniques are also studied.

Psychological Science  (Learn More)

Designed to prepare individuals for continuation in a Ph.D. program and/or for positions where strong research and quantitative skills are needed. A thesis is required.

There are courses and training in the following areas:

  • Biobehavioral Psychology
  • Clinical Science
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental Science

Joint Undergraduate-Masters Program (JUMP)

We offer a Joint Undergraduate Master's Program (JUMP) which provides academically outstanding students the opportunity to complete both an undergraduate and graduate degree in approximately five years. Admission to this program is highly competitive. Contact the JUMP program coordinator, Dr. Jenni Teeters, for additional information.

In this five-year course of study, students will earn a Bachelor of Science in Psychological Science and a Master of Science in Psychology.


Featured Psychological Science Courses

Description and analysis of how actual decisions differ from optimal decisions. Survey of judgments under risk and uncertainty and of major topics in judgment research. Note: Permission of instructor may be required.

Prerequisite(s): (PSYS 210 or PSY 210) and (PSYS 211 or PSY 211)

Concentration(s): Applied Psychological Science, Clinical Psychological Science, Social Psychology

Overview of the major theoretical approaches to the study of personality, including historical as well as contemporary theorists, avenues of analysis, and concepts. Note: Permission of instructor may be required.

Prerequisite(s): PSYS 100 (PSY 100 or PSYS 100 or PSYC 100C)

Restriction(s): Students with a semester level of Academy Junior, Academy Senior, Freshman or Sophomore may not enroll.

Concentration(s): Applied Psychological Science, Clinical Psychological Science, Social Psychology




WKU alumnus Dalton Bailey sits on stage and speaks into a microphone.

My time in the WKU Psych Sciences was fantastic, and I truly believe it was the best program for my career interests. The small classes and one-on-one interaction with instructors was invaluable. My faculty mentor supported my interests and made sure that I had all the resources I needed to conduct interesting research projects. I felt very prepared for any career after school, and have since started applying what I have learned to meaningful community research. I would recommend WKU Psych Sciences to anybody who was thinking about attending!

Dalton Bailey, Class of 2022

Read More Student Spotlights
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  • (270) 745-3918
  • psychsciences@wku.edu
  • Western Kentucky University
    Kelly Thompson Hall 1039
    Bowling Green, KY 42101


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 Last Modified 5/3/24