Psychology majors at Mount St. Joseph University investigate human behavior and mental processes in a discipline that employers value.


The psychology program provides excellent preparation for careers in mental health, child development, psychological research, human resources, education and more. This major is also a strong choice for students who plan to pursue graduate school in psychology or related fields, such as law, social work or physical therapy.  The major focuses on the theories, research techniques, and applications of the scientific study of human behavior and mental processes, as we emphasize development of critical thinking and research skills.

Why Choose the Mount for Psychology?

A Place Where Psychology Students Climb Higher:

  • MSJ Psychology seniors have won numerous regional and national awards from Psi Chi (the psychology national honor society) for presenting exceptional research at professional conferences.
  • MSJ Psychology students can work at a variety of co-op placements, including the #3 ranked hospital in the nation (Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center).
  • MSJ Psychology students can shape their education by pursuing their own passions. Current projects include Autism Awareness and investigation into Misophonia.
In the summer before my sophomore year, I got to do a practicum at Children's Hospital and it was a really neat experience. I got to observe a clinical psychologist and their daily operations, and score the diagnostic tests they give to clients, patients, and their families. I collaborated with students from different psychology programs in the Cincinnati area. And I also got to do a project researching the link between autism and sensory processing disorder. Amber Reinert '21

My second co-op was at Mount St. Joseph in the Human Resources Department. In this co-op, I helped develop a mentor program for staff and faculty at the Mount, where those who are more senior can help the people earlier on in their careers. I helped developed the general idea, researched what other organizations are doing in this area, and drafted training sessions for the mentors. I also worked on projects to improve diversity and inclusion at MSJ, and researched federal work-study opportunities for students.

Lacey Bickett '21

Career and Co-op Potential

  Hands-On Experience

Students gain valuable experience with the Mount’s extensive cooperative education and internship programs. Many students receive job offers as a result of their co-op experiences. Gain valuable experience and earn money with the Mount’s extensive cooperative education program. Co-op placements have included:

  • Assisting with group counseling in community mental health agencies
  • Coordinating clinical research in local hospitals
  • Providing education and support to children with developmental disabilities.

In our Senior Thesis course, students get to design and conduct their own research project, which they can present at a professional psychology conference where they can meet researchers from across the country and the world.  This experience gives our students a competitive advantage when they apply for jobs or graduate school.  For an example of a thesis project, see Taylor Weber describe her project

Hear what our Psychology students have to say about their co-op experiences:

  Career Potential

A survey of our recent psychology graduates showed that 100% of them had either obtained full-time employment or were pursuing graduate study.

Our psychology graduates have had incredible success in graduate school and in a variety of bachelors-degree careers, including:

  • Mental health specialist
  • Therapeutic service provider
  • Clinical research coordinator
  • Children's center supervisor
  • Pretrial officer
  • Human resources manager
  • Boys and girls club director
  • Professional recruiter

Students have pursued graduate degrees in clinical, school, and developmental psychology, as well as social work, law, and physical therapy. Visit our Alumni Careers webpage to see examples of our graduates’ careers.


Alumni Profile:

Dr. Debra Reisinger is Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics with a joint appointment in the Division of Child Development at the Indiana University School of Medicine and Riley Children's Hospital Child Development Center.  She obtained her Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of South Carolina, and she completed an internship at the prestigious Kennedy Krieger Institute and a postdoctoral fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. She is known for her research on neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., autism, fragile X syndrome). Dr. Reisinger believes the Mount's psychology program continuously challenged, inspired, and guided her toward her current career path in psychology. She says “the faculty were exceptionally supportive and knowledgeable,” and that she was able to develop excellent research, clinical, and practical skills in her classes, co-op, and practicum at the Mount.



  Health Professions Tracks

Psychology majors have the option of tailoring their coursework to pursue a variety of health professions other than traditional mental health professions, including the following (NOTE: These careers require specific prerequisite courses outside the psychology major as well as training beyond the bachelor’s degree)

  • Primary Care/Health Psychologist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Physical Therapist
  • Public Health Professional


Tim Lawson

Ph.D. Chairperson and Professor

Tracy McDonough

Ph.D. Professor

Jim Bodle

Ph.D. Professor

Kory Phelps

M.S., B.S. Instructor

Internationally Recognized Faculty:

  • Dr. Tim Lawson, Dr. Jim Bodle, & Dr. Tracy McDonough have all won MSJ’s top teaching award and Ohio magazine’s Excellence in Education award.
  • Dr. Lawson was recognized as one of the top psychology professors in country, winning the Robert S. Daniel Teaching Excellence Award from American Psychological Association.  Dr. Lawson’s research has received international recognition and has been cited in more than 180 other publications.  He is also recognized as one of the nation’s top contributors to the journal Teaching of Psychology.
  • Dr. Lawson & Dr. Bodle’s work on psychological critical thinking has been incorporated into the American Psychological Association’s Guidelines for the Undergraduate Psychology Major.
  • Dr. McDonough’s research with The Schizophrenia Oral History Project has been featured in The New York Times, U.S. News and World Report, the American Psychological Association’s Monitor on Psychology and several episodes of WVXU’s Cincinnati Edition. She has an international reputation for this distinctive project, collaborating with researchers in Europe and Asia.

Featured Courses

  Abnormal Psychology
This course covers characteristics, etiology and treatment of psychological and emotional problems. Students will develop a basic knowledge of psychopathology, and emphasis will be placed on reviewing treatments supported by current research. Throughout the course of the semester, students will also develop foundational skills in writing academic literature reviews.
  Biological Psychology
The physiological basis of behavior and mental processes. Includes neurophysiology, sense organs, neurotransmitters, and pathological maladies.
  Lifespan Development
A comprehensive study of human development from conception through death. Theories and research including physical, cognitive and psychosocial aspects of development.
  Cognition and Memory
In this course, students will examine the major ideas and theories regarding human cognition and memory. This will include Information Processing, Parallel Distributed Processing, Semantic Networks, Neural Networks, Fuzzy Set Theories, as well as both implicit and explicit approaches. Students will examine this material through class discussions, activities and research projects both in and out of class.
  Research I and II

An introduction to psychological research emphasizing ethics and the integration of research design and statistics. Observational, correlational and survey research are explored in conjunction with descriptive and inferential statistical analysis.


A continuation of PSY 375. Use of more advanced research designs and statistical methods. Includes experimental design, single-subject research, and quasi-experimental methods.

  Social Psychology
The study of how we think about, relate to and influence one another. Social perception, attitudes, social influence, prejudice, aggression, and attraction are examined.

Additional Resources

  Faculty and Staff

Tim Lawson
Chair, Professor

Jim Bodle

Tracy McDonough

Kory Phelps

Debra Reisinger
Adjunct Faculty

  News and Updates

Stay up to date with the most recent psychology program news and events; visit the Department of Psychology page. 

Visit our financial aid page to learn your options for scholarships, grants, and loans.

  Curriculum Guide

Department Page

Department of Psychology

Investigation of human behavior and mental processes