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Department of Psychological Science

Are you fascinated by human psychology and hoping to join a centuries-long tradition of scientific inquiry? Join the Department of Psychological Science at the University of Central Missouri to study the human mind and find your path to a successful career.

The Department of Psychological Science offers several degree paths

  • Bachelor of Arts: If you’re interested in psychology but not looking for a career in the field itself, a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology is ideal for you. You’ll build a strong foundation in research and writing skills that can help you in a huge range of careers.
  • Bachelor of Science: If, on the other hand, you want to pursue a Psychology MS degree or Ph.D. in Psychology or a related area, our Bachelor of Science in Psychology will prepare you for success with plenty of research and lab experience.

Our Vision

We strive to offer a comprehensive educational experience, grounded in psychological science, by offering student-engaged learning opportunities that help you understand and apply psychological knowledge.

Our Mission

We are committed to preparing  you and our diverse body of students to apply skills and knowledge from the discipline of psychology in a changing world.  We provide you with a contemporary and comprehensive curriculum, grounded in psychological science, with opportunities for personalized educational experiences and the use of relevant technology.  We prepare you for employment in a variety of fields as well as admission to graduate and professional programs.

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Ellie Hwang, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology
Program Coordinator
Lovinger 1204
Tel: 660-543-8911

College of Health, Science and Technology

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BA Psychology Curriculum Map

BS Psychology Curriculum Map

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95% department placement rate within 6 months

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Flexible course delivery

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Cutting-edge facilities

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Valuable research opportunities

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Experienced faculty

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Engaged student and faculty community

Find your Psychology future at UCM

Dive into learning about the mind in UCM’s Psychology programs designed to put students first.

  • Distinguished faculty: Thanks to our small student-to-faculty ratio, you’ll enjoy many chances to work closely with faculty who specialize in a wide variety of topics, including cognitive psychology, counseling psychology, social psychology, school psychology and human experimental psychology. Some of your faculty members are practicing licensed psychologists of clinical psychology or behavior analysis.
  • Research opportunities: Whether you’re an undergraduate or graduate student, we offer exciting opportunities to participate in state-of-the-art research in our many specialized labs. These include a behavioral medicine and biofeedback lab, an eye-tracking lab and a neurocognition lab. UCM was the first psychology department in the country to incorporate VR technology into the undergraduate curriculum, giving students the chance to study the human brain from an unprecedented viewpoint.
  • Accessible courses: Earning a degree from UCM’s Department of Psychological Science has never been easier. It doesn’t matter if you’re a working professional or a freshman: Our in-person, online and hybrid courses let you create a plan of study that works around your busy life schedule.


What can you do with a degree in one of UCM’s Department of Psychological Science programs?

The intricacies of the human brain remain a great mystery. Despite learning so much over many decades of research into the inner workings of the mind, there’s a lot we still don’t know. A degree from one of the programs in UCM’s Department of Psychological Science will give you the tools and resources to begin investigating the parts of the brain and mind that most interest you. The skills and knowledge you’ll gain in our Psychology programs can also help you stand out in a broad range of career fields. In fact, we boast a 95% placement rate for our graduates, thanks in large part to their expertise and experience.

Maybe you’ve never considered it, but earning a degree in Psychology can help you prepare for jobs in business, human resources, law, journalism or marketing — to name just a few of your options. You’ll also be prepared to excel in a graduate program diving deeper into this complex and compelling field. The research and lab experience you’ll enjoy at UCM will ensure that you enter graduate school or a career with confidence in yourself and your skills. 

Our graduate program in Behavior Analysis provides you with the advanced mastery of research and clinical techniques to become a skilled and empathetic professional. With hours of clinical practice, you’ll graduate ready to help others live healthier, more fulfilling lives.


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Undergraduate Majors and Minors


Research Labs

Behavioral Medicine and Biofeedback Laboratory - This laboratory provides students with the opportunity to conduct basic and applied research related to behavioral assessment and treatment of biomedical disorders (e.g., headache, chronic pain, Parkinson's Disease). State of the art, eight-channel computer-based and stand-alone equipment for biomonitoring and biofeedback of cardiac, electrodermal, electromyographic, and peripheral temperature response modalities is available. Contact: Dr. Lundervold.

Experimental Psychology Laboratory - This lab is used for conducting research in a variety of areas in experimental psychology, including cognition, perception, psycholinguistics, and social psychology. This includes research designed by students enrolled in the Research Design & Analysis I and II courses as well as individual student projects under faculty supervision, research done for master's theses, and research designed by faculty with student research assistants collecting data. Contact: Dr. Hwang.

Eye Tracking Laboratory - The lab is equipped to track users' gaze patterns and correlate where they are looking on the computer screen with the information presented on the screen. Eyetracking has been used extensively in a variety of industries including driving, advertising, psychology, and many others. Contact: Dr. Carter.

Neurocognition Laboratory- This resource is equipped to measure and analyze a variety of biosignals including brain activity (EEG), eye movements(EOG), heart activity (EKG), and skin conductance (SCR) among others.  Equipment also exists to perform comprehensive eye examinations.  Recent and current projects in the lab involve examining brain activity as it relates to various memory and emotional processes as well as the effects of visual deficits on cognitive functioning. Contact: Dr. Ament.

Virtual Reality Laboratory- This resource utilizes a computer with virtual reality software along with goggles, platform, and a scent module. The laboratory can create virtual environments that simulate flying in an aircraft, public speaking, heights, and other scenarios. UCM was the first Psychology department in the country to incorporate VR technology into the undergraduate curriculum, where it is used to improve understanding of treatment methods for anxiety disorders and substance cravings. Contact: Dr. Kreiner

Student Organizations

Psychology Club

Calling all undergraduate and graduate students interested in psychology! The Psychology Club is looking for new members and dues are only $5 per semester or $10 per year. Any student with an interest in Psychology is eligible to join. The Psychology Club meets twice a month in conjunction with the UCM Chapter of Psi Chi. Psychology Club is active in fundraising and sponsors several social events, guest speakers, and field trips. Please contact one of the officers or the faculty advisor, Dr. Hwang, if you have any questions.

President - Grant Decker
Vice President - Cory Burton
Secretary - Emily Burgess
Treasurer - Grant Decker
Historian - Daria Wilson

Psi Chi

Psi Chi is the International Honor Society in Psychology. The purpose of this organization is to encourage, stimulate, and maintain excellence in scholarship of members and to advance the science of psychology.

Membership benefits include national recognition, leadership development, and identification with psychology as a discipline. There are numerous awards and grants that are available to Psi Chi members. For more information, please see the Psi Chi website or contact one of the faculty advisors,  Dr. Kreiner or Dr. Schuetz.

President - Grant Decker
Vice President - Cory Burton
Secretary - Emily Burgess
Treasurer- Mia Seagraves
Historian - Daria Wilson

Because Psi Chi is an honor society, individuals must have outstanding academic records in order to become members. The Psi Chi organization has established standards to which our chapter must adhere. Within the first month or so of each semester, we work with the office staff to determine who meets the criteria to join. Eligible students will receive an email inviting them to join.

Undergraduate students must be Psychology majors or minors enrolled at UCM and have completed three semesters of college coursework (with at least 9 hours in psychology). In addition, undergraduates must rank in the upper 35% of their class in overall, cumulative GPA. Undergraduates must also have a minimum Psychology GPA of 3.0. Graduate students must be enrolled in the Psychology Master's program at UCM and have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all graduate courses to be eligible.

The UCM chapter of Psi Chi participates in numerous service projects. For instance, the chapter provides free tutoring to any UCM student experiencing difficulty in a Psychology course. Our chapter regularly raises funds and supplies for local charities. We do highway cleanup for a stretch of road in the Warrensburg area (Route 13 bypass).

We have been successful in hosting guest speakers both at regular meetings and at special events. The chapter has been able to provide travel funding to several Psi Chi members for presenting their research at conferences.

Behavior Analysis Club

The Behavior Analysis Club is an approved university organization within the Department of Psychological Science. The purpose of the Behavior Analysis Club is to: (a) inform students about Behavior Analysis and what the field has to offer in terms of careers, (b) learn about current research and applications of behavior analysis, (c) create a forum for formal and informal discussions about Behavior Analysis to further the science of behavior, and (d) serve as a philanthropic organization. Members have the opportunity to network with future employers, participate in research forums, gain leadership experience, attend conferences, and participate in campus events.

How to Join the Behavior Analysis Club: 
Any UCM student in the Department of Psychological Sciences, both undergraduate and graduate, may be a member. A yearly membership fee of $10 is required. Members of the Behavior Analysis Club will receive a T-Shirt or similar emblem/article. Members will vote on the type and design of the emblem/article for that year. To join the club please contact the club president or faculty advisor.

Faculty Advisor - Dr. Duane A. Lundervold, BCBA-D, LPC
President - Wendy Hayworth
Vice President - Taya Riediger
Secretary - Sydney Skibell
Treasurer - Sydney Skibell
Historian - Lindsey Hillhouse


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