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Psychology Major

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Why Study Psychology?

Psychology is an exciting, diverse field that applies to all parts of the human experience. Psychologists study behavior at all levels, from the actions of large groups to the chemical processes occurring in individual brain cells. Students who study psychology gain a deeper understanding of themselves and those around them. They become better communicators, develop critical thinking skills, and are better prepared to interact with colleagues, no matter their profession.

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Why Study Psychology at Eastern?

Eastern’s Psychology program provides a solid scientific background for students seeking a research, teaching or service career in the behavioral science or mental health fields. Through coursework and extensive applied learning experiences, psychology majors develop an understanding of the diversity of human behavior and the variables that influence it. Students receive a firm grounding in the science of psychology, including courses in research methods and statistics, from faculty whose own research reflects the breadth and diversity within the field. Six concentrations in Behavior Analysis, Cognitive Neuroscience, Developmental Psychology, General Psychology, Industrial-Organizational Psychology, and Mental Health Counseling allow students to focus their studies in preparation for graduate school or employment. A Psychology minor is also available.

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  • The General Psychology concentration in the Psychology major provides students with a broad selection of psychology courses, including developmental psychology, learning and cognition, biological bases of behavior and group psychology.

    View General Psychology Details

  • Careers ranging from working with children with autism to serving as a behavior therapist are available to students who pursue a concentration in Behavior Analysis within the Psychology major. The concentration is certified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.

    View Behavior Analysis Details

  • This curriculum is chosen by students who want a strong training in neuroscience and cognitive research methods. It is appropriate for students who desire to continue their education at the graduate level to work in health care, social assistance, research, or professional, scientific, or technical services.

    View Cognitive Neuroscience Details

  • The Developmental Psychology concentration within the Psychology major offers a strong foundation in current theory and empirical research in physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development. The program is ideal for students planning careers in areas such as child and family advocacy, school psychology, or developmental or intellectual disability assessment.

    View Developmental Psychology Details

  • The Industrial Organizational Psychology concentration in the Psychology major teaches students to apply psychological principles in the workplace that enable them to recruit, hire, train, appraise, lead and motivate employees, as well as how to work within and facilitate groups and teams.

    View Industrial-Organizational Psychology Details

  • The Mental Health Counseling concentration in the Psychology major teaches students evidence-based assessment, diagnosis and intervention in mental health, as well as practices that promote adaptation and well-being.

    View Mental Health Counseling Details

Salary Potential


Median salary, Psychologist


Salary range

* U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Hands-on Learning

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NSF-Funded Research

All Psychology students are required to conduct research projects and have opportunities to work in one of seven research labs directed by faculty members. In addition, a number of Eastern students have received National Science Foundation fellowships for their work.

Student giving research presentation

Summer Research Institutes

Other opportunities include a Summer Research Institute, as well as faculty-supervised internships and field experiences at more than 50 community.

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Global Field Courses

The department also regularly offers global field courses ranging in topics from health psychology to history of psychology and attraction in Nepal, London, Ireland and Hawaii.

Career Options

Students who pursue undergraduate degrees in Psychology can have rewarding and successful careers in a variety of professional fields, including:

  • Behavior Analyst
  • Correctional Officer
  • Drug/Substance Abuse Counselor
  • Family Service Worker
  • Hospital Patient Service Advocate
  • Human Resources Specialist/Manager
  • Residential Youth Counselor
  • School Psychologist
  • Social Service Director
  • Veterans’ Advisor

Successful Alumni

Recent Eastern students who earned a bachelor’s degree or a minor in psychology are at the following companies and graduate schools:

  • Aetna
  • Beacon Services of Connecticut
  • College of William and Mary
  • Connecticut Department of Children and Families
  • Gilead Community Services
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • NYC Health +Hospitals
  • State of CT Department of Children and Families
  • Veterans Administration
  • Yale University Oncology Research
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For more information
(860) 465-0214

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News Feed

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Eastern inducts hundreds into honor societies in spring 2024

May 16, 2024

More than 20 academic programs and departments at Eastern Connecticut State University recognized student achievements this spring 2024 semester during honor society inductions and award ceremonies.

Chris Krebs teaches class

Psychology recognized for behavior analysis program

February 15, 2024

A new recognition for the behavior analysis concentration in Eastern Connecticut State University’s Psychology Department is “a real mark of distinction for the University” and will attract incoming students to the program, said James Diller, professor and department head.

Best Poster winners

Psychology students recognized for posters at research event

December 12, 2023

Six psychology students at Eastern Connecticut State University were recently recognized for the quality of their research posters, and senior Ali Junior Ezedine presented his research at a conference. Timothy Jacques, Kaylee Drobish, Victoria Janosi, Kylie Rataic, Stacie Kinlen and Samantha Shatas won “best poster” awards at the fall 2023 Psychological Science Research Event.

Alumni Testimonials

Molly Rathbun ’12
Trinity Head Coach

Molly Rathbun ’12

A four-time Division III softball All-American, Molly is the new head softball coach at Trinity College. “Being a student-athlete has shaped me into the best version of myself and has made me realize my passion for helping others to do the same. I learned commitment and camaraderie and the importance of staying in the moment and focusing on the little things.”

Amanda Brycki ’05

Amanda Brycki ’05

Amanda is Director of Behavioral Health at Wood River Health Services. “The faculty at Eastern instilled confidence in me that I could pursue a successful career in psychology following graduation. They gave me guidance on what strategies to use to get into graduate school, how to sort through programs and what classes to take.”

Kaitlyn Murphy ’16
Elementary Education and Psychology

Kaitlyn Murphy ’16

Kaitlyn is pursuing a master’s degree in early childhood education with cross-certification in special education at Central Connecticut State University. “My experience at Eastern was wonderful. The classes I took helped me to better understand the special education field and how to incorporate research into my love for teaching.”

Kristin Hambidge ’07

Kristin Hambidge ’07

Psychology major Kristin Hambidge is a psychologist at MedOptions and the University of Connecticut. “At Eastern, I completed an internship at a local psychiatric hospital, which was my first experience providing direct clinical services for those with mental health concerns. Eastern’s psychology faculty always made me feel welcome and supported in my academic and professional endeavors.”

Jennifer Laney ’09

Jennifer Laney ’09

Jennifer is an adjunct psychology professor at Eastern Connecticut State University and the University of Connecticut. “My experience in Eastern’s psychology department has profoundly influenced my work ethic and teaching style. My professors challenged me to be the best version of myself in an environment that was both academically rigorous and empathetic. I strive to create this balance for my own students.”

Nicole Ciccarelli

Nicole Ciccarelli ’24

Noelle interned at Windham Center School and Canterbury Elementary School in spring 2022. She hopes to offer support to children in schools as a school psychologist or social worker. “The whole point of completing an internship is to learn. As long as you are doing your best and know who to go to when you are having difficulties, then you are doing everything right.”

Abigail Bourdon
Dual Language Researcher

Abigail Bourdon ’22

Abigail’s research on the play of dual language preschoolers was published in a peer-reviewed journal. “I am lucky to not only have learned throughout the experience, but also grateful to have expanded the field of education. Having the opportunity to participate in research was one of the best parts of Eastern and it confirmed my passion to continue to teach and learn about children’s development.”

Fatima Godina

Fatima Godina ’22

Fatima co-authored a published article on dual language learners in preschool classrooms. “As a dual language learner myself, it was really interesting to be part of this study. This experience really sparked an interest in the field of research. I love learning, and I think that’s one of the main things that you do as a researcher — you just never stop learning.”

Sumah Confer ’20
Behavior Technician

Sumah Confer ’20

Psychology major Sumah Confer ’20 is a paraprofessional at Chesapeake Bay Academy in Virginia. She was the lead researcher on a published article that analyzes anti-vaccination practices and offers strategies to encourage vaccination among vaccine-hesitant groups. The faculty-supported project was published in the journal “Behavior and Social Issues” by the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI).

Ana Skarzynski
Licensed Realtor

Ana Skarzynski ’19

Ana worked as a marketing intern with Chartwells Food Service while at Eastern. With aspirations for a career in marketing, the internship allowed her to plan and promote events and put her advertising skills to the test. “I want to pursue marketing in the future; everything I learned here is beneficial. I am passionate about marketing and enjoy putting on events.” Ana is now a licensed real estate agent.

Sierra Nastasi

Sierra Nastasi ’22

Sierra presented research at the annual meeting of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society. “Close collaboration with faculty helped me to feel comfortable taking on the main role in the presentation, as well as gain the skills and confidence that will aid me in my future aspirations and independent research.” She is pursuing a master’s degree in psychology and teaches history at Westerly (RI) High School.

Paige Iverson
Behavior Analyst

Paige Iverson ’21

Paige is a board-certified behavior analyst at the Center for Children with Special Needs. “Eastern’s psychology faculty made themselves accessible inside and outside of class, something I will be forever grateful for. The internship was especially helpful in solidifying my decision to follow the Board Certified Behavior Analyst track.” Paige earned her M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis in 2022.

Marlana Carroll ’11
Marketing Consultant

Marlana Carroll ’11

Psychology major Marlana Carroll is an inbound marketing consultant with Vital Design, an Internet marketing agency in Portsmouth, NH. “There are endless opportunities to get involved at Eastern! I worked on campus and was a part of eight organizations. I discovered what drove me to become the marketing professional I am today.”

Abigail Caselli ’17
Social Psychologist

Abigail Caselli ’17

Psychology major Abigail Caselli is an assistant professor of psychology at Western New England University. She earned her doctorate in social psychology at Syracuse University. “Being involved in undergraduate research was the best decision I made at Eastern. I presented at research conferences and developed a resume that helped me get accepted into graduate school.”

Eric Cerino ’14

Eric Cerino ’14

Eric earned his doctorate at Oregon State and is now a postdoctoral fellow at Penn State. “The willingness of Eastern’s psychology faculty to invest in every student’s success made it easy for me to develop a passion for research and apply my training to real-world situations. I had the best of both worlds — an opportunity to research with experts in the field while learning in an intimate setting.”

Katherine Rettie ’13
Resident Director

Katherine Rettie ’13

Psychology major and Women’s Studies minor Katherine Rettie is assistant director in the Office of Community Standards and Conflict Resolution at Berklee College of Music. “Women’s studies showed me how identity shapes how we experience the world around us. This is very relevant to my line of work as I interact with a diverse group of students; being aware of how identities affect experience is essential.”