As an NSU psychology major, you'll enhance your knowledge of human behavior and mental health.

    About The Program
    If you’re driven to learn more about the human mind, a psychology major at NSU is for you. Our psychology department offers a wide range of courses to ensure you’re well-prepared to apply your studies in the real world. Our professors apply a diverse approach, ranging from the academic rigor of the scientific method to the development of theoretical perspectives and sound scientific philosophies.
    Also, as an NSU psychology major, you are now eligible for priority admission into Northern's counseling master’s program!
    Wondering if this program is for you?

    This program might be a good fit for you if you:

    • Have excellent oral and written communication skills
    • Are skilled at observing, analyzing and interpreting information
    • Demonstrate concern for and sensitivity to others
    • Are able to resolve or mediate conflicts
    • Have strong criticial and inferential thinking skills
    • Are good at problem-solving and decision-making
    • Engage in ethical practice
    • Are a good listener
    • Are good at problem-solving and decision-making
    With a degree in psychology, you will be well prepared to serve in a variety of professions, including:
    • Community and social service worker
    • Advertising assistant
    • Caseworker
    • Community relations representative
    • Crisis intervention counselor
    • Human resources
    • Personnel management/supervisor
    • Law enforcement officer
    • Educator
    • Mental health coordinator
    • Television/media research

    At Northern, we believe getting you out of the classroom and into a real-world workplace setting is a critical part of your education. NSU psychology students have interned with several regional social service providers, including New Beginnings CenterSafe Harbor, Lutheran Social Services and Aspire. Learn more about opportunities for internships and other forms of experiential learning at School of Education!


    The NSU WolfPACT is the highest guaranteed, four-year scholarship in the region. But that isn't the only scholarship available at Northern. Visit School of Education Scholarships for more scholarship opportunities! For details, please call the School of Education at 605-626-2415.

    Sample Plans of Study
    Study Abroad

    Experience the world while earning your degree through NSU Study Abroad! With hundreds of opportunities available around the globe, Northern can make your study abroad dream become a reality. Learn more at Study Abroad!

    Student Research

    At Northern, you'll have the chance to conduct cutting-edge research that can have real-world impacts - while still an undergraduate student. Now with our brand new, state-of-the-art Jewett Regional Science Education Center, the sky is truly the limit. Learn more at Student Research!

    Contact Information

    Ready to take the next step? Contact us today:

    Want to learn more about living and learning at Northern? Contact NSU Admissions today 605-626-2544 or!


    Still unsure of a major? We can help! Contact Career Services at 605-626-3007 or

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    Chair, NSU Institutional Review Board


    Ph.D., M.A., Wichita State University

    M.S., Fort Hays State University

    B.A., Washburn University

    B.S., Kansas State University




    Dr. Jeffrey Howard joined NSU's faculty in 2009. He received a Ph.D. degree in human factors psychology from Wichita State University, Wichita, Kan., in 2007; an M.A. degree in experimental psychology from Wichita State University in 2004; an M.S. degree in clinical psychology from Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kan., in 2001; a B.A. degree in psychology from Washburn University, Topeka, Kan., in 1999; and a B.S. degree in radio/TV journalism from Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan., in 1990.


    Research Interests

    Music cognition

    Ph.D., Counselor Education and Supervision, Lindsey Wilson College (2023) 
    Master of Arts, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Pentecostal Theological Seminary (2019) 
    Bachelor of Arts, Intercultural Studies, Lee University (2014) 


    Dr. Jia has experience as an inpatient behavioral therapist in a psychiatric hospital. He also has experience in grief and bereavement counseling. Dr. Jia worked as a graduate assistant to prepare students for their practicum and internship for two years during his doctoral studies. He has also served as co-instructor at Lindsey Wilson College and Mongolia International University. 

    Research Interests: 

    • Supervision 
    • Career development 
    • Counselor wellness 
    • Cross-cultural counseling 
    • Addiction 
    • Mental health and faith 
    • International students 


    Professional Organizations: 

    Ph.D., Counselor Education and Supervision, animal-assisted interventions, State University of New York at Buffalo (2022)

    Master of Science, School Counseling, Canisius College (2011)

    Bachelor of Science, Hospitality Administration, State University of New York at Buffalo State College (2008)


    Dr. Chris Puglisi has experience as a school counselor at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, working with a diverse population and in several classroom settings. He has also worked as a counselor in the Upward Bound Program at Penn State University, an adjunct instructor at several colleges and universities in Western New York, and as a life skills trainer for people with developmental disabilities. He has engaged in advocacy for students with special needs and is a certified school counselor in the state of New York.


    Research Interests

    Animal-assisted interventions

    Animal-assisted therapy


    Ph.D. University of Kansas, 2021
    M.S. University of Kansas, 2018
    Dr. Qiao joined NSU in 2021. She earned a Ph.D. in 2021 and a master’s degree in 2018 from University of Kansas, with a specialization in development and learning. Her research has focused on developmental and cultural issues related to bullying, such as peer influences, empathy skills, teacher-student relationship, organizational climate, and cognitive, emotional, and professional influences of bullying, responses towards bullying, coping with bullying, and institutional policy on bullying.
    Courses Taught
    PSYC 101 General Psychology
    PSYC 221 Lifespan Developmental Psychology
    PSYC 300 Introduction to Scientific Psychology
    PSYC 304 History of Psychological Ethics
    PSYC 325 Child and Adolescent Development
    PSYC 451 Psychology of Abnormal Behavior
    PSYC 492/…
    M.S.Ed. Counseling, Northern State University
    B.S. Psychology, Northern State University
    Heather Scott is completing her Ph.D. in psychology with specialization in the integration of technology, learning, and psychology from Grand Canyon University. She has served as a professional in higher education for nearly 20 years in a variety of administrative roles that include assistant vice president for academics, director of institutional research, and director of assessment. She has extensive experience working with and preparing documentation for specialized programmatic and regional accreditation organizations. Ms. Scott served as one of two graduate student ambassadors for the American Psychological Association (APA), Division 15 from her university. Ms. Scott’s primary research focus is on the role of metacognition and self-regulation in distance education.
    Research Interests