at a glance

Major icon MAJOR Minor icon MINOR

Explore the relation between the psychological theories of human action, mental processes and behavior and how these fit into our understanding of the human person in the perennial philosophy and Catholic theology. Develop an understanding of research methodology within the field of psychology to prepare for graduate and professional study in a number of disciplines. High-achieving students will be expected to conduct original research and provide detailed and reflective analysis.

Careers: Marriage and family therapist; mental health counselor; school psychologist; psychology or sociology teacher

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Thrive As You Help Others

A psychology degree from AMU will prepare you for a career in academics, marriage and family therapy, mental health counseling or psychology. You’ll also gain research, problem-solving and interpersonal skills that will help you in any career.

light bulbFast Fact: Psychology is one of the most popular majors at AMU.



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Skills you will gain with


  1. Interpersonal skills. Learn how to listen to, and empathize with, people struggling with emotional, psychological or behavioral issues. Work with them to find solutions to their problems.
  2. Research and critical thinking skills. Write research papers that involve delving deeper into psychology topics and learn how to compare different theories and approaches to mental and behavioral health.
  3. Understand how your own mind works. Gain insight into your mindset, emotions and anxieties. Recognition of our individual psychological struggles, big or small, is a necessary step toward personal wholeness.
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A look into the


Have you ever wondered about human nature and asked yourself, who are we, why do we act as we do, how do we change over time, what makes us unique? Are we personal subjects (minds) or objects (bodies)? Are our actions freely chosen or determined? Are we governed by reason or emotion? Are we influenced more by heredity (nature) or environment (nurture)? Is the difference between humans and animals merely quantitative or truly qualitative? Is human nature basically good or basically evil? Are we limited by our past or called by our future?

Do you like to solve problems or analyze data? Do you enjoy helping people? Are you fascinated by human thoughts, emotions and behaviors? Would you like to prepare for a career in mental health, such as psychology, counseling, social work or marriage and family therapy? Or might you wish to develop skills in pursuit of a related career, such as human services, health care, education, business or law?

If any of this sounds interesting to you, consider becoming a psychology major at Ave Maria University!

Keith Houde, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology

Keith HoudeEducation: B.A., Psychology & Theology, Franciscan University; M.A., Psychology, Duquesne University; M.A., Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary; Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary
Office: Prince 106
Phone: (239) 280-1665

Mary Hunt, Ph.D. candidate

Assistant Professor of Business & Psychology

Mary HuntEducation: B.A., Political Science & Spanish, Wellesley College; M.B.A., Marketing, Washington University; M.S., Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Illinois Institute of Technology; Ph.D. (candidate), Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Illinois Institute of Technology
Office: Henkels 2030
Phone: (239) 304-7128

Stefanie Morris, Ph.D.

Chair of the Psychology Department, Associate Professor of Psychology

Education: B.S., Psychology, Southern Nazarene University; M.Psy., Psychology, University of Dallas; M.S., Psychology, Oklahoma State University; Ph.D., Psychology, Oklahoma State University
Office: Prince 110
Phone: (239) 280-1552

Timothy Reilly, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Timothy ReillyEducation: B.A., Psychology, Indiana University; Ph.D., Education, Stanford University
Office: Prince 108
Phone: (239) 304-7930

  • Psychology is one of the largest majors at Ave Maria University.
  • Psychology Senior Internships are available through: Catholic Charities of Collier County; the David Lawrence Center (community mental health addiction recovery and prevention education); community pregnancy clinics; and Naples Equestrian Challenge (equine-assisted therapy). Additional affiliations are being developed.
  • Students interested in sport psychology have had the opportunity to meet with sport psychology staff members with the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins during baseball spring training baseball in the Florida Grapefruit League.

In addition to the core curriculum, psychology majors take the following courses:

Required Core Courses in the Natural Sciences

  • BIOL 201 and BIOL 202; or BIOL 211 and BIOL 212; or BIOL 304 and BIOL 309 (or approved equivalents)

Required Courses for the Major

  • PSYC 201 Principles and Methods of Psychology
  • PSYC 205 Foundations of Psychology as a Human Science
  • PSYC 230 Applied Statistics for Psychology
  • PSYC 301 Human Development and Learning
  • PSYC 305 Research Methods and Design
  • PSYC 317 Psychopathology
  • PSYC 425 Cognitive Neuroscience
  • PSYC 490 History and Systems of Psychology: Senior Seminar
  • Elective Major Courses (three required)
Click the button to view our typical 4-year plan.


The following internship opportunities are available for psychology majors:

Catholic Charities of Collier County: Family Resource Center (Direct Assistance Program)

Community Pregnancy Clinics: Unplanned Pregnancy Services

David Lawrence Centers: Crossroads Addiction and Recovery Services

David Lawrence Centers: Prevention Education Program

Naples Equestrian Challenge: Equine-Assisted Therapy


Please visit O*NET Online for detailed information on occupations in psychology and related fields:

PSYC 201 Principles and Methods of Psychology
PSYC 205 Foundations of Psychology as a Human Science
PSYC 301 Human Development and Learning
PSYC 317 Psychopathology
2 Psychology Electives (8 credits)

More to help you


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Career Services prides itself on providing students, alumni and employers with the opportunity to connect. No matter where you are in your career search, whether it’s deciding on a path, preparing for your first job interview or working on graduate school or fellowship applications, we can help.

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Catholic Culture

The spiritual life on campus is the beating heart of Ave. Whether it’s attending Mass, receiving the sacraments, participating in retreats or getting spiritual direction, you’ll find the spiritual support you need from the priests and staff of Campus Ministry.

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With AMU’s core curriculum, you’ll not only achieve breadth of knowledge, but also depth of knowledge. You’ll encounter the truth about God and His creation more completely through the dynamic interplay of all of the liberal arts, including theology and natural science.

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Sunny skies, warm temperatures, a beautiful campus. What more could you want? How about a community-like atmosphere, quality instructors who care about your success, a wealth of spiritual activities, expert career guidance… and that’s only the beginning. Imagine your future at AMU. It all starts by filling out our free application today.


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