A small group of students and a professor sit at desks arranged in a circle, huge windows behind them


If you are looking for a career where you can make an impact on the mental health and overall well-being of others, psychology may be the best major for you.

Why Saint Martin's University?

Note: Psychology is offered in-person at the main (Lacey) campus; it is offered via online at Saint Martin's-JBLM campus.

Psychology at Saint Martin's structures coursework, research experience, and field placements to integrate experiential learning with rigorous study of psychology, closely aligned with the Benedictine principle of service to others. The program's curriculum builds on common foundation courses with upper-division study across clinical/counseling, experimental, and cultural competency course clusters. This developmental curriculum allows students to specialize in an area of interest or diversify their study, while also giving students the skills and self-confidence to use a variety of perspectives in their work with people.

  • Faculty exclusively staffed by clinical and experimental professionals. All faculty are trained as researchers; clinical faculty are also practitioners.
  • One 15-week required internship (research track or applied track) for all majors.
  • Empirical Research Concentration for students who complete a year of research with faculty or supervised independent research.
  • Students have the opportunity to carry out independent research in the empirical senior thesis sequence. These research projects are generated and carried out by students as the primary investigators, with faculty supervision.
  • Approximately 60 percent of graduates move directly into entry-level social service positions. Remaining graduates pursue advanced degrees in clinical/counseling psychology, social work, data analysis, and experimental psychology.
  • Participation in Psi Chi, the psychology honor society for exceptional students.
  • Student leadership opportunities through Saint Martin's Psychology Club.
  • Students are encouraged to attend and present at conferences.


All majors complete a one-semester internship, and many students pursue internship work longer than one semester. Students can do applied internships in field settings, or research internships working on faculty research. Students in the applied internship select opportunities consistent with their own interests, and in a variety of settings. These include school counseling, youth outreach, parent and family support, juvenile and adult corrections, drug and alcohol counseling, youth recreation leadership, mental health counseling, case management, social welfare casework, elder services, halfway house and shelter work, vocational rehabilitation, and personnel work. 

Applied internship locations include:

  • Community Mental Health Centers
  • Correctional facilities
  • Military/JBLM
  • Thurston County prosecutor's office
  • Crisis Clinics
  • Haven House

Applied Internship Agreement What is the psychology internship requirement?

Research internship opportunities include:

Students have the option of pursuing a year-long senior capstone project in which they act as the primary investigator and carry out their own independent psychological research under faculty supervision. Students who complete this sequence or a year of research internship qualify for the Empirical Research Concentration in the major.

Saint Martin’s psychology students regularly present their independent research (senior capstone projects) and co-authored research with faculty at such venues as:

  • Western Psychological Association
  • Society for Research in Child Development

What is the Psychology senior capstone? 

Psychology Requirements

Details on courses, including university core requirements, can be found in the academic catalog

Psychology major checklist 

  • 11 credit hours of lower-division courses
  • 12 credit hours of upper-division courses

Psychology minor checklist 

Psychology at a Glance

Bachelor of Arts
Program Type
Main (Lacey)
Saint Martin's-JBLM
Type of Instruction
In Person
College of Arts and Sciences
What can I do with this major?

Academic excellence

Learn more about the College of Arts and Sciences

Transformative Outcomes Icon Transformative Outcomes Transformative Outcomes Icon

Transformative Outcomes

Career paths

  • Mental health services
  • Law enforcement
  • Teaching
  • Art or music therapy
  • Crisis work
  • Labor relations
  • Business
  • Law school
  • Banking
  • Physical therapy and occupational therapy programs
  • Social work
Supportive Community Icon Supportive Community Supportive Community Icon

Supportive Community


Contact us

College of Arts and Sciences

Spanning the arts, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences, and characterized by an educational environment that is both rigorous and supportive, the College of Arts and Sciences offers 20 undergraduate major programs and 20 minor programs.