Angelique Long and Mentees at Jazmans

Why Psychology?

A psychology degree is not only for people who want to “do therapy” but to anyone who is interested in understanding the roots of human behavior and applying that knowledge to help people adopt behaviors and structure environments that will increase their longevity, performance, and quality of life.

With your undergraduate degree, you might work as a Human Resourses Professional using your knowledge to help increase workplace satisfaction, as a Research Assistant working with Psychologists to develop new knowledge about the validity of eye witness testimony or the brain mechanisms responsible for addiction to social media.  You might also opt for a more direct service position such as being a Caseworker for people trying to get back on their feet after an extended hospital stay or job loss or as the Director of a Youth Development Program.

A background in psychology is useful for those who intend to attend graduate school in Psychology or a related field (Counseling, Social Work, and Applied Behavior Analysis) as well as for those who hope to enter many professional schools as well.  What doctor, lawyer or business person would not benefit from understanding people’s perceptions, motivations, and understandings?   Joint majors and/or minors with Chemistry and Criminal Justice are two common examples of the ways people prepare themselves to apply to these professional programs.

Why Study Psychology at UMKC?

Our acclaimed faculty members are excellent teachers, researchers and community advocates. They consistently garner very high student teaching evaluations and many have won teaching and/or mentoring awards. Each year, we mentor approximately 60 undergraduate students  on research projects or in practicum sites! Not sure what you want to do? Our Orientation to the Major course will get you started and our Careers in Psychology class will help you hone your post graduate plans. Interested in graduate school? We’ve got you covered with a full-time advising office staffed with caring people who will make sure you are gaining the experiences you need.

Our faculty’s research  explores a wide range of questions including:

  • How to help children regulate their emotions and live satisfying lives?
  • How do we reduce the risk of mental health problems among those who have been victims of violence either as children or later in life?
  • Can psychological interventions help with chronic pain experienced by people with chronic diseases?

As a student in our program, you can gain experience researching these questions and perhaps develop and answer a question of your own!

We are also extremely involved in the local community and have many opportunities for students to engage as well. For example, Dr. Joan McDowd, won the University of Missouri Presidential award for Community Service focused on Healthy Aging. She has teams of undergraduates working alongside her on all of her projects. Along with these opportunities are two active student organizations, Psi-Chi and Psychology Club that allow you to network and learn in more informal settings.