Psychology | Capital University, Columbus Ohio



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    • Decode the human mind. Demystify human behavior. Unlock human potential.

      Humans are complex. Our capacities range from the nonviolence and humanitarianism practiced by Ghandi, Mother Teresa and Dr. Martin Luther King to the brutality of Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot and Ted Bundy. At the root of all behavior is psychology, and understanding this specialized branch of science enables us to identify the feelings, fears and experiences that influence behavior. 

      what you'll learn

      Grasping the theory behind the science is only the beginning. Using the knowledge you acquire as a psychology major, and applying it in a range of social and professional contexts, can lead to a career with enormous impact—not only for you, but also for those you will help.

      Whether you’re analyzing and interpreting data, tackling issues of cultural and gender diversity, solving ethical dilemmas, or helping people overcome their own challenges, you will have the knowledge and experience necessary to make a difference in an ever-changing, but always human, world. Explore our program and course descriptions in our online course bulletin.

      High-Impact Practices: Turning theory into practice

      As a psychology major, you will immerse yourself in Capital’s strong liberal arts curriculum while taking advantage of coursework that provides grounding in psychology theory and practice. Capital embraces high-impact practices — undergraduate research, internships, capstone projects and other teaching approaches proven to optimize student learning. Here, you will delve into research — surveying the broad knowledge built by scholars before you. But you won’t stop there. You’ll contribute your own research to the body of knowledge, under the guidance of your professors.

      Capital’s location in the capital city of Columbus will give you the opportunity to apply what you learn in the classroom to real life settings through internships, community engagement projects, undergraduate research and studying abroad.  

      Our students have completed internships at The Childhood LeagueFranklin County Board of Developmental DisabilitiesJob and Family Services and Maryhaven. They’ve gotten hands-on forensic experience at Behavioral Science Specialists, worked with autism-spectrum cases at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and learned about inpatient psychiatry at Twin Valley Behavioral Health.

      where you'll go: Graduate school or the workforce? 

      The psychology major provides a pre-professional foundation for careers and graduate study. About 40 percent of our graduates pursue graduate degrees in psychology, law, medicine and more. Those who enter the workforce right after Capital find jobs as psychiatric aides and counselors, child development specialists, behavioral management technicians, personnel analysts, employment officers, probation officers, teachers, political analysts, laboratory technicians, health care workers, case managers and data analysts.

      When you graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, your next steps could take you anywhere you want to go. We know employers and graduate schools are looking for applicants with a broad range of interests and experiences. So to position our graduates for success, we’ve designed our psychology program to accommodate a second major, a minor or specific areas of emphasis.

      Many of our students go on to graduate school, pursuing advanced degrees in psychology, medicine or law. Even careers in private practice. You can also choose to go directly into the workforce, where your psychology degree will give you an advantage in many different fields — all of which help improve communities and lives. Here are a few of the paths our recent graduates have chosen:

      • Teacher
      • Political analyst
      • Child development specialist
      • Personnel and employment analyst
      • Probation officer
      • Case manager
      • Psychiatric aide and counselor
      • Health care worker
      • Laboratory technician

      Which path will you choose? Capital considers Columbus an extension of its campus, and with thousands of employers in our back yard, our graduates have early and convenient access to employment opportunities. In Central Ohio alone, our psychology graduates are employed by Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities and more. Another recent grad was hired by the University of Michigan.

      Your Capital degree can take you anywhere in the world. Wherever you land, your Capital education will be critical in helping you understand people, their actions and their interactions.



      Our professors bring out the best in you. We won't lie. They can be tough. But they're also your counselors, your mentors, and your biggest advocates. Meet a few below, or view our department directory.


    • Andrea Karkowski, Ph.D.

      Professor of Psychology, Assistant Provost
      Renner Hall Room 242
      (614) 236-6449

      Janette McDonald, Ph.D.

      Professor of Psychology
      Renner Hall Room 244
      (614) 236-6995

      Nicholas Van Horn, Ph.D.

      Assistant Professor
      Renner Hall 134

      Richard Ashbrook, Ph.D.

      Professor of Psychology
      Renner Hall 137

      Sherri Quinones, Ph.D.

      Renner 243

      Stephanie Gray Wilson, Ph.D.

      Professor of Psychology and Assistant Provost of Experiential Learning: Director of Honors and Undergraduate Scholarship
      Convergent Media Center 285
      (614) 236-6894

    • Improving Children's Lives through Psychology

      Student-Success-200x200-PsychologyStacy Smith ('14) discovered her passion for improving the lives of children through psychology at Capital University. It wasn’t always an easy path, but it’s the one she credits with making her the person she is today. The person who helps assure autism testing for children is accurate and efficient so the right treatment can be tailored to the patient’s specific needs.

      As a psychometrician for Nationwide Children's Hospital, Smith works at the Child Development Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities in Westerville, Ohio. There, she evaluates children — infants through young adults — who are referred to the center’s psychologists to help identify their symptoms of Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Collaborating with the psychologists and other staff members, Smith helps to confirm that children have been assessed correctly and efficiently to determine whether there is a possible diagnosis so treatment can be most effective. Smith tells us in her own words how Capital helped her discover her passion for helping people through psychology.

      "Through psychology, we can help to dig deeper into the issues these children are having and tailor the diagnosis to fit their specific needs. In doing this we can create a better and more fulfilling life for these children. To me, this is one of the most rewarding feelings. My psychology degree from Capital has allowed me to obtain a job that is directly related to my passion in life."Stacy E. Smith '14 

      "Throughout my undergrad years and in completion of the psychology program, I came to realize my true goal in life. I always wanted to make a difference, but especially in the realm of autism and developmental disabilities in children. Children who show symptoms of certain disorders and those who are having intellectual and developmental function issues are in need of services," she says. "Through psychology, we can help to dig deeper into the issues these children are having and tailor the diagnosis to fit their specific needs. In doing this we can create a better and more fulfilling life for these children. To me, this is one of the most rewarding feelings. My psychology degree from Capital has allowed me to obtain a job that is directly related to my passion in life.

      "My Capital experience was a main contributor to where I am and the person I have become. Because of the well-rounded coursework, the demanding classes, and the welcoming professors — the ones who treat you like family — I have become a more confident and intelligent individual. Each and every professor made sure they pushed me to my academic and intellectual limits. They saw my potential. They knew what I was capable of. Sometimes it was a love-hate relationship that required long hours of hard work and dedication. But I quickly learned to appreciate my professors even more for the gift of success they instilled in me." 

      What’s next for Smith? She plans to grow her potential to improve lives through psychology by going to graduate school.

      "In the future I hope to be in an even better position to help people and make a difference in this world," Smith says. "Continuing on academically to obtain my Ph.D. in psychology would be a start to an even more fulfilling life and future for me."

    • Maryann Bennett

      Hometown: Kettering, Ohio
      Major: Psychology
      Graduation: May 2014

      “Capital’s Career Development staff was very helpful in working with me to put my résumé together, prepare me for the job fair in the spring, give me all sorts of tips and encouragement, and get me ready for my interview.”


      • North Central Mental Health Services – Case Manager