Psychology

Fact Sheet

Our academic programs provide a solid foundation for understanding psychology. Courses from experimental, social, developmental, and clinical psychology assure well-balanced coverage of the entire field. We also encourage students to develop their own interests in various areas of specialization including environmental psychology, psychology of gender, drugs and human behavior, and the psychology of criminal behavior. A unique aspect of the psychology program at the University of Nebraska at Kearney is the opportunity for hands-on laboratory and/or field experiences. Students gain practical job skills by participating in a variety of fieldwork activities, including assisting faculty in research, apprenticeship programs, or practicums in which students work in mental health centers, homes for the elderly, or local businesses. Programs of Study: In addition to the Bachelor of Arts (B. A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees, we offer specialized baccalaureate degree programs including:

  • Teaching Endorsement: This program prepares students for a career in secondary education. It allows you to choose a second teaching area to increase your opportunities for teaching in a high school.
  • Psychobiology: This program is designed for students interested in the neurosciences and is an excellent pre-health sciences degree as it includes biology, math, and chemistry courses.
  • Gerontology: An interdisciplinary minor that provides you with an understanding of aging processes and is recommended for those interested in working with programs for the elderly.

Career Opportunities:
UNK Psychology ma­jors have successfully pursued a number of different careers. Some career paths chosen by those recent graduates not continuing in graduate programs include:

  • Psychiatric Assistant
  • Pharmaceutical Sales
  • Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Personnel Administration
  • Mental Health Casework
  • Occupational Training
  • Laboratory Assistant
  • Daycare Supervision
  • Psychometrist

Many of our students are admitted to gradu­ate programs (we have achieved an 87% acceptance rate) in clinical, counseling, experi­mental, and industrial psychology. Each year, graduates of our program also enter Law and/or Medical schools.

A Commitment to Teaching by Award Winning Faculty:
All of our courses are taught by dedicated professors whose goal is to provide students with a quality educational experience. The department has received the UNK Departmental Teaching Award. In 1999, the department received the University of Nebraska's system-wide Departmental Teaching Award. Our professors have also received many teaching awards, including the Outstanding Teaching and Instructional Creativity Award, Chamber of Commerce Teaching Award, Honors Teacher of the Year Award and the UNK Creative Teaching Award.

Specialized Facilities:
The Psychology Department has excellent facilities designed to enhance the educational opportunities of its undergraduate students. To provide students with opportunities for research, the department has received several grants including three from the National Science Foundation for laboratory equipment. One of these provides students with field observation equipment to study the behavior of Sandhill cranes in their annual migratory visits, and another has upgraded the physiological psychology laboratory to state-of-the-art.   Some of the facilities available to students include:  

  • H. K. Wolfe Human Experimental Lab             
  • Physiological Psychology Lab         
  • Psychology Students' Computer Lab
  • Students' Library/Reading Room
  • Animal Colony (two species)
  • Child Development Lab
  • Research Carrels for student projects
  • Instructional Development Center                 

Student Organizations:
Not all student learning takes place in the classroom and laboratory. At UNK there are many opportunities for informal learning experiences provided by our student organizations.

Psychology Club:
The Psychology Club is open to all students with an interest in psychology. Its purposes are social, service oriented, as well as academic.  Students participate in special programs, trips, and social events that enhance their understanding of psychology and psychologists.

PSI CHI:
The National Honor Society in Psychology was founded in 1929 to encourage, stimulate and maintain excellence in scholarship and to advance the science of psychology.  Students are elected to Psi Chi based on their academic achievements.

Programs Involving Students in Research:
One way in which the psychology program at UNK is unique is its commitment to involving undergraduate students in research activities. The department offers apprenticeships, research assistantships, grants-in-aid, and activity scholarships to encourage undergraduate research. Our students are regularly chosen to participate in these state and regional conferences:

  • National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR)      
  • Great Plains Students' Psychology Convention (GPSPC)
  • Rocky Mountain Psychological Association (RMPA)                   
  • Nebraska Psychological Society (NPS)
  • SW Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine    
  • Animal Behavior Society

Students have also had their own papers published in the Psi Chi Journal, Journal of Psychological Inquiry, and Journal of Undergraduate Research, and many students have co-authored journal articles with faculty.

For more information, contact us at:

Department of Psychology                                   Tel:(308) 865-8235
University of Nebraska at Kearney                      Fax:(308)865-8980
Kearney, NE 68849                                              

E-mail: wadkinst@unk.edu