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Bachelor of Arts in Psychology | Undergraduate Degree Program

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology


Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

Earn your psychology degree online at Ottawa University and gain the skills you need to prepare for a number of career opportunities in the field of mental health, business, and public service.

About Ottawa’s Online Bachelor’s in Psychology Program

Psychology is the study of human behavior. As you pursue your Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree, you will develop the tools you need to understand others and provide mental health care. This major gives you a foundation in human physiological, mental, intellectual, personal and social development, preparing you for any number of careers in the public or private sectors.

In this bachelor of arts degree program, you will develop critical-thinking skills and the ability to analyze and integrate information from other disciplines and apply it to the field of psychology. A psychology major partners well with your other liberal arts courses and enhances your ethical thinking, self-awareness and empathy within a global perspective. A communication concentration for your psychology degree program is also available.

Career Opportunities in Psychology

Upon completion of the online psychology degree, many students choose to further their education with a master’s or law degree. Others can pursue educationally relevant careers, including:

  • Counseling
  • Research
  • Teaching
  • Consulting
  • Social services
  • Human resources

Discover the Benefits of Ottawa University

  • Generous credit transfer policy – Save time and cost with Ottawa University’s generous credit transfer policy that honors past experience – up to 80 credit hours
  • Rich, established history – For almost 150 years, Ottawa University has educated students for lifetimes of enlightened faith, exemplary service, inspired leadership, and personal growth and significance. Today, we remain an inclusive learning community grounded in faith and focused on the career needs of the future
  • Life-friendly online learning options – At Ottawa University, we offer life-friendly online degree programs for working adults, military personnel and their families, or anyone looking for a flexible and convenient program that can be completed outside the classroom
  • A supportive learning environment – As an online student at Ottawa University, you’ll draw upon the expertise and support of faculty members who are dedicated to your success

For curriculum and course descriptions please download a program overview.

For more information about earning your undergraduate degree in psychology degree at Ottawa University or any requirements for joining the program, contact us today.


Psychology Major Courses


Introduces basic elements in understanding human behavior. Emphasis on basic concepts and terminology of psychology including the biological basis of behavior, sensation, perception, history of psychology, growth and development, motivation, learning, measurement and scientific methodology, emotion, personality, abnormal behavior, and psychotherapy.


This course surveys the field of sport and exercise psychology, integrating applied and career information to define the basic principles and contributions of the field. Orients students to relevant professional tasks, research problems, served populations, and workplace environments. Explores key objectives for professionals and educators in sport and exercise psychology, such as enhancing individual athletes' and teams' performance, creating positive sport environments, assessing athletes' mental skills, caring for injured athletes, and encouraging involvement in exercise and fitness. Emerging areas such as life skills counseling for athletes and clinical issues are also discussed.


Study of child's developmental process from the prenatal stage to adulthood: physical, psychological and social changes a child goes through in order to adjust to his/her environment. Emphasis on areas of abuse and neglect and how they foster mental illness. Look at methods of changing behavior of children with problem.


Inter-disciplinary approach draws upon the scientific expertise on anthropologists, biologists, medical researchers, sociologists, social workers, and psychologists and the contributions of these fields to the study of human sexuality.  Interest in this topic is based on the fact that sexual behavior reflect our biological capabilities, our psychological characteristics and social and cultural influences.  Covers core topics in the field of human sexuality including anatomy, physiology, arousal and response, gender roles, attraction, love, intimate relationships, sexual communication, sexual techniques, sexual orientation, conception, birth control, prenatal development, childbirth, sexual behavior across the life-span, sexual dysfunction and therapy, sexually transmitted diseases, atypical variations in sexual behavior, sexual coercion and commercial sex.  Focuses on critical thinking as a tool for learning and taking action through diverse literature in the filed of study.  In addition, addresses gender roles, sexual attitudes, sexual behaviors, sexual health, and sexually responsible decision-making.  Cross-listed with SOC 20253.


Emphasizes modern psychoanalytic, behaviorist and humanistic theories of personality development. Prerequisite: PSY 12053 General Psychology.


This course will engage the different definitions of disability in a variety of sociopolitical and cultural contexts. From the beginning, this course will encourage students to become aware of their own personal values and beliefs as they relate to disability and societal perspectives. It explores how those who embrace "disability identities," emanating from their unique human experience, stake claims for psychological well-being and social change in the face of stereotyping and expectations of "normality."  Prerequisite: PSY 12053 General Psychology. Cross-listed with LAS 30155 IDS:Disability as a Cultural Variable.


Introduces concepts and theoretical positions underlying adolescent personality traits, stages of growth development, learning development, and cultural, family and peer relationships. Develops psychological perspectives in adolescent behaviors, motives and values.


Study of biological, psychological and sociocultural influences contributing to abnormal behavior patterns. Includes history, identification, diagnosis, and treatment of various psycho-pathological disorders.


Study of the function of marriage and family in contemporary American society, including the why of intimate relationships, couple/parent/child adjustment, three generational relationships, and the process of break-up and remarriage. Cross-listed with HUS 30654.


Confronts the subject of death from new and alternative perspectives. Explores attitudes of death and the dying process, rituals, theories, and the social organization of death in many societies to gain knowledge in understanding feelings and attitudes toward death. Prerequisite: PSY 12053 General Psychology or SOC 10453 Introduction to Sociology. Cross-listed with HUS 30953.


Examines physical basis of human behavior and experience, how the brain and nervous system work, information flow, and processing at higher levels of organization. Addresses issues of intelligence, consciousness, addictions, and deviant behavior from a neurophysiological standpoint.


Understanding Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual and + identities goes beyond the wish to respect human rights. Such education is an essential step to contribute actively to the construction of an inclusive society. The exploration of this subject must be motivated by the wish to understand LGBTQIA+ as a culture per se, to discover its subcultures and to get acquainted with the main issues encountered by the members of this community throughout their lifespan. Through an evidence-based theoretical framework related to the field of psychological science, this course promotes the development of an academically informed cultural sensitivity with the hope that it will result in ethical decision-making for professionals of all disciplines.  Prerequisite: PSY 12053 General Psychology. Cross-listed with PSY 31454 LGBTQIA+ Affirmative Psychology.


Examines social influences on human behavior including attitude formation and change, influence and persuasion, social attraction, theories of aggression, conformity, cultural impact, leadership styles, power and status, social roles, and environmental influences. Prerequisites: PSY 12053 General Psychology.


Reviews basic research methods focusing on conceptual basis for experimentation. Includes basic design components such as control, sampling, data collection, and analysis. Prerequisites: PSY 12053 General Psychology or SOC 10453 Introduction to Sociology and MAT 32044 Statistics.


Examines theory and research on issues of human growth and development.


Introduction to descriptive and inferential statistical techniques used in the social sciences. Topics include data collection procedures, measures of dispersion, correlation designs, probability, statistical inference, and analysis of variance. Cross-listed with HUS 36000.


The goal of this course is to provide the student with knowledge of criminal profiling by examination of those methods and approaches used in the identification and apprehension of individuals engaged in criminal activity.


This course is an introduction to the psychological study of historic and contemporary terrorist groups, their motives and strategies.  The psychological and social impact on individuals, communities and global societies of the achievement of terrorist goals as well as recruitment methods, the influence that terrorist groups exert on their members and factors influencing the establishment and dissolution of terrorist groups will be examined.


Through hands on activities and case studies, this course explores the role of clinical history, traumatic experiences and learned behaviors, in criminal acting-out, with reference to the fields of criminal psychology and neuropsychology, anthropology, profiling and forensic psychology.  Analyzes different types of violent crime in the context of brain dysfunction, brain injury, prolonged trauma, intellectual deficits, sexual deviance and mental and/or personality disorders.  Integrates the theories and methods necessary for the scientifically informed observation involved in the screening of qualitative identification of criminal behavior.  Considers the role of development factors in the emergence  of a criminal behavior.


Provides conceptual justifications of and practical strategies for inclusion of culture and cultural factors in psychiatric diagnosis, evaluated in terms of the scope and limitations of current diagnostic practice, criticisms from different quarters, and the role and relevance of culture in the diagnostic encounter.


This course provides an introduction to the science and practice of clinical neuropsychology, including the anatomic, functional, and cognitive substrates underlying human behavior and neuropsychology disorders.  These aspects will be observed through the lense of a variety of diseases with neuropsychological sequelae, individual case studies, behavioral syndromes, brief vignettes, neuroimaging and the understanding of the role of neuropsychological tests. 


Explores the major neuropsychological deficits following a traumatic brain injury and their consequences in behavior, personality changes and emotion regulation.  Considers traumatic brain injury as a physical trauma the organic consequences of which often result in a secondary and/or tertiary trauma due to biochemical imbalances and internal swelling.  Traumatic brain injury will also be considered as an acquired set of deficits affecting brain function, emotional regulation, intellectual performance, and psychological adjustment as TBI tend to accentuate prior vulnerable personality traits.


Explores the legal and ethical issues inherent in the conduct and process of professional psychology.  Topics which will be included for consideration are: confidentiality, multiple relationships, ethical competence, prescription privileges, managed/rationed care models, conflict of interest, "duty to warn", euthanasia, expert testimony, malpractice, and forensic matters, such as the insanity defense.  Professional practice issues revolving around business and ethical concerns such as private practice, licensing/certification, and insurance reimbursement will also be discussed.


Focuses on the paradigm differences in the mental health and legal systems and the challenges associated with integrating the two.  Provides the students with an overview of the American legal system and the American mental health system.


Introduces major systems and theories of counseling and psychotherapy including dynamics that contribute to an effective therapeutic approach. Use of didactic and experiential teaching methods. 


Reviews historical antecedents of contemporary psychology, critical analysis of selected psychological theories and discussion of application of these theories in contemporary psychology. Prerequisites: PSY 12053 General Psychology.


Practical experience in major area of study. Arranged individually and taken after completion of major coursework.


Practical experience in major area of study. Arranged individually and taken after completion of major coursework.


Examination of psychological experience of music and its impact. Explore music and emotions, music through the lifespan, psychology of music performance, clinical and therapeutic uses of music, and relationship between music and society.


The use of film to provide awareness of psychological issues and how these issues are portrayed within a cinematic context. Films chosen will be relevant to a wide range of issues in psychology including psychological disorders, substance abuse and family relationships and dysfunction.


Provides culminating experience in practical application of 1) the theories and methods acquired in the course Psychopathology (etiology and classification of mental disorders; manifestations, symptoms, and treatment issues within the framework of the DSM-5 diagnostic manual of mental disorders) applied to diagnostic categories found in forensic settings and 2) the theories of criminal behavior (psycho-dynamic, biological, genetic, social learning, behavioral, and cognition; developmental and cultural issues in criminal behavior; sociological theories; violence and aggression; sex offenses and the role of substance abuse in criminal behavior) learned in the Criminal Psychology course.  Use of appropriate written report formats and genres.  Prerequisites:  PSY 12053 General Psychology, PSY 30353 Psychopathology and PSY 37002 Criminal Psychology.


Religion and spirituality are an essential part of culture. Whether they are implicit or explicit, religious and spiritual orientations can affect our daily lives, including an individual's attitudes, motivations, cognition, emotions, and behaviors. Religious and spiritual perspectives also affect the way people express, suppress and regulate emotions, define themselves within the family system, experience their sexuality, conduct interpersonal relationships, plan their future etc. This course will examine religion through different theoretical approaches: neurobiological, psycho-dynamic, behavioral, cognitive, evolutionary, humanistic, existential, etc. This course will be research and case-study oriented and will consider measurements of religiosity and spirituality in a research and/or clinical context. Prerequisite: PSY 12053 General Psychology.


Examination or project designed to assess student's achievement of goals of his/her major program. Prerequisites: Senior standing.


Capstone course that guides students in development of integrative written project that demonstrates personal achievement of learning outcomes in the psychology major. Culminates in a major theoretical paper, written in APA format, investigating and discussing a major issue or issues within the field and presented in seminar form in class.

Full Degree Catalog
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