Bachelor of Science in Psychology



120 credit hours

Program Length

4 years


Regionally Accredited by SACSCOC

Personal, Practical, Purposeful — Earn Your Degree in Psychology 

The Bachelor of Science in Psychology program at Columbia International University provides you with a personalized undergraduate experience tailored to your professional goals. Through experiences inside and outside of the classroom, you will develop the practical abilities that employers and graduate schools are seeking, including skills in the areas of communication, interpersonal relations and research. CIU’s Psychology program will empower you to live out God’s purpose in your personal and professional life as you explore the latest scientific developments through the unchanging lens of Scripture. 

Psychology courses offered regularly at CIU include: 

  • Human Growth and Development 
  • Abnormal Psychology 
  • Cognitive Neuroscience 
  • Theories of Counseling 
  • Research Methods and Design 

Please refer to the Academic Catalog for the 4-year outline of your CIU Psychology experience

Juliano Maglio

Why Choose Columbia International University

CIU Psychology Distinctives: 

  • Practicum experiences in research, clinical work or both give you real-world exposure relevant to your career goals 
  • Senior capstone project integrating Psychology and Christianity 
  • Accelerated program available allowing you to begin working toward your Master of Arts in Clinical Counseling while you are still completing your Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology
  • Active Behavioral Science Club (Psi Lambda Delta) 
  • Opportunities to attend or present at professional conferences, including the Christianity and Psychological Studies conference and the annual meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association 

As a Psychology major, you will have access to a variety of options for practical experience during your time at CIU. Recently, Psychology majors have served as prayer counselors for a nationwide radio network and worked in community placements including: Agape Counseling & Training Services, the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, Lexington District 4 Schools, the Richland County District 2 Family Intervention Program, Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Camp Cole equine therapy program and the South Carolina Department of Mental Health. 

Overall Benefits of this Degree

Psychology Majors are predicted to see 14% job growth from 2018–2028. 

After completing your B.S. in Psychology, you may go on to graduate school or straight into a career. Either way, your psychological studies will expand and enhance your personal and professional skills, including your skills in time management, communication, numerical analysis and information gathering and processing.  Psychology graduates pursue a variety of career paths, and many types of employers value their abilities to critically analyze data, evaluate situations and solve problems. With so many career options, The CIU Psychology program will intentionally engage you in discerning God’s call on your professional life through courses like the Integration of Psychology and Christianity, CIU’s Advisee Chapel speaker series and the Psychology Practicum which will expose you to a variety of work settings. 

Featured Faculty

What Will I Study?

Below is the list of courses for this program. NOTE: You will choose one course each from the mathematics, history, science, and culture and arts areas. Dependent on your focus, you will select from upper-level psychology courses listed below. Your enrollment counselor can provide more information about course selection.

  • BIB 1116 Old Testament Survey

    In this course, you will become familiar with the basic contents of each book of the Old Testament and the broad historical framework of Old Testament events. You will pay special attention to key passages and prominent themes of the Old Testament. You will read the Old Testament with a view to using it for spiritual formation and discipleship.

    3.00 credit hours
  • BIB 1120 New Testament Survey

    This course is an overview of the books of the New Testament and the historical circumstances surrounding these writings. You will focus on the background, content, message, and personal application of each book in the New Testament. You will also examine the process by which the New Testament canon was formed and the New Testament was transmitted through the history of the Church.

    3.00 credit hours
  • BIB 3420 Principles of Bible Interpretation

    This course will guide you through the hermeneutical principles basic to interpreting Scripture. Many of these principles are common to language and literature, while others apply uniquely to the Bible. All of them are based on the way in which the Bible interprets itself. You will begin to lay a foundation of cognitive understanding, with an emphasis on practice in applying the principles.

    3.00 credit hours
  • BIB 3616 Romans

    Within the framework of an exegetical study, you will focus on the New Testament's most organized, thorough exposition of the Christian faith and its relation to human history and implications for Christian living. Giving special attention to the personal application of the message, you will apply principles of biblical interpretation to the study of this book.

    3.00 credit hours
  • BIB 4310 Progress of Redemption

    In this course, you will explore God's plan of redemption as it progressively unfolds in the Bible. You will trace the basic historical revelation in the Old and New Testaments to see what God is doing and by what method. You will consider the spoken revelations as you observe the progress of doctrine.

    3.00 credit hours
  • THE 3310 Christian Theology

    This course provides a study of the theological truths of the Bible, during which you will focus on the basic doctrines necessary for a Christian worldview: Scripture, God, Christ, Holy Spirit, sin and salvation, church, and future events. You will examine the doctrinal teaching of the Bible, supplemented with insights from the theological reflections of the church throughout its history and from contemporary theological discussions.

    3.00 credit hours
  • ENG 1110 Composition and Research

    This course provides you an introduction to reaching well-reasoned conclusions based upon the most credible evidence available, skills fundamental to college writing but also for life as an educated adult. You will develop your abilities with modern academic library resources as evidenced through an annotated working bibliography, among other assignments. You will spend the majority of the course drafting and revising papers which demonstrate the effective use of secondary resources.

    3.00 credit hours
  • ENG 1111 Literature and Research

    This second writing course is designed to foster an appreciation of literature, use literary texts as a platform for strengthening skills in reading, writing, and analysis, and continue to emphasize foundational skills in library research. Texts and genres (such as short fiction, poetry, and drama) will vary.

    3.00 credit hours
  • PHI 2110 Introduction to Philosophy

    In this course, you will explore some of the fundamental issues that must be addressed by anyone attempting to formulate a comprehensive understanding of things (worldview), and will examine primary texts in order to observe some of the very best thinking regarding these fundamental issues.

    3.00 credit hours
  • PHI 4140 Seminar in Ethics

    In this capstone course, you will integrate Scripture, theology, and philosophy as they relate to who we are, what we should do, and living well. You will develop a Christian framework for ethical thinking and decision-making based on the Christian understanding of human nature as bearing the Image of God. Course limited to students classified as seniors.

    3.00 credit hours
  • PSY 2110 General Psychology

    In this survey of scientific psychology, you will focus on historical roots, human development, and the physiological basis of behavior, learning, motivation, perception, emotions, personality, socialization, and pathology. You will learn how to filter psychological data through biblical principles to help produce a biblically-consistent model of human psychology which can then be used in both Christian and non-Christian environments.

    3.00 credit hours
  • HIS 1110 Introduction to World History

    This course gives an overview of the major trends in global history that have created our modern world. The course will explore the major chronology of world history, focusing on the changes, continuities, and connections between major world regions during this period focusing on Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The course will examine the cultural, technological, political, economic, religious and social transformations which shaped the societies. (3)

    3.00 credit hours
  • HIS 2310 United States History and Government

    In this survey from colonial America to the present, you will examine the enduring issues and themes of American history. While the course is structured around historical events, particular effort is made to understand the paradox of American unity through diverse social, economic, political, and cultural factors.

    3.00 credit hours
  • MAT 2100 Introduction to Statistics

    This course provides an elementary overview of probability and statistics that will prepare students to conduct and interpret research in a variety of scientific fields. The content will include descriptive statistics; probability; discrete and continuous random variables; binomial, normal, and student-t distributions; methods for conducting inference, including confidence intervals and hypothesis tests; and linear correlation and regression. (3 semester hours)

    3.00 credit hours
  • ART 2110 Art Appreciation

    This course introduces students to the fine arts in their various media and period styles, with the goal of developing students' understanding and experience of the role of the arts in life. An ongoing focus on the relationship between art and the Bible will encourage students to develop a theology of art.

    3.00 credit hours
  • MUS 2110 Music Appreciation

    This course will introduce the student to the place that music traditionally held as one of the seven liberal arts as an apologetic to the study and enjoyment of music. The goal of the class is to enhance critical listening skills and to develop a working vocabulary of music that is meaningful to the non-musician. The course will introduce the basic elements of music and a brief overview of the history of Western classical music, American Jazz, World, and Pop music. (3)

    3.00 credit hours
  • BIO 2113 General Biology

    In this course, you will explore the concepts of biology, emphasizing the structure, function, and cellular organization of living organisms. Following an introduction to the general nature of science, the scientific method, and the nature of biology, you will focus on cellular biology, botany, zoology, and human biology.

    3.00 credit hours
  • NTR 2110 Introduction to Nutrition

    This course is designed to provide a foundational knowledge about nutrition as health science that discusses the nutrients essential for human life. Students will begin to learn and better understand the biochemical composition, metabolic action, requirements, and food sources of the nutrients studied. Students will also learn scientific basis for promoting health and quality of life. (3)

    3.00 credit hours
  • PHE 2120 Health Science & Personal Wellness

    This course provides an introduction to health science and personal wellness concepts. You will have the opportunity to build a foundation of knowledge that will help you actively pursue a healthy and well lifestyle. An introduction to and application of the foundations of physical, aerobic, and muscular fitness will be included. Strategies to maintain personal health and wellness, including weight control through nutrients and physical activity, will be covered. You will gain an understanding of the impact physical activity has on personal wellness as well as the broad spectrum of health science issues. This course provides information and experiences that will enable you to make informed decisions by incorporating healthy solutions as they relate to quality of life and longevity.

    3.00 credit hours
  • CSL 0101 Christian Service Learning I

    Having identified a local church during your first semester experience, you will now faithfully attend that church and volunteer at least 20 clock hours of service at that church or within a ministry in the community that is approved by the CSL Director. This service must be documented and approved by the CSL Director and a record submitted to the CSL office. No credit will be given, but completion of the service hours is a graduation requirement. Lack of faithfulness in attending or participating in a local church is an issue related to Christian character; failure to demonstrate faithfulness will be addressed by the Student Life office. (0)

    0.00 credit hours
  • CSL 0201 Christian Service Learning II

    Having identified a local church during your first semester experience, you will now faithfully attend that church and volunteer at least 30 clock hours of service at that church or within a ministry in the community that is approved by the CSL Director. This service must be documented and approved by the CSL Director and a record submitted to the CSL office. No credit will be given, but completion of the service hours is a graduation requirement. Lack of faithfulness in attending or participating in a local church is an issue related to Christian character; failure to demonstrate faithfulness will be addressed by the Student Life office. (0)

    0.00 credit hours
  • CSL 0202 Christian Service Learning III

    Having identified a local church during your first semester experience, you will now faithfully attend that church and volunteer at least 30 clock hours of service at that church or within a ministry in the community that is approved by the CSL Director. This service must be documented and approved by the CSL Director and a record submitted to the CSL office. No credit will be given, but completion of the service hours is a graduation requirement. Lack of faithfulness in attending or participating in a local church is an issue related to Christian character; failure to demonstrate faithfulness will be addressed by the Student Life office. (0)

    0.00 credit hours
  • ICS 1210 Discovering the Mission of God

    This course is designed to help you develop world-Christian characteristics. You will explore the Christian's heritage in the history of the church and missions, begin to develop a scriptural perspective on the purpose of the gospel in confronting ideologies, religions and spiritual needs of the world, and discuss current strategies for identifying and reaching the lost.

    3.00 credit hours
  • MSD 1110 Encountering Spiritual Formation

    This course is designed to introduce the student to the foundational principles of spiritual formation for effective life, ministry, and vocation. The process of the student's spiritual formation includes their relationship with God, their biblical self-image, their relationship with the Body of Christ, their personal relationships, and their relationship with the world. Students are invited into a multiple-year journey of encountering spiritual formation in community. The goal of this course is to help students build a foundation for continued spiritual formation at and beyond their time at CIU.

    3.00 credit hours
  • PSY 3310 Abnormal Psychology

    In this course, you will learn about the causes, symptoms, assessment/classification, and prognosis of mental and emotional disorders. You will also focus on treatment and prevention, as well as the influence of personal faith and the local church upon mental health and functioning.

    3.00 credit hours
  • PSY 3370 Human Growth and Development

    In this lifespan course, you will examine developmental psychology covering the stages of physiological, psychological, sociological, and spiritual growth of the individual from conception to adulthood. You will analyze significant terms, theories, methods of assessment, and the biblical nature of the developing person. Special attention will be given to the cultural diversity of developing persons in varied learning environments.

    3.00 credit hours
  • PSY 4330 Social Psychology

    This course is an intensive look at group and social processes as they affect individual behavior. Human experiences such as individual motivation, group behavior, attitudes, and perception of self and others are studied from the viewpoints of social science and Scripture.

    3.00 credit hours
  • RES 3411 Research Methods in the Social Sciences

    In this course, you will begin to examine the principles, methods, and procedures used in producing and evaluating research designs in psychology. You will learn about experimental, quantitative methodology, as well as other major techniques of research. You will prepare an original empirical study, written in APA format.

    3.00 credit hours
  • PSY 3445 Theories of Counseling

    This course introduces students to popular approaches to counseling and therapy. The course includes a review of assumptions about personality made by the therapeutic schools and the techniques they typically use to effect change. The course covers a variety of psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive and phenomenological approaches, and addresses the desire for evidence based practice. (3)

    3.00 credit hours
  • PSY 4340 Personality Theories

    In this survey of the leading personality theories including analytic, humanistic, behavioral, and cognitive schools, you will explore how personalities develop, how they are organized, and how they change. You will examine how presuppositions influence personality theories and the clinician's approach to growth and healing.

    3.00 credit hours
  • PSY 3320 Cognitive Neuroscience

    This course will provide you an overview of Cognitive Neuroscience and will explore our perception of the world around us. Cognitive theory and research will be examined and applied to our everyday experiences and mental processes. Topics include perception, attention, memory/forgetting, thinking, problem solving, intelligence, language development and information processing.

    3.00 credit hours
  • PSY 3325 Sensation & Perception

    A survey of the current scientific models, concepts and integrative theories that encompass the field of human sensory and perceptual studies, with a special emphasis on the neurological and cognitive features of vision.

    3.00 credit hours
  • PSY 4350 Physiological Psychology

    This course is designed to introduce you to the biological foundations of perception, thought, emotion, and behavior by in-depth examination of sensation thresholds, optical perceptions and illusions, different brain structures and their functions, and the biological basis of some forms of mental illness. You will gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the scientific underpinnings of psychology through taking this course.

    3.00 credit hours
  • PSY 4413 Supervised Research in Psychology

    This course is designed to give students time to complete a substantive research project and should involve conducting original psychological research. Credit is earned by working with a faculty member in a supervised setting on one or more psychological research projects. This may include laboratory research, data analysis, field experience, and library research. This hands-on experience enhances students' understanding of issues in research design and analysis and prepares them for more advanced research opportunities should they choose to pursue them. Student researchers are expected to spend a minimum of 10 hours per week on their project. Enrollment by permission only. Repeated for credit (1-6).

    3.00 credit hours
  • PSY 4920 Psychology Practicum

    This is an intensive, on-site experiential learning opportunity, involving approximately 100 hours of direct, on-site service and requiring additional paperwork, feedback, and measurements of outcomes. Usually this practicum is taken during a student's senior year. For this practicum, you are typically placed in a hospital or clinic-based setting where your work is supervised and evaluated by both a licensed site supervisor and a college faculty member.

    3.00 credit hours
  • PSY 4540 Integration of Psychology & Christianity

    This course is an overview of some basic approaches to the integration of psychological science and practice with Biblical the theological perspectives. Students will be exposed to a variety of beliefs regarding the relationships between science and Christianity, and they will engage in thoughtful discussion on difficult integrative topics while developing their own perspectives and convictions regarding integration. (3)

    3.00 credit hours
  • SOC 3740 Marriage and Family

    This course is a study of the societal patterns of marriage and family life. Biblically and sociologically, you will address issues of courtship, choice of a mate, engagement, the marital adjustment, parenting, divorce, and the development of problem-solving skills. You will use personal application and training from the course to develop the skills to communicate more effectively to others about marriage/family issues.

    3.00 credit hours

Accreditation and Accolades

SACSCOC (The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges)

Career Path Opportunities 

Here are some of the areas where you will see Psychology graduates working: 

  • Professional Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy, Addictions Counseling 
  • Advertising, Sales Representative, Market Research Analyst, Public Relations 
  • Clinical Psychologist, Neuropsychologist, Industrial-Organizational Psychologist 
  • Child Welfare Caseworker, Case Manager 
  • Program Staff (in organizations such as YMCA and Boys’ & Girls’ Clubs) 
  • Church-related Professions: Children’s Minister, Youth Minister, Family Minister, Pastoral Counselor 
  • Neuroscience research 
  • Social Worker, School Social Worker, School Counselor 
  • Law (including mental health law and policy) & Law Enforcement 
  • Financial Aid counselor, Loan Officer, Benefits Manager 
  • Human Resources Personnel 
  • Applied Behavior Analyst 
  • Criminal Investigator, Forensic Psychologist, Corrections Officer 
  • College Student Affairs Professional (ex. Residence Hall Director) 
  • Art Therapy, Music Therapy, Dance/Movement Therapy 

Top FAQs

If I major in Psychology, will I still have time for a minor area of study?

Yes — the Psychology major provides 30 hours of “open” electives which students often use to get a minor, a second major or to start coursework toward their Clinical Counseling master’s degree if accepted into the accelerated program.

What are some minors that Psychology majors take?

Biology, Business, Youth Ministry, Human Services and Music are popular, but we can help you choose a minor that will fit well with your career goals.

Do I have to get a master’s degree to become a counselor?

To become a licensed counselor of any kind, you will need to complete a master’s degree in Clinical Counseling, Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy or a related field. CIU Psychology program offers an accelerated 5-year option that allows you to complete your MA in Clinical Counseling in just one additional year. To become a licensed Psychologist in most states, you will need a Ph.D. in Clinical or Counseling Psychology.

Do all Psychology majors go into counseling as a profession?

No — take a look at the career paths on this page. Counseling is just one option within the field of Psychology. You can begin working in any of the career paths listed with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology.

What is Psi Lambda Delta (PLD)?

PLD is CIU’s behavioral science club. Members seek to understand and apply psychology and behavioral science as servants of God to create positive change in ourselves, our community and our world. Psi stands for “psyche” and Lambda for “logos,” the Greek roots for the word, “Psychology.” Delta is the mathematical symbol for change and the first letter of the Greek word for servant or minister (diakonos).

Do I really have to take Statistics as a Psychology major?

Yes, but … Statistics is very practical. You may develop a whole new relationship with math as you learn how to use it to answer real-world questions. Many students find that they actually enjoy Statistics and Research Methods even if they were not math lovers in high school.

Will my classes help me understand Psychology from a Christian perspective?

Absolutely. The core Bible classes that all CIU students complete will give you a strong foundation to stand on as you explore concepts in the field of Psychology. Your courses will challenge you to evaluate Psychological theory and practice as they relate to scriptural truths. You will wrestle with the intersection and interaction of culture and Christian faith, culminating in a senior capstone project outlining your understanding of how to integrate Psychology and Christianity in your personal and professional life.


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