Why study Psychology at MC?

Why do people do the things they do? How do children learn and develop? How does prejudice form, and under what circumstances are people more likely to help one another? These are just a sample of questions that the field of psychology attempts to answer. The Major in Psychology offers a broad foundation for the understanding of behavior and mental processes. With a focus on human behavior and cognition, students in the major gain an understanding of individual differences, group behavior, and the impact of environmental and social factors. We provide students with the tools necessary for scientific study of behavior and the ability to concentrate the coursework in areas of particular interest, while getting the necessary breadth in social, cognitive, developmental, and clinical areas.

For example, the Major in Psychology—Counseling Track is available for students who plan to pursue postgraduate work in clinical or counseling professions. Additionally, students in the major may select advising concentrations in Child Welfare, Experimental, Forensic, Gerontology, Global Citizenship, Psychology in the Community/Civic Engagement, and Relationship and Sexual Health. Whether students are working towards an entry-level position or graduate school, the major in Psychology offers the necessary coursework, independent and collaborative research, and opportunities for application of knowledge to real-world settings.

Counseling Track 

The Major in Psychology-Counseling Track is designed to provide students with coursework related to the helping professions as well as a firm foundation in the science of human behavior. Courses related to the counseling field, including Counseling, Abnormal Psychology, Theories of Personality, Group Facilitation, and Sociology of Marriage and Family, are related in the major. Students in this major are well prepared for graduate programs in clinical psychology, counseling, social work, school counseling, marriage and family therapy, and related fields. Graduates are also ready to directly enter the workforce and be employed by a wide variety of social service organizations and programs that serve children and families, individuals with substance abuse problems, victims of domestic violence, individuals with chronic mental illness, and others.

Maryville College Works is a comprehensive career preparation program that is integrated into the College’s four-year liberal arts curriculum. Key components include assessment, advising, networking and professional experiences.

External relationships

Cherokee Health Systems, University of Tennessee, and Autism Society of America for the Autism Training Initiative
Clover Hill Senior Living
Haven House
Mane Support
New Hope – Blount County Children’s Advocacy Center
UT Medical Center Comprehensive Stroke Center

Meet a current student

Sarah Christopher ’19
Hometown: Maryville, Tenn.

A transfer student, Sarah decided to major in psychology while completing a research project on the effects of posttraumatic stress disorder on EMS personnel. With professors who care about her academics and family-like community, MC has surpassed her expectations, she said. “My life mission is to provide help and advocate for others, so I plan to attend graduate school for social work,” she said. “With the liberal arts education that I am receiving, I am learning how to think critically and analyze the world around me. These are skills that will prepare me not only for graduate school but for life beyond the classroom.”

Outcomes of Recent Gradsclick or touch to open

Featured Graduate


Her parents’ divorce inspired her to pursue a career in psychology. A grandparent’s diagnosis with Alzheimer’s disease motivated her to pursue a career working with dementia patients. A Maryville College education – complete with experimental research and comprehensive exams – gave her an edge over other grad school applicants and put her on a path toward success. 
"Maryville College really gave me so many opportunities to narrow my focus in psychology while simultaneously broadening my horizons to several different subjects. I was selected to present my experimental research in the first-ever undergraduate oral symposium hosted by the South Eastern Psychological Association,” she said. “I wouldn't be where I am without this magnificent, little college by the mountains.”

Paris Wilson ’13
Currently: Probation Parole Officer for the State of Tennessee; part-time M.S.W. graduate student at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville

Paris’s decision to major in Psychology revolved around an interest in mental health and the criminal justice system. Her ultimate career goal is military social work. “I strive to be a resource in mental health awareness, as well as provide the best public safety possible,” she said. “Maryville College has helped me achieve milestones with the rigorous curriculum and exceptional faculty and staff who implement it. From lectures to office hours, I always had guidance and creativity in my major.”

Job Placements

Brookhaven Retreat
Cleveland Clinic Foundation
Eastern State Hospital
Helen Ross McNabb
Knox County Schools
Mayo Clinic
Memphis City Schools
Ridgeview Psychiatric Hospital
State of Tennessee Department of Children’s Services

Graduate School Placements

California Institute of Integral Studies
Georgia Southern University
Middle Tennessee State University
Mississippi State University
State University of New York
University of Alabama
University of North Carolina – Charlotte
University of Tennessee – Knoxville
Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College
Wake Forest University School of Law

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