Psychology with Child & Adolescent Concentration

Assumption psychology majors are known for their strong communication skills, understanding of human behavior, problem-solving skills, and ability to collect, organize, analyze, and interpret data and information.

Psychology is a science concerned with mind and behavior. The psychology program introduces students to a variety of ways to understand cognition, emotion, and behavior. In addition, the program prepares students for various career paths within psychology (community agencies and clinics, graduate study) or in other professions (business, education, public service).

Students who pursue a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Assumption University are challenged to critically evaluate complex issues in today’s world. The curriculum requires students to sample from diverse courses that provide the foundation for understanding the major concepts and theoretical perspectives of psychology. Psychology majors also develop skills for understanding and conducting psychological research. The curriculum promotes personal growth and development and challenges students to critically evaluate complex social issues.

Students can explore opportunities for independent research and work in supervised fieldwork placements. The department apprises students of the many fields with which psychology shares borders of concern and inquiry in the pursuit of knowledge.

The psychology program faculty serves as teachers and mentors, helping students define their professional goals through classroom learning, research projects, community service learning, internships, and independent study.

Many students also pursue graduate degrees in a variety of areas including psychology, sociology, rehabilitative services and law. Assumption offers a nationally renowned graduate program in clinical counseling psychology, which is affiliated with the prestigious Aaron T. Beck Institute for Cognitive Studies, located on-campus in Worcester, MA.  Assumption also offers a graduate program in applied behavior analysis that meets the Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s (BACB) requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination®.

Learning Goals of the Major in Psychology

  • Students will
    • develop a strong psychological knowledge base
    • sharpen their critical thinking and communication skills
    • understand psychological applications and research methods
    • develop a socio-cultural awareness
    • plan effectively for their career, academic, and personal futures
Program Contact

Maria Parmley, Ph.D

Associate Professor of Psychology
508-767-7586 Kennedy Memorial Hall - Room 124

All classes taught by professors, none by teaching assistants
Students from 29 states and 21 countries
Student/Faculty ratio

Program Curriculum

  • Psychology majors take courses from the main representative fields in psychology, complete a sequence of research courses, and have the opportunity to develop depth in an area of their interest. This curriculum allows timely preparation for graduate school and strengthens students’ professional skills.

    Required Courses (4)

    Foundation Courses
    PSY 101 General Psychology (normally taken in the first year)
    Research Sequence
    PSY 224 Statistics (normally taken Fall of sophomore year)
    PSY 225 Research Methods (normally taken Spring of sophomore year)
    PSY 390 Research Seminar (normally taken junior year)

    Cornerstone Courses (4)

    Students must choose one course from each of the four cornerstones

    Social/Developmental Cornerstone (1)
    PSY 210 Social Psychology
    PSY 290 Psychology of Development: Infancy and Childhood
    Biological Cornerstone (1)
    PSY 250 Perception
    PSY 251 Introduction to Brain and Behavior
    Mental Health Cornerstone (1)
    PSY 216 Abnormal Psychology
    PSY 240 Psychology of Personality
    Cognition and Learning Cornerstone (1)
    PSY 252 Cognitive Psychology
    PSY 253 Psychology of Learning

    Capstone Seminar Course (1)

    Students must complete one capstone seminar course.  Students are encouraged to choose a 400-level seminar course that builds off a cornerstone course they have previously taken.

    PSY 408 Family Psychology
    PSY 409 Common Problems in Childhood
    PSY 410 Stereotypes and Prejudices
    PSY 416 Abnormal Child and Adolescent Psychology
    PSY 425 Clinical Psychology
    PSY 401 Senior Seminar
    PSY 402 Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience
    ABA 450 Applied Behavior Analysis: Implications for Practice

    Elective Courses (3)

    Students must take any three additional courses and at least one of the three courses must be 300 level or higher. Students may choose among the following elective courses:

    Any Additional Cornerstone or Seminar Course
    200-level Electives
    PSY 211 Psychology of Religion
    PSY 214 Psychology of Identity and Sexuality
    PSY 215 Psychology of Dreams
    PSY 217 Psychology of Women
    PSY 220 Interpersonal Communication
    PSY 281 Psychology of Adolescence and Maturity
    PSY 285 Women’s Studies I: Images
    PSY 218 Cultural Psychology
    PSY 286 Organization & Industrial Psychology
    PSY 295 Psychology of Deviance
    PSY 385 Women of the World
    300+-level Electives
    PSY 330 Positive Psychology (old PSY 230)
    PSY 386 Psychology of Aging (old PSY 186)
    PSY 301 Internship in Psychology
    PSY 335 Motivation and Emotion
    PSY 399 Independent Study
    ABA 340 Skill Acquisition
    ABA 350 Evidence-based Interventions

    Course Descriptions


Maria Parmley, Ph.D
Department Chair, Psychology Associate Professor of Psychology

Experiential Learning

Assumption's Rome Campus

At Assumption's campus in Rome, Italy, the city and the country become your classroom through daily and weekend-long excursions throughout "the eternal city" and the Italian countryside. This unique study abroad experience will enrich your academic and cultural pursuits as you walk in the footsteps of emperors and gladiators then enjoy delectable Italian cuisine or perhaps a cappuccino after class in a local cafe. (Did you know that your financial aid follows you to Rome?)

Explore the Rome Campus

Faculty/Student Research

The Assumption curriculum encourages scholarly and real-world experience. With hands-on research conducted alongside faculty mentors, students gain a depth of knowledge and skills that lead to professional success and personal fulfillment.

Study Abroad

At Assumption University, the world is your classroom. Students can study and explore abroad in over 50 places from Vienna to England, South Africa, and even our own campus in historic, yet modern, Rome, Italy. Assumption’s study abroad program offers culture, history, and a living classroom for all.


Internships are a valuable way for you to gain experience outside of the classroom and to develop professional skills and insight. As part of their internship, psychology students complete an academic component that usually consists of a reflective journal, readings in the field, and a comprehensive research paper. There are two types of internships. Students can earn academic credit by working with an academic advisor and the internship site. Or students may participate in a career internship, which provides valuable experience but does not offer academic credit. All internships may be paid or unpaid and generally occur during or following junior year. Some recent internship locations have included:
  • Accelerated Learning Lab
  • Charles River Center
  • Community Healthlink
  • Elderly Services of Worcester
  • UMass Medical School
  • Worcester Public Schools
  • Worcester District Court
  • Worcester Juvenile Court

Recent Employment Opportunities

The psychology program prepares students for successful and fulfilling careers in an array of fields, including nonprofit and entrepreneurial organizations, corporations, and local, state and federal government.

Outer Cape Health Services

Horace Mann Educational Associates

Mental Health Services

Ostrow and Company


University of Massachusetts Medical School

Community Health Link

Sovos Compliance

Baypath Elder Services

First-rate Academics in a Catholic University Setting

Assumption University awakens in students a sense of wonder, discovery, and purpose, forming graduates known for their intellectual seriousness, thoughtful citizenship, and devotion to the common good. Students are provided an education that shapes their souls, forms them intellectually, and prepares them for meaningful careers. Enlivened by the harmony of faith and reason, here, students’ minds and hearts are transformed.

Assumption is dedicated to providing a clear understanding of what your education will cost

We’ll help cut through the complexity of financing your education, ensuring you understand what you need, how to apply for aid, and what’s expected of you. You will be assigned a personal financial aid advisor who will guide you through the process and answer all of your financial aid-related questions.


Dual Degree Programs

Apply as a high school senior to an undergraduate and graduate program with one application. If admitted, you will be enrolled in both programs - allowing you to seamlessly transition from your undergraduate studies into one of our graduate programs. We offer the following dual degree programs:

The Pursuit of an Advanced Degree

The program also prepares students for graduate study in a variety of specializations such as counseling psychology, applied behavior analysis, school psychology, social work, developmental psychology, social work, forensic psychology and guidance counseling. Recent Assumption psychology graduates have pursued graduate education with: Assumption University; Boston College; University of North Carolina, Chapel-Hill; University of Virginia; Springfield College; and Tufts University .

Programs Related to Psychology with Child & Adolescent Concentration