College of Arts & Sciences

Psychology is a rich and diverse field, thanks to the groundbreaking work of numerous researchers and practitioners over the last century. As a science, psychology is the study of the mental processes, behavior and experience of humans and animals. As a profession, the goal is to apply psychological principles to improve the experiences of individuals, groups and institutions. 

Common career paths: social worker, counselor, researcher, psychologist, psychiatrist.

Study psychology at Canisius and you’ll explore fascinating issues around cognitive development, personality traits, autism, addiction and much more. Our program addresses the field’s broad scope and includes neuroscience as well as cognitive, affective, social, developmental and clinical topics. As a psychology major, you’ll have the option of two distinct degree paths: a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. The choice of which degree to pursue depends largely on your career goals. 

Two Distinct Paths

Choose our BA program if:

  • You plan to enter the workforce after completing your undergraduate degree
  • You’re interested in the field of social work or mental health counseling
  • You plan to attend graduate school in a non-psychology field such as business, law or management

Choose our BS program if:

  • You prefer a more science-based curriculum
  • You’re interested in research, especially quantitative methodology
  • You plan to pursue a graduate degree in psychology
  • You plan to go to medical school or are interested in a healthcare career

An Interdisciplinary Approach

Consistent with the liberal arts core at Canisius, our Bachelor of Arts/Science in Psychology program helps you learn across disciplines and consider multiple perspectives. You’ll hone skills such as statistical reasoning, analysis and information literacy, all essential for advanced research work. You’ll develop the skills needed to thrive in the professional world—including written and oral communication, teamwork, problem-solving and critical thinking. Guided by Jesuit values, you’ll also cultivate a thoughtful and ethical approach to the field of psychology.

In addition to our two major paths, various psychology minors allow you to specialize in an area such as neuropsychology or organizational, forensic, school or sports psychology.

In-Depth Research and Conference Presentations

Unlike psychology programs at larger institutions, our undergraduate program enables close collaboration with faculty. Students can help conduct qualitative and quantitative research as part of the Canisius Earning Excellence Program (CEEP) and then present the findings at our annual Ignatian Scholarship Day event. Our students also co-present research findings at regional and national conferences for professional organizations, including the American Psychological Association.

View More Extended Learning Opportunities 

The Practicum Experience

Practicums give psychology majors opportunities to apply classroom lessons to real-life settings. Similar to an internship, a practicum connects students with trained professionals working in a variety of programs and organizations. Recent practicum sites include the Buffalo City Mission, Buffalo Psychiatric Center, and the Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center

For a list of recent practicum sites, view Career Connections.


Students benefit from small class sizes that provide individualized attention from faculty. Research assistantships in the majors or experiential learning opportunities in the associated minors provide a head start on graduate careers.


Laurel Wreath
Recent Psychology program graduates are employed or enrolled in graduate studies.