Bachelor of Science in Health Psychology

Degree Awarded: 
Bachelor of Science Degree
  • To learn more about the faculty and staff of the Health Psychology Program, click here.
  • To see Jefferson College of Health Sciences Catalog, with the Health Psychology section beginning on page 84, click here.

Welcome to the Health Psychology Program webpage. We offer a baccalaureate degree in Health Psychology, and we are one of only a few programs in the United States who offer this degree. This is a great major for students who are interested in the connection between health and behavior who want to work in positions in which they can help influence healthy behaviors and healthy lifestyles in people of all ages and backgrounds. This is also a great degree for students who are planning to pursue graduate education in health psychology or a variety of other health-related fields.

What is Health Psychology?
The field of health psychology emphasizes a combination of biological, behavioral, and social factors in health, wellness, and disease.  Health psychology looks at ways of optimizing health, preventing and treating illness, and reducing the risk of disease through the interplay of medical, behavioral, and emotional factors.

Health psychology also focuses on the application of psychological research in promoting wellness, fostering healthy lifestyles, and encouraging treatment compliance.

Theory, Research and Fieldwork
At Jefferson College, the Health Psychology undergraduate program offers a well-rounded education in the basic principles of psychology, with emphasis on the interaction between psychology and health, and the behavioral principles that can influence health outcomes. The program is grounded in both psychological theory and research. Students learn the theories, basic research principles, and statistical methods that guide psychological inquiry. This provides the basis for a generalist psychology degree as well as a specialty in health psychology. The relationship of health psychology to other healthcare fields in the role of facilitating healthy behaviors and promoting the development of resilience is covered, and the principles of public health, epidemiology, and health education complete the curriculum.

The Jefferson College Health Psychology Program also provides students with the opportunity to get hands on experience working in the field and conducting research. Juniors and Seniors participate in three semesters of fieldwork experiences, to help students apply the knowledge they gain in the classroom. Students also have the opportunity to join a faculty member’s research team and participate in research design, data collection, data analysis, and dissemination of research findings. Both of these experiences are of vital importance for the integration of knowledge and practice, and greatly enhance students’ applications for graduate school.

The Health Psychology Program also teaches critical thinking skills, communication skills, science and math skills, and knowledge of contemporary healthcare issues. As with all programs at Jefferson College, the Health Psychology Program prepares graduates who are knowledgeable, ethical, competent, and caring healthcare professionals.

Program Mission: 

Health Psychology Program Mission

Health Psychology prepares, within a scholarly environment, ethical, knowledgeable, competent, and caring graduates who are well positioned for graduate study in Psychology and other health professions.

Health Psychology Program Vision

Health Psychology will excel as an undergraduate source of Psychology PhDs.

Program Goals Intro: 

Upon completion of the program, students will demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and values consistent with the science and application of psychology, as adapted from the American Psychological Association Guidelines for the Undergraduate Psychology Major (APA, 2014). Jefferson College Health Psychology Program incorporates a Health Psychology Focus. These Program Outcome goals are:

  1. Knowledge Base of Psychology
    1.1. Describe and evaluate key concepts, principles, historical trends, and overarching themes and perspectives in psychology.
    1.2. Develop a working knowledge of psychology’s content domains.
    1.3. Describe applications of psychology.
  2. Scientific Inquiry and Critical Thinking
    2.1. Use scientific reasoning to interpret psychological phenomena.
    2.2. Demonstrate psychology information literacy.
    2.3. Engage in innovative and integrative thinking and problem solving.
    2.4. Interpret, analyze, design, and conduct basic psychological research.
    2.5. Incorporate sociocultural factors in scientific inquiry.
  3. Ethical and Social Responsibility in a Diverse World
    1.3. Apply ethical standards to evaluate psychological science and practice.
    1.2. Build and enhance interpersonal relationships.
    1.3. Adopt values that build community at local, national, and global levels
  4. Communication
    4.1. Demonstrate effective writing for different purposes.
    4.2. Exhibit effective presentation skills for different purposes.
    4.3. Interact effectively with others.
  5. Professional Development
    5.1. Apply psychological content and skills to career goals.
    5.2. Exhibit self-efficacy and self-regulation.
    5.3. Refine project-management skills.
    5.4. Enhance teamwork capacity.
    5.5 Develop meaningful professional direction for life after graduation and be well positioned for graduate study in Psychology.
  6. Health Psychology Focus
    6.1. Evaluate the psychological and social determinants of health and wellness
    6.2. Demonstrate insight into their own behavior and mental processes.
    6.3. Apply effective strategies for behavior change techniques for the purpose of achieving healthy lifestyles.
Career Outlook: 

Individuals with undergraduate degrees in health psychology can apply for entry level positions in social services, volunteer organizations, and public health service organizations.  Graduates may also work in community health education positions, research assistant positions, and other employment opportunities involving the promotion of healthy behaviors and lifestyles.  Additionally, students with a bachelor of science degree in health psychology are well-positioned for graduate education in health psychology, other areas of psychology and related fields, including Occupational Therapy and Physician Assistant studies.

Admission Requirements: 
  • Click here for the general information on admissions requirements.
Other Information: 
Additional Information

Please see the Health Psychology section of the College Catalog (click on the link at the top of this page) for additional information including required courses, program outcomes, and the requirements for the Psychology Minor.