Bachelor of Science in Health Psychology

Degree Awarded: 
Bachelor of Science Degree

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. Our mission is to prepare students to enter graduate programs in Psychology. Therefore, 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.

After perusing this webpage, if you have any questions please contact:

Bob Reese, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology
Director of Health Psychology
rcreese@jchs.edu

 

What is Health Psychology?

Health Psychology has 5 Main Goals

  1. To prevent illness
  2. To promote good health
  3. To help with the treatment of illness
  4. To investigate the psychological correlates of illness
  5. To improve the healthcare system and health policy

The Health Psychology Program
To prepare students to enter graduate school in Psychology, the Health Psychology baccalaureate program offers a well-rounded education in psychological theory and research, as well as a specialization in health psychology. Health Psychology, simply put, is the scientific study of the impact of the mind on well-being. Health Psychology identifies links between people’s well-being and how they feel, think, and behave. It also seeks to understand the impact of physical factors on human behavior and to work to improve health and prevent illness with biopsychosocial interventions.

Students who graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Psychology are well prepared for graduate study in psychology , but there is enough flexibility to customize the program to fit in other career interests, too.

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Fast Facts

  • We are one of only few colleges in the country that offer a baccalaureate degree in Health Psychology.
    • In the ever-changing healthcare landscape our students want to help influence healthy behaviors and healthy lifestyles in people of all ages and backgrounds.
  • Our curriculum is especially designed to prepare our students for graduate school in Psychology.
    • Our alumni consistently report they are better prepared for graduate studies than their classmates. 
  • Because we are a small college, our student to professor ratio in upper level psychology courses is 6:1.
    • This ensures in-depth learning and understanding of psychological concepts and theories.
  • Participation in Research
    • In upper level laboratory courses students conduct health psychology research.
      • PSY 340 Health Behavior Change Methods
      • PSY 355 Health Psychology
      • PSY 380 Learning & Memory
    • Seniors participate in ongoing faculty research and attend conferences.
  • Health Psychology Club
    • We have an active Health Psychology Club
    • Annually Club members attend – and often present research posters – at the University of Virginia Undergraduate Psychology Conference
  • Online opportunities:
    • Up to 80% of our coursework may be taken in an online format.
  • Graduate schools love Health Psychology Majors! Our curriculum enhances:
    • Critical Thinking & Decision Making
    • Problem Solving
    • Communication Skills
    • Innovation & Creativity
    • Appreciation of Diversity

Contact: Bob Reese, PhD, Director: Health Psychology; rcreese@jchs.edu

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Career Outlook

After getting graduate degrees at a variety
of institutions, Jefferson College
Health Psychology alumni have gone
to work in:
Other Options Include:
• Family Counseling • Addiction & Rehabilitation
• Therapy with Children • Community Relations
• Psychiatry • Human Resources
• School Psychology • Advertising & Media
• Nursing • Government/Healthcare Policy
• Social Work • Non-Profits
• Occupational Therapy • Health & Spirituality
• Respiratory Therapy • Health Informatics
• Behavioral Health  

Although the program is designed to prepare for graduate school in Psychology, 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 other areas and related fields, including Occupational Therapy.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of psychologists is projected to grow 19 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Job prospects should be best for those who have a doctoral degree in an applied specialty.

"One of our HPSY graduates returned as a Master's level intern to work with me in our counseling department. She was informed and well-prepared.  It was such a pleasure to have a familiar and competent face working with me to provide our students with professional and compassionate services."

Jennifer J. Slusher, Ph.D., LPC
Director, Counseling and Wellness
Jefferson College of Health Sciences

"The graduates from your program [Health Psychology] were well prepared for the rigors of the MSOT program. They knew how to study and prepare for classes. Because of their strong psychology background they understood well the OT tenets of holistic medicine and client-centered treatment. Both were academically strong students and were able to translate their psychology background easily into treatment scenarios that required the 'therapeutic use of self' when engaging in therapeutic interventions."

David  Haynes, DHS, MBA, OTR
Director, OT Graduate Programs
Jefferson College of Health Sciences

Contact: Bob Reese, PhD, Director: Health Psychology; rcreese@jchs.edu

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Psychology Minor Available

Psychology Minor

Students who are majoring in disciplines other than Health Psychology may choose to minor in Psychology. The following are the requirements for a psychology minor.

Required

  • 15 credit hours, of which 9 must be earned at Jefferson
  • PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology (or PSY 120 Introductory and Developmental Psychology) (3 credit hours)
  • Psychology course work at any level (3 credit hours)
  • Any level Research Methods course (3 credit hours)
  • Psychology 300/400 level* (6 credit hours)

*Note:  Students wishing to take a Psychology course with a lab must take IDS 254 Research Design as a prerequisite.

Courses for Psychology Minor
Required: Credit
PSY 101* Intro to Psych 3
IDS 253 Intro to Research Methods 3
OR
IDS 254 Intro to Research Design 3
*PSY 120 Introductory & Developmental
Psychology may be substituted for PSY 101
4
One course from the following:
PSY 220 Lifespan Development 3
PSY 230 Positive Psychology 3
PSY 235 Social Psychology 3
PSY 240 Abnormal Psychology 3
Two courses from the following:
PSY 340/L Health Behavior Change Methods/Lab 4
PSY 350/L Health Psychology/Lab 4
PSY 380/L Learning & Memory/Lab 4
PSY 442 Personality Theory & Assessment 3
PSY 444 Addiction & Recovery 3
PSY 445 Sensation & Perception 3
PSY 490 History & Systems of Psychology 3
PSY 492 Group Dynamics 3
PSY 493 Chronic Disease Self-Management 3
Note: 400 level courses are not offered every year—they are rotated.

Contact: Bob Reese, PhD, Director: Health Psychology; rcreese@jchs.edu

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Traditional 4-Year Plan of Study

Prefix Course Title Credit
BS in HPSY—Required Non-Psychology Courses
*GEN 100 Academic Seminar 1
*ENG 111, 112 Grammar & Comp I & II 6
*ENG ELE English (Literature) Elective 3
*PHL 115 English Elective 3
BUS 131 Foundations of Ethics 3
HUM 308 Computer Concepts & Apps 3
*HUM ELE (2) Critical Thinking 6
*IPE 200; 300; 400 Elective (HUM or SOC) 3
*MTH 165 Interprofessional Education 3
MTH 265 College Algebra 3
*BIO/CHM Introductory Statistics 3
IDS 254 Natural Sciences w/ Labs 3
PBH 335 Intro to Research Design 3
ELE Electives 15
    66
     
Prefix Course Title Credit
BS in HPSY—Required Psychology Courses
PSY 101 Intro to Psychology 3
PSY 110 Intro to the Field of HPSY 1
PSY 215/C Intro to Fieldwork & Placement 3
PSY 220 Lifespan Development 3
PSY 230 Positive Psychology 3
PSY 235 Social Psychology 3
PSY 240 Abnormal Psychology 3
PSY 300 Career Options in Psychology 1
PSY 340/L Health Behavior Change Methods/Lab 4
PSY 350/L Health Psychology/Lab 4
PSY 380/L Learning & Memory/Lab 4
PSY 401; 402 Senior Research I & II 6
PSY 415/C; 425/C Senior Fieldwork I & II Placement 8
PSY 470 Neuroscience 3
PSY 4XX Psychology 400 Level Electives 54
Choose from two of the following:
PSY 445 Community Psychology 3
PSY 442 Personality Theory & Assessment 3
PSY 444 Addiction & Recovery 3
PSY 447 Sensation & Perception 3
PSY 490 History & Systems of Psychology 3
PSY 492 Group Dynamics 3
PSY 493 Chronic Disease Self-Management 3

Contact: Bob Reese, PhD, Director: Health Psychology; rcreese@jchs.edu

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2+2 Articulation Plan of Study

BS in Health Psychology – Program of Study
2+2 Articulation (VWCC)_[60/120 cr hrs] (as of FA15)
This Articulation Agreement is for students graduating from Virginia Western Community College. It can be readily adjusted to fit others wishing to transfer into the Health Psychology Program.

Prefix Course Title Credit
Semester 5: Fall
PSY 110 Intro to the Field of HPSY 1
IPE 200 Fundamentals of Teamwork 1
PSY 230 Positive Psychology 3
PSY 300 Career Options in Psychology 1
IDS 254 Intro to Research Design 3
HUM 308 Critical Thinking 3
PSY 340/L Health Behavior Change Methods/L 4
  Total Credits 16
Semester 6: Spring
PSY 215 Intro to Fieldwork 2
PSY 215C Intro to Fieldwork Placement 1
PBH 335 Principles of Public Health 3
IPE 300 IPE HC Discovery & Collaboration 1
PSY 350/L Health Psychology/Lab 4
PSY 380/L Learning & Memory/Lab 4
  Total Credits 15
Semester 7: Fall
IPE 400 IPE HC Experiences 1
PSY 401 Senior Research I 3
PSY 415 Senior Fieldwork I 2
PSY 415C Field Placement I 2
PSY 470 Neuroscience 3
PSY 491 Senior Seminar in Psychology 3
  Total Credits 14
Semester 8: Spring
ELE Elective 2
ENG ELE English (Literature) Elective 3
PSY 4XX Psychology 400 Level Elective 3
PSY 402 Senior Research II 3
PSY 425 Senior Fieldwork II 2
PSY 425C Field Placement II 2
  Total Credits 15
  Total Credits for 3rd & 4th Years 60
  Total Credits from VWCC & Jefferson 120
Courses for PSY 400 ELE & PSY 491 Senior Seminar
(courses rotated)
PSY 442 Personality Theory & Assessment 3
PSY 444 Addition & Recovery 3
PSY 445 Sensation & Perception 3
PSY 490 History & Systems of Psychology 3
PSY 492 Group Dynamics 3
PSY 493 Chronic Disease Self-Management 3

Contact: Bob Reese, PhD, Director: Health Psychology; rcreese@jchs.edu

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Health Psychology Program Goals

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
    3.1. Apply ethical standards to evaluate psychological science and practice.
    3.2. Build and enhance interpersonal relationships.
    3.3. 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.

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Theory & Research

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.

Students conduct research in our 300 level laboratory courses and 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 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.

"M.B. [HPSY Class of 2015] spent her Senior Research time in the Addiction Recovery Research Center (ARRC) examining data from an on-going study aimed at training working memory in alcohol dependent individuals. She researched the background of working memory training, compiled and statistically analyzed the data set, and presented her research in fulfillment of her senior research project. M.B.’s work helped to both move our data analysis forward in the lab for this grant and prepare her for future research endeavors.”

Sarah Snider, Ph.D.
Post-Doctoral Associate
Addiction Recovery Research Center at Virginia Tech-Carilion Research Center

 

"In her year of Senior Research at the Addiction Recovery Research Center at Virginia Tech-Carilion Research Institute (VTCRI), M.V. [HPSY Class 2016] assisted in conducting both online and laboratory-based research examining the addictive potential of electronic cigarettes. She gained expertise in the fields of behavioral economics, addiction, and experimental psychology more broadly, including conceptual foundations, research methods, and statistical analyses. This experience prepares students for future research or professional positions and complements the coursework in psychology students receive at Jefferson College."

Jeff Stein, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor

Addiction Recovery Research Center at Virginia Tech-Carilion Research Center

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Vision and 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.

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Health Psychology Faculty

Click here to visit the Health Psychology section on the online Faculty/Staff Directory.

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Other Information: 
Additional Information