What is Psychology?

These are amazing times for those who study Psychology, the science of brain and behavior. Breakthroughs are being made every day in our understanding of the emotional, cognitive, and social aspects of humans throughout the lifespan, and new therapies to help those with mental illness are also being developed regularly.

The Psychology faculty at Le Moyne College is a broad representation of the discipline; each person brings expertise from a different area of Psychology to share with our students. Our Department’s primary goal is that our students will develop a solid understanding of theoretical and empirical aspects of Psychology that will prepare them for the future, regardless of whether the future entails immediate employment or entry into a graduate school program. We hope that our students will be able to use the existent Psychological literature to answer questions that they may have and that they will be able to employ a scientific approach to investigating behavior and experience.

We would like for our students to demonstrate critical thinking and analytic skills in evaluating psychological theories or evidence for those theories. It is also important to us that our students are able to behave as ethical professionals after they graduate, so students are trained to apply the ethical guidelines of the American Psychological Association (APA) and asked to demonstrate knowledge of discipline-specific writing standards. The faculty of the Department of Psychology at Le Moyne College is deeply committed to encouraging students and eager to help them to develop both themselves and their knowledge of Psychology.

A Student's Thesis: Hey, Are You Listening?
Musical Training and the Psychology of Listening Comprehension

In a room full of accepted students, Christina Nicolais '11 and the other students from the College’s a cappella musical group, Fermata Nowhere, spontaneously break into song. The creation of this ‘flash mob’ demonstrated the impact that music can have to create a memorable experience.

The question of how music and memory are related is what drove Christina Nicolais to turn her love of music into her Departmental Honors psychology research thesis. Under the mentorship of a faculty member, Christina examined the impact of musical training on students listening comprehension. She was interested in learning how listening to music while studying affects how we learn. Her research has taken her to an International Psychology Conference in Washington, D.C., and to Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Miami, Florida where she is pursuing her doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

Psychology Courses and Requirements

If you would like to learn more about courses, requirements, and opportunities for the Psychology major or Psychology minor, please see the Le Moyne College catalog.

Student Learning Goals

Students studying psychology will develop an understanding of theoretical and empirical knowledge in the discipline, along with an understanding that psychology employs a scientific approach to investigating behavior and experience. They will learn:

  1. To develop an understanding of various theories and content in Psychology.
  2. To develop an understanding of the research methods and techniques used by psychologists.
  3. To develop an understanding of career paths in psychology.
  4. To demonstrate literacy, critical thinking skills, and analytical skills.
  5. To apply the ethical guidelines of the American Psychological Association (APA).
  6. To demonstrate knowledge of discipline-specific writing standards.

Psychology at Le Moyne


The major objective of the psychology department is to familiarize students with the basic methods and theories utilized to study the behavior of humans and animals. Through an offering of lecture, discussion, laboratory and field experiences, the department provides students with a comprehensive overview of the various approaches employed by psychologists while enabling individuals to pursue specific interests in greater depth.

Meet the Faculty

Brenda J. Kirby

Brenda Kirby

Department Chair, Professor View Bio
Vincent W. Hevern, S.J.

Vincent Hevern, S.J.

Professor View Bio
Christina B. Michaelson

Christina Michaelson

Associate Professor View Bio

Our Next Social Science Seminar

seminar series logo
Tuesday, October 6th

Dr. Jonathan Parent
Department of Political Science
"Framing Choice: The Reproductive Rights Debate from the Early Republic to Today."
Reilley Room, 4th floor of Reilly Hall, 4:00 pm

Presentations and Q&A: 4-5 pm; time to socialize: 5-5:30 pm

Social Science Seminar Series

Presentations by invited guests and Le Moyne faculty

All events begin at 4:00 pm in the Reilley Room, 4th floor of Reilly Hall.

For more information, contact Dr. Wayne Grove.

Tuesday, September 15th

Dr. Kristin B. Dupre
National Institutes of Health
“Brain Activity in the Neurological Disorder of Parkinson’s Disease."

Tuesday, October 6th

Dr. Jonathan Parent
Department of Political Science
"Framing Choice: The Reproductive Rights Debate from the Early Republic to Today."

Tuesday, October 27th

Dr. Micah Morton
Department of Anthropology, Criminology and Sociology
"From Blood to Fruit: Crypto-nationalist Reformations of the Ancestral Burden in the Akha World of Mainland Southeast Asia and Southwest China."

Tuesday, November 17th

Dr. Chandan Jha
Department of Economics
“The Role of Historical Resource Scarcity in Modern Gender Inequality.”

Get Involved on Campus

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Theresa White

Psychology Club

The Psychology Club promotes Psychology both on the Le Moyne College campus and in the world. The goal of Psychology Club is to stimulate student interest in the Psychology around us, as well as to promote interactions between students learning about this topic. Members educate others about the field of psychology, through films, lectures, panels, and a variety of other activities, including service.

Psi Chi

Psi Chi is the International Honor Society in Psychology. This Honor Society was founded in 1929 for the purposes of encouraging, stimulating, and maintaining excellence in scholarship and advancing the science of psychology. Psi Chi now has more than 1,000 chapters world-wide, including Le Moyne College. Students are invited to join Le Moyne’s Psi Chi chapter based on their academic achievement; completion of at least three semesters of college and at least 15 credit hours of psychology are also required. Once a student accepts the invitation, the formal induction ceremony takes place near the end of the spring semester. Membership in Psi Chi is life-long, and it provides members with opportunities for scholarships, fellowships, and professional development as a psychologist.

Visit the Psi Chi website here.

Exploring Careers in Psychology
An Online Career-Exploration Resource for Psychology Majors (2015)

For Faculty: A Formal Introduction to the Resource  (will download to your computer)
For Students: An Online Career-Exploration Resource for Psychology Majors (will download to your computer)

Author: Drew C. Appleby
Affiliation: Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis
Description: This resource has two parts. The first (for faculty) contains cited references, suggestions of ways to use the resource to promote student success, and lists of printed and online sources to aid them in their career-advising activities. The second (for students) consists of a list of 258 careers (organized into 15 broad occupational categories) that psychology majors can prepare to enter. Persons employed in 56 of these careers are psychologists who must hold the appropriate graduate degree. Persons employed in the remaining 202 psychology-related careers (that require the demonstration of psychological knowledge and skills, but which do not carry the title of psychologist) are divided almost equally into two categories: those that can be entered with a bachelor’s degree and those that require a graduate degree. Following each career name are hotlinks for websites, videos, interviews, and e-book chapters containing information that provide students with online career-exploration resources. Faculty, advisors, and administrators can use this resource in their classes, advising sessions, and departmental websites to help psychology majors begin the process of accomplishing Goal 5: Professional Development of APA’s Guidelines for the Undergraduate Psychology Major: Version 2.0.

Psychology Alumni

Bri Vespone

Bri Vespone

Psychology / 2013

"Le Moyne was the greatest college experience I could have ever hoped for."

View Story
Christina Nicolais

Christina Nicolais

Psychology / 2011

"As a psychology major at Le Moyne I was able to tailor my degree."

View Story
Lindsay Monnat

Lindsey Monnat

Psychology / 2008

My favorite thing about being a psychology major was...

View Story

Get in Touch

Contact the Department Chair:

Dr. Brenda J. Kirby


(315) 445-4788


Contact the Department:

Reilly Hall 201
Department of Psychology
Le Moyne College
1419 Salt Springs Road
Syracuse, NY 13214


(315) 445-4100