Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and mental processes.  To achieve the mission of the Psychology Department, students study a range of topics that expose them to a variety of methodologies and laboratory experiences that will enable them to evaluate, interpret, and solve problems in the workplace, at home, and in their communities.  Course topics may include human and animal learning, cognition and behavior, child and adulty development, normal and abnormal behavior, addictions, neuroscience, and the applications of psychology to business, education, and health.  The curriculum emphasizes active learning, fieldwork, and research within an international environment that prepares students for graduate study in psychology and/or a broad range of entry-level positions in psychology and the community.

Students who complete a bachelor's degree at HPU learn the science of psychology.  This means that they know how to engage in scientific inquiry and critical thinking.  They also learn skills that are critical to the scientific process and to success in any field such as quantitative ability, and oral and written communication.  Much of students' learning at HPU comes through real world experiences such as internships and hands on research.  All of these skills can be applied to jobs both within and outside of the field of psychology.

Students at HPU have completed internships with sites such as the Hawaii State Department of Education, Queen's Hospital, Hawaii State Hospital, Hina Mauka, and Palama Settlement.  They have also coauthored peer reviewed research in journals and as book chapters.  Our students regularly attend and present at the Annual Conference of the Association for Psychological Science (APS).

Students who complete the Psychology program will:

  • Demonstrate familiarity with the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in psychology.
  • Understand and apply basic research methods in psychology, including research design, data analysis, and interpretation.
  • Respect and use critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry, and, when possible, the scientific approach to solve problems related to behavior and mental processes.
  • Understand and apply psychological principles to personal, social, and organizational issues.
  • Value empirical evidence, tolerate ambiguity, act ethically, and reflect other values that are the underpinnings of psychology as a science.

  • Application
  • Transcripts
  • Personal Statement
  • $45 Application Fee
  • SAT I or ACT Scores (freshman only)
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Resume