Department of Psychology

Hope to study the human brain? Feel called to serve people with physical, psychological, or social difficulties? Want to help a corporation or firm understand customers better? In the Department of Psychology at Indiana University Kokomo, you'll get to study the basic principles of human behavior and cognition with learning to research, write, and speak effectively. We'll prepare you for all kinds of careers - making a degree in psychology very versatile and marketable.

I had an inaccurate idea of what research was, and I thought I couldn’t do it. I’m not good in math, and I was afraid of statistics. It totally changed my skill set and gave me more confidence. I used to be intimidated by research, but now I love it. I have so many questions, and she’s taught me how to ask the questions and how to find the answers.

-Shantel Galliard, B.S. '17, Psychology

We have lofty goals for our students; you’ll study a full range of topics like lifespan development, abnormal psychology, neuroscience, personality psychology, and social psychology. When you graduate, you’ll understand the major theoretical approaches to human behavior and cognition, have abilities to gather, analyze, synthesize, and apply your knowledge, have a healthy skepticism about conclusions presented without supporting data, and communicate effectively with a variety of audiences. At IU Kokomo, we offer a few different ways to study this subject. You can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, a Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling, or a minor in psychology.

You'll get the knowledge you need in the classroom and the experience you need out in the real world.

When you are a part of the Department of Psychology at IU Kokomo, you are preparing for your future. You’ll be encouraged to actively participate and get involved on campus, whether it’s in a practicum experience, an in-depth research project side-by-side with a faculty advisor, study-abroad opportunities, or in our student organizations. You can get involved with the Psychology Club and the psychology honor society for upperclassmen, Psi Chi. You can contact Professor Rosalyn Davis to be added to the Psychology Club’s email list!

Watch the Psychology Video with Audio Description

Description of the video:

IU Kokomo: Under the Sea Psychology - Katie Kirchner Transcript

Indiana University Kokomo

Fulfilling the Promise

Katie Kirchner is shown in front of an aquarium as she is interviewed: The best thing about working with stingrays is being able to feed them. Usually, sometimes we can either feed them in the tank while we’re diving or…

While she is speaking, a diver is shown feeding stingrays in the tank.

Narrator voiceover: Meet Katie. She’s a Psychology major who dreams of being a dolphin trainer. Currently she’s between volunteering and interning at the Indianapolis Zoo where she takes care of animals, like these stingrays. We brought our intern, Alexis Nash, with us to find the connection between Psychology and training.

Alexis Nash is shown interviewing: I mean; why did you choose Psychology to work with animals?

Katie Kirchner responds: Well, I didn’t know Psychology had anything to do with training animals at first and so I actually went to a dolphin show and I asked one of the trainers, “How do I do what you do?” And they said just get a four-year degree in Psychology. It was in that first semester I talked to Dr. Downey about wanting to do this.

Christina Downey is interviewed in her office: This was new to me.

Narrator voiceover: So we met up with Dr. Downey and asked how a land-locked psychology program is working to help out a student with a marine mammal dream.

Dr. Downey is shown interacting with Katie in her office.

Christina Downey: I have colleagues who understand the principles but none of us have direct experience with that so a lot of credit has to go to Katie for really challenging us to make us support her and make us prepare her in the best way that we could.

Alexis Nash interviews Katie: How has Dr. Downey helped you through this entire process?

Divers are shown in tanks swimming with stingrays.

Katie responds: She’s been amazing. She has helped me from the start. She told me I had to wait a couple years at first before I could start the internship and then I had to take some courses beforehand in Psychology. And she’s just been, ever since day one, there for me. That’s what’s great about her. She cares so much for her students.

Dr. Downey is interviewed in her office: There are many students who come in…

Narrator voiceover: We asked Dr. Downey to break down what kind of a student Katie represents.

Dr. Downey is shown teaching in a classroom setting.

Dr. Downey: They see themselves as here’s what I am, here’s what I’m good at, here are the things I’m not good at, and that’s just the end of the story. I’m always going to be that way. Katie didn’t come in that way. She came in with a growth mindset which says here are the things I think I’m good at so far but I think I can change. I can improve if I put some work into it.

Narrator voiceover: Now, back to the Indy Zoo, Alexis asked her supervisor, Tamara King, how Katie’s education will help.

Scenes rotate from Alexis touring the tanks and watching various animals in exhibits.

Tamara King is interviewed: It will help with the training and the behavior because it’s not only just caring for them, you have to recognize their behavior and make sure they’re healthy and not acting off. You basically have to learn the animal. You just can’t throw them fish or clean up after them. So that will definitely help her.

Professor Downey is interviewed in her office: If there’s some room for an education to feel some pride, that’s what I feel pride about. It’s knowing students leave us better people, well-equipped to make the world better. That’s what we want.

Narrator voiceover: So, Alexis, any final questions for Katie?

Alexis interviews Katie at the Zoo: What do you want people to know about the zoo and about your experience?

Katie responds: I want people to know how much of an amazing experience it is to work at the zoo, work with the staff, work with the animals in particular. Not a lot of people get to do something like this. You see them through glass but when you’re on the other side, it means a lot more than just watching them. You get to work with them and I think that’s what makes being an intern, being a volunteer here all that much more fun.

Katie waves to the camera from inside the tank as the words, “You Matter Here.” appear on the screen.

Penguins are shown swimming in a tank as the words, “Produced by the Office of Media and Marketing, Indiana University Kokomo,” fill the screen.

The following credits are shown:

Indiana University Kokomo

Fulfilling the Promise

Katie and Alexis are shown looking down into the stingray tank as the following words appear on the screen:

Special thanks to:

The Indianapolis Zoo

  • Carla Knapp
  • Craig Banister
  • Tamara King
  • Holly Kennedy

Music by:

“Republic” by Good Old Neon


Ready to begin your journey?

A Lifetime of Success

Field trip harnesses psychology career ideas


In a barn near Cicero, Indiana, the psychologists and teachers have four legs. Jitterbug, a quarter pony, lead nine eighth-grade boys through lessons on leadership, assisted by human instructors. Psychology students from Indiana University Kokomo were able to observe a potential career in their field during a sophomore sojourn to Agapé Therapeutic Riding Resources Inc.

Learn more about this field trip

Research opportunities gives confidence


When planning her path to graduate school, Shantel Galliard intentionally chose the track that did not involve research. “I had an inaccurate idea of what research was, and I thought I couldn’t do it,” she said, “I’m not good in math, and I was afraid of statistics.” Less than a year later, with encouragement from Rosalyn Davis, clinical assistant professor of psychology, Galliard presented research at the American Psychology Association’s international conference in Denver — and also earned an A in her statistics class.

Learn more about this research opportunity

New Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling


Indiana University Kokomo fills a need for mental health care providers, launching its Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling program during the fall 2018 semester. The program has long been requested, both by students and employers, according to Kathy Holcomb, chairperson of the psychology department, which surveyed human service organizations in north central Indiana to assess the need.

New Master of Arts

Alumnae impact quality of life


“Mom.” It’s a simple word, one mothers may take for granted. But for the mother of a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), hearing that name is a hard-fought victory, and a treasured moment. Those breakthroughs are what fulfill Jacqueline Schick in her career as a registered behavior technician, working with children with ASD.

Alumnae impact quality of life