School psychologist and girl



Start your psychology career with a degree from Southwestern Michigan College to save up to 50% or more on your degree!

Whether you want to go into clinical psychology, helping diagnose and treat disorders, or apply psychological principles more broadly such as in forensics or organizational psychology, our degree will prepare you to pursue your goals with expert in-depth instruction and research opportunities.

  • About the Psychology Degree

    The human psyche affects nearly every aspect of life, influencing how we make sense of the world, react to situations, process emotions, interact with one another, and more. With the associate degree in psychology from SMC, you’ll get a strong introduction to the science behind these mental processes and to a variety of interest areas within psychology, including child and family, organizational, educational, and abnormal psychology.

    In this program, you’ll start with a course in general psychology, learning the basics of individual human behavior and getting an introduction to the scientific method as it applies to the field. Next, you’ll build on that foundation with specialized courses in social psychology, abnormal psychology, and the interest areas you choose. Through both research projects and traditional instruction, coursework will cover conformity, stereotyping, conflict and aggression, self-concept formation, clinical assessment, disorder diagnostics, treatment, and much more. All the while, you’ll also complete the general education courses required by most degree programs, so you transfer ready to jump into advanced courses in the fields you care about.

    You’ll have the option to build your own special project or to do a directed study under the guidance of faculty. 

    Outside the classroom, you can join a student organization such as Psi Beta, the national community college psychology honor society. 

    You’ll graduate with a solid foundation in the many fields of psychology and equipped to pursue advanced studies with confidence.

    The curriculum is closely related to the coursework for an associate in Social Work so you can explore this closely related field as well.

    The Associate in Arts in Psychology is a two-year degree designed to transfer to four-year institutions for a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field. It can be adapted to transfer to almost any school in the country.

  • What You’ll Learn/Courses and Curriculum

    View the full curriculum guide for the Associate in Arts in Psychology.

  • What Can I Do With a Psychology Degree?

    Psychologists study human behavior and the mind to understand why people act, think, and feel the way they do. They accomplish this through scientific studies, observation, interviews, surveys, and testing. Psychologists use this knowledge to diagnose and treat people with mental and behavioral disorders. They work in a variety of fields depending on their specialty, which may be in clinical, counseling, developmental, forensic, industrial-organizational, school, or social psychology.

    Studying psychology can also be expanded on to apply to business-related careers such as product development, marketing, human resources, and more, as these fields all require an understanding of human behavior, information gathering, and reasoning.

    The career options listed below may be attained after transferring and completing an advanced degree.

    Careers and Salaries
    Career Option Salary
    Psychologists $92,740
    Social Worker: $58,380
    Postsecondary Teacher: $84,380
    School and Career Counselors: $61,710

    2023 median pay. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Campus Photos June 2019 65


The Foster W. Daugherty Building is home to all communications, social science, and humanities classes at SMC.