Enhance Your Understanding of Human Behavior

Psychology at Kirkwood focuses on describing, predicting, and explaining behavior from different perspectives. Knowledge is ever changing, but the ability to think critically and to judge the source of the information is an important emphasis in these courses.

The Psychology interest area at Kirkwood covers what you need to begin your educational journey, including the basics of psychology, as well as developmental, abnormal, and social psychology.

As a Liberal Arts student, you will take core requirements while choosing exciting and thought-provoking electives in psychology. Kirkwood has special transfer agreements with all three state universities and many other four-year institutions, including a 2+2 agreement with the University of Iowa. 

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Each year, many students successfully transfer their Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees from Kirkwood to four-year institutions in Iowa and across the country. If you are planning to transfer to a four-year program, you will work very closely with advisors in our Advising and Transfer Center. They will make sure you have everything completed for a seamless transfer.

Our advisors will take the guesswork and confusion out of the process, ensuring you meet Kirkwood’s graduation requirements, as well as the admission requirements and transferability of courses to your transfer school. By meeting with our advisors early and often, you’ll be better prepared for the next steps in continuing your psychology education after Kirkwood.

Take advantage of your share of more than $3 million in scholarship opportunities. At Kirkwood, we make it easy. You only need to apply once, even if you are eligible for more than one scholarship.

NSF STEM Scholars Program

  • Students must be enrolled full-time, in one of the following transfer programs of study: Agriculture, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Environmental Science, Exercise Science, Geology, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology – or be enrolled in one of the following career technical programs: Agriculture Graphic Information Systems, CAD/Mechanical Engineering Technology, Computer Information Systems, Electronic Engineering Technology, Geographic Information Systems, LAN Management, Parks and Natural Resources, Telecommunication Technology.
  • Must have satisfactorily completed prerequisite course work with a minimum 3.0 grade point average.
  • Students new to Kirkwood meeting minimum requirements may be asked to submit high school and college transcripts.
  • Must be citizens of the United States, nationals of the United States, aliens admitted as refugees, or aliens lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence.
  • Must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and demonstrate financial need as determined by the U.S. Department of Education for need-based federal financial aid.

Psychology graduates possess good research and writing skills and are good problem solvers. Our courses apply to a variety of careers. With further study, many find jobs in:

  • Public affairs
  • Education
  • Business
  • Sales
  • Service industries
  • Health industries
  • Computer programming
  • Administrative support

Kirkwood can help you explore your career options by providing exciting experiences in and out of the classroom to help you determine the best path for you.

Explore More

The Psychology interest area at Kirkwood is part of our Liberal Arts program. You will work closely with the Advising and Transfer Center and psychology faculty when deciding on which classes are right for you. Our psychology faculty are experts with real-world experience who are ready to help you navigate toward a rewarding career.

With many options to choose from, the advising process will also help you choose the courses that prepare you for the career you want. Sample classes include:

PSY-111 Introduction to Psychology
Introduces the scientific study of mental processes and behavior with emphasis on the nervous system, learning and memory, cognition, sensation and perception, motivation and emotion, personality, intelligence, stress, psychological disorders and therapy, and social influence. Stresses roles of both theory and empirical evidence in describing, explaining and predicting behavior. Encourages critical thinking about research methods and ethics.

Credits: 3, Hours: (3/0/0/0), Prereq: none; Coreq: none; Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A


PSY-121 Developmental Psychology
Introduces physical, cognitive, and psychosocial development from a lifespan perspective covering conception until death. Provides an introduction to major theories and classic and contemporary research, and examines normative development as impacted by genes, maturation, experience, cohort, gender, race, social class, and culture. Discusses topics including developmental research methods; genetics; prenatal development; infancy; childhood; adolescence; early, middle and late adulthood; and death and bereavement.

Credits: 3, Hours: (3/0/0/0), Prereq: PSY-111; Coreq: none; Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A


PSY-241 Abnormal Psychology
Describes emotional, cognitive, and behavioral disorders using the current edition of the DSM for classification and diagnosis of disorders. Explores assessment, causes and treatments of disorders from a biopsychosocial perspective. Reviews historical and current theoretical perspectives of abnormality, research methods, and legal and ethical issues.

Credits: 3, Hours: (3/0/0/0), Prereq: PSY-111; Coreq: none; Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A


PSY-251 Social Psychology
Explores how an individual's thinking, feelings and behavior are affected by others. Covers research methods, ethics, and classic as well as contemporary research on topics including social beliefs and judgments, self and person perception, attitude formation and change, prejudice, aggression and conflict, helping and prosocial behavior, interpersonal attraction, gender-related behavior, conformity and deviation, persuasion, and group influence.

Credits: 3, Hours: (3/0/0/0), Prereq: PSY-111; Coreq: none; Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A


PSY-261 Human Sexuality
Provides an introduction to psychological, biological, cultural, and legal aspects of human sexuality. Examines scientific approaches to the study of sexual anatomy and physiology, conception and contraception, sexual health and illness, sexual development across the lifespan, consensual and nonconsensual behavior, gender, sexual orientation, sexual diversity, intimate relationships, and the sexual marketplace.

Credits: 3, Hours: (3/0/0/0), Prereq: none; Coreq: none; Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A


PSY-924 Honors Project
Allows a qualified honors student to pursue a special concentration of study under the guidance of a faculty member. Requires completion of an honors project contact. 

Credits: 1, Hours: (1/0/0/0), Prereq: none; Coreq: none; Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A; Comments: Requires approval of supervising professor and dean

Dr. Jennifer Meehan Brennom
Title: Professor, Psychology
Phone: 319-398-5899 ext. 1090
Office: 1047 Cedar Hall
Education: B.A.; Coe College, M.A.; University of Northern Iowa, Ph.D.; Iowa State University
Bio: Jennifer's doctoral coursework focused on romantic relationships and quantitative research methods. Her dissertation involved a developmental approach to understanding cohabitation versus marriage as a first union. Jennifer's master’s thesis was on the influence of social prestige between dating partners on dating behaviors, and she has published research on in-law relationships. She was previously employed as a statistician. Jennifer was awarded the Frank Costin Memorial Award of Excellence from the National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology for best promoting quality teaching methods, as well as a NISOD Excellence Award.


Heidi Pierce
Title: Professor, Psychology
Phone: 319-887-3645
Office: Iowa City Campus room 248
Education: M.S.; Iowa State University
Bio: Heidi teaches Abnormal Psychology, Social Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Intro to Psychology, and Human Sexuality. Her academic background includes experimental work in psychopharmacology and an advanced degree with co-majors in psychology and neuroscience. Heidi enjoys working with students in the classroom and exchanging ideas with individual students during office hours. In addition to teaching at Kirkwood, Heidi provides Behavioral Health Intervention Services for children with severe mental illness.


Randy Schultz
Title: Associate Professor, Psychology
Phone: 319-398-5899 ext. 5718
Office: 1031 Cedar Hall
Education: A.A.; Kirkwood Community College, B.A.; University of Northern Iowa, M.A.; University of Northern Iowa
Bio: Randy teaches Intro to Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and Social Psychology. His research interests include mental health across the lifespan; social, emotional, cognitive, and identity development of college students; self-efficacy; and social psychological theory. His courses focus on applying psychological theories to everyday life.


Christine Shea-Hunt
Title: Associate Professor, Psychology
Phone: 319-398-5899 ext. 5706
Office: 1032 Cedar Hall
Education: B.A. and M.A.; University of Iowa
Bio: After working as a substance abuse and crisis counselor for 10 years, Christine transitioned to teaching, first at Coe College in Cedar Rapids and then at Kirkwood starting in 2009. Christine teaches Introduction to Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and College 101.


Emily Waters
Title: Faculty
Phone: 319-398-5899 ext. 5142
Office: 1028 Cedar Hall


Judith Wightman
Title: Associate Professor, Psychology
Phone: 319-398-5899 ext. 4937
Office: 1029 Cedar Hall
Education: B.A.; University of Northern Iowa, M.A.; University of Nebraska at Omaha
Bio: Judith teaches Introduction to Psychology and Human Sexuality. Her academic background is in industrial/organizational psychology, which is the study of psychology applied to the workplace. She enjoys helping students connect what they learn in class to their everyday lives, and working with her colleagues on teaching methods and technology related to teaching.

Adjunct Faculty

Kerris Dillon
Amanda Osborn
Connie Rosene
Carolyn Stephenson
Susan Wolle

Active Minds
Angie Ziesman Weiler, advisor

Active Minds is a national, student-run organization designed to promote mental health awareness and decrease the stigma on college campuses. Students develop creative communication strategies regarding mental health issues and implement through thought provoking activities.

Active Minds allows students to develop leadership skills, increase knowledge of mental health issues, and is an excellent resume builder and networking opportunity.

The club is for anyone. Students who are going into human services, psychology, etc. tend to be interested. However, there are students in the club who are just passionate about mental health and aren't necessarily going into a related field.

Meetings are usually held on Thursday's during fall and spring semesters at 11:15 a.m. in 125 Iowa Hall.

View all clubs and organizations

Photo of Liz Schultz

“When I walk into a building on campus at Kirkwood, I know there are always resources that will help me with anything I need. The professors and students are kind and caring whenever you need help.”

Liz Schultz,
North Liberty, Iowa


Social Sciences
2092 Cedar Hall