Behavioral Neuropsychology

Whether you want to direct professional research in psychology or other health professions, advance social policy through public affairs, or guide others to happier and healthier lives, St. Ambrose prepares you to reach your goals.

Our graduates work at the Veterans Administration, Lutheran Social Services of Illinois, Families First Counseling Services, Quad Cities Autism Center, and U.S. District Court, Southern District of Iowa.

Ambrose Advantages

  • Student-Oriented Curriculum
  • Strong Mentor Relationships
  • Meaningful and Formative Experiences

John Stachula in front of class

student in class

Julie Kettman with three students

Through unique courses, research experiences, and immersive internships, St. Ambrose prepares you to reach your goals – and beyond. Our Psychology faculty have diverse expertise in research and clinical practice to help you grow, hone, and apply your skills, whether you want to pursue an advanced degree or directly enter the workforce.

Read Our Behavior Psychology Fact Sheet (pdf)

More Information About the Behavioral Neuropsychology Program

What will I learn?

Our Behavioral Neuropsychology program draws from diverse subjects, including psychology, biology, and chemistry. Students study the organization and function of the nervous system and its relationship to behavior, cognition, and disorders.

Our faculty has diverse experience in psychological research and clinical practice, which allows us to offer unique courses, research experiences, and internships that go far beyond traditional undergraduate programs.

Throughout your education, you will benefit from strong relationships with psychology faculty members who share their expertise in experimental, clinical/counseling, neuroscience, and forensic areas. Best of all, they believe their job is to teach and mentor.

Starting in your first year, you meet with a faculty member at least once a semester, or as often as needed, to discuss goals and ways to enhance your education. Their guidance continues through your senior year, as they offer career advice or help you with graduate school applications.

What are some unique learning opportunities I will have?

There are so many! Here's just a few:

  • You can gain hands-on research experience through the SAU Summer Research Institute.
  • Our internships and field experience go beyond shadowing professionals. You get to apply and build on your knowledge. The Quad Cities boasts more than 90 health and human services organizations, giving you a variety of placement options. Our students have served as interns at Arrowhead Youth and Family Services, Center for Active Seniors, Child Abuse Council, Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center, Scott County Jail, Scott County Sheriff's Office, and Vera French Mental Health Program.
  • Next, shoot even higher. Behavioral Neuropsychology majors have completed the prestigious University of Iowa Interdisciplinary Summer Undergraduate Research Program in Neuroscience.
  • Join Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology.
  • Join the Psychology Club, which holds joint meetings and events with the SAU Psi Chi Chapter. This gives members more opportunities and the ability to make a larger impact.
  • Get involved. All psychology students are strongly encouraged to support organizations in the community, such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness; volunteer in campus activities, and join professional organizations.
  • St. Ambrose hosts a large number of university and community events, conferences, and discussions on topics that will expand your learning and worldview, and most are free for students.
Study Abroad

You've heard people say it before: "College will be the greatest time of your life!" With Study Abroad, you can add even more to your college years.

You can study in another country – without paying extra tuition – in a semester-long or short-term study abroad program (with a few offered during spring and winterim breaks). No matter the duration, these trips deepen your professional education while earning credit toward graduation.

There are also opportunities through an exchange program, an overseas internship, or volunteering. The limits for Study Abroad are only ones you set for yourself! SAU students have studied in Italy, Costa Rica, Australia, Korea, United Kingdom, Spain, Ecuador, Japan, Germany, Peru, Cyprus, Croatia, Belize, Canada, Chile, and more.

SAU students returning from their Study Abroad locations talk about their time away as life-changing - personally, emotionally, culturally, and academically. Click here to search our Study Abroad programs, and for general information click here.

What are some possible job outcomes?

The study of psychology at the bachelor's level is good preparation for many industries, including: public affairs, education, business, sales, service industries, and healthcare.

You may work with performers and athletes to reduce stress and improve performance; advise lawyers on jury selection; collaborate with educators on school reform; and help victims and bystanders recover from a disaster.

You could also work as a human resource specialist, employment counselor, correction counselor trainee, interviewer, personnel analyst, parole officer, police officer, market researcher, and lab assistant, as well as a valued employee in a wide array of human services and helping professions.

Our program is fully coordinated with our health sciences programs, which offers graduate degrees in Occupational TherapyPhysical TherapyExercise Physiology, and Social Work.


Andy Kaiser, PhD, Professor and Chair

Robin Anderson, PhD, Professor
Jennifer Best, MSEd, Visiting Asst. Professor
Carol DeVolder, PhD, Professor
Judy Correa Kaiser, PhD, Professor
Julie Jenks Kettman, PhD, Assoc. Professor
John Stachula, PhD, Professor
Katie Trujillo, PhD, Professor

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Science Degree in Behavioral Neuropsychology


PSYC 105 Introductory Psychology, 3 credits
PSYC 215 Research Methods, 3 credits
PSYC 255 Brain and Behavior, 3 credits
PSYC 331 Learning and Memory, 3 credits
PSYC 360 Behavioral Pharmacology, 3 credits OR PSYC 402 Psychology of Sensation and Perception, 3 credits
PSYC 403 Behavioral Neuroscience, 3 credits
PSYC 404 Advanced Experimental Design and Analysis, 4 credits
STAT 213 Applied Statistical Reasoning for the Sciences, 3 credits
BIOL 199 General Biology I: Foundations of Living Systems, 4 credits
BIOL 200 General Biology II: Foundations of Living Systems, 4 credits
BIOL 230 Human Anatomy and Physiology I, 4 credits
CHEM 105 General Chemistry I, 4 credits
CHEM 106 General Chemistry II, 4 credits
PHYS 203 College Physics I, 4 credits
PHYS 204 (required for DPT) College Physics II or NSCI 105 Introduction to Physical Sciences, 4 credits;
MATH 171 Elementary Functions, or higher level math (MATH 191 is strongly recommended for graduate school), 3 credits

9 Additional credit hours in psychology at the 300 level

Plan to Graduate

This is the suggested plan of study to graduate in four years with a degree in Behavioral Neuropsychology. This plan assumes the student has not satisfied the foreign language requirement (three years of foreign language in high school).

Year One

ENGL 101 3 Oral Communication 3
MATH 171 Elementary Functions 3 STAT 213 Applied Stats/Science 3
Foreign Language 101 3 Catholic Intellectual Tradition 3
PSYC 105 Introductory Psychology 3 Foreign Language 102 3
KIN Activity 1-2 *Liberal Arts Perspective 3
New Student Seminar 1 **Experiential Learning
KIN 149 1
Total Credits 15-16 Total Credits 15

Year Two

†Liberal Arts Perspective: Natural Science (Rec. BIOL 101, CHEM 101) + Lab (Gen Ed) 3-4 *Liberal Arts Perspective 3-4
†PSYC 215 Research Methods 3 †PSYC 225 3
†Catholic Intellectual Tradition 3 Elective or BIOL 200 3-4
†NSCI 105 or PHYS 2033 3 PHIL/THEO 300 Level 3
†**Experiential Learning 3 †WI Course (200 or 300 any department) 3
**Experiential Learning
Total Credits 15-16 Total Credits 15-17

Year Three

†PSYC 331 3 †PSYC 300-Level 3
†PSYC 403 3 †PSYC 360 Psychopharmacology 3
*Liberal Arts Perspective 3 Elective 3
†CHEM 103 (OR 105)2 4 Elective or CHEM 106 3-4
Catholic Intellectual Tradition 3 Elective/Second Major or Minor 3
**Experiential Learning **Experiential Learning
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 15-16

Year Four

†WI-PSYC 404 3 †PSYC 402 3
Elective/Second Major or Minor 3 †PSYC 300 or 400 level 3
300-level Electives 9 Electives/Second Major or Minor 9
Major Field Test (Required for Graduation) **Experiential Learning
**Experiential Learning
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 15

† Needs pre-requisite
*Liberal Arts Perspective History category must be from 2 different departments

**PSYC 294/394 Research Practicum (if taking Research course for credit PSYC 105- Must talk to Psych Advisor); Volunteering, Psychology Club, Exploration of Graduate School)
***WI-PSYC 342 and WI-PSYC 314 have an additional pre-req; 1(Must take BIOL 200); 2(Must Take CHEM 106); 3(Must take PHYS 204)

WI=writing intensive
ADULT=Concentration in Adult Services

CHILD=Concentration in Children Services

Scholarships and Grants

Undergraduate Scholarships

For academic/merit-based awards, eligible students are matched to the qualifying award; some of them are listed below.

For need-based support, eligibility is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The SAU school code is 001889.

You may also qualify for a scholarship or grant due to your talent in the fine arts or athletics. Give us a call or send an email so we can get to know you and find the best package for you. (You're also encouraged to seek outside scholarships and begin that search early.)

First-Year Scholarships

Amounts are for first-year students entering St. Ambrose in the 2019-20 academic year. There is no need to apply for the scholarships or grants below; students automatically are eligible if they meet specific criteria. The Admissions Office calculates the award amount by using unweighted high school GPA and ACT/SAT scores.

Your scholarship will automatically renew each year of your undergraduate studies, for up to four years, as long as you maintain satisfactory progress toward an undergraduate degree, a minimum 2.0 GPA, and remain a full-time student. 

On Campus (Merit-Based Scholarships)

Trustee Scholarships
Criteria: unweighted 4.0 GPA and minimum 30 ACT or 1390 SAT score
Award: $23,000 per year and invited to compete for a full tuition scholarship

Presidential Scholarships
Criteria: minimum unweighted 3.8 GPA and 28 ACT or 1310 SAT score
Award: $20,000 per year

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $14,000 per year, $15,000 per year, $16,000 per year or $17,000 per year

University Grants
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
$12,000 per year

On Campus (Additional Institutional Scholarships)

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $1,000 per year

Fr. Menke Catholic Parish Scholarships
Criteria: member of Catholic parish in the Diocese of Davenport
Award: varies

Freeman Pollard Diversity Awards
Criteria: diverse student
Award: $1,000/year

Off Campus (Merit-Based Scholarships)

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $11,000 per year, $12,000 per year, $13,000 per year or $14,000 per year

University Grants
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $10,000 per year

Off-Campus (Additional Institutional Scholarships)

Fr. Menke Catholic Parish Scholarships
Criteria: member of Catholic parish in the Diocese of Davenport
Award: varies

Freeman Pollard Diversity Awards
Criteria: diverse student
Award: $500 per year

Transfer Scholarships

Amounts are for transfer students entering St. Ambrose in the 2019-20 academic year. 

St. Ambrose scholarships are awarded for fall and spring semesters only and renewable up to 120 credits of undergraduate study, which includes credits transferred to St. Ambrose from prior attendance. For example: If you transfer in with an AA/AS degree, you would receive a scholarship for two additional years at St. Ambrose.


Phi Theta Kappa
Criteria: awarded to all Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society members transferring from a community college
Award: $14,000


Transfer Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on GPA
3.5-4.00 GPA $13,000 
3.0-3.49 GPA $12,000
2.5-2.99 GPA $11,000 
2.0-2.49 GPA $9,000 

Out-of-State Grants
Criteria: non-Iowa resident
Award: $2,000 per year

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate; on-campus students only
Award: $1,000 per year

Dual Admission Scholarships
Criteria: participant in SAU/community college dual admission program
Award: $1,000 per year

Freeman Pollard Diversity Awards
Criteria: diverse student
Award: $1,000 per year on-campus; $500 per year off-campus

Federal and State Aid

Federal Pell Grant
Criteria: based on financial need; file FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1
Award: $6,095 maximum

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
Criteria: based on financial need, priority to Pell Grant recipients. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1.
Award: $400 maximum

Federal Work Study
Criteria: based on financial need. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1
Award: $1,850

Iowa Tuition Grant
Criteria: based on financial need, Iowa residents only. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1, deadline July 1.
Award: $5,650

Athletic Scholarships

As a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), St. Ambrose can award athletic scholarships to student athletes. These scholarships allow you to earn a college education while competing in the sport that you love. At Ambrose, we embody that value of developing both the mind and body.

How do I qualify for an athletic scholarship?
You must first be eligible to play a sport at St. Ambrose. You can read about those qualifications here. The NAIA also has a complete website on how to register for eligibility at

Fine Arts Scholarships

How do I qualify for a fine arts scholarship? 
Scholarships are awarded based on performance and ability in art, music and theatre. Review the various requirements below:

Outside Scholarships

There are many opportunities to receive scholarships from outside sources, here are a few websites to begin researching your options:

Another tip: Next time you're on campus, check out the bulletin board outside Bee Central where we post more flyers and applications for outside scholarships.


Ashley Nelson

Bachelor of Science in Biology,Class of 2014

We have roughly 150 biology majors, which means our faculty can give students personal attention and guidance. Many of our undergraduate programs are intentionally designed to give you an exceptional foundation for medical programs. We do all we can to help you explore – and reach your goals – just as we did with Ashley.

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Andy Kaiser, PhD, Chairperson

Psychology Department
McMullen Hall 113
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803

So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? St. Ambrose offers more than 60 programs and 27 athletic teams and sports to join on campus. Become an Ambrosian today!