Prepare yourself for a career supporting individual and community mental health through our programs in psychology and counseling.

The science and practice of mental health services is a growing field, whether your interests lie in research, serving in a school or community service setting, or working one-on-one with individuals,  couples and families. 
 
Students explore the roots of human behavior and apply that knowledge to help people adopt behaviors and structure environments that will increase their longevity, performance and quality of life. We offer strong and active collaborations with community partners around the Kansas City metropolitan area which help to expand the learning environment. 

Programs

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

We provide students with a fundamental understanding of the field of psychology, including its value as a scientific method for understanding human behavior and solving social and behavioral problems. In addition to a wide selection of classes, there are opportunities for study outside the classroom, both through research experiences that allow collaboration with faculty in the department’s research laboratories, as well as applied internships that connect our students with agencies in our community. Our field practicum/internship class allows students to earn course credit through internships with community agencies.  
 
An undergraduate degree in psychology can lead to careers in human resources, nonprofit management, mental health services and research. Many students in these programs pursue graduate studies in psychology or counseling. Still more may continue their education by exploring social work, law, education or medicine.

Minor in Psychology

Students with an interest in psychology will find this minor to be quite adaptable. Common majors to pair with the psychology minor include; sociology, criminal justice and criminology, communications studies, health sciences, biology and chemistry.

Master of Arts in Counseling

With an emphasis on individual and cultural diversity and social justice, we prepare students for careers in counseling tailored to their individual interests.  Students find employment in a variety of settings, including colleges, community-based mental health facilities, independent practice, the court system, and PK-12 schools.  Graduates also enter doctoral programs in counseling-related areas. Choose from three different emphasis areas to match your learning experiences to your interests:

  • Couples and Family
  • Mental Health
  • School Counseling

Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology

Ph.D. in Psychology

Due to the current academic realignment, graduate admissions to these programs are suspended at this time. We will spend the next year working together to combine our doctoral programs. Check back for updates.  

Research

At the School of Education, Social Work and Psychological Sciences there are several different ways to be involved in research, either as a student or a participant. Undergraduate students through doctoral candidates are encouraged to work closely with faculty mentors doing cutting-edge research on topics like infant and child development, the impacts of stress and trauma, aging, social justice advocacy and much more. 

Student Groups

There are several student groups directed at growing the networks and experiences of students interested in counseling and psychology at UMKC. Additionally, UMKC offers a wide variety of student groups. More information is available on RooGroups.

Psi Chi

Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology, encourages, stimulates and maintains excellence in scholarship and advances the science of psychology. Membership is open to undergraduate and graduate students making the study of psychology one of their major interests. Membership benefits include;

  • Demonstrate to future employers and graduate schools you were a dedicated student of psychology
  • Enjoy opportunities for networking and further learning with faculty and students with similar interests
  • Get involved on campus

How to join:

  1. Confirm you meet the academic requirements.
  2. Complete the application. (Select University of Missouri – Kansas City as your chapter location.)
  3. Email a copy of your unofficial transcript to the faculty advisor, with “Psi Chi application” in the subject line
  4. Once approved, you will be notified by email. You will then need to bring $70 USD cash, check or a money order (made out to UMKC Psi Chi) to Robin Lehman in Cherry Hall, room 324. This money covers the $55 fee for a lifetime membership in Psi Chi International; the remaining $15 goes into the UMKC account for programming use.
  5. After we receive the money, you will be invited to join the Psi Chi network through RooGroups, and you will need to accept the invitation. Within a few weeks, you will be contacted by the international organization welcoming you as a member and inviting you to an induction ceremony.

Psychology Club

Psychology Club is the sibling organization of Psi Chi. Its goal is to provide enriching social and educational opportunities beyond the classroom within the field of psychology. Whereas Psi Chi events often focus on advancing the science of psychology (which is consistent with its mission), Psychology Club officers have aimed to bring opportunities for practical and applied experiences to students. Also, unlike Psi Chi, Psychology Club membership is free and open to all UMKC students. If you are considering a career in psychology or are just interested in learning more about the field, we encourage you to join Psychology Club. 

Faculty, Staff and Leadership

LaVerne Berkel

Professor
Email: berkell@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-2444

Kym Bennett

Professor, Director, Undergraduate Psychology Program and Mentoring Office
Email: bennettkk@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-1321

Kathryn Brewer

Visiting Assistant Professor
Email: brewerkj@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-5614

Chris Brown

Professor and Chair
Email: brownchr@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-2491

Marvalee Collins

Assistant Teaching Professor
Email: mcollins@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-6368

Diane Filion

Professor and Vice Provost
Email: filiond@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-1249

Oh-Ryeong Ha

Assistant Professor
Email: hao@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-1321

Erin Hambrick

Assistant Professor
Email: hambricke@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-1321

Robin Lehman

Business Support Specialist II
Email: Robin.Lehman@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-1318

Seung-Lark Lim

Associate Professor
Email: limse@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-1321

Jennifer Lundgren

Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Email: lundgrenj@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-1107
Jacob Marszalek

Jacob Marszalek

Professor; Director, Applied Cognitive Brain and Brain Sciences Psychology Ph.D. Option
Email: marszalekj@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-2638

Ricardo Marte

Associate Teaching Professor
Email: marter@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-1321

Joan McDowd

Professor and Chair, Minor and Graduate Certificate Advisor and Director and Advisor, Gerontology Programs
Email: mcdowdj@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-1321

Nancy Murdock

Professor
Email: murdockn@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-2495

Johanna Nilsson

Professor
Email: nilssonj@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-2484

Melisa Rempfer

Associate Professor, Clinical Training Director
Email: rempferm@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-8850

Laurel Watson

Associate Professor
Email: watsonlb@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-2489

Joah Williams

Associate Professor
Email: williamsjoah@umkc.edu
Phone Number: 816-235-1321