1. Concentration in Psychology, Bachelor of Arts Degree

You can earn a concentration in psychology as part of SMC's customizable bachelor's degree. You'll study psychology and one additional concentration, while also taking professional development courses via the Camak Core.

Concentration vs. Major: a degree concentration is similar to a major, but with fewer classes. The SMC Bachelor's Degree lets you choose two complimentary concentrations to make your degree more adaptable to a changing workplace and more valuable to employers. For example, students may choose to concentrate in psychology and religion (if interested in ministry), psychology and business (if interested in sales or marketing), etc.

2. Associate in Arts Degree

Students studying for the Associate in Arts Degree may take psychology courses in fulfillment of their social science requirements. See the SMC Course Catalog for complete details.

Course Descriptions

PSYC-101: GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY. 3 hours. Introduction to facts, principles, and scientific approaches in study of behavior. Emphasis on basic terminology.

PSYC-107: HUMAN POTENTIAL SEMINAR. 1 hour. Objectives are to help students become more self-affirming, self-motivating, and self-determining. Exploration of the means by which a student’s self-concept, value awareness, and self-motivation may be strengthened.

PSYC-201: DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY. 3 hours. Introduction to life-span developmental psychology, providing an overview of the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social developmental changes from conception to senescence with applications of these changes as they relate to the study of psychology or the teaching of children, youth, or adults. Prerequisite: PSYC-101.


The following courses available beginning Fall 2020:

3 hours. A study of everyday life which explores the causes and consequences of people’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior of themselves and of others which provide fundamental concepts of expanding and enriching Understanding of self, the social sphere and events around the world.
Prerequisites: PSYC 101.

PSY-310: ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY. 3 hours. A study of the nature and development of abnormal thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, including mental illnesses and the methods of therapy, research, and theoretical approaches appropriate to these.
Prerequisites: PSYC 101.

PSY-320. THEORIES OF PERSONALITY. 3 hours. Course Description: A study of theories of personality to explain the consistent behavior patterns and intrapersonal processes originating within the individual through the psychoanalytic approach, the trait approach, the biological approach, the humanistic approach, the behavioral/social learning approach, and the cognitive approach.
Prerequisites: PSYC 101.

PSY-350. HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY. 3 hours. A biopsychosocial approach of the study of psychological principles and research to the enhancement of health and the prevention and treatment of illnesses. Prerequisite: PSYC 101.

PSY-400. BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION. 3 hours. A study of applying learning principles, treatment procedures, and techniques to assess and improve behavior and foster healthy individual functioning.
Prerequisites: PSYC 101.

PSY-410. PSYCHOLOGY OF LEARNING AND MEMORY. 3 hours.  A comprehensive approach to the study of learning and memory as a result of experiences interacting with people and the world and a record of past and enduring information. Prerequisites: PSYC 101.

PSY-420. INFANT AND CHILD MENTAL HEALTH. 3 hours. A study of infant and early childhood mental health that is broad-based and multidisciplinary focused on the social and emotional well-being of infants and young children employing the case study method regarding developmental psychopathology, empirical foundations and their implications, interventions, and, evidence-based programs.
Prerequisites: PSYC 101.


PSI BETA, the Honor Society in Psychology

Each member must have established an overall minimum GPA of 3.25, must have at least a “B” in PSYC 101 (General Psychology) and must have completed at least 12 academic hours. Psi Beta membership is lifetime.
For five consecutive years now (since 2011), SMC Psi Beta has been nationally recognized with the Chapter Excellence Award and for the school year 2015-2016, the Ann E. Garrett Robinson College Life Award. Likewise, the SMC community recognized Psi Beta with the Outstanding Service Award for rendering 180+ hours of community service for the school year 2015-2016.
Psi Beta seminars are hosted on a regular semester-basis. The actual-life topics for discussions and fora are related to theories and concepts learned in the classroom. Professionals from various disciplines are invited to share their knowledge and experiences appertaining to the topics of discussion

Viva Academia

We celebrate academics by hosting excellent research works and papers conducted by our students. A select few is invited to present their research papers before the student body.

The Psi Beta Award

Given annually to a member or officer of Psi Beta who displays sound leadership, maturity and responsibility, as well as commitment and dedication to the organization.

The Psychology Award

Given annually for academic achievement in Psychology. Candidates must have finished with a final course grade of A in both PSYC 101 (General Psychology) and PSYC 201 (Developmental Psychology) and must have displayed academic discipline, integrity, and leadership.

Community Services

Community Services are rendered to non-profit organizations. These are excellent endeavors that allow our students to be of service to the Spartanburg community and at the same time provide for them eye-opening learning opportunities.


In accordance with the mission of Spartanburg Methodist College, the mission of the Department of Psychology is to provide a basic understanding of human behavior and its mental processes. In order to achieve this goal, the Department endeavors to introduce facts, principles and basic scientific approaches on human behavior and to provide an overview of the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social developmental changes from conception to senescence. Relevant education is established by relating classroom learning to actual life experiences through the hosting of Psi Beta seminars and community services.

Psychology Faculty

Heather Austin

Heather Elizabeth Austin

Heather Austin earned a BS in Psychology from Newberry College. She also obtained a MA in Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine from North Central University and a MS in General Psychology from Capella University. Mrs. Austin started at SMC in January, 2014. She currently teaches General Psychology (PSYC 101).

Pete Aylor

Lawrence K. (Pete) Aylor

Pete Aylor currently teaches General Psychology ( PSYC 101). He earned his BA from Limestone College and his M.Ed from Converse College. His graduate work includes working for Appalachian State University and the University of South Carolina. He was an advisor of Kappa Sigma Alpha Service Fraternity from 1990 to 2016. He is currently the Director of Career and Transfer Services and Adjunct Professor of Psychology (1983 to present) as well an advisor for the college's Psi Beta National Honor Psychology chapter.

Mary Jane Farmer

Dr. Mary Jane “Jing” L. Farmer

Dr. Farmer is the head advisor of PSI Beta Honor Society. She earned a MA in Psychology from the University of the Cordilleras and obtained her BS and PhD in Psychology from Saint Louis University. She started at SMC in 2003. She currently teaches General Psychology (PSYC 101) and Developmental Psychology (PSYC 201).