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Bachelor of Science in Psychology

Bachelor of Science in Psychology

Our groundbreaking program focuses on positive psychology by introducing students to the study of mental and behavioral processes from a truly holistic perspective, while adhering to guidelines set by the American Psychological Association (APA).

The APA reports that the profession is moving toward a greater focus on illness prevention, rather than mere diagnosis and treatment, which means it’s catching up to LIFE. Our programs not only equip students with the traditional knowledge and tools of the trade, they create passionate, curious, lifelong learners and innovators who never underestimate the power of the human mind, body and spirit to overcome, adapt and transform.

In addition to incorporating LIFE’s vitalistic philosophy, our psychology majors are taught to emphasize our inborn human capacities for love, courage, forgiveness, wisdom and interpersonal connection. Along with scientific study, these philosophies are woven throughout all coursework and culminate in real-life applications through either an internship or senior thesis experience.

Online Option

For our Online option, please visit our Online Undergraduate page.

Career Opportunities

  • Rehabilitation Specialist
  • Career Counseling
  • Psychiatric Technician
  • Clinical Psychologist

GRE Preparation

Kaplan Test Prep

Psychological Associations

American Psychological Association
Georgia Psychological Association
Southern Society for Philosophy Psychology
International Positive Psychology Association


Georgia Undergraduate Research in Psychology Association

Degree Requirements

Students receiving a Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree must complete a minimum of 188 credit hours of instruction.

Area A Communications & Humanities 20 hours
Area B Science, Mathematics & Computers 25 hours
Area C Social Sciences 20 hours

Sub-total: 65 credit hours

Area A Psychology Science Core 45 hours
Area B Applied Psychology Requirements 41 hours
Area C Psychology Electives 20 hours
Area D Free Electives 17 hours

Sub-total: 123 credit hours

Additional Completion Requirements

  • Completion of at least four years of prescribed study, of which the last year must be in residence at Life University, with at least 25 hours of Psychology courses in the last year of residency.
  • Satisfactory completion of all Psychology courses in Areas IV – VI with a minimum grade of C.
  • Satisfactory completion of all courses with a minimum overall cumulative GPA of 2.0.
  • A recommendation for graduation and completion of an exit interview with Department of Psychology faculty.
  • File a petition to graduate.
  • Confirm CLP 090, FYE 101, and FYE 103 completion status requirements.
  • Administrative and student reviews of records:

1. Registrar Office – complete a formal academic records review
2. Financial Aid Office – exit interviews with a Counselor
3. Student Accounting – “Perkins” exit interview and rectify account balance

For courses and descriptions, please see the Academic Catalog.


You will have many professors and instructors throughout your educational experience at Life University, regardless of degree. Below is a listing of professors you will have as a Psychology student. Click the “+” in the furthest right column for each professor’s details.

Name Title Phone
Samples, Peggy Dr. 770.426.2697 +
Headshot of Dr. Peggy Samples, Psychology Department Life University

Office: CUS103

Bachelor of Science, University South Florida
Master of Science, University of Georgia
Social Psychology
Ph.D., University of Georgia
Social Psychology

Dr. Peggy Samples is a social psychologist and currently serves as department head for the General Education and Psychology programs. She received her B.S. in psychology from the University of South Florida and her M.S. and Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Georgia. She has taught several courses both online and in the traditional format at Life University including Social Psychology, Research Methods, Positive Psychology, International and Cross-Cultural Psychology, Health Psychology, Biopsychology, and is faculty advisor for the Psychology Club, Psi Chi, 24 Hour Missionary Club, and Undergraduate Student Council.

Collier, Cherry Dr. 770.426.2697 +
Image of Dr. Cherry Collier, Psychology Department Life University

B.A. Spelman College, Atlanta, GA

The University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Master of Science (M.S.) in Social Psychology with emphasis in Applied Psychology

The University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Social Psychology with emphasis in Applied Psychology

Cherry A. Collier, PhD is the Director of Life Coaching and Assistant Professor of Psychology at Life University. She is an expert in personal development and human behavior. As an Executive Coach and International Consultant, her clients include many government agencies, Fortune 500 corporations and teaching institutions. She is passionate about helping leaders improve from the inside out by improving awareness and communication styles that lead to breakthrough results. She is a Master Certified Coach (MCC) through both the ICF and ABNLP. Dr. Cherry is certified in NLP, Disc, MBTI, HBDI, CPI 260 and many other personality assessments that help leaders and educators understand performance inside and outside of the classroom. She is the author of several books, articles and manuals geared to helping leaders move out of their own way to success!

Curriculum Vitae

Ferguson, Mitchell Dr. 770.426.2697 +
Mitchell Ferguson of Life University's Psychology Department

B.A. Auburn University, Auburn, AL

University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL
Master of Science (M.S.) in Clinical Psychology

University of West Florida, Pensecola, FL
Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction

Dr. Mitch Ferguson is a seasoned mental health professional with 27 years of experience in the field. He received his bachelor's degree in psychology from Auburn University in 1983 and went on to receive his master's in clinical psychology from the University of South Alabama in 1986. He received his doctorate in education from the University of West Florida in 2000. His first professional counseling job was at the Mobile Mental Health Center, and he then moved to the panhandle of Florida to continue his career. He became a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in 1988. In Florida he worked in multiple settings including community mental health, a psychiatric hospitals for children and adolescents, and eventually moved into private practice. He contracted with the local schools and the Okaloosa County Jail as a provider of mental health services. His earlier career focused on working with adolescents as well as addictions. He moved to Georgia in 2002, and in addition to providing mental health services he is also an educator. His education career began in 1992 as an adjunct instructor for Troy State University, and continues to this day. He currently serves on the adjunct faculty at Life University as well as Argosy University where he works with students pursuing their master's in community counseling.

Curriculum Vitae

Ozawa de Silva, Brendan Dr. 770.426.2697 +

B.S. Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service
Foreign Service

Boston Univerity, School of Theology
Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.)

University of Oxford
Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) Russian and East European Studies

University of Oxford
Doctor of Philosophy (D.Phil.) Modern History

Emory University
Ph.D., West and South Asian Religions

Brendan Ozawa-de Silva is Associate Professor of Psychology in the Department of Positive Human Development and Social Change and Associate Director for the Center for Compassion, Integrity and Secular Ethics at Life University. He also serves as Associate Director for Buddhist Studies and Practice at Drepung Loseling Monastery and as a senior instructor for Emory University’s Cognitively-Based Compassion Training program.

Dr. Ozawa-de Silva received his doctorate (D.Phil.) from Oxford University in Modern History in 2003, an M.Phil. in Russian and East European Studies from Oxford University, and a Master of Theological Studies from Boston University. In 2015 he completed a second doctorate at Emory University in Religion that examined methods for cultivating compassion through meditation in the context of contemporary research in psychology and neuroscience. From 2003 to 2012 he worked in various capacities at Emory University, including Visiting Professor at the Candler School of Thoelogy, Religious Life Scholar for Buddhism in the Office of Religious Life, and Program Coordinator for the Dalai Lama’s Visits in 2007 and 2010. He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses at Emory University, the University of Chicago, Life University, and on study abroad trips to Dharamsala, India.

Dr. Ozawa-de Silva’s chief interest lies in bringing secular ethics—the cultivation of basic human values—into education and society. His research focuses on the psychological, social and ethical dimensions of prosocial emotions and their cultivation, with a focus on compassion and forgiveness. He is currently involved in half a dozen meditation studies in Atlanta and in Japan, and has received multiple grants to fund these studies. He has worked to bring compassion training into elementary schools in the Atlanta area, to foster children in Georgia’s foster care program, to women in domestic violence situations, and to incarcerated persons in state correctional facilities in Georgia. This work is featured in the book Compassion: Bridging Science and Practice and in the documentary film, Raising Compassion.

Dr. Ozawa-de Silva also serves as Associate Editor for the Journal of Healthcare, Science and the Humanities. He has published recent articles and book chapters on the secularization and scientific study of contemplative practices, scientific research on compassion meditation and its benefits, suicide and mental health in Japan, the mind/body relationship in Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan medicine, and the introduction of contemplative practices and pedagogy into education.

Curriculum Vitae
Center for Compassion, Integrity and Secular Ethics

Parsons, Mickey Dr. 770.426.2697 +
Mickey Parsons of Life University's Psychology Department

Bachelor of Arts, University Tennessee

Master of Education, University of Tennessee
Educational Psychology

Psy.D.(in progress), University of Southern California
Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Mickey Parsons is the Founder of The Workplace Coach, where he and his colleagues provide coaching services for business leaders, professionals and entrepreneurs. Mickey's background includes extensive experience in employee assistance (EAP) leadership, corporate education and human resources, plus more than 20 years experience managing and leading business organizations. He is pursuing a doctorate in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and holds a master's degree in educational psychology along with numerous professional credentials, including: Master Certified Coach, Certified Organizational Development Professional, Certified Leader Coach and Certified Employee Assistance Professional.

As an executive coach, Mickey has worked with leaders from local businesses, Fortune 500 companies and several International clients, including Atlanta Journal Constitution, American Express, AXA Financial Advisors, ArborGen, Bowne, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Catlin, Cox Media , Olan Mills Studios, Brach Candy Company, Unum, Bank of America, Lennar/USA Homes, McKee Foods, The Little Debbie Corporation, McDonalds Corporation, Home Shopping Network, Spelman College, Mungo America's Best Home Builder, First Sun EAP, Turner Broadcasting, The State of Georgia, WellStar Health Systems, Marriott, The Boston School, Nora, Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians, Wealth Enhancement Group and the New York Times. Additionally, Mickey has co-authored several eLearning programs and college courses. He teaches advanced coaching, career coaching and business coaching courses for Life University's School of Psychology in Marietta, GA, where students may earn a certificate, associates, or bachelor's focused degree in coaching psychology. Mickey has also developed the curriculum for Life University's Master's in Positive Psychology Coaching Track.

Curriculum Vitae

Shook, Richard Dr. 770.426.2697 +
Dr. Richard Shook of Life university's Psychology Department

B.A. Chapman University

M.A., Chapman University
Clinical/Community Psychology

M.A., Georgia State University

Ph.D., Georgia State University
Clinical Psychology

University of Virginia Health Science Center

University of Virginia Health Science Center
Department of Anesthesiology
Fellowship in Pain Management

Dr. Richard Shook has over 30 years experience as a psychotherapist. His psychotherapeutic orientations have always included a strong humanistic and existential focus. His work integrates Gestalt, Jungian, object-relations, family systems and Ericksonian hypnosis. His recent therapeutic focus has been on integrating mindfulness and acceptance themes with a special emphasis on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

Dr. Shook had the opportunity to experience the power of mind/body interventions while he served as a medic in the Air Force. He developed his mind/body interests more deeply when he completed his residency/internship at the University of Virginia Health Sciences Center, and a fellowship in pain management in the Department of Anesthesiology. His pain management concentrated on using both hypnosis and mindfulness meditation in the treatment of severe pain. His clinical work in psychotherapy and health psychology has allowed him a front row seat to the self-healing and self-regulating powers we all share.

Dr. Shook first became interested in mind/body issues when he received training in Transcendental Meditation in high school and continues to be excited about the healing powers of psychology. A few years ago, he had the honor of studying nonviolent communication with Marshall Rosenberg. He has also recently attended workshops by Steven Hayes and other Acceptance and Commitment trainers, as well as a six-day retreat with Thich Naht Hahn.

Dr. Shook also has an extensive background in forensic psychology. He has testified as an expert witness in numerous cases, addressing issues of competency and insanity. He has spent time as an intern in prisons working with serious offenders, such as serial killers and other violent offenders. As a clinical psychologist, he has a special interest in psychological testing - especially projective testing. Dr. Shook believes in a humanistic/therapeutic style of psychological assessment. Dr. Shook continues conducting psychotherapy and psychological testing with children (as young as six-years old), adolescents and adults; and continues working with health issues, especially pain management.

Dr. Shook also works as an executive coaching psychologist. His coaching training includes over 200 hours of coach specific training, most of which he completed at MentorCoach. His strong emphasis in coaching is on developing a program of coaching that integrates the contributions of Mindfulness, Nonviolent Communication and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. He actively coaches numerous clients throughout the United States and in other countries.

Trimble, Arcella J. Dr. 770.426.2697 +
Headshot of Dr. Arcella Trimble from Life University's Psychology Department

B.A. Psychology, Spelman College
M.S. Professional Counseling, Georgia State University
Ph.D. Psychology (Emphasis School and Counseling), University of Southern Mississippi

Dr. Trimble is an assistant professor at Life University. A licensed psychologist in Georgia, Dr. Trimble has worked with clients in various capacities and settings, including inpatient and outpatient hospitals and clinics, university counseling centers, and shelters. Dr. Trimble has worked as a school psychologist in elementary, middle, secondary, and nontraditional schools in Mississippi, Maryland, and Georgia. During her tenure at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine/Kennedy Krieger Institute, Dr. Trimble provided parent training and family therapy. Her specialty areas include teaching primary prevention strategies to parents and teachers, adolescent development and therapy, and effective implementation of behavior management techniques in the home and school settings. She also provides research development and data analysis services for businesses and doctoral candidates.

Viehl, Cory Dr. 770.426.2697 +
Mr. Cory Viehl Psychology Department, Life University

Bachelor of Science, North Georgia College & State University, Dahlonega, GA

Master of Science, North Georgia College & State University, Dahlonega, GA
Community Counseling

Ph.D. (in progress), Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
Counselor Education and Practice

Curriculum Vitae

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