People have many different reasons for studying Psychology. Some are fascinated with behavior - they love to watch the world around them and are curious to learn about why people behave as they do. Some want to learn more about themselves and become healthier people. Some plan to start an educational path on their way to pursuing an advanced degree and future psychologist licensure. Others are planning to go into one of the many professions where a psychology background can be helpful: business, teaching, medicine, nursing, law, social work, engineering and human factors, counseling, child development, biology, and administration. 

UNM's Psychology Department is widely recognized for teaching excellence, and our professors have won every award offered by the university. Last year, we were voted “Best Department” by undergraduates. We were the first department to start an undergraduate Departmental Honors Thesis program at UNM, which includes a two year rigorous program of studies culminating in an independent research project.

The department offers a wide variety of courses, ranging from introductory psychology to advanced courses in learning and memory, cognition, clinical/abnormal psychology, and brain function. Our internationally recognized research programs span such fields as addictions and drug abuse, animal learning, mate preference and mate choice, spirituality, assessment of knowledge structures, cross-cultural psychology, psychotherapy outcomes, cognitive neuroimaging, health psychology, learning and memory, neuroscience, and traumatic brain injury. Our department conducts research in collaboration with many superb organizations, including: Center on Alcohol, Substance use, And Addictions (CASAA), The MIND Research Network, Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories, and the Veterans Administration.

Like students in other science disciplines, our students learn to formulate hypotheses and ask critical questions to test their validity. They examine research methods that vary with the topic under study. For example, students may learn about gathering information through controlled laboratory experiments or by administering personality or intelligence tests. Students also may become familiar with the use of neuroscience methods (EEG, MRI, fMRI) to study brain-behavior relationships. Finally, students will learn the importance of observation, interviews, questionnaires, clinical studies, and surveys. Students apply their knowledge to a wide range of endeavors, including health and human services, management, education, law, and sports. In addition to working in a variety of settings, psychology graduates usually specialize in one of a number of different areas. 

Our faculty and staff in the Department of Psychology are here to help you learn and to help you pursue the study of psychology as you approach your personal and career goals. As a department, our goals for undergraduate education include:

  • Encouraging and supporting effective teaching in communicating psychology to undergraduates both as an area of major study and as a critical part of a liberal arts education 
  • Enabling students to understand psychology in the context of human diversity 
  • Engaging students at all levels in scholarly activities, thereby infusing scientific study and practice into their education

Upon graduating our majors pursue diverse opportunities: 

  • Psychology graduate school programs 
  • Medical school 
  • Law school 
  • Mental health positions 
  • Research 
  • Human Services (counseling, social work case management, advocacy, etc.)
  • Public relations
  • Advertising, marketing, and sales
  • Education
  • and many more 

We offer both B.A. and B.S. degrees in psychology, with the option to concentrate in Basics in Addiction Counseling. If you are pursuing a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree, you must have a minor in or distributed among Anthropology (Evolutionary Anthropology or Human Biology concentration), Astrophysics, Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Environmental Science, Mathematics, Statistics, or Physics. A minor in any other department in the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) is compatible with the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree. Students intending to pursue graduate study in psychology are encouraged (but not required) to earn a B.S. 

Basics in Addiction Counseling

The Basics in Addiction Counseling (BAC) is a concentration within the Psychology Major that provides academic coursework and applied clinical experience to help prepare students for careers in the addiction counseling field. 

This concentration is designed for a select group of undergraduate Psychology majors who are interested in a career in the alcohol/drug counseling field. In addition to the standard Psychology major requirements, the BAC concentration involves a series of specialized addiction courses, as well as a multi-semester field placement at a substance abuse agency. Students admitted to the BAC concentration must have completed all coursework requirements to become a Licensed Substance Abuse Associate (LSAA) and/or Licensed Alcohol/Drug Abuse Counselor (LADAC). 

Addiction counseling is one of the few fields in which it is possible with a bachelor's degree to work as a fully licensed behavioral health professional. The demand for addiction treatment services is high in New Mexico, which has some of the nation's highest death rates from drunk  driving, drug overdose, and other alcohol/drug-related causes. Psychology graduates with the BAC concentration will have completed all coursework requirements to become a Licensed Substance Abuse Associate (LSAA) and Licensed Alcohol/Drug Abuse Counselor (LADAC), pending approval by the NM Counseling and Therapy Practice Board. The program emphasizes clinical practice based in scientific knowledge, informed by a commitment to provide services to persons in need, and adherence to the highest of ethical standards. 

Undergraduate Program

Departmental Honors

UNM Catalog

Programs of Study


  • B.A. Psychology
  • B.A. Psychology - Basics in Addiction Counseling
  • B.S. Psychology
  • B.S.Psychology - Basics in Addiction Counseling
  • Psychology
Online Degree Options: 
  • B.A. Psychology

Contact Information

Undergraduate Academic Advisor(s): 
Advisor office locations vary. Please click on your advisor's name below to learn more.
Advising Email:
Department Email:
Department Location:
Logan Hall (Bldg 34), Suite 180

Department/Program Website