Northwestern psychology grads score in top 4 percent on national exam

Northwestern College’s latest psychology graduates scored in the top 4% on the ETS Major Field Test in Psychology, a national standardized test that assesses mastery of key concepts and principles. Beyond factual knowledge, the test—developed by professors from universities across the country—evaluates students’ analytical and problem-solving skills.

“We have a curriculum that emphasizes the material information involved in psychology across many different areas, but we also teach our graduates to think well about psychology and faith, and to apply what they learn to their lives,” says Dr. Laird Edman, professor of psychology. “The scores on these tests indicate we are accomplishing a number of these essential goals.”

Recent Northwestern psychology graduates are pursuing doctoral or master’s degrees in areas such as medicine, psychotherapy, mental health counseling and child development. Graduates are also performing research for institutions like The Iowa Adverse Childhood Experiences Coalition in Des Moines, Iowa; Boys Town National Research Hospital in Boys Town, Nebraska; and Sanford Medical Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Alumni who become clinical psychologists work in private practices and the public sector, including the Veterans Affairs system.

Northwestern offers an undergraduate degree in psychology, minors in psychology and developmental psychology, a neuroscience career concentration, and a psychology education endorsement for grades 7-12. As part of an undergraduate degree, students are given opportunities to assist in their professors’ ongoing research, to co-author articles and to present research results at national conferences. Students are also required to complete a research project on a topic of their choice in collaboration with psychology faculty.