Psychology is the scientific study of thought, behavior, and experience. Many people associate psychology with psychological therapy and the practice of clinical psychology. There are also many other important areas of scientific psychology, such as cognitive, developmental, industrial/organizational, and social psychology. What these subfields of psychology have in common is the use of the scientific method to understand human behavior and apply that understanding to the development of theory and practice. Psychologists are increasingly making use of neuroscience methods and theories to understand psychological phenomena. As a profession, psychology is related to fields such as health, education, marketing, human resources, social work, and more. The principles of psychology are relevant to almost all areas of human endeavor, and the career paths of psychology students reflect this wealth of possibilities.
The Psychology major will combine the knowledge, skills, and values of psychology with a liberal arts foundation. Students should:
- develop a knowledge base consisting of concepts, theory, empirical findings, and trends within psychology;
- understand and apply basic research methods in psychology;
- use critical thinking and the scientific approach to solve problems related to behavior and mental processes;
- apply psychological principles to personal and social issues;
- and be able to understand the gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, culture, and class issues in psychological theory, research, and practice.
Students should also develop information and computer competence, communication skills, and develop realistic ideas about how to implement their psychology education in occupational pursuits in a variety of settings. The major may lead to either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. The B.A. degree incorporates a broad exposure to the many facets of the field of psychology, in addition to the B.A. requirements. The B.S. degree provides the same exposure to the field of psychology and adds options in Science and Business to prepare students for more specific career directions. Students in both degree programs may also prepare for graduate school; research experience with faculty members is encouraged for such students.
Complimentary Minors and Certificates
Enhance your degree with one of the college’s academic minors. The opportunity to double major is also available. The following minors/majors are recommended for Psychology majors.
- Communication Arts & Sciences
- Civic & Community Engagement
- Criminal Justice
- Entrepreneurship & Innovation
- Global Studies
- Political Science
- Rehabilitation & Human Services
- Special Education
- Women’s Studies
Internships, Research, and Capstone Experience
The Psychology BA/BS degree programs require students to complete at least one semester of research, community-based internship, or capstone experience during their senior year. Psychology students, under the direction of department faculty, can conduct their own research on a topic of their choice and take part in opportunities to present their research at conferences and have their research published in academic journals. Students are also encouraged to pursue community-based internships to gain practical, hands on experience in different areas of psychology. Community-based internships are vital to career development. The last opportunity for Psychology students is a Capstone class designed to aid students in selecting psychology careers, developing professional skills, and marketing themselves as professionals.
The Psychology BA/BS degree programs provide an excellent academic foundation for students to enter a wide variety of careers in which they will be interacting with and helping others. Graduates will be prepared for positions in the following fields: behavioral medicine centers, child and youth advocacy agencies, children’s homes and residential treatment centers, community action agencies, community mental health centers, correctional facilities, day care and nursery schools, domestic violence agencies, drug and alcohol treatment facilities, family services agencies, geriatric care centers and residences, psychiatric inpatient units, and rehabilitation centers. Graduates are also well prepared to enter the business world and work in human resources, management, marketing.
The Psychology BA/BS degree programs prepare students for graduate study in fields such as business, counseling and clinical psychology, human and social services, industrial and organizational psychology, forensic psychology, public policy, school psychology, social work, and law. Students interested in pursuing graduate studies after graduation have many opportunities as an undergraduate to collaborate on faculty research, conduct individual research, and patriciate in many community-based internships.