Overview of Psychology
The undergraduate major in Psychology provides students with an understanding of the major questions and methodologies across Psychology, including a common core of statistical and experimental methods courses. Upper division courses and projects allow students to explore the various substantive specialties in psychology, and to identify the areas of psychology that they might wish to pursue further. Many students with an undergraduate degree in psychology go on to graduate study in psychology or closely related fields such as cognitive science or organizational behavior. The psychology program strongly encourages further graduate study, and supports its undergraduate majors in reaching this goal by providing opportunities to work with faculty on research.
About the Program
The Psychology major also prepares undergraduates for many other careers even without further graduate training. The American Psychological Association reports that only about 5% of 1997 and 1998 bachelor’s degree psychology major graduates had taken a job that is actually in psychology. Most psychology major graduates—about two thirds—took employment in private sector business settings. Graduates with an undergraduate psychology major are highly marketable because they are trained to have good research and writing skills, to be effective problem solvers in both team and individual settings, and to use critical thinking skills to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information.
Areas of Research
- Spatial Cognition, Giftedness Reading, Learning/Language Disabilities
- Adolescent and young adult decision making as it pertains to risk behaviors
- Childhood developments, behavioral psychology for children and adolescents
- Effectiveness of psychotherapy
- Clinical psychologist
- School psychologist
- Genetics counselor
- Forensic psychologist
- Special education teacher
- Social worker
- Psychiatric technician
- Jury consultant
- Rehabilitation therapist
* Please Note: Some of these carers might require education beyond a Bachelor's degree.
Students graduating from the Psychology program demonstrate the following:
- Show knowledge of the key substantive content of the field of psychology, including memory and thinking, sensory psychology and physiology, developmental psychology, clinical and abnormal psychology, and social psychology;
- Demonstrate that they understand the basic principles of and correctly interpret applications of the designs and methods that psychologists use to gather data;
- Show that they can understand and correctly interpret the statistical analyses psychologists use to analyze data;
- Demonstrate effective communication skills appropriate for the field of psychology. These include written communication (clear expression, compliance with APA style) and oral communication (effective oral explanation of disciplinary material for both lay and scientific audiences).