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Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Psychology

The Department of Psychology offers two degrees at the undergraduate level: the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science in Psychology. The program of study that culminates in a B.A. degree provides the student with experience and training necessary to pursue post-baccalaureate education in psychology and other professional areas or to secure employment immediately following completion of the undergraduate degree, and with the broad education essential to the formation of a well-rounded, informed individual. The B.S. degree in Psychology is designed to provide additional training and experience in research to those students who want greater mastery in basic sciences and methodology. The B.S. degree program is most appropriate for those students who want to significantly enhance their competitive standing for admission to doctoral training in psychology - although it should be noted that the majority of our B.A. degree students have been highly successful in achieving graduate school acceptance as well. Any student who meets the requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences may pursue the B.A. degree in Psychology; the B.S. degree program requires an application and a faculty sponsor.

Careers in Psychology

For an excellent introduction to careers in psychology, with a description of many subfields and job domains, please see the brochure (PDF) published by the American Psychological Association (APA).

Psychologists assume many different roles. For example, they work as teachers, researchers, service providers, administrators, and consultants. Because psychologists perform such diverse tasks, they work in many different settings: colleges and universities, elementary and secondary schools, private practices, hospitals, human service agencies, business and industry, and government.

Recent national reports on the employment outlook predict that individuals with degrees in psychology will be in high demand. However, the demand rate will depend on the type of degree that the person has. For doctoral-level psychologists, employment opportunities have flourished during the past decade. Some of the positions that Ph.D.'s in Psychology fill are professors, therapists, clinical research psychologists, experimental researchers, and those who work in many business and industrial settings. People with a master's degree in psychology work in a variety of settings, including schools, business and industry, mental health care centers, and community colleges. Graduate who do not pursue the Ph.D. after receiving their master's often obtain jobs in teaching or research settings, or service with some limitations that exist without the doctoral degree. Teachers at the master's level usually work in community colleges rather than four-year colleges and universities.

Although a bachelor's degree in psychology will not prepare you to provide services as a professional independent psychologist, an undergraduate student can be very successful in the job market by carefully planning a major in psychology with well-selected supporting coursework from a variety of areas such as computing, statistics, communications, business, engineering, education, or various sciences or mathematics.

The following are just some of the fields that graduates with bachelor's degrees in psychology have entered: administration and management, business and industry, casework, child care, health services, marketing and public relations, human resources, probation and parole, psychiatric assisting, research or laboratory assisting, sales, teaching, and technical writing. Students pursuing the bachelor's degree as a terminal degree are encouraged to seek academic counseling with an undergraduate advisor, and to consult closely with University Career Services. All students are encouraged to visit our Career Exploration page for details on how to use the U.S. Department of Labor’s database of occupations to search specifically for occupations involving a psychology.

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