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Psychology Degree Overview

The Psychology Major is designed to provide a comprehensive undergraduate education in this field, leading to the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree. The study of Psychology involves a search for knowledge about human and animal behavior as well as the application of this knowledge for the promotion of human welfare. The subject matter of Psychology includes how humans and other organisms perceive, learn, think, develop, and relate to one another at the social level. Students interested in learning about these processes and/or the application of this knowledge to the treatment of the various mental and emotional problems that can develop, should consider majoring in Psychology.

Students majoring in Psychology receive a broad exposure to developmental, social, cognitive, clinical and physiological areas of Psychology, as well as specific training in research methodology and statistics. Original student research is also fostered and encouraged during the undergraduate experience. Our program meets a wide variety of student needs and interests. It provides an excellent foundation for students who plan graduate and continued professional training in any area of Psychology. The program also provides expertise in psychological science as a background for entry into a variety of professions where an understanding of fundamental psychological phenomena is important. Students find that a major or minor in psychology can provide knowledge and skills that are useful for advanced careers in fields such as business, nursing, medicine, law, social work, counseling, dentistry, elementary and secondary education, and biology.

The best paying and most intensive psychology-related work is available only to persons with graduate degrees. Nonetheless, many psychology majors with B.A. degrees do find satisfying employment within or outside the field of psychology. In terms of employability the bachelor's degree in psychology functions like, and is probably as marketable as, any other liberal arts degree.

The psychology major has been designed so that, upon completion of the requirements for the major, students will have:
•familiarity with a variety of content areas in psychology
•familiarity with methodological issues and tools of the discipline
•skills in designing and conducting research and in analyzing and interpreting data
•familiarity with the historical evolution of major perspectives and ideas in the discipline
•skills in reading and comprehending psychological literature
•skills in thinking critically about ideas in psychology
•skills in speaking and writing with which to communicate about ideas in the discipline
•awareness of ethical issues in psychology and guidelines for ethical conduct
•familiarity with issues of diversity (e.g., culture, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status) in psychological theory, research, and practice
•awareness of post-baccalaureate opportunities for psychology majors

Each course in the psychology department curriculum is designed to meet one or more of these objectives.

Individual Preparation and Coursework


"Majoring in psychology is not for everyone. It does not appeal to those who seek quick and simple answers to complex problems, nor to those who want the "approved solution" to the questions of why humans act, think and feel as they do. But if you are someone who enjoys mysteries, gets excited by challenging puzzles, is curious about human nature, intrigued by observing animal behavior, thinks about the HOW and WHY of YOU, then you'll find psychology a rewarding and even empowering major. 
There is no field of knowledge with such an enormous breadth of interest as can be found in psychology -- from the micro analysis of the functioning of single nerve cells to the macro functioning of urban communities, from invertebrate reflex behavior, to the perception of a newborn child, to the prejudice of a group, to the decision-making process of national governments. We have it all. While many psychologists study fundamental processes of human development, brain functioning, learning, motivation, emotion, memory, judgment, language, personality, mental disorders, and social interactions -- for the sheer joy of understanding them better -- others seek to apply psychological knowledge to improve the quality of our lives." 
Dr. Philip G. Zimbardo