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Psychology

The mission of the psychology program is to prepare students for graduate and professional study in a variety of fields related to human behavior.

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology is designed to help students develop a theoretical and applied understanding of individual and social behavior. The program offers courses for majors and non-majors. The courses emphasize psychology-grad1.jpgwriting, research, and critical-thinking skills necessary for a liberally educated person to function in a dynamic, changing world.

A psychology degree prepares students for graduate training in areas such as clinical, counseling, experimental, and social psychology. Additionally, a psychology degree is appropriate for students who plan to enter business or social services, or it can also serve as preparation for post-baccalaureate work in professions such as social work, theology, business administration, or law. Students with an interest in psychology, but career aspirations elsewhere, often choose a major in another field and minor in psychology.

Program Distinctions

Psychology can be considered a hybrid discipline in that it utilizes scientific analysis and methodologies similar to the physical and biological sciences, and incorporates rational-philosophical speculation common to the humanities.

The Psychological Association notes that "psychologists study two critical relationships: one between brain function and behavior, and one between the environment and behavior." To investigate these relationships, the student will learn to think as a scientist by using carful observation, experimentation and analysis to uncover new information. Additionally, the student will develop the critical thinking skills used in applying scientific findings to individual and social situations.

During the freshman and sophomore years, psychology majors complete most of their general-education courses and their foundation courses in psychology, which prepare them for the advanced requirements in the discipline.

Typically, general psychology and the math requirement are completed during the first year. Psychology courses in the psychology-lecture.jpgsecond year focus on the research tools and research methodology used in the discipline. In the final two years of the curriculum, psychology majors take a variety of courses, which emphasize the fundamental concepts and research findings in psychology.

Why choose Psychology?

True to the liberal arts tradition, emphasis in the psychology major focuses on the importance of critical thinking and communication skills necessary for entry into graduate programs such as experimental psychology, clinical psychology and counseling psychology. Fewer than 1-in-10 psychology graduates enroll in graduate work in psychology. Therefore, the psychology degree is quite appropriate for entry into professions such as law, government service and human resources.  Students with interests in psychology, but career aspirations elsewhere, often choose a major in another field and minor in psychology.

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