Phrenology Sculpture

Psychology

Psychology is an academic discipline that involves the study of mental behaviors and functions. A professional researcher or practitioner is referred to as a psychologist with different classifications such as cognitive, behavioral, or social. Psychologists explore concepts such as cognition, perception, emotion, attention, personality and motivation. The knowledge gained in these areas is often applied to the treatment of mental health, but can also assist in many spheres of human activity.

Program Information

The University of Michigan has one of the top psychology programs in the world. Before declaring a psychology major, students must complete an Online Orientation and the Academic Integrity Quiz. Students also must take the following 4 prerequisite courses: Stats Course, Intro Psych Course, and 2 Breadth Group Courses, while maintaining at least a 2.0 GPA. Students are encouraged to meet with a faculty adviser a few times a year to ensure they are completing the concentration requirements. The lab requirement can be met in 1 of 3 ways: one course from Experiential Based Labs and one from Methods Based Labs; or two Methods Based Labs courses; or one Methods Based Lab and two from either the Honors Research Sequence or the Senior Thesis. Stanford University also has an excellent psychology program. To declare a major in psychology, students must fill out a Major Proposed Program Form and get it signed by a psychology faculty adviser. All students declaring a major in psychology must complete at least 70 units of course work, with 60 of them coming in the Psychology Department (the remaining 10 must be approved by your faculty adviser). A grade of C- or better must be achieved in all courses. Introduction to Statistical Methods and Introduction to Psychology are two required introductory courses. Students must also take 5 of the 10 core courses. Introduction to Perception, Introduction to Cognition and the Brain, Introduction to Social Psychology, Introduction to Clinical Psychology are some examples of the core courses. Students are encouraged to consult with their faculty adviser for assistance.

psychology student

Pros & Cons

A psychology degree can open the door to a wide range of careers. Students can shape their degree to focus on specific areas that appeal to them, which can result in a career in a field that interests you. A psychology degree is also a great way to learn about yourself and others. It helps you understand people and why they do certain things or act a certain way, which is a very marketable skill. The job outlook for psychology majors is strong; according to the BLS, over the next decade employment for psychologists is expected to grow by approximately 12%. However, it can be a very stressful experience. School exams can be very difficult and require a lot of studying and memorization of facts and case studies. Graduate programs and sometimes undergraduate programs are usually very competitive to get into. As a career, patients can be very difficult and create stress, leading to frustration and burnout. Graduates with only a bachelor’s degree may find job opportunities to be limited and starting salaries to be low. Many positions, such as becoming a clinical therapist, require a Master’s degree or Ph.D., which means more schooling and more tuition money.

Graduate School & Career

An undergraduate degree in psychology can be a great starting point for graduate study. Many students choose to earn a graduate degree in psychology. Some, however, switch to a related field such as education, counseling, or social work. Because the job market is rapidly changing, many people are searching for a new job and are seeking assistance from vocational counselors. Vocational counselors help people work on building skills, improve resumes, practice interviews and locate job openings. Another popular career is a school psychologist. School psychologists work in school settings to help students deal with various problems, including academic or social issues. The demand for qualified school psychologists is very high, and actually exceeds the number of current candidates. Some psychology majors become counselors. Counselors help people with a wide range of issues, including marital problems, emotional issues, or substance abuse problems. A master’s degree is generally required to become a licensed counselor, however.