What is Psychology?
Psychology is the scientific study of thought, behavior, and experience. Many people associate psychology with psychological therapy and the practice of clinical psychology. There are also many other important areas of scientific psychology, such as cognitive, developmental, industrial/organizational, and social psychology. What these subfields of psychology have in common is the use of the scientific method to understand human behavior and apply that understanding to the development of theory and practice. Psychologists are increasingly making use of neuroscience methods and theories to understand psychological phenomena. As a profession, psychology is related to fields such as health, education, marketing, human resources, social work, and more. The principles of psychology are relevant to almost all areas of human endeavor, and the career paths of psychology students reflect this wealth of possibilities.
The Psych Major
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Why Study Psychology?
You might like this program if:
- you want to better understand people’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior;
- you want to learn about how the brain works, how it malfunctions, and how it recovers;
- you are interested in child development, mental health, personality, social interactions, organizations, and neuroscience;
- you want a career as a psychologist, counselor, social worker, or other human services professional; and/or
- you want a broad understanding of human behavior to help you pursue a career in business, law, or medicine.
Psychology students pursue a wide variety of careers. Many earn graduate degrees that qualify them for careers in the fields below.
- Clinical psychology
- Counseling psychology
- School psychology
- Social work
- Other helping professions
- Business research (Many businesses seek psychology majors for their knowledge of human behavior, research methods, and data analysis.)
Opportunities for Graduate Studies
Some psychology students pursue research-oriented doctoral degrees, entering Ph.D. programs in a variety of areas of psychology. These degrees prepare students for careers in academic, research, business, or government settings. Others pursue the practice-oriented Psy.D. degree. Master’s degrees in counseling, school psychology, social work, counselor education, and other fields prepare students for a variety of practice settings. Some psychology students also prepare for medical school or related health-services degrees. Law school or MBA programs are also possibilities.