Psychology FAQs

How do I find out who I have for a faculty advisor?

A faculty advisor is available to you and will assist you in finding the most appropriate answers for your personal education and career needs. Students can find the name of their assigned faculty advisor on KEANWISE.  Alternatively, visit the Psychology Department (Monday-Friday 9:00am - 4:00pm) and ask for your faculty advisor's name, telephone number, or email address.  Then follow up by setting and keeping an appointment with your advisor for purposes of getting acquainted and discussing your academic plans and career.

What is my role in the advisement process?

    1.  Prepare adequately for any advising session (concerns and questions) and
     bring a copy of your current degree audit/program evaluation (available on
     KEANWISE) with you to the session.

    2.  Clarify personal values, abilities, interests, and goals with your advisor.

    3.  Contact and make an appointment with the advisor when required or when
    in need of assistance. If the student finds it impossible to keep the
    appointment, the student will notify the advisor.

    4.  Be knowledgeable about institutional policies, procedures, and
    requirements.

    5.  Follow through on actions identified during each advising session.

    6.  Accept final responsibility for all decisions.

Are applied experiences available?

Yes.  Psychology majors are encouraged to take Field Experience in Psychology (PSY 4950) to gain first-hand experience working in some area of applied psychology. Typically, students and instructor agree upon a placement based on each student's previous human-service and academic experience, interests, and career goals. In recent years, students have received supervised experiences in hospitals and clinics, community mental health centers, residential and day treatment facilities, schools, and other agencies.  Students have worked with a wide variety of individuals including psychiatric inpatients, adolescents with substance use problems, and children with emotional and learning difficulties.


What marketable skills does a degree in psychology offer?

A degree in Psychology provides graduates with extremely rich and diverse skills that prepare the psychology graduate to undertake many different types of work. For example, specific skills include:

    * Literacy: clear, concise writing
    * Numeracy: analyzing, interpreting data
    * Computer literacy: word processing, data analysis
    * Information-finding skills: using databases
    * Research skills: expertise in gathering information about human/animal
       behavior
    * Measurement skills: psychometric measurement, questionnaire design
    * Environmental awareness: knowledge of how the environment can
       influence social behavior
    * Interpersonal awareness: understanding of the self, interaction with others
    * Problem-solving skills: apply different strategies and approaches to
      understanding problems
    * Critical evaluation: evaluate theories and arguments
    * Perspectives: ability to examine issues from multiple points of view

What is the difference between a B.A. and a B.S. in psychology?

The B.A. in Psychology is a liberal arts major that provides broad exposure to the history, theories, research methods and practical applications of contemporary psychology. The B.A.'s relative flexibility lets you pursue courses both within and beyond the discipline.

The Bachelor of Science in Psychology offers excellent preparation for careers in science, as well as further graduate study in psychology or related disciplines. Students with a strong interest in science can also benefit from this degree options extensive study in biological science and research methodology.

What do graduate schools look for when admitting students?

Most graduate programs are looking for applicants with strong academic standing who possess a wide range of personal characteristics, acquired skills and intellectual abilities. Specifically, the important characteristics are:

    Personal Characteristics
        * Motivated and hardworking
        * Emotionally stable and mature
        * Capable of working well with others
        * Strong character and integrity
        * intellectually independent
        *Possess leadership ability

    Acquired Skills
        * Research
        * Writing
        * Speaking
        * Computer

    Intellectual Abilities
        * Creativity
        * Strong area of knowledge
        * Capable of analytical thought

To pursue a graduate degree, students should make a concerted effort to work closely with a faculty member, develop these specific skills and abilities (e.g., learn SPSS, take public speaking and writing courses), conduct their own independent research, and/or complete a Field Experience.

To what graduate schools should I apply?

The answer to this question depends on your career goals. There are several career options for psychologists, such as clinical, applied (industrial/organizational) and experimental.
 
    * Clinical Psychology:  Many people think the only way to become a therapist
     is to get a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. This is one option. To become a
     therapist, additional options might be: masters in social work (M.S.W.),
     masters in counseling psychology, Professional Diploma (PD) in School
     Psychology or Marriage and Family Therapy, or a Psy.D. program.

     * Applied:   Applied fields include areas such as industrial and organizational
     psychology (I-O psych.). The focus of industrial and organizational
     psychology is on human resource research in employee selection, training,
     related aspects of individual differences and organizational behavior.

    * Experimental: These programs generally prepare you for a career in higher
     education, which involves teaching, conducting research and advising
     students.

Where do I get more information?

    *The Undergraduate Catalog contains information about: General Information,
     Glossary of Academic Terms, Degree Programs, Minors, Specializations,
     Professional Development Certificates, Course Descriptions, Academic
     Procedures, Financial Information, Resources and Services, Resolving
     Complaints.

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