I'm not certain if I want to be a psychology major. What do psychologists study? What careers are available for psychology students?
Psychologists conduct both basic and applied research, from understanding brain functions to the behavior of complex social organizations. They work within communities and organizations, diagnose and treat people, teach, test intelligence and personality. They assess behavior and mental health, study how human beings relate to each other and also to machines, and bring important knowledge and skills to understanding diverse cultures. They study how people think, hear, see, speak, and acquire language, thoughts, and memory. Psychologists can work within schools, the court system, hospitals and health centers, law enforcement, public health, and corporations and organizations. Psychology is expected to be one of the fastest growing fields in the U.S. through the year 2016 (Department of Labor statistics).
Psychology majors learn how to collect, analyze, and interpret data, which are important skills for many jobs. Careers for psychologists vary. They can work independently or with other professionals--other scientists, physicians, lawyers, school personnel--in all different settings, such as hospitals, schools & universities, courtrooms, prisons, health centers. The American Psychological Asssociation (APA) reported that psychologists work in two primary areas, Research and Health Services, as follows (percentages in parentheses). Research: academia (57%), business/government (29%), health care (10%), and schools/educational (4%). Health Services: hospitals (19%), academia (18%), other human service (15%), business/goverment (14%), independent practice (11%), and managed care (9%). Most psychology careers require an advanced degree in psychology, beyond the bachelor's degree. (Information from the APA Education Pipeline, based on 2005 doctorate employment survey).
What type of career growth is expected for Psychology?
From the Department of Labor, 2008-09: "Employment of psychologists is expected to grow about 15 percent from 2006 to 2016, faster than average for all occupations. Employment will grow because of increased demand for psychological services in schools, hospitals, social service agencies, mental health centers, substance abuse treatment clinics, consulting firms, and private companies."(Occupational Outlook Handbook Web site)
I don't know if I want psychology as a major. How soon should I begin to take required courses?
Plan to complete the mathematics requirement, Math 3, Precalculus, and Psychology 1, Intro to Psychology, as early as possible (first year). If you decided to pursue psychology as your major, then declare Pre-Psychology.
How can I stay informed?
Check your UCSC email account and student portal. Links you should bookmark:
- Psychology website: http://psychology.ucsc.edu
- Make sure you read emails from the following people: Gail Black, Allison Land, Donna Baldini, Psychology Department Peer Advisors
Are there options for getting academic credit outside the classroom?
Yes, there are various options to earn credit through an Independent Study. Options include enrollment in our Field Study program,enrolling in a tutorial, working in a research lab, and/or writing a senior thesis.
What is Psi Chi?
Psi Chi is the National Honor Society in Psychology. Membership in our campus chapter enhances your experience at UCSC by providing activities with other Psi Chi members, such as attending the Western Psychology Association convention, learning about graduate schools, meeting Psychology faculty at informal meetings, and other events. As a highly respected reference, Psi Chi exemplifies academic excellence in scholarly work.
Is there a senior exam requirement?
No, the Psychology Comprehensive Exam is no longer offered. The exam has been dropped effective Fall 2006. The University's Comprehensive requirement will now be fulfilled by completing a Psychology Senior Seminar 5-unit course at UCSC (may not be completed elsewhere).
How do I declare the Psychology major or minor?
First, you must complete Psych 1, Psych 2 (or equivalent) and the math requirement. Once you have passed each of these courses, go to the declaration of major page to find out more!
How do I declare the Cognitive Science major?
First, you must complete Psych 2 (or equivalent), Psych 20, the calculus requirement and computer programming requirement. Once you have passed each of these courses, go to the declaration of major page to find out more!
Do I have the right prerequisites for a course?
Consult with the schedule of classes or the campus catalog. If you don't have the right pre-reqs you will not be able to enroll with the campus enrollment system.
How are HONORS in the major determined?
Honors in the major are awarded to graduating seniors whose UCSC GPA in psychology courses is a 3.6 or higher. Highest honors in the major are reserved for students with a 3.6 GPA in psychology courses as well as honors-level performance on a senior thesis.