Colleges for Psychology Majors in the U.S.

Many colleges and universities throughout the U.S. offer bachelor's degree programs with an emphasis on psychology. Those wishing to major in psychology should consider their career paths as they choose a school with the most appropriate coursework and extracurricular opportunities.

Selecting Colleges or Schools for a Psychology Major

Psychology majors are available at many 4-year colleges and universities.

Summary of Important Considerations

  • Career goals
  • Internship opportunities and career services
  • Course offerings and specialization options

Career Goals

Even when choosing an undergraduate program, prospective psychology majors should consider where their career aspirations might lead them. Those who ultimately attain a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology may enter the research and teaching realms. A Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) program prepares students to become licensed psychologists who work in clinical settings. Those who want to earn a doctorate should consider undergraduate schools that are known for their research opportunities. To learn how to formulate questions and conduct research, students should seek a program whose curriculum includes lab work and independent research.

Similarly, those who want to be psychiatrists and prescribe medicine ultimately need to graduate from medical school. During their undergraduate training, they need to satisfy pre-med credits in areas such as biology, physics and chemistry. Prospective students may also want to get their bachelor's degree from a school that offers graduate degree programs in their field of interest in order to ensure credit transferability or minimize the transitional impact between education levels. For example, those who want to become social workers might major in psychology at a school that also offers a Master of Social Work program.

Internship Opportunities and Career Services

Many students study psychology in order to get a well-rounded education in human behavior that they can apply to business, marketing, education or government positions. If prospective psychology majors know which route they'd like to pursue after completing a bachelor's degree, it can help them select a program with complimentary electives or internship opportunities. Because of the diversity of career possibilities presented to psychology majors, students may find value in career services and one-on-one advising offered by many psychology departments.

Course Offerings and Specialization Options

All potential students should look for programs that cover the history of psychological theory, analytical methods, ethical principles and the physical sciences as they relate to psychology. Options for specialization can be useful as well.

Psychology Program Overview

Bachelor's Degree in Psychology

This 4-year program combines general education units with core courses on:

  • Human behavior
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Research methods
  • Statistics

Some classes focus on specific demographics, such as women, children or the elderly. Specializations in areas like cognitive behavior and neuroscience may also be available. In addition to coursework, some programs require field experience and research. Graduates may earn either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science.

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