A health psychology major examines how human behavior is affected by social, emotional, physical and mental health factors. Students learn a range of techniques for helping other people, including how to handle stress, quit smoking and lose weight. Concentration areas may be available in health studies or pre-medicine, and programs include practical experience. There are usually no specific requirements for admittance into this type of program.
Health Psychology Major
Health psychology majors often participate in two to three semesters of practical experience. They may also assist professors with ongoing research projects while studying topics as diverse as chemistry, biology and mathematics, which may mean algebra, calculus and/or statistics. Sample courses include:
- Medical ethics
- Issues in health care
- Nutritional health
- Developmental psychology
- Alternative health promotion techniques
Health psychology majors can find work with mental health institutions, rehabilitation centers, nonprofit organizations, medical centers or universities. Furthermore, earning a bachelor's degree could qualify graduates for entry-level positions like community health educator, health treatment coordinator and psychological research assistant.
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected job growth of 10% for health educators from 2018-2028. The median wage for health educators in May 2018 was $54,220.
Having a health psychology major provides a foundation for those seeking to pursue graduate or professional degrees in general psychology, clinical psychology, medicine, public health, social work, nutrition or occupational therapy. Additionally, because most health psychology programs are offered at the master's or doctoral degree level, a bachelor's degree holder may decide to pursue a graduate degree in health psychology.
A health psychology major, though rare, teaches students how to help patients take care of both their minds and bodies. This degree is also a good foundation for students wishing to pursue graduate degrees in general psychology, medicine and the like.