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Double Major in Psychology & Social Work

Jan 04, 2018

Pursuing a double major in psychology and social work will prepare graduates to work in social and human services and mental health fields. They will learn about theories and practices related to both psychology and social work.

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Overview of a Bachelor's Degree Program with a Double Major in Psychology and Social Work

In order to earn a degree with a double major students must complete all of the requirements to earn each major. While studies in psychology concentrate more on understanding human behavior, students pursuing studies in social work learn more about strategies for helping people address specific types of issues. While these fields may have some overlap in their approaches to counseling, psychology students focus more on how to promote positive behavioral changes. Social work students may learn more about factors that can adversely affect people, such as poverty or health problems, and how to help them manage those issues.

Admission Requirements for Double Major in Psychology and Social Work Programs

Standard application requirements for all students apply at most postsecondary institutions, and involve completing the required number of core courses in high school with an acceptable GPA. SAT or ACT test scores are also usually considered, but some colleges may not require standardized test scores. Some schools review additional factors, such as reference letters, resumes and extracurricular activities. Once students are accepted they are required to complete core course prerequisites for the majors they are pursuing and apply for acceptance to the majors.

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Double Major in Psychology and Social Work Program Coursework

Introductory courses in psychology prepare students with a foundation in psychological theories and principles, as well as research methods used in psychology. Students studying social work may also learn about research methodology. Advanced studies in both fields may provide practical experience opportunities and the opportunity to take courses in specific areas of interest, such as social welfare policy and abnormal psychology.

Social Welfare

This course explores how social welfare has developed over times, as well as the the current trends affecting social welfare policies today. Students will learn about different views concerning social policy and how social policies have evolved. They'll also learn how domestic social welfare policies relate to international issues.

Field Instruction

Students who complete a field instruction course gain practical experience in social work. They may work at a local agency and serve the needs of individuals. They also learn about different approaches to social work practices.

Human Behavior

Topics in this course include defining normal behavior, understanding why people behave the way they do, and identifying which institutions influence behavior. Students will study human behavior in the context of variables such as culture or gender and also learn about changes in behavior that correspond to human development.

Abnormal Behavior

Students will explore different types of abnormal behaviors and learn how they are classified and identified. They will learn about what causes abnormal behavior. They will also learn about treatment methods.

Psychology and Women

How does gender affect women? Are women treated fairly when they are the subjects of research in psychology? How does gender shape our psychological perspectives and expectations? Issues will be explored with focus on how women are viewed and treated in the mental health field.

Psychology and Culture

Through this course, students explore research related to different cultural groups both in the United States and overseas and learn how culture can shape the interpretation of research data. They will also learn how this can influence political policies and how racism has affected psychological practices.

How to Choose a Bachelor's Degree with a Double Major in Psychology and Social Work

There are many schools that offer degrees in both psychology and social work so students should be able to find options that are close to home if they do not wish to relocate. Some schools also offer online study options, which may appeal to students trying to balance the demands of work or family. There are also postsecondary institutions that promote the double major in psychology and social work and these schools may offer courses that meet requirements for both majors, which can ease the academic demands on students pursuing double majors. Some schools also have concentration areas within their programs and students should consider if the elective courses offered by schools are suitable for their interests.

Career Options with a Degree with a Double Major in Psychology and Social Work

With a bachelor's degree in psychology and social work graduates can pursue entry-level opportunities as social workers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects social workers will enjoy a job growth rate of 15% from 2016 to 2026. In 2016 the BLS reported that the median annual income for social workers was $46,890.

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