What is Psychology
A knowledge of psychology can be a useful aid to successful functioning and understanding in today's complex world. An appreciation of human behavior, and of the factors which affect people's moods, habits, effectiveness, and likes and dislikes, can make one's life more interesting and effective. An appreciation of individual differences in personality, ability, and background can enrich personal relationships. Coursework in psychology introduces the student to different areas of study in psychology and to the research from which psychological knowledge comes.
Psychology is considered to be both a natural science and a social science. Moreover, it is not only a scientific discipline but also a service profession. Psychologists investigate developmental, behavioral, and cognitive processes and the social contexts in which these occur. Other research psychologists are concerned with biological factors in normal and abnormal behavior. Professional psychologists provide counseling and clinical services to individuals, families and groups: some function in community and human service agencies, some in private practice, some in medical settings. Other psychologists are active in business settings, such as human resource departments, market research firms, and research consulting companies.
It is possible to "sample" psychology - to take a course here and there where it seems relevant or interesting, or to major in the field. Psychology is an appropriate undergraduate major for those planning careers in business, law, medicine, nursing, or teaching. Courses available to undergraduates include child, aging, and developmental psychology, personality and social psychology, clinical psychology, abnormal psychology, industrial-organizational psychology, consumer psychology, perception, learning, memory and cognition, motivation, and history of psychology, among many others. It is possible for students who work full time to complete a major in psychology at CSU by enrolling in evening courses.
What can you do with psychology? Approximately 30% of students who major in psychology pursue graduate study within the field. About 40% continue in other professions: law, medicine, social work, education, computer science, etc. Of the 30% who enter the working field after the B.A., the most common employment settings are in mental health or human services, educational settings, business and industrial organizations and government agencies.
Jobs & Volunteering
WHAT DO PSYCHOLOGISTS DO? They can be...
- Teachers: teach psychology classes in high school or college
- Researchers: conduct studies on human behavior for universities, government agencies, or the military
- Service Providers: assess the needs of individuals, couples, or groups, as well as provide treatment
- Administrators: manage hospitals, mental health clinics, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, schools, universities, and businesses
- Consultants: hired by organizations to provide consultation on various problems
The field placement course (PSY 390) is designed for students who are interested in getting into the mental health field and would like some hands-on experience in a mental health setting, e.g., hospitals, mental health centers, drug rehabilitation centers. The field placement course normally requires 8-10 hours weekly of volunteer experience working with people. Unfortunately, due to the loss of critical faculty, we are not offering this course for the 2005-2006 academic year. Interested students should check with their advisors to see when this course may be offered again and to find out the procedures for obtaining a placement.
Please refer to the career services website for further information.
PsychCrawler- product of the American Psychological Association. Searchable database for psychology topics.
Psi Chi- national honor society in psychology.
Erik's Psychology Links- links to a variety of key persons and theories in psychology.
American Psychological Association PsychNET (SM)- covers psychological and cognitive science resources, the practice of psychology, APA's large publishing operation, information for the public on the field and the association.