Professors: Batsell, Boatwright, Érdi, Fletcher, Gregg (Chair), Hostetter, Liu, Perry, Tan
Psychology, broadly defined, is the study of animal and human behavior as well as human experience. The discipline involves the use of scientific methods in the discovery of facts and confirmation of theory as well as applications to problems. The major, therefore, includes a focus on the understanding and use of research skills and techniques. Psychology is a diverse field with important connections to biology, education, philosophy, and sociology. Increasingly, psychologists may be found in business, industry, education, government, and medicine, as well as in the more traditional areas of research and mental health.
Given its diversity and connections to other disciplines, psychology is a reasonable choice of major for students who seek a broad liberal arts undergraduate education. Psychology is also a practical major for those who seek careers immediately after graduation in fields where interacting with other people is primary—management, criminal justice, or human services, for example. Students interested in careers in such applied fields, however, may find the human development and social relations (HDSR) major a better choice.
Psychology majors may choose to pursue advanced degrees in three general directions: one, as scientists, leading to careers in higher education or research settings; two, as practitioners, leading to roles as clinicians, school psychologists, industrial psychologists, and health psychologists; and three, as professionals in other fields such as law, medicine, and business administration.