Psychology is an interesting field of study, as it probes the human mind to discover the basics of an individual's behaviors. There are many fields of psychology, so the first thing an individual interested in studying psychology should ask themselves is what branch of psychology interests them the most.
Preparation for Psychology Schools
An undergraduate degree requires that the student take courses in all psychology disciplines and subspecialties, such as social, cognitive, clinical, industrial organization, developmental, and behavioral neuroscience psychology. This helps the student determine a field of study that best suits their interests and abilities.
The high school student preparing for attending psychology colleges should take classes in English and/or speech since excellent writing and verbal communications skills are required. Biology and psychology courses cover human and brain anatomy, as well as genetics which will be helpful in the college level courses required for a degree in psychology. Social science courses help the student develop skills in critical thinking that are important in a professional career in psychology.
Psychology Schools Coursework
The student interested in a career in psychology will start taking courses in psychology as an undergraduate. Sample coursework includes:
- Introductory Psychology - introduction to principles of human behavior
- Basic Research Methods - introduction to research, hypothesis formation, data presentation
- Psychology as a Science and Profession - overview of history of psychology, ethical issues in psychology
Most psychologists have to obtain the minimum of a Master's degree, with many psychologists going for a Doctoral degree.
Typical coursework in a Master's degree program include research methods, group psychology, business ethics and statistics. For the student who wants to major in Organization Psychology, further coursework would include personnel psychology, management, finance, workplace environment, business ethics and global management.
Several psychology colleges have programs where a student can earn a bachelors and masters degree in five years. There are also some master's and doctoral degree programs where the coursework is completed in three years, and the student must then write their doctoral thesis. Sample coursework in this program include:
- Statistical Methods I and II
- Education and Psychology Measurement
- Research Methods
- Foundations for Counseling Theories
- Multicultural Counseling
- Adult Cognitive Assessment
- Psychology Multivariate Analyses
- Vocational Psychology
- Human Development
- History and Systems
There are also group research projects, internships, and a variety of research and applications papers that must be completed.
Undergraduates should make sure they check admission requirements to graduate psychology schools. There will be coursework requirements as well as graduate school entry tests such as the GRE.
Do you want to help people or work as a therapist? Feeling comfortable with people who are mentally ill is important for a psychologist and an advanced degree will be required to work as a therapist. It is an intense occupation, but drilling down deep into the psychology of why people behave the way they do is a fascinating career. Prepare for the rigors of attending a psychology college in order to obtain an advanced degree in an exciting and growing field.