What can I do with a Psychology major?
The psychology major prepares students for a wide range of pursuits after graduation. Many graduates find psychology related jobs in areas such as mental health, human resources and children's and family services.
According to the American Psychological Association: “[The] study of psychology at the bachelor's level is also a fine preparation for many other professions. In 2000, about 75,000 college seniors graduated with a degree in psychology, but many were not necessarily interested in a career as a psychologist.
Psychology majors often possess good research and writing skills, are good problem solvers, and have well-developed, higher-level thinking ability when it comes to analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information. Most find jobs in marketing and sales, testing and consulting with corporations, public affairs, education, business, sales, service industries, health, the biological sciences, and computer programming. They work as employment counselors, correction counselor trainees, interviewers, personnel analysts, probation officers, and writers.
Many of our majors go on to graduate study; some pursue MA or PhD or PsyD degrees in clinical or counseling psychology. Others pursue training in social psychology, school psychology, or developmental psychology. Several of these graduates have returned to UST and taught courses for us.
What are recent graduates doing now?
Krista Isakson ’97 was hired fresh out of St. Thomas by Pearson Assessments, a local company that specializes in psychological testing and assessment. Her psychology major, with its emphasis on research, statistics and testing, prepared her well for this job. She currently works as a product/market manager and loves her career. She sometimes comes back to the department to talk with students about career possibilities with a psychology major.
What opportunities are there to bolster my resume while I'm in the program?
Internships. Psychology students pursue a variety of internships at places like Chrysalis (counseling for women), Fraser and other organizations that serve children with autism and their families, and group homes for individuals with disabilities. Students also find internship opportunities in local human resources and personnel consulting organizations and in testing/assessment corporations like Pearson Assessments. Some of our students have completed internships with local school psychologists or at the Veterans Administration hospital doing psychological research.
Study abroad. Our students go everywhere! London, Australia, Germany, Ireland and Rome are just a handful of the countries they visit. They study a variety of things and many find interesting psychology courses that they can use toward their major or minor. Study abroad enhances one’s knowledge base by providing an international perspective on how psychology is defined and studied. It also provides a great mind-broadening experience; students report that extended contact with other cultures allows them to strengthen their critical thinking skills and enhance their understanding of individual and group differences.
Faculty at work
Psychology faculty members are working on a variety of research topics including: motivation and sports performance, environmental psychology, human memory, child and adolescent development, moral development in children, the biochemistry of sleep, history of women in psychology, and outcomes of international adoption. Here are some examples of recent research collaborations involving faculty-student teams:
Student Eric Duclos and faculty mentor Dr. Elise Amel:
Duclos, E.L., & Amel, E.L. (2007, April). The Influence of self-efficacy and knowledge in sustainable behaviors. Poster presented at the 21st National Conference on Undergraduate Research, San Rafael, CA.
Student Abby Siefert and faculty mentor Dr. Tonia Bock:
Bock, T., Seifert, A., & Narvaez, D. (2006, August). Morally-related correlates of ethical identity. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, New Orleans, LA.
Student Erin Droege and faculty mentor Dr. Mary Anne Chalkley:
Chalkley, M. A., & Droege, E. R. (March, 2007). Parent-adolescent communication: How quality of relationship and topic affect conversations. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Boston, Massachusetts.
Student John Kingsbury and faculty mentor Dr. John Tauer:
Tauer, J.M., & Kingsbury, J.H. (2007, May). The ESPN effect: How slam-dunks affect individualism, competitiveness, and optimism in athletes. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, Washington, DC.
Student Brian Reider and faculty mentor Dr. Roxanne Prichard:
Reider, B.D., and Prichard, J.R. (2007, June). Profile of sleep quality, light exposure, mood, and academic performance in university students. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms. Copenhagen, Denmark.
Student testimonial - Kristin Hawkinson ’07: “My experience with the faculty at the psychology department at UST truly made my college experience. Their passion for psychology and its application towards the real world was absolutely contagious and I'll never be the same after learning with them. When I met them college came to life, and I'll never forget them for it!”
What jobs are possible with a Psychology major?
- Industrial relations coordinator
- Organizational psychologist
- Personnel administrator
- Placement counselor
- Job analyst
- Advertising agent
- Market research analyst
- Consumer psychologist
- Labor relations coordinator
- Sales representative
- Affirmative action officer
- Community organization worker
- Community planning specialist
- Police officer
- Relocation worker
- Policy analyst
- Friend of the court
- Intelligence specialist
- Health policy planner
- Consumer researcher
- Statistical report writer
- Technical writer
- Legal descriptive writer
- Media administrator
- Public opinion pollster
- Curriculum designer
- Corrections administrator
- Animal ecologist
- Histology technician
- Hospital admissions counselor
- Human services
- Youth counselor
- Rehabilitation worker
- Inmate worker
- Case worker
- Day care center director
- Behavioral technician
- Volunteer services coordinator
- School counselor
- Employment counselor
- Psychiatric social worker
- Development officer
- Senior citizen program coordinator
- Medical case worker
- Physical therapist
- Occupational therapist