Learn What You Can Do With a Psychology Degree

What kinds of classes do psychology majors take?

Heres an example of a psychology planned schedule taken from San Jose State Univeristy, California. http://www.sjsu.edu/psych/

Year Semester 1 Semester 2
1 Engl 1A (GE Area A2)Psyc 1 (General Psychology) (GE Area D1)

2 Core GE classes (Area A1 and E)

Bio 21 (GE Area B2/3)

Kin class (PE)

Meet with a Psychology Advisor

16 units

Engl 1B (GE Area C3)Statistics 95 (GE Area B4)

core GE class (Area B1: ?Chem 30A?)

1 Core GE Classes (Area A3)

Kin class (PE)

Register for WST at the end of the semester

16 units

2 Psyc 30 (intro to psychobiology)Support course (?Chem 1B or 30B?)

2 Core GE Classes (Area C1 and C2)

Area F1-2-3 Class (part A)

Meet with a Psychology Advisor

Pass WST by the end of the semester

15 units

Psyc 102 (Child Psychology)Psyc 110 (Abnormal Psychology)

Psyc 154 (Social Psychology)

1 open elective or supporting course

Area F 1-2-3 Class (part B)

15 units

3 Psyc 100W (Writing course dealing with APA Format) (SJSU Studies area Z)Psyc 139 (psychology of personality)

1 Psyc Elective (LD or UD)

2 open electives (or supporting courses)

15 units

Psyc 120 (Advanced Research Method Designs)Psyc 129 (Neuroscience) or 160 (Clinical) or 170 Industrial/Organizational

2 classes from: Psyc 135 (cognition) or 155 (human learning) or 158 (perception)

SJSU Studies R course (e.g., Bio 101 or Phil 160)

File for Graduation

15 units

4 Psyc 117 (Test and Measures) (or Stat 115)Psyc 121 a, b, or c

1 Psychology Elective (UD)

1 SJSU Studies V Course (e.g., Phil 110)

1 open elective or supporting course

14 units

Psyc 190 (current issues in capstone) in c or 195 (honors seminar on psychology)Psyc 121 a, b, or c

1 SJSU Studies S Course

Stat 115 (or Psyc 117)

1 open elective or supporting course

14 units

As an undergraduate you will be taking general education courses. Some of them can be psychology such an introductory class or a statistics class.

Statistics is a class you are required to take to fulfill your major. In the past you may have learned about mean, mode, and median. This class will go further by teaching you about z, t tests, ANOVAs and using a graphing application for data. Knowing these forms of test can give a researcher a lot of information about a sample group. It also helps to see if the data was statistically significant.

You will also be taking some lecture courses and laboratory courses. The lectures will be a sit and learn type of class while the lab course will be hands on approach to learning. Laboratory assignments will have you conduct simple to advanced experiments on selected populations. For one laboratory assignment you maybe asked to form a group then pick a study to do. Your group partners and you will write a lab report using previous studies relating to the topic. Lab reports have a cover sheet, abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion, and a references sheet. It’s important to take these statistic classes and an advanced research methods class since this information is heavily used when conducting experiments and if you want to go to graduate school it helps for prerequisites.

As you begin taking more psychology courses one or two classes in particular should interest you. This course should become your focus if you’d like to pursue it as a career. Psychology is a broad subject that can be applied to many areas of life. Here are some examples of careers.

  • Do you enjoy being around children? Then look into child psychology. You could one day work as a school psychologist.
  • Are you fascinated with drugs and the effect they have on the brain? Then look into Neuroscience. You could be in the lab doing experiments with rats comparing a drug and a placebo.
  • Do you have a mindset for business but want to apply psychology in that setting? Then look into industrial organizational psychology. You could be working in corporate setting making sure everyone is working to their highest potential.
  • Do you enjoy new experiences and have the empathy to work in a behavioral health center? Look into clinical psychology. You would be in an inpatient clinic helping individuals deal with the recent stress that has entered their lives.
  • Are you curious on testing things and seeing if it has a significant impact? Look into research in psychology.