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A psychology degree can take you anywhere
Whether you’re interested in a career in research, behavioral health, social work, counseling or some other profession, psychology provides excellent preparation.
Our psychology majors have a track record of success in multiple career paths (see Career Opportunities tab below). Consistently accepted to the very best graduate and professional schools, they’ve demonstrated their versatility by excelling in a variety of professions.
Want to be a writer or an attorney? You’ll need to ensure your words resonate. Are you a future business manager or consultant? You’ll have to understand what motivates people and how they interact in groups. These are just a few ways psychology is critical in many careers. For more, click here to access information on the American Psychological Association website.
Your faculty advisor will help you refine your interests and find a meaningful practicum or internship. You’ll design and conduct your own research and have the opportunity to present it at conferences.
Add another major or minor to gain complementary skills in areas such as management, neuroscience, a foreign language, mathematics, creative writing, health care studies or religious studies. All of these add value to your psychology major and broaden your opportunities after graduation.
Recent graduates have enrolled at:
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
University of Indianapolis
Kent State University
Chestnut Hill College
Penn State University
University of Missouri
Washington State University
East Tennessee State University
Saint Louis University
University of Pittsburgh
University of Pennsylvania
New York University
Bryn Mawr College
University of Connecticut
University of New Haven
West Chester University
University of Baltimore
Seton Hall University
University of South Carolina
Arizona State University
Recent graduates with a BA/BS in psychology have worked at:
Northumberland Children and Youth Services - caseworker
TEKsystems (IT staffing) - recruiter
Center for Social Development and Education (Boston) - research assistant
YP (phone apps) - digital marketing sales executive
PA Counseling Services - family based therapist
Inline Plastics - marketing communications coordinator
Nebraska Respite Network - coordinator of respite services
Community Hope (NJ) - behavioral health counselor
Systems Planning and Analysis, Inc - financial consultant
Geisinger Medical Center - research assistant
Northumberland County Juvenile Court - program coordinator
Philhaven Behavioral Health - therapeutic support staff
US Army - 2nd Lieutenant Infantry
Friedman LLP - HR assistant
PA State Correctional Institution - drug & alcohol treatment specialist
St. Luke's Hospital - geriatric mental health technician
Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Degree. The department offers Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degree programs. Majors pursuing the Bachelor of Arts complete 41 semester hours in psychology with a grade of C- or better and with at least a 2.00 psychology GPA. Students complete the following required courses from each of five content areas:
|Semester Hours||View Full Course Catalog >>|
12 Psychology Core (all are required)
|PSYC-101 Principles of Psychology|
|PSYC-223 Research Methods in Psychology|
|PSYC-421 Directed Research|
4 Developmental Psychology (choose one of the following):
|PSYC-238 Developmental Psychology: Conception Through Childhood|
|PSYC-239 Developmental Psychology: Adolescence|
|PSYC-240 Developmental Psychology: Adulthood and Aging|
4 Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Psychology (choose one of the following):
|PSYC-230 Social Psychology|
|PSYC-320 Abnormal Psychology|
8 Fundamental Paradigms in Psychology (choose two of the following):
|PSYC-340 Cognitive Psychology|
|PSYC-342 Behavioral Neuroscience|
|PSYC-344 Learning Processes|
|PSYC-346 Sensation and Perception|
1 Laboratory Proficiency (choose one of the following):
|PSYC-360 Laboratory in Behavioral Neuroscience|
|PSYC-361 Laboratory in Cognitive Psychology|
|PSYC-362 Laboratory in Learning Processes|
|PSYC-363 Laboratory in Sensation and Perception|
12 Psychology Electives
12 hours of electives selected with faculty adviser guidance
Majors must also complete a comprehensive psychology examination during the junior or senior year. Questions cover courses in the psychology core, developmental psychology, interpersonal and intrapersonal psychology, and fundamental paradigms in psychology content areas but not courses in the laboratory proficiency area. Students have up to four opportunities to take the comprehensive examination; only the highest score is recorded on the transcript. Performance on the comprehensive examination is reported on the transcript as high pass, pass or fail.
The department also recommends additional courses in other areas, depending on specific career goals. Frequent choices are biology, health care studies, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, business, prelaw and communications.
Additional Requirements for the Bachelor of Science Degree. Candidates for the Bachelor of Science degree will complete all requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in psychology. Bachelor of Science candidates also complete two additional courses (at least one of which must be selected from outside the psychology department) from among the following four options:
A course (together with its corresponding lab) from the natural sciences (biology, chemistry, ecology, earth and environmental sciences, health care studies, or physics) that does not fulfill the student's Scientific Explanations requirement1
Any four-semester-hour math course numbered 111 or higher (except statistics) that does not fulfill the student's Analytic Thought requirement1
A third course from the fundamental paradigms content area of the psychology major2
PSYC-323 Advanced Research Design and Analysis2
1 A student may take two of these courses to meet their B.S. course requirements
2 This course may also be counted as a psychology B.A. elective
Minor in Psychology. The minor is designed to acquaint students with important areas in the field while offering flexible options based on their career goals. Students consult with a psychology department adviser to select minor courses. The minor requires 24 semester hours in psychology with a grade of C- or better and a minimum 2.0 grade point average in their psychology classes. Required courses include PSYC-101 Principles of Psychology, 12 semester hours at the 200 level (only one of which may be from the developmental psychology sequence), and eight semester hours in courses numbered 300 or above. Psychology laboratory courses may be applied to the minor. Substitution of 300-level courses for 200-level courses is possible with permission of the minor adviser. Students may not apply the following courses to the minor: PSYC-123 Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences; PSYC-421 Directed Research; PSYC-505 Research Apprenticeship; PSYC-525, 526 Independent Research; and PSYC-527, 528 Practicum.
Secondary Teaching Certification. Coursework required by the state of Pennsylvania for admission to the teacher certification program includes successful completion of ENGL-100 Writing and Thinking or equivalent course, at least 3 semester hours in British or American literature, at least 6 semester hours of mathematics coursework (or other courses which satisfy the Central Curriculum Analytical Thought requirement), and at least one 40-hour externship.
Education course requirements for secondary education are EDUC-101 Introduction to Education and Society, EDUC-102 Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Education, EDUC-250 Educational Psychology, EDUC-260 Introduction to Special Education, EDUC-270 Instruction of Exceptional Students, EDUC-330 Technology in Education, EDUC-350 English Language Learners: Theory and Instruction, EDUC-380 Instructional Design, EDUC-479 Principles of Learning and Teaching in Secondary Education, EDUC-483 Differentiated Instruction and Classroom Management in Secondary Education, and the EDUC-500 Student Teaching package (EDUC-501, EDUC-502, EDUC-503, and EDUC-600).
In addition to completing the psychology major and the courses listed above, secondary education psychology students must complete certification in social studies. The requirements for certification in social studies are EDUC-425 Methods of Curriculum Instruction and Assessment in Teaching Social Studies, SOCI-101 Principles of Sociology, ANTH-162 Introduction to Anthropology, ECON-105 Elements of Economics, POLI-111 American Government and Politics, POLI-121 Comparative Government and Politics, HIST-322 Pennsylvania History or HIST-324 Pennsylvania's Pasts and Their Publics, 1 course in U. S. history (HIST-111, HIST-112 or HIST-115), 1 course in European history (HIST-131 or HIST-132), and 1 course in non-Western history (HIST-151, HIST-152, HIST-171, HIST-172, HIST-180, or HIST-181).
Do I need a doctorate to get a job?
Only if you want one.
The doctorate is mainly for people who want to teach in a university, do grant-funded research, or specialize in a specific area of psychology.
Although many Susquehanna students have gained admission to doctoral programs, the large majority of careers in psychology require a bachelor's or master's degree instead.
With a psychology degree, it's not a question of what you can do, it's about what you're interested in doing.