Psychology Frequently Asked Questions
What is psychology?
The field of psychology is a science that studies human behavior, thoughts and feelings. As a psychology major, you will investigate the scientific methods necessary for psychological research. You will also explore how the variables that affect behavior can be applied to understanding and predicting human responses in daily life, work and relationships.
What can you do with a psychology major?
- You can use it as a building block for a graduate degree in the field: a master’s or a doctorate in psychology or social work, for example.
- You can use it as a foundation for graduate study in other areas: sociology, business, statistics or even law school.
- You can find a job related to your psychology major: case management, community relations, crisis work, grant writing, data analysis, recruitment, sales, public relations or substance abuse counseling.
- Finally, you can use a bachelor’s degree in psychology to prepare you for almost any non-technical job. A bachelor’s degree in psychology provides students with a broad background in liberal education. Students will gain critical skills in oral and written communication, active listening, teamwork, leadership, critical thinking and problem solving. And that is exactly what most employers are looking for. For helpful tips in choosing a career path, please visit the Career and Internship Center.
Do you need a master’s degree?
Not necessarily. There are many entry level jobs in the helping field. However, some professions that require a lot of direct client contact or ones that involve research do require either a master’s or a doctoral degree. Please refer to “What Can I Do With This Degree?”
How do I know what courses to take?
The curriculum isn’t a secret; you can find out what classes you'll need to take on our degree requirements page. When should you take those courses? How many should you take at a time, how should you distribute major and gen-ed courses? Which electives should you choose? Those are questions that an academic adviser can help you with. In fact, you won’t be allowed to register for the first time until you’ve met with an advisor. From then on, although you are not generally required to meet with your adviser in order to register, we strongly recommend that you meet with your adviser at least one each academic year to ensure that you are on track for graduation. In addition, you should always seek the counsel of the academic adviser if you are struggling academically.
How many courses can transfer to UB and apply towards the psychology major?In addition to courses that might count for general education or general elective credit, you may apply a maximum of 12 credits to the major from another institution. The course equivalencies will be determined by the academic adviser and program director.
Is there an opportunity for independent studies/internships?
The Wagman Applied Psychology Laboratory, part of the Division of Applied Behavioral Sciences, supports faculty and student research projects. Students interested in gaining research experience can sometimes work with faculty or graduate students on projects and also serve as research participants for research projects that others are conducting. If you are interested in pursuing research, Applied Behavioral Sciences faculty biographies to get a sense if there is a faculty member that you would like to work with. Any time during your tenure at UB, you may contact one of these faculty members to see if there is space available on his or her research team, and to see if you are suited for the current project that the faculty member is working on. This option is beneficial for all students, but especially for those in pursuit of a doctoral degree in psychology.
Psychology majors often find internships that let them apply their skills and knowledge in a real world setting. Internships not only provide a window into certain kinds of jobs, but they also boost your resume. For a listing of internships in the local area, log into UBworks via MyUB.
What is the accelerated bachelor’s/master’s option?
The bachelor’s/master’s option gives superior students an opportunity to fulfill simultaneously requirements for both the bachelor’s and master’s degree. Here is how it works: you can take up to nine credits of graduate psychology courses and count them toward your undergraduate degree. Then, if you are admitted to our M.S. in Applied Psychology, those credits roll over for graduate credit, allowing you to begin your graduate program with credits toward graduation. To be eligible you must have a cumulative 3.5 undergraduate GPA, apply for the program before you complete 90 credits and register for your graduate coursework during your last 30 hours of your undergraduate degree. Once in the program you must maintain a 3.5 GPA in your undergraduate coursework and a 3.0 GPA in your respective graduate courses. Admission is not automatic: you will need the approval of the dean of the college, in addition to the undergraduate and graduate program directors. For more details, speak with an academic adviser.
Is there an honors program for psychology?Psychology majors may apply to the University honors program, the Helen P. Denit Honors Program, but there is no major-specific honors program. The psychology division does house a local chapter of Psi Chi, the national honors society in psychology. To be eligible for Psi Chi membership, you must have a 3.0 cumulative GPA, as well as, an overall 3.0 GPA for completed psychology courses, have completed 3 semesters of college coursework (12 credits must be completed at UB), and have 9 credits of psychology coursework. The benefits of this society include boosting your resume, promoting research, receiving national and international recognition, meeting and networking with professionals and faculty in your field and meeting Psi Chi members of other chapters who may also be future leaders. For more information on how to apply, please contact Dr. Michael Frederick at 410.837.5997 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you offer classes online?
All of the psychology course offerings at UB are currently classroom-based. Due to the nature of the coursework involved for the major, we believe that students will benefit most from the face-to-face communication that the classroom has to offer.
When are classes offered?
Undergraduate psychology classes are offered both day and evening, making it possible to tailor your schedule more easily to the rest of your busy life. Whether you are a traditional or a nontraditional student, we can help you find courses that fit your schedule.
How long does it take to finish the program?
It varies from student to student depending on your work and personal duties. A bachelor’s degree requires a minimum of 120 credits and can be completed in four years for entering freshman (average of 15 credits fall/spring or 12 credits fall/spring and 3-6 credits summer) and two years for transfer students with associate degrees.
More important than finishing as quickly as possible, though, is finishing as competently as possible. It’s best to balance your work, school and other responsibilities to allow sufficient time to study for your courses. It is recommended that you spend about two hours outside of class for every hour that you spend in class. For that reason, you might want to consider a part-time class schedule if you have a full-time job so that you have the best chance of success in your coursework.