- What can I do with a degree in psychology?
Students who graduate with a degree in psychology or biopsychology have many options! There are various entry-level positions for a psychology major, including case management, counseling, home care aid, and many others! Many Messiah psychology students choose to attend graduate school, which lengthens the list of opportunity even more! With a graduate degree in one of the many fields of psychology, students may become school counselors, clinical psychologists, forensic psychologists, psychological researchers, psychiatrists, or a professional in a variety of other settings. For biopsychology majors, the options are different but similarly vast. The opportunities for someone with a biopsychology degree range from medicine to research, and are practically limitless! An undergraduate biopsychology degree is also a good precursor to a career in psychiatry, as this undergraduate degree incorporates psychology and biology which will prepare a student for medical school. For a better look at what options exist for students who graduate with a degree in psychology or biopsychology, click here.
- How can I get an overview of this major before I decide to declare it?
Intro to Psychology, a 3-credit class offered every semester, provides students with a glimpse into the field of psychology. This course will count as your general education social science requirement. According to the Messiah course catalogue, this course is an “introduction to modern psychology including its major theorists and methodologies and an overview of developmental, social, and abnormal psychology.” Another course that may be helpful to students interested in Psychology is Opportunities in Psychology, a one-credit course designed to introduce students to the Psychology Major, to the curriculum and opportunities within the department, to the faculty of the department, to career possibilities following graduation, to the academic advising process, and to the type of library research and writing style expected by the faculty in the department. If you decide that you are interested in psychology but already have a different major, one of our three minors may be for you. The Psychology Department offers a minor in Psychology, one in Counseling, and one in Community Psychology. For more information on Intro to Psychology, Opportunities in Psychology, our minors, or just the Psychology program in general, contact Dr. John Bechtold, department chair.
- How can I apply what I learn in my psych courses on campus?
There are many opportunities for psychology majors outside of the classroom. For instance, psych majors can join Active Minds or Psi Chi and participate in many of the psychology-related events that these two groups host throughout the school-year. Also, depending on the area of interest of the psych major, there are opportunities for research and experimentation outside the classroom as well, in conjunction with faculty or as an individual endeavor. If you are interested in working directly with the community, there are many service opportunities that will allow you to relate the concepts you learn in class to real-life experiences. Through the Agape Center, students can work with children, inner-city adolescents, elderly, adults, the homeless, inmates, individuals residing in a half-way house, juvenile offenders, or a variety of other people groups through volunteer service opportunities. For more information or details on the various service options, visit the Agape Center web page.
- Can I add a minor or double major to my psychology major without having to stay extra semesters?
Yes, depending on your psychology major and the requirements of the minor/second major that you wish to add. Students earning a BA degree, a BS degree, or BA degree in psychology with a clinical concentration may take 25-27 credits of free electives, which is typically sufficient for a second major or a minor. For the biopsychology program, students may take 7-15 credits of free electives, which would be more suited to a complementary minor.
- What is Psi Chi?
Psi Chi is the National Honor Society in Psychology, founded to encourage, stimulate, and maintain excellence in scholarship and to advance the science of psychology. Psi Chi’s two main goals are to provide academic recognition and a climate congenial to creative development for the society’s members. Students in Messiah College’s Psychology Department can participate in Psi Chi through Messiah’s chapter, which is operated by student officers and a faculty advisor.
- Is there a possibility that I can get an internship in the community?
Yes, in fact many psychology majors participate in internships in the community! Internships are a great way for students to apply what they learn in the classroom to real life situations. Past Psychology Department students have completed internships in locations such as Messiah Village, Phil Haven Behavioral Healthcare Services, the Joshua Group, YMCA of Greater Harrisburg, Northern Middle School in York, Holy Spirit Health Center, and many others! If you are interested in what internship opportunities are available, you can check out what kind of internships previous psychology majors have participated in on our Career Options page under the Internship tab.