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THE MAJOR Powered By Docstoc
Psychology is offered as a major at VCU. The mission of the undergraduate program is to provide high quality education
that prepares students for graduate school in Psychology or for careers in education, health-sciences, business, or human
resources. Students can also use the Psychology major as an enhancement to other majors or minors which would open
opportunities to numerous career fields. Psychology is the study of human and animal behavior and the psychological,
social, and biological processes related to the behavior. Psychology has three faces. It is a discipline, a major subject of
study in colleges and universities. It is also a science, a method of conducting research and of understanding behavioral
data. And psychology is also a profession, a field that requires one to apply special knowledge, abilities, and skills in
order to solve human problems. Whether you are interested in computers, human services, management, education,
criminal justice, high technology, sports, or many other fields, you are likely to find individuals with a psychology
background working in that field. Since psychology involves the study of human behavior, it is not surprising to find it
being applied to so many areas.

                                    Specialization Areas (Graduate Level)
There is no specialization at the undergraduate level. At the graduate level there are numerous specializations; too many to
describe in this format. However, it would be helpful to describe the more “popular" specializations. Counseling
psychologists focus on improving normal human functioning across the life span by helping people solve problems, make
decisions, and cope with the stresses of everyday life. School psychologists help educators promote the intellectual, social,
and emotional development of children. Clinical psychologists evaluate and treat people’s mental and emotional
disorders, ranging from normal psychological crises to extreme conditions such as schizophrenia or depression.
Industrial/Organizational psychologists specialize in the relationship between people and work. Forensic Psychologists
apply the science and profession of psychology to questions and issues relating to law and the legal system. Other
specializations include: Cognitive, Developmental, Educational, Environmental, Experimental, Family, Health,
Neuropsychology, Quantitative, Rehabilitation, Social, and Sports. (

                                        Successful Psychology Students Show…
Interpersonal Communication (oral and written)             Engage in Ethical Practice

Knowledge of Human Development & Behavior                  Problem Solving/ Decision Making

Able to Observe, Analyze, & Interpret Information          Understanding of Group Dynamics

Concern for and Sensitivity to Others                      Interviewing Techniques

Critical and Inferential Thinking                          Good Listener

Ability to Resolve or Mediate Conflicts                    Deal Effectively with People and Promote Healthy Relationships
                   Related Career Titles (for additional titles, please see your career advisor)

Many graduates choose typical career paths associated with this major. However, some graduates choose unrelated careers
that utilize skills and experiences developed during their years in college. Keep in mind, that some fields will require
graduate study or further training. The listing below offers examples of possible career paths and is not meant to be

       Admissions Counselor                 Human Resource                Child Development              Market Research
       EEO Specialist                        Director                       Specialist                      Analyst
       Personnel Interviewer                Residence Life                Forensic Psychologist          Statistical Analyst
       Advocate                              Director                      Recreation Director            Counselor
       Emergency Services                   Community Services            Clinical Psychologist          Mediator
        Clinician                             Director                      Geriatric Case                 Substance Abuse
       Physical Therapy Aid                 Labor Relations                Manager                         Therapist
       Career Services Director              Specialist                    Recruiting                     Criminal Investigator
       Employment Counselor                 Residential Counselor          Coordinator                    Mental Health Case
       Police Officer                       Correctional                  College Professor               Manager
       Case Manager                          Caseworker                    Grievance Officer              Suicide Prevention
       Events Coordinator                   Lobbyist                      Rehabilitation                  Specialist
       Probation/Parole Officer             School Psychologist            Counselor                      Customs Immigration
       Child Care Provider                  Corrections Officer           College Recruiter               Agent
       Family Services Case                 Management Trainee            Hospice Coordinator            Motivational Researcher
        Manager                              Social Service Aid            Research Assistant             Teacher/Educator
       Psychiatric Aid                      Counseling                    Community Relations            Drug Abuse Prevention
                                              Psychologist                                                   Educator

Potential Employers for Psychology Majors (environment + population = career options)

Colleges and Universities, Business and Industry, Community Mental Health Services Agencies, Consulting Firms, Correctional
Institutions, Court Systems, Family Service Agencies, Federal/State Government Agencies, Healthcare Organizations, Hospitals,
Human Resource Departments, Law Enforcement Agencies, Non Profit Agencies, Nursing Homes and Retirement Communities,
Private Psychological/Counseling Practices, Public School Systems, Rehabilitation Agencies, Residential Treatment Facilities, Social
Service Agencies, Sports Organizations, Research Institutes, and Victim Services Centers.

Career Related Websites
Research Tools
American Psychological Association – Student Section:
Careers for the 21st Century (APA):
Information on Psychology Majors and Careers:

Blog for Psychology-related jobs
PSY Blog:

Job Summary/Profile Sites
O*Net Online:
BLS/Career One Stop:

Community and State Resources
Connect Richmond (Richmond area)
Guide Star: (Nationwide resource)
Idealist: --this site has a great resource section (Nationwide resource)
Virginia Association of Nonprofit Organizations: (Virginia resource)
The Nonprofit Resource Center: (Nationwide resource)

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